BMC Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Secure Sirhowy Crag for Climbing Community

Posted by Katy Shilladay on 24/10/2023

Sirhowy Crag, a beloved South Wales Sandstone climbing destination, is to be put up for sale. With over 5000 logged climbs and 79 routes, it has been a cherished spot for climbers over the years. The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is taking action to safeguard this iconic crag by putting in a bid to purchase it on behalf of the climbing community.

Cliciwch yma i ddarllen y fersiwn Gymraeg / Click here to read in Welsh

The BMC's Land and Property Trust typically considers purchasing crags when there is a threat to access. In this case, the fear is that if the land falls into the hands of individuals or entities not aligned with the climbing community, it could lead to potential access restrictions.

Ownership by the BMC would ensure the registration of the land as open access, securing it for climbers in perpetuity, and guaranteeing it is managed in a way that benefits both visitors and nature alike. Local climbers would also have a role in managing the site, improving infrastructure, enhancing habitats, and demonstrating responsible stewardship.

The estimated price of the crag is £8000, and the BMC aims to raise this amount through a crowdfunding campaign. The BMC will also seek commercial support from its partners, but individual contributions and private funding will be vital to reaching this goal.

Eben Muse, the BMC’s Welsh Policy and Campaigns Officer, said: “Sirhowy is a special place, and we have a duty to do what we can to preserve access to it for future generations - if we do not, then there is a real chance that access will be lost. We have a unique opportunity here to secure the future of this beloved place, and with your help we can do just that.”

Bob Moulton, trustee of the BMC's Land and Property Trust, said: "The BMC's Land and Property Trust is proud to support efforts to protect and preserve crags in England and Wales. Sirhowy is a great candidate to join our portfolio of BMC managed crags which includes Harrison's Rocks, Horseshoe Quarry, Pant Ifan, and others. It'll be the first crag that we own or manage in South Wales. Good luck to the crowdfunding efforts!"

To expedite the process, the BMC has moved up the launch date of the crowdfunding campaign to the week of October 24 2023. 

Climbers and outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to support this initiative to secure the future of Sirhowy Crag for generations to come.

JOIN OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN: ACT NOW!

For more information and to contribute, please visit the dedicated crowdfunding page here.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

 

What will happen if the bid is unsuccessful?

Any money raised through the crowdfunder will be reimbursed to the donors. 

What will happen if we surpass the £8000 goal? 

We have a stretch goal of £16,000. Any additional money raised will be used to enhance the site for recreation, and for nature, whether this is for re-bolting, tree or path works or to enhance the natural habitats on the site. We have applied for additional grant funding to support this work.

Why crowdfund the money?

Taking on the management of a crag is a responsibility that is best shared - we felt that a crowdfunding model to raise the funds would allow us to involve as many people as possible in this campaign. We want those same people with a stake in owning the crag to have a stake in the future management and stewardship of the crag. The BMC Land and Property Trust Charity has agreed to assist with administrative costs involved in the acquisition of the land, which are likely to be significant. We are working hard to find partners to help us raise the money, as well as doing so via individual donations.

Why Sirhowy Crag?

Sirhowy has been identified as one of the most significant crags in the area, and is being put up for sale. BMC staff and Land Property Trust volunteers have assessed hazards, liability concerns, potential for restoration and the positive impact we could have here, and have decided that this is a suitable crag to take on. Nearby Tirpentwys crag was considered prior to this, but due to questions over capped mine shafts on the site, it was decided that it was too much of a risk.

I’ve given as much as I can, how else can I help?

Campaigns like these travel by word of mouth - if you can share this campaign as widely as you can, that would be an enormous help. If you’re able to organise your own mini-fundraiser and then give to the crowdfunder, we would be happy to boost your activities on BMC social media, please tag us at @teambmc (on Instagram)



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