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Number of members in British Mountaineering Council in the UK 2007-2020

The British Mountaineering Council
The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the national representative body for climbers, hill walkers, and mountaineers within England and Wales. The primary focus of the BMC is to promote and protect the interests and freedoms of mountaineers; to celebrate British mountaineering heritage; promote sustainable access to the cliff and mountain environment and to engage new generations in the development of mountaineering activities. Since its establishment the various disciplines under its purview have varied in popularity over time. Currently there exists a strong development of the indoor, sport climbing and bouldering disciplines, particularly following the announcement of its inaugural inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The BMC operates a range of programs, events and policy initiatives, including financial support for its three charities: the BMC Access & Conservation Trust (ACT), the Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT), and the Land & Property Trust; as well as support for key partner organizations: Mountain Training England, and the Mountain Training Trust. Access and conservation remains one of most highly prioritized specialist programs undertaken by the BMC which takes the form of political engagement, environmental campaigning, climbing site management and local access negotiations for climbers and hill walkers.


The COVID-19 pandemic of 2019-20 has had a profound impact upon the outdoor sector across Europe and as the representative governing body the BMC played an important role in lobbying government policy as a representative for the mountaineering community and in the dissemination of regionally specific interpretive advise on the variable, and often unclear, containment measures in relation to the participation of outdoor activities and access to national parks and climbing venues. During this pandemic the BMC demonstrated its indispensable function in offering advice and guidance to recreational mountaineers within the UK, promptly and prudently responding to the rapidly changing access agreements affected by the COVD-19 containment measures and providing empirically driven guidance and support for policy makers and the professional sector of the outdoor industry.


This statistic illustrate the number of members of the British Mountaineering Council in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2007 to 2020. Traditionally the membership figures on 24 December each year are included in the Annual Report for our AGM. From 2007 to 2019 the number of BMC members has shown consistent growth reaching its highest figure of 85,076 members on the 24 December 2019. Each year there is a consistent number of people letting their membership come to an end which has historically been overcompensated by newly recruited members resulting in the observed growth. These new BMC member are recruited through one of three main avenues: BMC travel insurance, Mountain Training registrations and through people directly choosing to take out membership. Although the BMC reports that the number of people directly choosing to take out membership since the advent of COVID-19 has shown an increase, the substantial influence of COVID-19 on the sale of travel insurance associated membership and Mountain Training course registration associated memberships has resulted in a notable decline in membership from 85,076 members on the 24th December to only 80,076 members on the 1st August 2020. In 2019, the BMC generated approximately 5.4 million British pounds of income, the largest share of which was directly from membership subscriptions of which 1.7 million British pounds of income was derived from individual membership subscriptions and 348 thousand British pounds of income was derived from club and associate membership subscriptions . The substantial reduction in membership resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 containment measures could have a considerable impact on the efficacy of the BMC in pursuing its objectives over the following years. More information about sport associations in the UK can be found in the Dossier: Sport associations in the United Kingdom.

Number of British Mountaineering Council members in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2007 to 2020

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Release date

September 2020


United Kingdom (England, Wales)

Survey time period

2007 to 2020

Supplementary notes

*As of the 1st August 2020.

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the representative body for England and Wales that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers.

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