New appointment underlines BMC's commitment to supporting walkers.
Apparently some 62% of respondents to a British Mountaineering Council membership survey 'said hill walking was their primary mountain-related activity', something that's reflected in the new appointment of the organisation's first ever dedicated hill-walking development officer.
What Has The BMC Ever Done For Us?
And not before time, you may be thinking if you're of the 'what has the BMC ever done for us' school of thought. Because, let's be brutally honest, despite its claims to represent the interests of hill-walkers, much of the focus of the BMC has always appeared to be on climbing and mountaineering.
The latest issue of Summit, for example, still seems to focus largely on the technical end of things with the main cover line: Heading Outside - How to climb on rock ' and more of the same inside.
That's not to denigrate the valuable general work done by the BMC alongside the Ramblers in the field of access legisation and in supporting upland conservation work, but we suspect that most walkers, if asked about the BMC would respond that it's an organisation primarily representing the interests of climbers.
Which puts the new walking officer, Carey Davies, until recently the assistant editor of TGO Magazine, in an interesting position. His remit is 'provide information and advice to new hill walkers and to the many members for whom hill walking is their main activity', something he views as 'an exciting prospect'.
Carey believes that some of the general work the BMC does for hill-walkers is under appreciated, but he's also keen to stress that: "there is huge scope for expanding the work the BMC does for hill walkers – watch this space as there will be new projects, promotions, campaigns and events to draw more hill walkers into the fold and help develop our hill walking-focused work. A big part of my role will be to publicise this work and get the message across to hill walkers who don’t already realise - the BMC is for you too!"
Which sounds great to us. Both for walkers and for the BMC itself. For too long, many hill and mountain walkers have felt like a voiceless majority sandwiched between the climbing-orientated rock-jocks of the BMC on one side, and the slightly fuddy duddy, but worthy, Rambers on the other. Hopefully that's about to change.
And to kick things off, Carey is asking: "What do you think the BMC could do better for hill walkers? If you’re not already a member, what would persuade you to join?"
Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch this space - we're off to see the BMC shortly for a chat about its plans to work better for and with walkers.