Record Breakers presenter Roy Castle was right when he said dedication is what you need. The BMC is calling for more landowners to follow in the footsteps of Sheffield City Council, who as of 16 May, will "dedicate" Millstone Edge in the Peak District as Access Land.
This month marks the dawn of new access rights for climbers and walkers at the quarry which is home to crack climbing testpieces like London Wall and awesome aretes including Fawcett’s super-route Master’s Edge. This means there will be a legal right of access for people to rock climb and walk where they want (away from the public footpaths) around this popular crag.
Until now there has not been any legal ‘right to roam’ for the public, although the landowner Sheffield City Council has always informally tolerated responsible use of the quarry.
Les Sturch, the City Council’s Director of Development Services said: “I am sure the new access arrangements will be welcomed by all responsible countryside users who appreciate the stunning beauty of the Peak District and will make good use of the leisure facilities. We are still committed to looking after the ravens that nest on the cliff during the Spring and will be continuing with the voluntary restrictions on rock climbing from time to time to protect them.”
The BMC has already dedicated three of its own climbing sites for climbing and conservation and we have been encouraging other landowners to do the same. The BMC is now in the process of dedicating a further three of its owned and managed sites for public access.
Dr Cath Flitcroft, BMC Access and Conservation Officer said: “We’re delighted Sheffield City Council has taken the opportunity to dedicate Millstone Edge to secure public access to this wonderful part of the Peak District for future generations of climbers and hill walkers. The Council is showing the way forward for others to do the same. Not only does dedication secure public access in perpetuity, but it also removes concerns land owners have over liability issues and is a great way to enhance and preserve ecological aspects of the sites."
What is 'Dedication'?
The CROW Act allows landowners and long leaseholders to voluntarily dedicate land for public access if they wish to do so. Making a dedication creates a right of access in perpetuity, (or until a long lease expires) even if the ownership of the land changes. Dedication does not prevent the land from changing use or prevent its development. If the land is already CROW access land, landowners can voluntarily extend the rights available to the public there. For more information see the Natural England website.
If you want to make the most of the new access rights, you’ll find Millstone Edge in the BMC’s award winning guidebook Burbage, Millstone and Beyond.
Download Millstone sample chapter
Buy Burbage, Millstone and Beyond.
Check out up to date access information on the BMC Regional Access Database.
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