WALKERS attempting a challenge to conquer the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours are damaging the environment, groups responsible for their management have claimed.
Thousands of people each summer battle against the clock to try to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in what has become known as the Three Peaks Challenge.
But increasing numbers have led to a host of problems, including erosion on the mountains, litter and noise pollution for local residents.
Will Boyd-Wallis, of the John Muir Trust, which purchased the summit of Ben Nevis less than two years ago, said: "Visitors to the Ben Nevis area are always welcome and very important to the local economy. However, large scale three peaks events contribute little except disruption and damage."
The National Trust, which own Scafell Pike and parts of Snowdon, asked walkers to think twice before they attempt the challenge.
Five men are attempting a world record this weekend by climbing five peaks in Britain and Ireland in less than 24 hours
The group will be led by wealthy property developer Brian Scowcroft, 46, from the Lake District, who is using his personal helicopter to ferry the climbers between mountains.
They start their climb at 4am on Sunday with Carrantuohill, 1,041m (3,415ft), in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland, which stands at 852m (2,795ft).
The team then fly at 130mph across the Irish Sea to Wales to climb Snowdon, 1,085m (3,560ft), fly north to conquer Scafell Pike 978m (3,210ft) in Cumbria and complete their challenge with the 1,344m (4,409ft) Ben Nevis in Scotland.
The climbers hope to complete their challenge which has been officially accepted by Guinness World Records just before 3.30am on Monday.
If successful, the climbers will have raised £100,000 for the Kingmoor Park Properties Charitable Trust, a charity named after a development site Mr Scowcroft owns in Carlisle.
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