Folkard: What’s the BMC ever done for me?

Posted by Henry Folkard on 02/04/2008

What do you expect in return for your subscription? Or do you support the BMC just because you think that it’s a worthy cause?

Let’s consider three recent calls on access volunteers. After heavy rains earlier in the year, access to one crag was affected when a footbridge got washed away - what was the BMC doing about it? Crossing the stream higher up by boulder hopping was the simple answer - we don’t keep a stock of footbridges.

Then there were complaints of trundling rocks from the top of the crag - and with good cause. But how does the BMC police the tops of crags 24/7? Finally, trial bikers, with no right to be there, were intruding at a climbing venue where we have no right to climb. Should we have been better placed to respond to these incidents? Was the expectation that we should have been able to do anything about them unrealistic?

Next, tree felling and keeping routes clear of vegetation. When people climbed trad routes more frequently, no one needed to worry about routes overgrowing; it was something that looked after itself. Is it really the BMC’s problem that you cannot see Fang Left Hand / Molar any more for all the ivy?

Then what about in-situ gear and abseil stakes? There are no more than a couple of venues in the country where the BMC installed them to start with. But now should it be the BMC’s role to maintain them, wherever they are? And if it were, should the BMC also charge for their use, much in the same way that climbing walls charge?

The BMC access team cannot do absolutely everything. Perhaps the problem is the examples are very evident things, which directly affect members, who want to go climbing when and where they choose. Conversely much of what the BMC does is not so immediately apparent, even if at a more strategic level it is of far greater benefit. Like all the lobbying on CRoW, or work on provisional maps, or negotiating access during foot and mouth, on coastal access in England and Wales. Days spent working with others on Rights of Way Improvement Plans will directly affect all hill walking members. The effort is unseen, as is championing the cause for better funding for National Parks, whose costs have to be met somehow - or should our subscriptions be increased to help upkeep of places where we like to play?

We cannot take everything for granted and expect whatever we want to happen as if by magic. So, have we got our priorities right? And if not, how should we change them? One thing’s for sure, the amount that access representatives can do for fellow climbers and walkers is inevitably limited by the number of people who volunteer to help. Can we count on seeing you at the next crag clean up?



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 985 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Prince Edward recognises BMC efforts in the Peak District
0
Prince Edward recognises BMC efforts in the Peak District

The sterling efforts of BMC Peak District volunteers in sticking up for Stanage Edge were recognised by royalty this weekend.
Read more »

Stanage: a question of trust
7
Stanage: a question of trust

Following the success of the BMC’s Stand Up For Stanage campaign, almost a hundred climbers and hill walkers attended the latest Peak Area meeting to hear the Peak District National Park Authority’s latest thinking about the future of the North Lees Estate. Ed Douglas went along.
Read more »

Prince Charles meets BMC volunteer on Peak District visit
0
Prince Charles meets BMC volunteer on Peak District visit

BMC volunteer Henry Folkard joined other volunteers who have given many years outstanding service to the Peak District National Park at a royal reception with HRH the Prince of Wales on Friday 24 February.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Prince Edward recognises BMC efforts in the Peak District
0

The sterling efforts of BMC Peak District volunteers in sticking up for Stanage Edge were recognised by royalty this weekend.
Read more »

Stanage: a question of trust
7

Following the success of the BMC’s Stand Up For Stanage campaign, almost a hundred climbers and hill walkers attended the latest Peak Area meeting to hear the Peak District National Park Authority’s latest thinking about the future of the North Lees Estate. Ed Douglas went along.
Read more »

Prince Charles meets BMC volunteer on Peak District visit
0

BMC volunteer Henry Folkard joined other volunteers who have given many years outstanding service to the Peak District National Park at a royal reception with HRH the Prince of Wales on Friday 24 February.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »