We’re proud of our Peak District National Park home, and we know you’ll be impressed when you run over beautiful wilderness moors in the Relays. But sadly, parts of this cherished landscape are being blighted by the fly tipping, car-flung rubbish and general littering that are afflicting so much of the British countryside.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Runners Against Rubbish (RAR) to try to make sure that our hosting of the Relays leaves the national park a slightly cleaner place than before we turned up.
So who are Runners against Rubbish?
They’re a simple but dynamic charitable campaign group that was set up three years ago by Dark Peak Fell Runners club member Stuart Walker. The RAR motto is that ‘Binners are Winners’ and that we can all make a difference by picking up rubbish every time we come across it when we go running.
RAR have caught the mood of the times. They have 300 members and rising fast. All have taken the ‘Binners are Winners’ pledge and have chipped in two quid to cover the cost of their RAR car stickers and badges that help spread the RAR message far and wide every time they catch another pair of eyeballs.
Not only is the message spreading far and wide; so is the success! The RAR website tells the stories of binning heroes who are routing rubbish the length and breadth of the UK, from Charlie on Dartmoor to the famous Findlay-Robinsons up in the Lake District. Last year a RAR relay team pulled off their biggest success yet when they litter-picked the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path, and they’re now planning to do the same on the Cotswold Way.
How will RAR make a difference at the Relays?
RAR volunteers will help us at the Fell Relays in two key respects: firstly by covering the Event Centre, car park and race routes to make sure we leave not a single drinks bottle or gel wrapper behind us when we go home; secondly, they’ll be scouring the wider area to identify and remove rubbish hot-spots, leaving the national park a slightly better place than before we arrived.
The baby doll in the photo at the top of this page has been abandoned in a suitcase full of domestic rubbish that has been thrown over a lay-by fence at the side of the A57, just a mile or so from our Fairholmes Event Centre. RAR volunteers are going to rescue her and take her to a more appropriate final resting place – the local tip!
The RAR team plan to blitz the lay-by and other local grotspots on Sunday, October 13th, just a week before the Relays. Stuart will then showcase the baby doll and other treasures from the litterpick haul at his Runner against Rubbish stall at the Event Centre on the big day of the Relays a week later.
Please do take the time to stop by and to say hello to him. He’ll be delighted to tell you more about the campaign’s work, and of course to take your two quid and to sign you up as yet another binning winner!
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Stuart. “Fell runners really care about their environment, and I know I’ll be chatting to a lot of kindred spirits who’re determined to make a difference in the fantastic places where we all run. I won’t come on with a hard sell, but I’d be really chuffed if a few of you felt inclined to chip in your two quid and go home sporting one of our badges!”
How can you help?
If you’d like to join the pre-Relay litter-pick, it’s not too late and you’d be very welcome. You’ll find details on the RAR Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RunnersagainstRubbish1/
And if you’d like to read the whole story of this inspiring campaign, you’ll find it on their website: http://runnersagainstrubbish.moonfruit.com/
Will it be a team of Binners who win the Fell Relays? We hope so!