The BMC site have reported a few access issues of note recently: Firstly, English Nature have contacted the BMC to express concern over the appearance of a number of drilled holes in the otherwise largely pristine wall of Piranha. Rubicon Wall lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is protected by law, and for which English Nature are responsible. A member of their staff was rebuffed by climbers drilling blatantly away on the afternoon of Sunday 11 August when she inquired as to what authority they had to inflict the damage they were causing. The area of rock in question is described in the Wye Valley guidebook as featuring ´bold traditional routes´. The holes are large – at least 18mm diameter – and grouped in the lower half of the rock below the bedding plane. Some are less than two feet above the ground. They are apparently random and do not follow any line. It appears some have been there for some time. Their purpose is obscure, unless drilling finger pockets has become the 21st century´s contribution to chipping. If their purpose is obscure, the position of English nature is not. Apparently wanton damage to a SSSI by climbers will have only one consequence: the total exclusion of climbers. Treasure Rubicon Wall of lose it. With regard to Horseshow Quarry, The Peak District National Park Authority is taking forward a request from the BMC that the future of climbing and conservation across the whole site be secured. This request follows an offer made earlier by Tarmac to the Authority, and their desire ´to safeguard for the BMC access to Furness´. At Stanage, following the FMD closures in 2001, 2002 brought with it the new issue of the bird lobby seeking closures to protect Ring Ouzels while nesting. The BMC access team saw off this threat and issued some useful advice for boulderers in the Apparent North/Cowper Stone areas (see Summit spring 2002). In Lancashire some fools have been tramping up (or down) routes in their crampons at Cadshaw Castle Rocks and White House Quarry! In Snowdonia there will be road closures on Sunday 8th September sees the Half Ironman Triathlon event hit town again. For more information on any of these issues see the BMC website at www.thebmc.co.uk
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