Updated statement issued by Forestry England 30th October 2023:
"Symonds Yat Rockfall update
On 8 August a major rockfall took place from the cliffs at Symonds Yat Rock. Since then, we have asked all climbers to avoid using the area and the areas directly below the rockface. We have also had to formally close the public right of way leading down from Symonds Yat Rock to the River Wye.
We immediately sought professional ground engineering and geotechnical advice from a private consultancy firm. The consultant inspected the rockfall site and further parts of Symonds Yat Rock. As a result of this advice, we ask that climbers avoid Symonds Yat Rock and we will be keeping the public right of way closed for the foreseeable future. This action has significantly reduced the assessed risk as much as possible, as advised by our specialist consultants.
An estimated 20 tonnes of rock fell from the cliff face, and had it not been for the rock capture fence, the damage below could have been significant. The rock capture fence was in place for incidents like this, but the size of the fall was large enough to severely incapacitate the fence.
Why are we asking you not to climb at Symonds Yat Rock?
Since August, there have been further rockfalls and so, on the advice of our engineering experts, we have closed the cliff face to climbers. This is for your safety and the safety of others. A closure has been issued by Natural England (case number 20231000023) and this prevents public access. This closure is in addition to the public right of way closure that is also in place along the footpath leading down to the river. At the moment, we don’t know whether another rockfall will happen somewhere else along the cliff face and without mitigation strategies in place, we can't take this risk.
Our next steps will be to carry out a full survey/assessment of the whole of the cliff face, and to get the fence repaired or replaced. We will also look at further rockface maintenance strategies.
We will keep you updated as soon as we know more and when expected timescales become clearer. In the meantime, we thank you for your continued patience and co-operation."
Note: The closure agreed with Natural England has an expiry date of the of 12/04/24, however it is possible the closure may be lifted sooner or extended further depending on the findings of the investigatory work and the scale of any follow on work. from 30/10/2023 to 12/04/2024
Unquarried limestone escarpment in a picturesque situation above the River Wye.
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As described in the 2010 CC guide, climbing at Symonds Yat is only permitted on the north-west facing cliffs - from The Introductory Rocks to the Final Zone inclusive.
Restrictions apply from
Reason: Nesting Birds
Peregrine falcons have established a nest since 2019 on Strathdon, in the White Wall. Climbers should therefore avoid all routes from Motorway Madness to Night Nurse, inclusive, during the restricted period.
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.
Much in demand for group use, but though convenient for instructors it's less well suited to the needs of students. It also creates severe problems of eroded crag-tops, polished routes, and over-crowding. Commercial organizations are required to pay a fee for use of the site.
There are no guidebooks assigned to this crag
There are no files associated with this crag