Memorials on Ben Nevis

Visitors to Ben Nevis are reminded not to leave plaques, memorials or to build any new cairns.

Although clearly a sensitive issue, the Nevis Partnership decided several years ago to remove the large number of memorials, plaques, framed photographs, toys, dolls and plastic flowers left as an act of remembrance to the dead over the years. The decision was taken after much discussion and after consultation, in order to preserve the natural scenic beauty of the area and to minimise the adverse impact of man's presence on the country's highest mountain.

As part of the drive to preserve and in some places, restore, the pristine wilderness of Ben Nevis the Nevis Partnership periodically issue reminders that those who wish to leave some type of memorial should not do so as the material will be removed.

The Nevis Partnership was formed in 2003 to help safeguard the environment of the Nevis area and increase opportunities for visitors to enjoy it.

But, despite widespread publicity, plaques are still being glued to rocks and cairns are being built, mostly to commemorate those who have died and who have expressed a love for Ben Nevis.

Cameron McNeish, of the Nevis Partnership, said in 2007, "There are still a number of people building cairns and leaving memorial plaques on the summit area of the mountain."

"I'm sure people are leaving these things in good faith and are unaware that there are now alternative arrangements in place to enable departed relatives and friends to be remembered in a tangible way. But the fact of the matter is that any new plaque or memorial left on Ben Nevis will be removed and put into storage until identified by the owner."

In their place a collective memorial in the form of a curved stone seat and cairn has been constructed within a wooded area near to the visitor centre in Glen Nevis. This has been designated a Site for Contemplation where those wishing to do so can sit and reflect in peace and quiet. It is situated close by the River Nevis and offers a view towards the mountain.

Again, highly sensitive, but due to the number of people wishing to scatter human ashes on Ben Nevis, the Nevis Partnership has issued advice and asked that people do so away from the summit cairn area.

The Nevis Partnership - Memorials