Fundraisers who abandoned an ironing board at the summit of Ben Nevis have been told to remove it by a national charity.

Three men scaled Britain’s highest mountain in August as part of a three-peaks challenge to raise money for Dementia UK, but left the item behind.

The fundraiser included “extreme ironing”, a craze that involves performing the usually mundane chore in challenging locations.

Images of the ironing board propped against the ruined walls of a 19th-century observatory were posted by a bemused hillwalker on social media last week, sparking a backlash from hillwalkers.

Jenny Robinson, senior challenge events manager at Dementia UK, said the charity is grateful to all fundraisers who help support their work, but urged anyone taking on outdoor challenges to “respect local environmental guidelines and show consideration for their surroundings, local wildlife and other people”.

Robinson added: “We were made aware that an ironing board had been left on Ben Nevis by an independent fundraiser on Friday and are liaising with them to ensure it is safely removed as soon as possible.”

The men accused of abandoning the ironing board had posted a fundraising plea on Facebook with a picture of a man performing “extreme ironing” on a snow-covered mountain.

Comments posted on Facebook applauded their charity climb, but others were less impressed by the abandoned ironing board. One person wrote: “Couldn’t bring it back down?” while another urged them to “take your rubbish home instead of leaving litter in an otherwise beautiful place”.

The John Muir Trust, which runs volunteer litter picks on the Scottish mountain, said last week it would be “wonderful” if those who dumped the ironing board would retrieve it. A spokesperson said the summit “would start to look like a Home Bargains store” if all charity walkers left their items behind, but added: “A lot of people raise money for great causes on Ben Nevis and we don’t want to discourage that.”

The Three Peaks Challenge is a 24-hour hike of Scafell Pike in England, Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis.