Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 14:38 UK

Banana skins blight mountain peak

Banana skin
Banana skins take two years to degrade, the trust said

Thousands of discarded banana skins litter the UK's highest mountain, according to the conservation charity which looks after it.

The John Muir Trust said the skins could take up to two years to biodegrade in the cold temperatures on Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.

They have been dumped on paths and buried in snow by walkers and climbers.

The trust said as many as 1,000 could be found on the summit plateau of the 4,409 ft (1,334m) mountain.

Conservation officer Sarah Lewis said: "Banana skins are a particular problem because people think they will quickly disappear."

If you carry something up, you should carry it back down
Sarah Lewis
John Muir Trust

Ms Lewis said: "We've often caught walkers in the process of chucking their banana skin on the path.

"When you speak to them about it they say it is not a problem because they will biodegrade.

"Quite simply, if you carry something up, you should carry it back down."

Last November, volunteers completed a five-year long project to clear more than 120 cairns from the summit of Ben Nevis.

The trust said the structures were unsightly, but left about 20 along the main path close to the top.

Remains of a wheelchair and a piano were found during the clean up.

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