Ecological Responsibility

Setting the Standard.

Gathering 2,000 eager competitors together in one patch of our tiny isle, among sensitive flora, fauna and geology will inevitably have an impact on these places. Part of our job as responsible event organisers is to ensure we are aware of any impact we have and address any issues that may need help to return to there previous state. Our approach and documents are open for organisers to use and we’re pleased that the national parks consider our approach the blueprint of how to run events responsibly in our wild spaces.

What we currently do.

  • OMM Ecologist.
  • Ecological Impact Assessments – Outlined below.
  • Donations to Mountain Rescue, Local Governing bodies & the John Muir Trust.
  • Local Suppliers – Food, Beer, supplies are come from local sources if possible.
  • Compostable disposables – We are trying to go 100% disposable free. Every year we reduce the amount of waste the event creates.
  • Reusable pint pots.
  • Specialist waste management company to collect, sort and recycle all the rubbish.
  • We encourage competitors to use public transport where possible and provide coach travel from rail links.

Most of these measures are not the cheapest options and we accept that to achieve our goals of zero negative impact, we have to invest and commit to placing these goals ahead of anything else.

Meet OMM’s Ecologist

David Broom has been our Ecologist for many years his work is invaluable in ensuring the event operates in a sustainable and ecologically responsible. David produces all of the Ecological Impact Assessments outlined below. David Broom is a professional ecologist, a qualified mountain leader and instructor and has been a keen hillwalker, mountaineer, climber and photographer for over 30 years.

As a part time university lecturer for over 15 years he has had responsibility for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in rural planning, ecology, biodiversity conservation and Environmental Impact Assessment, all of which are relevant to many areas of OMM & the John Muir Trust’s work and we are very grateful to have him as part of the team.

Ecological Impact Assessments.

Download this information here. 

The Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) has an established position at the vanguard of adventure racing, with an international reputation for the highest quality competitive events. This reputation draws from a legacy of successful mountain marathon events that have taken place throughout Britain’s most spectacular upland landscapes. An important objective of OMM event planning has always been to provide valuable opportunities for competitors to access and experience the special character of these areas.

However, the fragile natural environment of upland areas that provide the distinctive landscapes for OMM events can be vulnerable to disturbance from the passage of hill runners. The need to identify and address issues of potentially significant disturbance to the vegetation, habitats and wildlife of an event area is a central objective of the OMM event planning process, This fully recognises the need to understand the biodiversity interest of an OMM event area and its vulnerability to adverse effects of a two-day mountain marathon event.

This OMM method statement provides a summary of the ecological impact assessment process that underpins OMM event planning. This method statement is distributed to all members of the event planning team to ensure that the OMM ecological assessment process is fully understood and followed by all concerned. The method statement is also distributed to all stakeholders involved in the planning and delivery of an OMM event. These include statutory and non-statutory agencies and land owners.

All stages in the process of OMM event planning, course setting and event management are supported with advice on ecological sensitivity aspects from a qualified ecologist. The OMM ecological assessment process involves six stages of consultation, assessment and reporting. These are shown below

The process we go through.

Stage One: Event Planning Consultations

  • At the earliest stage of OMM event planning full consultations are held with all relevant statutory and non-statutory consultees for ecology and biodiversity issues within the event area.
  • These consultations ensure that the objectives of an OMM event and its key elements (event area, event centre, courses, routes and controls) are fully understood. The OMM ecological assessment process is described to all consultees at this stage.
  • A key outcome of initial consultations is the identification of ecologically sensitive areas, often recognised through special area designations and through comments from local experts.
  • Further consultations would typically occur as necessary throughout the event planning process. In particular, this would involve consultation to agree conditions for access to potentially sensitive locations within the event area.

Stage Two: Pre-event Ecological Assessment

  • An initial ecological review is undertaken, producing a map and schedule of ecological interest features within an event area to confirm their potential vulnerability to disturbance from specific aspects of an OMM event.
  • Pre-event site surveys and ecological condition assessments are undertaken at specific locations within the event area where a risk of ecological disturbance has been identified. This assessment is usually carried out during the week preceding the OMM event weekend.
  • Specific ecological condition details recorded during pre-event site surveys are used for postevent ecological monitoring.

Stage Three: Event Planning/Course-setting Guidance

  • Where necessary, routes and control locations for specific courses are refined through increasingly detailed ecological assessments during the event planning process.

Stage Four: Guidance for Competitors on Ecological Sensitivity

  • Ecological briefing notes are prepared for competitors to support for each OMM event. These raise awareness of particular ecological interest features within the event area, and of the potential for their disturbance by competitors.
  • Ecological briefing notes suggest local route selection options that could help competitors to avoid or reduce the risk of disturbance to specific features of ecological interest.

Stage Five: Ecological Surveillance of Event

  • Where appropriate, site surveillance would be undertaken during an OMM event to review actual route selection choices by competitors within areas of potential ecological sensitivity.
  • This assessment would be undertaken to identify additional post-event ecological condition monitoring locations

Stage Six: Post-event Ecological Condition Review

  • Following a period of around six months after completion of an OMM the event area is visited to undertake a post-event ecological condition assessment.
  • Each location surveyed during the pre-event baseline assessment and during ecological surveillance of the event is visited and its condition reviewed.
  • A summary report is prepared that describes the entire event assessment process, identifying any situations where remedial measures or continued ecological condition monitoring could be required to address any ecological impact issues that might have developed during the OMM event.

Download the reports.

2018 – Black Mountains, South Wales/England

Ecological sensitivity assessment.
Briefing note.

2017 – Langdale, Lake District

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

2016 – Glentrool, Galloway

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

2015 – Tweedsmuir, Scottish Borders

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

2014 – Cheviots, Northumbria

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

2013 – Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

2012 – Howgills, Northern England

Ecological condition assessment
Ecological sensitivity assessment
Briefing note.

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