Following development of the crag in the mid 1990's, the landowner (residents of Crosthwaite and Lyth) expressed concerns about damage to the conservation value of the site. A 10 year moratorium on climbing was agreed by the BMC, on the understanding that after this, access for climbing would be restored. Extensive attempts to negotiate access at White Scar by the BMC and the Lake District National Park Authority have taken place after the end of the moratorium period, however the Landowners Committee, (which represents the residents of Crosthwaite and Lyth) continues to decline attempts at negotiation. As a result, the BMC is no longer in a position to support a voluntary climbing ban at White Scar. The landowner has advised that access to the crag is not permitted, however it is up to individual climbers to make their own decision whether to visit the site. Regardless of the current access situation, any climber who decides to visit the site is advised to observe the following points in order to maintain the image of climbers being responsible users of the countryside: - The crag is a Peregrine nest site and should be avoided during the periods stated below in the ‘Seasonal Restrictions’ section of this page. - The crag is within a SSSI with rare flora inhabiting the cliffs and approaches. No vegetation removal should take place. - Installation of more fixed equipment is strongly discouraged as this was a major issue which led to the initial access problems.
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.