Tag: Save Mountain Paths

Meet our It’s Up to Us ambassadors: Benjamin Barendrecht

A man wearing a blue jacket with a camera during winter in the Scottish hills

It’s time to meet another amazing #ItsUptoUs campaign ambassador – Benjamin Barendrecht – who is helping us to #SaveMountainPaths in Scotland! ⛰️

He says: “My name is Benjamin Barendrecht, I’m a mountain photographer living full time in my van among the mountains of Glencoe. Born in the Netherlands, I never had access to the mountains while growing up, I was always fascinated and dreaming of exploring remote places of the world.

A profile picture  of ambassador Benjamin Barendrecht

“Since then, I’ve been to many places, but nowhere gave me the same feeling as the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, there is a magical feeling when exploring Scotland, a place I feel home. The incredible and diversely geological history of the place is something I feel truly invested in.

Photographer Benjamin Barendrecht on a Scottish mountain at Sunset

“Capturing moments of history with my camera is something I’m really passionate about. The mountains introduced me to my first camera. I was hiking in Norway, and I really wanted to find a way to capture the emotion and feeling of the place, which led me to a new creative process of finding how, standing among the giants which has stood the test of time.

Photographer and It's Up to Us ambassador Benjamin Barendrecht in Scottish winter

“Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from how to use a camera and finding my own creative style, which led me to bring more purpose into my work. Through my photography I want to inspire others to dive deeper into learning and understanding the mountains.

“For a long time, mountains have been seen as a safe heaven, used for creative, competitive and health reasons. We have the responsibility to look after the things we use and love. I support the It’s Up to Us campaign because it’s an inspiring way to give back to the mountains. Paths are an important part of protecting the land and a safe way to navigate.

“It’s up to us to look after the mountains and give back.”

⭐️ Find out more, get involved and donate: www.savemountainpaths.scot

⭐️ In partnership with the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland

⭐️ Sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor

Meet the It’s Up to Us ambassadors: Keri Wallace

Each week, we’ll be introducing one of the 16 amazing ambassadors who are helping the #ItsUptoUs campaign by stepping up to #SaveMountainPaths.

This week, we’re meeting Keri Wallace – mountain runner, rock climber, freelance writer and co-founder of Girls on Hills!

Keri tells us: “I am co-founder of trail running company, Girls on Hills – based in Glencoe. Our aim is to empower women with the skills and confidence to become more independent in the mountain environment. We advocate for gender equity in our sport and encourage women to try hill-walking and trail running in the Scottish Highlands.

“Running in the mountains gives a sense of freedom and self-reliance that is hard to quantify. It allows us to escape the rat-race, seek adventure and stretch our comfort zones – to discover what our bodies and minds are really capable of.

“This is made possible by access to a rugged landscape where we have a responsible right to explore but also where runnable trails provide an efficient ingress to remote places and stunning scenery. Trails assist us in linking and journeying through these unique spaces and provide a framework for racing competitively or following in others’ footsteps. They also provide a handrail for those taking their first steps into unfamiliar places, building confidence and finding their way.

“I became an ambassador for the It’s Up to Us campaign to encourage likeminded hill-lovers to step up and help maintain the trails we know and love – as well as and the ones we are yet to set foot upon in our quest for adventure…”

Donate now!

Cotswold Outdoor backs new campaign to save Scotland’s mountain paths

Mountaineering Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) are delighted to announce Cotswold Outdoor as the official sponsor of a new three-year campaign to raise £300,000 for much-needed path repairs on An Teallach, one of Scotland’s most iconic mountains. The campaign – called It’s Up to Us – will also raise awareness of the desperate need for investment in the repair and maintenance of informal mountain paths situated on land outside of Scotland’s national parks and NGO estates.

Launched at an event in Perth last month, which was attended by many well-known members of the mountain-using community, It’s Up to Us encourages outdoor enthusiasts, active tourism businesses and organisations that care deeply about Scotland’s hills and mountains to step up and give something back by donating to the fundraising appeal.

One company that has answered the call is Cotswold Outdoor. For almost 50 years, the retailer has been helping people explore the great outdoors together. They have a genuine commitment to minimise their environmental impact, actively protecting the places we love, and helping everyone to enjoy the outdoors in a responsible way. They’re also working towards a more circular economy that’s better for the great outdoors and everyone who enjoys exploring it, too.

Jose Finch, Managing Director for Cotswold Outdoor, said: “At Cotswold Outdoor, we believe everyone’s happier outside, which is why protecting the great outdoors we love to explore is so important. For that reason, we’re proud to support Mountaineering Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland’s new It’s Up to Us campaign, providing funds to support vital mountain footpath repair across Scotland’s incredible landscapes and mountains so we can enjoy them for years to come.”

Mountaineering Scotland CEO, Stuart Younie, added: “Mountaineering Scotland has a longstanding partnership with Cotswold Outdoor, who provide a 15% discount as part of our package of member benefits, and we are delighted they have also chosen to become the lead sponsor for It’s Up to Us.

“It’s important that, as one of the UK’s leading outdoor retailers, they have recognised the need to step up to support this campaign. Reports show that the Sporting and Outdoor Equipment Retailer industry was worth £11.5bn* in 2022, and we hope that more outdoor retailers and gear manufacturers will follow the example of Cotswold Outdoor by getting on board to support the campaign and thinking about donating some of their profits to help repair mountain paths in Scotland.”

CEO of the Outdoor Access Trust Scotland, Dougie Baird, explained: “A key campaign target for It’s Up to Us is get the message across to hillwalkers and all mountain users that we all need to be prepared to give something back to the mountains that we benefit from.  

“The extensive path erosion works required on An Teallach have no access to government money of any sort. With the partnership with such a strong brand as Cotswold Outdoor, we are looking to reach out to those who really care for the mountains and to encourage them to give something back to the hills that so enrich their lives; maybe even to consider a small donation every time they head into the hills, what they can, when they can, through our fundraising appeal.”

Don’t forget, you can also follow all the latest campaign news using the hashtags:

#ItsUptoUs and #SaveMountainPaths

*Sporting and Outdoor Equipment Retailers in the UK – Market Size 2011–2029