I recently interviewed Adam Watts, founder of Summit Snappr, and talked to him about his new venture to help clean up the UK’s mountains.
Hey man, I’m Adam Watts, founder of Summit Snappr, and one of a group of four adventure bloggers at Dorks on a Hill. In my day-to-day, I’m a trainer/project manager, and my evening routine usually consists of sterilising baby bottles and reading bedtime stories to my daughter. As a father of two, adventuring fits around my life, as opposed to the opposite - which is the perception you might get looking at our Instagram account!
Summit Snappr is the manifestation of an idea I had - or, actually, I’ve married two existing ideas together. We interviewed The Real Three Peak Challenge for Dorks on a Hill and the work they do to keep the mountains tidy completely inspired me. They arrange litter pick events on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon and last year they picked a tonne of rubbish (literally a tonne) from just three mountains. I was really trying hard to think of a way that we could help to battle this, too . . . and then I remembered a news segment from maybe two years ago or so, where a school had developed an app for their students to analyse what litter was being dropped in their playground. I really liked the idea of using social media as a way to engage with people and encourage them to take action against littering.
So Summit Snappr is part litter pick and part litter survey?
Yes. Basically, you just head over to dorksonahill.com/summit-snappr and sign up using your name and email. Then when you’re out and you find some litter, take a photo of it, pick it up and (once you have coverage) send your photo to our Facebook page. When you send a photo, you’re entered into our monthly prize draw to win outdoor and adventure goodies.
I’m hoping the project will create a pretty substantive litter survey that we can then use to educate and influence the public, companies and even government on the issues facing the UK’s mountainscapes.
Is it only for mountains?
You don’t have to be on a mountain as such and I hate to see littering anywhere. I’m keen to build this litter survey as a piece of original, crowd-sourced environmental research, so my suggestion is get involved regardless - just let us know where you are!
I think any action that a person takes to improve their environment is awesome. What I’m trying to do with Summit Snappr is take away any potential barrier a person might face in being involved in litter picking; there’s no set date to be involved with Summit Snappr, no expectations, no location. It really is an as-and-when type of micro-volunteering. And the fact that by being involved you have the potential to win prizes is all the better!
Some people can find joining groups quite intimidating, and some groups can be quite cliquey. To be honest I don’t really care much for those kinds of people - we’re all fighting the same fight, so surely there’s power in numbers, right? Anyway, Summit Snappr sidesteps some of those potential issues.
Speaking of sidestepping, dog poo is my pet hate - unbagged and kicked off the path or bagged and hung from a tree. I can’t stand the litter and it makes me think that irresponsible owners should be banned from having pets! Is there any particular kind of litter or pattern of littering that irritates you more than others? What are the main culprits where you walk?
Hahaha, I can sympathise with that, I can’t stand seeing plastic poo bags, full, and left hanging on a branch?! Makes no sense! For me it’s empty water bottles, I cannot stand them – but generally on the mountains I feel there’s such a lack of care. They are a true asset to the UK which is massively underrated.
So, once you’ve signed up (it’s at dorksonahill.com/summit-snappr if you need a reminder!), you’ll receive a couple of emails with instructions on how to get involved with both the Snapping and the community of Snapprs we’re building.
We don’t arrange physical outings, and hopefully there will be a time when these are no longer needed, but that’s a long way off yet. We encourage you to get out there, get Snapping, and become one of the incredible people who are coming together to build a massive online community taking massive environmental action, one Snap at a time!
* If you don’t know the feeling, you’re lucky to live in a very clean area . . . or perhaps you need to make sure you’re not part of the problem . . . ?