A crag clean up day organised by the BMC has successfully restored one of the Wye Valley’s best beauty spots.
Wintour’s Leap on the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Lancaut nature reserve has stunning views of the lower Wye gorge and attracts many visitors. This cliff top view unfortunately also accrues a lot of litter and fly tipping.
Climbers from as far as Reading joined forces with Severn Area Rescue Association’s land search team to shift the rubbish from every path, cliff base and crag ledge. Climbers abseiled from cliff tops to reach every last energy drink can and hauled the waste up bucket by bucket. A motorbike and a television were some of the most awkward items!
Efforts were rewarded with a cliff top picnic provided by Cotswold Outdoor’s Bristol store manager who also mucked in carrying the scrap metal out.
Forest of Dean district council provided bin bags for all 20 volunteers and arranged removal of the collected waste the following day.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Forest of Dean nature reserves manager, Kevin Caster, said: “It was really rewarding to see so many people keen to help look after this unique nature reserve, the climbers have been great notifying us of Peregrine Falcons nesting and Ramblers have funded access improvements. Lancaut is obviously much loved by many both sides of the River. We hope to establish a Lower Wye volunteer group that will focus on wildlife sites along the Gloucestershire side of the Wye Valley up to Redbrook, to assist ourselves, Natural England, the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust with practical conservation tasks.”
BMC volunteer representative for the Wye Valley, Rick Sewards, added: “The dramatic cliffs at Wintour’s Leap draw climbers from all over the country, and the clean-up was a great opportunity for us to help put something back. Thanks very much to all the volunteers who turned up to help, to the Severn Area Rescue Association for their assistance and to Cotswold Outdoor for their support of this event. And a big thank you to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, for their support with the clean-up and for their continued encouragement of climbing on these cliffs and their work in managing the nature reserve for the benefit of wildlife and visitors alike.”
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