Tidy Climbers: Community Spotlight 

Like a lot of folk, litter is a real bugbear of mine. As climbers we spend a lot of time at crags, and often those crags are areas shared with other outdoor enthusiasts; walkers, cyclists, wild swimmers and the like, and as a community, we’re generally conscientious. We don’t lob our crisp packets or drinks cans in the bushes, or poke our sweet wrappers into dry stone walls - but there are certainly people that do!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I start to get a bit overwhelmed with all the things that are wrong with the world that I can’t really control. I’ve traversed the entire emotional spectrum when it comes to litter at crags, and I have no doubt that I will again. I’ve screamed in frustration and laughed in exasperation, but when it comes down to it, anger and sadness are draining and demoralising. Doing something good however, feels much better. I know there are other people out there doing good things too, and I want to give them a virtual pat on the back. That’s why I started Tidy Climbers.

In today’s society, our free time is infrequent and fleeting, so it’s very precious. Nobody wants to spend their day off work litter picking. The idea with Tidy Climbers is that we all go and do that thing we love most with our precious free time; we have fun, we CLIMB! But in addition to climbing, we clean up. Whether it’s a 2-minute whip around the carpark or a full-scale crag scour, we leave our crags a little bit better than we found them. Then we share and celebrate both our climbs AND clean-ups amongst the Tidy Climbers community - double feelgood points!

Basically, Tidy Climbers love rocks (especially ones with flexy, high feet and teeny, tiny crimps - amiright?!) and we hate rubbish. It’s unsightly, harmful to nature and jeopardises climbers’ access rights. Even if rubbish isn't left by climbers, it being there serves as a visual cue to others that it's ok to toss their crap there too, and so the cycle continues. 

At the moment, we're a small-scale movement but a welcoming and inclusive community founded on the belief that every tiny action is worthwhile. We've had contributions from North Wales, Scotland, the Peak District and our homeland of the Lakes already, and some really lovely words of support from climbers all over (even Emma Twyford is a fan)! We've got our sights set on bigger things, but we firmly believe that we are only as strong as the people that stand with us.

We’d love it if you’d join us on our mission to keep our crags crap-free. 

Find us on Instagram: @tidyclimbers

By Hannah Mitchell (she/her), Founder of Tidy Climbers 

About Hannah Mitchell

I'm a writer, climber, tree hugger, mountain lover and the founder of Tidy Climbers! For me, both work and play are happily interwoven with the outdoors, and I'm passionate about looking after the spaces that sustain us. Celebrating imperfect activism and positive, incremental change is my thing. That, and teeny crimps, flexy moves, improbably high feet and heel hooks.

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