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Author Topic: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar  (Read 8704 times)

lithos

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ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« on: August 04, 2008, 03:17:16 PM »

after some discussion ive been in contact with Martin K at the BMC re Adopting a Crag ie Peak Scar.

I asked him about other peoples inviolvement - eg Clevland CC /BMC/ etc 
but he's not told me that  you can see his reply below

I was thinking we could make a plan about what to do - ie nettles, loos bits, paths etc.
We'd need to work out who to talk to etc

If its a runner - I'd sugest we start slowly and do a bit on our own before
inviting all and sundry (like just slashing down nettles etc) Ive no idea if its an SSSI and
well all go to jail for rest our lives !



MY EMAIL:

Quote
Martin

We in the York Alpine Club (YAC) have been knocking this idea about for
our local crag (Peak Scar North York Moors) basically to try and keep
the nettles at bay and maybe check for loose rock (its a bit loose in
places)

However, there has been much work done recently with the landowners
chopping trees and I am not sure who has been coordinating this, I
suspect the Cleveland CC and BMC

We really wouldn't want to step on any toes or get in the way of any
agreements/relationships etc that may have been  established.

Could you please advise on the situation and if it would be appropriate
for YAC to adopt Peak Scar  (plus maybe some details on what this might
entail if we were take it on :-)

Cheers

MARTINs REPLY

Quote
Hi rob,

Get on it! I quite like the crag and it would be great if someone were
to get on top of it, in a vegetation clearance type manner. I've
attached a little thing about adopt a crag. Have a read and see what you
think.

Cheerio,
Martin


Further Details from BMC

Quote
“Adopt a Crag”

Thanks for showing an interest in this initiative. Our first attempt at this with the Mynydd CC was a great success. Nasty stuff, including road signs and tyres were removed from the crag environment. As a direct result of this, I’ve had a couple of meetings with the landowner who wants to increase access to the crag. Currently, 150 yards of cliff is banned, and our adopt a crag efforts will bin that ban!

What is Adopt A Crag?
It’s where clubs and the BMC join forces to take responsibility for the “maintenance” of their favourite crag. It doesn’t have to be just for clubs, though. Any loose grouping of climbers can get involved. It’s a limited commitment, perhaps once or twice a year on an ad hoc basis.

What do you mean by “maintenance”?
Good question! This depends on several things, the most important of which are the landowner, the state of the crag and legal designations (e.g. Site of Special Scientific Interest). In general, “maintenance” means removing litter, returning routes to a climbable state, and pruning crag foot vegetation (possibly including trees). Each crag is different, and the details of the adoption will vary from case to case.

How do we organise something?
After identifying a crag, it’s essential to have a plan. It’s also wise to have a risk assessment for the day. We can help with this: we have them “ready to go”. It’s good to identify areas of work, and what is involved in each one. This could be different parts of the crag face (crack cleaning), the land at the base of the crag (removal of litter & brambles), footpaths (putting in a wooden step or two) and the top of the crag (removing overhanging heather). If there’s work to do without ropes and technical know how, that encourages more people to get involved. Decide what needs doing and decide how many people would be ideal. In a club environment, it’s relatively easy to get a correctly sized/experienced team together.

What is the law about removing vegetation?
Again, that depends. If the crag is part of an SSSI, then the law is strict. You must have written permission from Natural England and the landowner, or you could face a £20,000 fine. In other cases though, it’s simple and straightforward. I met with New Mills Town Council members in early April who were almost begging us to remove the ivy, trees and brambles, and would even provide a skip!

How much will it cost?
“That depends!” but I can safely say that it’ll be in the tens of pounds, not hundreds. The main “cost” is time and energy, which your members give for free! If you decide that tree felling is necessary, I recommend a certified tree surgeon, many clubs have at least one, or someone who knows one. This will cost, but you might be able to get “mate’s rates”!

What about insurance?
If it’s an official club/BMC event, participants are covered by third party liability.

Supposing no one turns up?
Well, you tried…at least you can say that you made the effort.

Supposing hundreds turn up?
Lucky you. This is why it’s important to have a plan (and extra cakes)

What do we do next?[/b]
Contact me (Martin) at the BMC Office in Manchester. We’ll talk over your early plans and navigate our way round the landowners, legal permissions (if any) and practicalities.

Anything else we should know?
You’ll get free publicity in “Climber” magazine for your efforts, and you will experience feelings of love and achievement.

Martin Kocsis: 0161 438 3336 or martin@thebmc.co.uk
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pebbles

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 03:40:13 PM »

one of the  biggest problems with peak scar is the nettles. If you bash a nettle down with a stick it will regrow pretty sharpish. the best way to remove the little beggars is probably to wear a pair of thick gloves, long sleeves and trousers and just pull them up by the root. they come up easily and its very satisfying! I bet in a couple of hours you could do a really good job around the base of a number of otherwise good routes, which would then get more traffic. And the other benefit of this method is zero risk of pulling up any valuable protected species (though i suspect most of these get crowded out where the nettles are anyway).
grasp the nettle....
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Peri

Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 03:42:55 PM »

Looks like it's an SSSI
http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmccrag/ViewCrag.aspx?id=763

I was in touch with Guy Keating (the BMC access bod) earlier this year about Whitestone, and here's what he said

Thanks for checking - the crag is a SSSI and 'damaging the conservation features'  of such sites could potentially expose you to a whole load of trouble.
However, most crags are in SSSI's and Nat. England are not totally adverse to removing invasive species such as Ivy - in fact at Cheddar they wholeheartedly encourage it.

My advice would be to call your local Nat. England office and discuss it with them - and if you need our help get back in touch.


It sounds from the BMC blurb that they'd be willing to do this legwork for us if we went through the Adopt a Crag scheme?
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lithos

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 03:46:42 PM »

agree Peri, its is however an SSSI and inside the national park so we'd need to be careful about what we did
and not just go at it randomly.

Martin is very keen for us to just go for it but obvisouly we want to do it right and proper.  from the blurb i agree
we could leave much of the legwork/SSi/negotiation to the BMC :-)

Oh and Martin would come over and talk to us - maybe at the crag (he's a nice bloke)

things I think potentially long term could be done (with agreement etc etc etc)

1) sort nettles
2) sort  paths at top (esp given the no abseiling rule)
3) provide extra stile (if allowed) - protect the fence
4) get rid of obvious dangerous loose rock
5) clean up top-outs
6) install bolt lower off s
7) ok just kidding about no 6 :-)

BMC info: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmccrag/ViewCrag.aspx?id=763
UKC info: http://www.ukclimbing.com/databases/crags/craginfo.html?id=1087

I think its the "right" thing to do as well
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 03:48:47 PM by lithos »
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 03:50:55 PM »

one of the  biggest problems with peak scar is the nettles.

In the main section of the crag perhaps.

The main problems on the left section (anything left of Twilight) are ivy, trees, moss, and earth.
The main problems on the right hand end (right of Evasion) are ivy, trees, moss, earth, grass, and tropical rainforest.  With a few pterodactyls.

Up the left, some routes are beyond help, others would be relatively easy (eg the ivy around Womble) others could perhaps be rescued but would take a lot of work for questionable benefit (eg Orinoco).

Up the right end, the stuff at the far right is probably lost forever.  There are quite a few good routes where the only problem is in the top-out - the route ends, to be followed by 20 feet or more of steep vegetation (without the foot holds worn at the top of routes on the mains section).  It might be worth investing in some static rope and a few maillions to put permanent lower offs here?
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2008, 03:56:18 PM »


2) sort  paths at top (esp given the no abseiling rule)
3) provide extra stile (if allowed) - protect the fence
4) get rid of obvious dangerous loose rock

are paths a problem?  I've never had any trouble.  Or do you mean just clearing the brambles/nettles as required?

Can't see a need for any more stiles.

Loose rock - where do you start/stop?!  eg, It could be (fairly easily) argued that the chockstones just after the start of Gone are an accident waiting to happen.  But remove those and you remove the route.  You'd also have to be careful you didn't remove something that was holding up half the crag!  or, more likely, just revealing more loose rock behind it.
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 03:59:08 PM »

Just noticed the BMC site still says 'no abseiling'.  But the notices at the crag now say it's no organised group abseiling (or words to that effect), ie you can descend from a route by abbing if you want.
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lithos

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2008, 04:15:34 PM »


are paths a problem?  I've never had any trouble.  Or do you mean just clearing the brambles/nettles as required?

Can't see a need for any more stiles.

Loose rock - where do you start/stop?!  eg, It could be (fairly easily) argued that the chockstones just after the start of Gone are an accident waiting to happen.  But remove those and you remove the route.  You'd also have to be careful you didn't remove something that was holding up half the crag!  or, more likely, just revealing more loose rock behind it.


i mean paths along the top, me and alan finnshed Frenesi and had to climb the fence as we were nettled in, either good paths along the top to the stile or another stile,
these are just ideas NOT proposals

loose rock - well thats a hard call to be made on a individual basis i totally agree that pulling out one bit migt trash the rest but some places there are bits
lying around or about to fall out - not good.

My proposal would be to start with nettles and see how it goes ....

removing ivy would be good even if the routes are dubious, as log as we dont pull the crag down with the ivy !

regards the RHS and providing static ropes - thatd would be well hard and something to be discussed at length but
these are all good porposals - looks like you maybe talking yourself into a job :-)


apart form cosmetics (like netteles etc) anything else would need alot of discussion with other itersted parties as well ot
just yac but ymc, ccc, bmc, franco :-)



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Will

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008, 04:17:04 PM »

Assuming Cleveland MC aren't already doing something like this, I reckon it's a great idea. Of our nearby crags, peak scar is the one where we could have the biggest impact. Even if it was just clearing vegetation from routes (including around the starts) and sorting out some of the top outs, this would make a big difference. Also removing earth in places or just brushing holds.

This alone for the whole crag would keep us occupied for ages! If we could restore some routes that have been lost to vegetation, that would be great.

I'm not so sure about removing lose rock. I personally wouldn't want to be anywhere near in case removal of a key stone caused a big collapse! If we wanted to make the whole crag properly stable, we'd probably end up removing about half of the routes.
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 05:56:24 PM »


i mean paths along the top, me and alan finnshed Frenesi and had to climb the fence as we were nettled in, either good paths along the top to the stile or another stile,
these are just ideas NOT proposals

removing ivy would be good even if the routes are dubious, as log as we dont pull the crag down with the ivy !

regards the RHS and providing static ropes - thatd would be well hard and something to be discussed at length but
these are all good porposals - looks like you maybe talking yourself into a job :-)


Well it was dark when you finished Frenesi so I'll let you off.  There's a path going right from there, which then leads back left to a stile.  I only know this because that's where we walked off a few days earlier.

The wall left of Solitude has a reasonable looking VS on it, largely hidden under ivy I think.

A few ropes round trees at the right hand end wouldn't be that hard - certainly easier than trying to top out!  I was thinking of doing it anyway, on Centipede and Deflation to start with, both nice routes spoiled by the top out (Deflation used to get a good write up in the guidebooks)
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lithos

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2008, 06:23:56 PM »



Well it was dark when you finished Frenesi so I'll let you off.  There's a path going right from there, which then leads back left to a stile.  I only know this because that's where we walked off a few days earlier.

possibly but we followed a 'path' which led to the fence where many people had crossed it (and it was ailing)


[quote
A few ropes round trees at the right hand end wouldn't be that hard - certainly easier than trying to top out!  I was thinking of doing it anyway, on Centipede and Deflation to start with, both nice routes spoiled by the top out (Deflation used to get a good write up in the guidebooks)
[/quote]

i'd be worried about installing gear (even if ropes) due to their openess to elements and liability etc etc. If it was cleared properly
then it may be possible to suggest people pre-place their own rope lower offs before embarking on the routes,
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2008, 06:47:23 PM »

possibly but we followed a 'path' which led to the fence where many people had crossed it (and it was ailing)

i'd be worried about installing gear (even if ropes) due to their openess to elements and liability etc etc. If it was cleared properly
then it may be possible to suggest people pre-place their own rope lower offs before embarking on the routes,

Well there's definitely a 'proper' path.  Maybe they just need clearing a little to make them more obvious, or marking somehow?

If I place some lower offs then I wouldn't necessarily tell anyone about them :)
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lithos

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 07:26:05 PM »

news just in for BMC ..  an email from the Cleveland MC people to Martin and now me  ..

Quote
Martin
I arranged the tree felling with the landowners, Mexborough Estates & Lord Mexborough's son  Jamie Saville is now a member of the Cleveland MC & the removal of the trees is being co-ordinated between him & Arran Tulloch who is now responsible for crag maintenance in The North York Moors. Therefore under the circumstances any work at the crag should arranged through Arran.
We will be having a working party on a Saturday later this year to remove some of the tree trunks & the York AC could do the nettle clearence at the same time.
Regards
Peter


so where to now
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Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2008, 09:18:50 PM »

Contact them and offer our services then wait to hear back?
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Simon C

Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2008, 08:55:21 AM »

Reminder - first session tomorrow 12.30!
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Simon C

Simon C

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Re: ADOPT A CRAG - Peak Scar
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 03:52:10 PM »

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