Tidy Climbers provide tidy bags for climbers to collect litter

Tidy Climbers provide tidy bags for climbers to collect litter

By Col Stocker

Tidy Climbers building a community to inspire behavioural change in climbers that enables them to be better crag stewards. The Alpkit Foundation help with their first batch of 'Tidy Bags' to help get things moving.

Leave no trace. Take only memories (or photos), leave only footprints. You know it.

We like to think that it's pretty well understood, certainly within the outdoor communities, that we all have a personal responsibility to take care of those places we take joy from spending time in. But it remains a continual challenge to inform, educate and look after these places.

Tidy Climbers is a wide-reaching initiative aimed at encouraging behavioural change in climbers. As a social media and online community, they encourage people to habitually build a crag ‘tidy up’ into their climbing day, even if just a few minutes. People then share their climbs and tidy ups through their social media platforms, which are then shared and celebrated on the Tidy Climbers pages.

Ph. Andy Milton

Hannah from Tidy Climbers got in touch with Alpkit Foundation when she was looking for start up support, particularly for some branded 'tidy bags'. Sustainably produced, reusable bags made from up-cycled old tent materials and end-of-life outdoor clothing. These would be used to hand out to climbers and community groups and carried on their adventures to help collect litter.

"Whilst primarily focusing on inspiring behavioural change in climbers rather than hosting larger clean-up events, we would also like to organise Tidy Climbers litter picks at crags which are hotspots for litter, and enable others to do the same with equipment and resources.

We will use the Tidy Climbers platform to highlight events by organisations with a common goal, as well as signposting information that enables climbers to be better crag stewards. Primarily, we aim to unite climbers in the idea of ‘climbs and clean ups’ by incentivising the act and sharing success stories."

They wanted to get some of these bags out to climbers as they linked up with Trash Free Trails and their Earth Day Spring Clean initiative, where they would submit data to their Trash Surveys and encourage other Tidy Climbers doing picks to do the same.

Well this sounded right up our street and it didn't take much for our talented Keswick repair station team to jump at the opportunity. Fitting around their normal loving repairs they wizzed through a batch of bags to get out in time for Earth Day.

Hannah picked up the bags and promptly sent out to eager climbers. So it was wonderful to hear back on the activities she'd been up to and heard back from others.

Ph. Andy Milton

"We had a brilliant day out and (as you can tell from the photos. Thanks Andy Milton!!) everyone had a real laugh whilst doing something positive. We gave out some bags as we went along the crag, including to some instructors who will take them out with clients now. Main offenders were dog poo bags, glass bottles and energy drinks, predictably!"

Not only did they personally get hands on in Borrowdale, they also received some great reports back, such as climbers picking at Runestone Quarry with their bags, including their youngest recruit, 12 year old Monti, who by all accounts did a brilliant job!

It's such a powerful thing when communities build like this and can quickly have a wide spread impact. Hannah explained a bit about what she felt that impact could be, particularly within the climbing community.

"I strongly believe that there is progress to be made by harnessing the power of social media in encouraging this behavioural change. Doing so taps into a younger or newer demographic of climbers and offers us a reach across the UK, building a nationwide sense of community. Already, participants are sending their crag clean-ups in from North Wales, Scotland, the Peak District and Lake District and celebrating one another's work!

The tangible benefits are improved environmental cleanliness at crags, visual cues that might prompt other outdoor users to make sure litter is removed and the importance of crag ethics and etiquette, as well as maintaining access agreements with landowners are highlighted to the climbing community."

If you want to join the community and share what you've been up to, then head over to Tidy Climbers.

So actually, go on. Leave a trace. A positively powerful one that shows that you care about those places you love.

2 comments

  • A great idea! I’ve often thought about getting some sort of bag I can easily attach to the outside of my rucksack to store picked-up litter in. Your link to Tidy Climbers takes me into a social media system I’ve no interest in joining so where can I get one of these bags on old-fashioned mail order?

    Mike Smith

    May 02, 2024

  • I’d like to help please let me now it’s other people/ charities are trying to tidy up the beautiful places of the uk cause I’m down to help

    Rowan

    May 02, 2024

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