Exciting news: BMC buys Crookrise crag, Yorkshire

Posted by Alex Messenger on 23/03/2017
A sunset climb of Hovis (E1 5c) at Crookrise. Photo: Jamie Moss.

To protect future access for climbers and walkers, the BMC has bought Crookrise Crag, a nationally-important grit crag in Yorkshire.

The number one priority of the BMC is our vital access work for climbers and walkers. From volunteers negotiating access at local bouldering venues to lobbying parliament, our ongoing work means that you can just get out there.

Sometimes, when access could be threatened, more direct intervention is needed. Consequently, if a crag comes up for sale and we believe that there is a risk to continued public access to an important climbing area then we will consider buying it.

As a result, the BMC now owns eight crags: Horseshoe Quarry, Aldery Cliff, Harrison’s Rocks, Stone Farm, Craig y Longridge, Wilton One, Bwlch y Moch at Tremadog and, as of 20 March 2017, Crookrise.

"This nationally important crag is tucked away in the forests of Yorkshire"

Crookrise is a gritstone gem. This nationally important crag is tucked away in the forests of Yorkshire, a short walk above Embsay Reservoir just north of Skipton. A very high-quality gritstone edge, it’s been a key stomping ground for many of Yorkshire’s finest climbers.

Crookrise was owned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who were selling off their land assets. There were a number of interested buyers for various reasons (such as parties with shooting interests) and, while the crag is located on open access land, it could have led to complicated access issues.

The potential threat to continued access for the public, and the historical importance of this crag, gave the BMC enough reason to consider the purchase. In 2015 the BMC Access Team and the BMC Land Management Group sprung into action and started work on a detailed feasibility study. Once our teams had finished their research, Crookrise was bought by the BMC for £18,000, plus legal fees.

Now we own Crookrise, our plans include some gardening, managing the growth of trees that shade boulders/crags, and working with local volunteers to find out exactly what’s needed and to help them improve the crag.

Top climber and BMC ambassador Steve McClure said:

“Buying Crookrise demonstrates the commitment of the BMC to securing access to the outdoors. Crookrise is one of the premier crags in the area, and it sums up what gritstone climbing is all about. It’s got everything: good quality rock, good position and varied routes.”

Rob Dyer, BMC access & conservation officer, said:

“It's great news for walkers and climbers alike. Being able to protect access to beautiful areas of the countryside like Crookrise is just one of the many things we do for our members and the wider public. It's thanks to their continued support that we can keep on working to protect the locations and interests they hold dear. We'd also like to say thanks to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority for accepting our offer of purchase. They can rest easy knowing Crookrise is in safe hands with the BMC”

Support our vital access work

With cuts to national park budgets and increasing pressures on the outdoors, BMC access and conservation work is more vital than ever. The best way that you can support us is to join us as a member

JOIN: Support the BMC for only £15.72

 

WATCH BMC TV: Crookrise: The first great climb

The BMC now owns eight crags

Crookrise Crag joins our list of BMC-owned crags: Horseshoe Quarry, Aldery Cliff, Harrison’s Rocks, Stone Farm, Craig y Longridge, Wilton 1, and part of Tremadog. 

MORE: BMC owned and managed sites

CHECK: The Regional Access Info (RAD) for Crookrise


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1) Anonymous User
27/03/2017
Well done BMC!! This is why I am proud to be a member. Keep up your work it is very much appreciated.

Pete, Leeds.
2) Anonymous User
29/03/2017
How much of the surrounding land has the BMC bought?does it include the plantation below it for example?

How does the BMC intend to manage the land? Will it be grazed to keep the trees out or are we going to see trees growing? I'd personally be in favour of keeping the trees out else the crag will go green.
3) Anonymous User
29/06/2017
There's an implication in the Summit article that access may be a particular problem. As I understand it the approach path is via the shooting estate (generally very amenable but with the moor closed for a few days of the year) and is not included in the sale. Are we considering creating an alternative path in to give climbers unlimited access to the crag? Or is there a path on the crag side of the wall and we never noticed? Keep us posted!
Sarah, Tynemouth

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