When the Peak District Challenge was founded, we felt that some of the existing challenge events that have developed in the UK have shaky environmental and ethical credentials, and we wanted to do something about it. So here are some ways the Peak District Challenge has been designed from the ground-up to have a positive impact on our world, and minimise our impact on others.

  1. A nationally geographically central location and no extensive travelling involved during the challenge itself- minimising travel impact.
  2. Event is most easily accessible by public transport (as opposed to private car) and timed to coincide with train times both before and after the event.
  3. An at-cost-price celebration day is offered to all participants following their challenge, encouraging people to stick around to spend time and money in the local area following their visit.
  4. All participants are asked to make an additional financial contribution to the PDNPA’s Special Fund, used solely be used to pay for conservation, recreation, interpretation or community facilities at the locations where events take place. Participants are directed to this webpage at the time of donating.
  5. Event designed in consultation with Peak National Park ranger service and in with “project payback” goals in mind.
  6. Multiple point-to-point routes are offered, with (wherever permitted by landowners) no fixed route between checkpoints. Participants spread out throughout the park, minimising traffic on any single path.
  7. An impact assessment is made of paths that are most likely to be used. The increase in path use because of the Peak District Challenge is estimated at between 3-10% of average path use.
  8. To minimise noise, path wear and disturbance, there is no mass start, with teams set off at 1-2 minute intervals.
    Ethical challenge event

    Ethical challenge event

  9. Small teams of 3-5 people – no “coach loads of challengers” here.
  10. Checkpoints can almost totally be linked by wide hard-surfaced waymarked national trails. Routes avoid delicate and vegetated paths. PDNPA ranger service advice has been taken in to account when positioning checkpoints.
  11. Pre-start environmental advice given to participants in pre-event briefing.
  12. No damage caused by the event in the last three years (long may this continue!). We pro-actively requested damage reports from volunteers and entrants.
  13. Minimum navigation skill requirement for entrants, reducing likelihood of straying on to private, delicate or sensitive land close to zero.
  14. Event supervised by Mountain Leaders and Outdoor Adventure company with extensive event experience and environmental interest.
  15. Waymarking (ie cardboard arrows) minimised and used only as a contingency plan in the case of volunteer marshals being unavailable at short notice.
  16. Spectators discouraged (instead asked to volunteer for the event) and external support teams banned.
    Ethical challenge event

    Ethical challenge event

  17. Refreshments / checkpoints / support functions are located on roads at road crossings, away from sensitive environmental areas.
  18. No rubbish left in the park (this doesn’t just mean litter, we don’t using public bins either. Participants take their own rubbish home with them, and checkpoints return their rubbish to HQ for disposal.)
  19. Every possible reasonable step is taken to avoid clashes with other events. When dates are set (approx 18-24 months in advance of event date) we make use of the PDNPA event calendar at http://events.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ and Fell Running Association calendar at http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?m=august&y=2016&p=1 to avoid other events.
  20. Where participants can’t make use of public transport, we offer privately arranged off-road parking (only 16 cars needed to use this is 2015!)
  21. Event is organised as a charity fundraiser and raised over £35,000 sponsorship in 2016.
  22. Consumables are chosen with environmental consideration, for instance we offer exclusively vegetarian (more sustainable) food, biodegradable supplies used throughout, water bottles refilled not replaced, etc, etc, etc.
  23. Event complies 100% with Institute of Fundraising Code of Practice.
  24. Event complies 100% with Peak National Park events Code of Practice.
  25. Event complies 100% with draft BMC Green Guide to Large Groups and Challenge events.
  26. Finishers are rewarded with useful, recycled and recyclable momentos – no dust-gathering trinkets here.

We do the best we reasonably can to run an extremely ethical and considerate challenge event. We welcome your comments on further improvements though – please reach out to will@peak-district-challenge.com.

22-23 September 2017

Please note main entries for the 2017 event have now closed.

Late entries will be accepted until Wednesday 20th September or until the event is full. Late entries will not be able to get a t-shirt.

Next year’s event:

21-22 September 2018 (Entries open Dec 2017)

Or if you don’t want to enter, you can make a one-off donation:

Want to know more?