Harrison’s Rock: Isolated Buttress update

Posted by Rob Dyer on 21/05/2018
An aerial view of the Isolated Buttress. Credit: Daimon Beail

Following the removal of the loose boulder, previously used to step across from the mainland to the Isolated Buttress at Harrison’s Rocks, climbers, the Harrisons Rocks Management Group (HRMG) and BMC have been deliberating about the best course of action for future access to the pinnacle.

The issues are complex, and are summarised in this document outlining the pros and cons of installing a bridge to access the Isolated Buttress. In Dec 2017 the HRMG - a group of keen local climbers who volunteer to help manage the Rocks - recommended that a bridge should be installed following a long period of analysis of arguments made from both sides, balancing these arguments against the BMC’s legal responsibility.

The landowner is the BMC subsidiary company and charity – BMC Land and Property Trust – the directors/trustees of which are the BMC President and two members of the BMC’s Land Management Group (LMG) as well as the BMC itself. They have ultimate responsibility in law in the event of any allegation of breach of duty under Occupier’s Liability legislation or Health and Safety regulations and this duty cannot be avoided or delegated.

LMG manage the BMC land holdings on behalf of the Trust and BMC Land Holding Ltd. HRMG are a sub-committee and the chair reports to the LMG. Since the recommendation was made, concerns have been raised by a number of individuals. Having regard to potential legal implications, LMG members consider it necessary that they inspect the site and hear directly from climbers at a Sandstone Open Meeting in the autumn.  The day after the Open Meeting, the LMG will meet and unless there are compelling reasons to come to a different decision, LMG will endorse the recommendations of HRMG.

There are a number of construction, planning, legal and cost questions that need to be addressed prior to the Open Meeting, including Occupier's Liability and Health & Safety and these will continue to be investigated by the LMG as part of a feasibility study to ensure that if the decision is endorsed, installation is possible.



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