CRoW: BMC dedicated land

Dedication of land within the BMC land-holding, to secure dedications for climbing, was seen as a unique opportunity to secure for perpetuity, access land that was not mapped as open country.

Dedication gives the public the same statutory right of access for open-air recreation on foot as other CRoW land.

It will also allow the BMC as landowners, to benefit from both reduced liability under occupiers' liability legislation, and from the restrictions regime applying to all access land.

Where are the sites?
The BMC has dedicated three climbing sites in England including Aldery Cliff near Earl Sterndale in the Peak District, Horseshoe Quarry near Stoney Middleton in the Peak District and Stone Farm Rocks near East Grinstead in West Sussex (see PDF map). These are now all mapped as open access.

Aldery Cliff
Aldery Cliff is a small limestone cliff near the village of Earl Sterndale in the Peak District National Park. It is situated on a parcel of partly wooded land of 0.59 hectares and has been in the possession of the BMC for around 20 years. There is no CRoW open access land adjacent to the parcel, though a substantial area with open access lies across the road. Parking is provided in front of the crag or in a small lay-by opposite the site. The area is subject to a Section 39 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act agreement between the BMC and the Peak District National Park Authority. This agreement ensures that the conservation of the site is maintained in line with the ethos of the National Park whilst climbing is actively enjoyed and promoted in the area. Prior to the BMC purchasing the site in 1999, public access to the site was prohibited. Climbing is currently the sole recreational activity to occur at this site, as little opportunity exists for other outdoor activities.

Horseshoe Quarry
Horseshoe Quarry, also known as Furness Quarry, is an extensive disused limestone quarry in Stoney Middleton in the Peak District National Park. It has been climbed on for many years, and an area of 8.5ha of the site was acquired by the BMC in 2005. The site has a complex patchwork of ownerships, with the BMC owning a large part of the quarry that has now been dedicated. It lies within Stoney Middleton Dale Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is no CRoW open access land in the immediate vicinity of the site and prior to the purchase of the area by the BMC in 2005 access was prohibited although climbing did occur. A public footpath exists around the edge of the site and parking is provided in a small car park adjacent to the site. The opportunity now exists for climbers, walkers and cavers to fully explore the area in perpetuity. A local management group has been created to oversee the care of the site and to discuss and manage local botanical and ecological interests.

Stone Farm Rocks
Stone Farm Rocks is a 200m long sandstone outcrop situated in 0.64ha of partially wooded land, 3.5km south-west of East Grinstead. The site lies within the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty and Stone Hill Rocks Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and was acquired by the BMC in 2002. There is no CRoW open access land in the immediate vicinity of the site but long term access to the site has been provided with a public footpath to the north of the site along the top of the rocks. Walking is as popular in this area as climbing. Regular meetings are held in the region to discuss management of the southern sandstone outcrops.

The local authorities involved, as well as Natural England, are all supportive of this initiative and our aim is to ensure that the botanical and ecological interests of the site are enhanced through progressive management initiatives and continued communication with the appropriate organisations.



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