Keep standing up for Stanage

Posted by Alex Messenger on 18/09/2013

Have you signed our Stand up for Stanage online petition? We’d love 15,000 supporters by Friday. Why? Because that’s when BMC access officer Rob Dyer has to stand up for real – and speak to the National Park.

UPDATE: We've reached 10,500 (amazing!). But let's aim as high as we can - keep signing the petition.

For the past month the BMC has been running the Stand up for Stanage campaign. We have called on climbers, walkers and everybody with a love for Stanage Edge, Derbyshire, to sign a petition to help safeguard its future.

Stanage is the most popular crag in Britain, but decisions are being made that could change it significantly. Right now, the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) is deciding the future of the North Lees Estate, which contains a large proportion of Stanage Edge and the surrounding moorland.  The PDNPA is short of money and wants to generate more income from North Lees. 

On Friday, BMC access officer Rob Dyer will be making a speech to the Peak Park’s Audit and Performance Committee, which “monitors and reviews the corporate governance and performance of the Authority to ensure that it is providing a 'best value' service.”

A paper has been presented to the committee by PDNPA officers on options for the estate, and on Friday the committee will discuss the options and make a decision. The crux of the issue – and why the BMC is concerned – is that the paper comprises two parts: part A, which is publically available, and part B, which is not.

To help prepare for the unknown Plan B, Rob Dyer would rather like to have 15,000 supporters to show the committee just how valuable Stanage is to climbers and walkers.

Sign the online petition here

Read more details about the situation in our article: Stanage, what's the problem?

Win a BMC Stanage guidebook, dedicated to you and signed by four grit legends

We really appreciate everyone signing the petition, and we’re hoping to get to 15,000 supporters by Friday. And, whilst we know that you’re doing it for Stanage – and aren’t after a reward – we couldn’t resist the opportunity to create a very special prize.

Everyone who signs the petition will be entered in a draw to win a BMC Stanage guidebook dedicated to you and signed by Jonny Dawes, Ben Moon, Jerry Moffatt and Ron Fawcett.

Just imagine showing that to your mates: “Hi Jim, thanks for all your help saving Stanage, hope you crack that E1, yours, Johnny, Ben, Jerry and Ron.”

Amazing.

Sign the online petition here
 



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Anonymous User
18/09/2013
Stanage edge remains the heart blood and veins of gritstone landscape to the ambience if climbers and viators alike.
keep the fight going. Spencer Ramsey.
Anonymous User
19/09/2013
If it wasn't for Stanage Edge, we could never have shot these lovely images. let's fight to save this place: https://vimeo.com/27299184
Anonymous User
19/09/2013
I'm a climber, and I love Stanage, and I have also done some shooting in the past. Everyone knows how busy Stanage can be on a summer bank holiday weekend, with people crawling all over every inch of rock, and parking on every available centimetre of roadside space. On a day like that, by no stretch of the imagination could Stanage be described as a 'wild area kept free from intrusive developments'!

I'm wondering why there's a statement in the petition saying that Shooting rights should not be exercised? I haven't been able to find a map showing the boundary of North Lees, but if it extends into the vast area of open moorland behind the crag, and provided that suitable signage is available and any shooting activity takes place at least half a mile from the crag, why should climbing and shooting not take place without any conflict? Given the way that climbers monopolise and trash the crag, and given the amazing, unrecognised conservation work undertaken by the shooting community for many years to maintain the moors in the state that we all enjoy today, what gives the BMC the right to say that shooters' activities are unacceptable?
Anonymous User
20/09/2013
Simple solution: keep Stanage open access but install pay and display car parks where the free parking areas currently are. I'd pay a few extra quid for a day at Stanage. Who wouldn't?
Anonymous User
23/09/2013
We can see that the National Park Authority has said in it's press release: "The Authority's audit, resources and performance committee voted unanimously (on Sept 20) to keep the 545-hectare estate above Hathersage, and to drive forward a business plan to make it break even financially by September 2014.

The Authority has been reviewing all its properties in the light of Government cuts of more than 30 per cent in its budget between 2011-2015, and has previously leased its Eastern Moors estate to a partnership of the National Trust and RSPB and the Roaches to the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Such a partnership option was considered but discounted in this case". (http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/news/current-news/national-park-authority-to-keep-stanage-and-north-lees-estate).

What does 'make it break-even' mean? And only one year to do so? it's recent Committee report on which the press release is based states: "It is concluded that with a more financially aware approach being taken to the management of the existing assets on the Estate, an additional income of £ 35,000 per annum can be generated by 2014/15. It is considered that this can be achieved without ’compromising’ the objectives of the Estate set out in the North Lees Estate Management Plan. This will bring the Estate into a healthy cost neutral position which will allow some ‘slack’ should the
challenging new financial target for the campsite not be fully achieved in a poor weather year".

So, with a business plan in place, why would one vote for 12 months before considering other options? Either the business plan is not actually robust, or this is a delaying tactic. Also, it is noted that there may be some challenges (eg. the weather) but would one normally rely on an 'average' of one year in a business before making a decision about continuing to trade, or inject further investment? Why only one year? Surely at least three would be appropriate? Note that the report also stated: "In conclusion, by more fully utilising the existing assets on the Estate and the possibility of the changes described in the Part B report, it is considered that the Estate could fully recover all its costs within the next 2 years".

The future of the Estate remains uncertain and short-term thinking and decision making would seem to indicate a very different long-term vision for this important, iconic landscape. The Authority said that 'a partnership was considered but discounted at this stage' - but it seems that this is exactly where it is heading - especially if there's a spot of bad weather in the period of the 1-year business plan.

Is this what we were expecting? What next - 'pay (insert here: a charity, or private company) to view'?

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