Wilton 3 is owned by Bolton Gun Club with agreed times for shooting and climbing - live firing takes place and it is vital that climbers understand and follow the agreed access arrangements. A new approach has recently been agreed – please see the ‘access’ section below for details as the old approach through the front gate is no longer possible.
Climbers have priority on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Shooters have priority on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and if shooting, red flags will be flying around the top of the quarry as well as on the approach.
On shooting days when the red warning flags are not in place, climbers can access the quarries, but if shooters arrive later, please pack up and leave as soon as safely possible. Please try to avoid the temptation of assuming that the ranges are not being used until at least mid-afternoon. On days when climbers have priority, the shooters can use the sites if climbers are not present when they arrive. However, if climbers arrive shooting must stop. If shooting is taking place on a climbing day, enter the quarry using the route detailed in the ‘access’ section below and approach the shooters hut along the newly landscaped path (which takes you safely behind the line of fire). Politely ask the shooters to stop and allow them a reasonable amount of time to clear up.
Climbers have an additional day in Wilton 3 on Mondays compared to Wilton 2 & 4. If the neighbouring gun club are using Wilton 2 but Wilton 3 is not being used, climbers can still use Wilton 3, provided that they do not climb the routes on Orange Wall (i.e. routes between Twin Cracks and Orange Corner inclusive). On these days, climbers must not pass the fence on the ridge between Wilton 2 and 3 or descend past it.
Open access land, designated under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000) give area access rather than linear access as provided by public rights of way. It also gives a legal right of access specifically for climbing, as well as walking and other quiet recreation on foot.
Please bear in mind however that the landowner still has the right to restrict access for up to 28 days per year (often used on public safety grounds for shooting in moorland areas), and can also apply for longer term restrictions with Natural England (such as bans on dogs, or regular restrictions during particular times of year). It is important to check for these restrictions regularly as they can be added at short notice – all details for open access land in England can be found on Natural England’s website.