IMPORTANT NOTE - A well-used public footpath passes directly through the gorge and beneath many of the routes. The gorge does contain some loose rock and climbers must exercise extreme caution when the general public are around. Please ensure the following common sense guidance (taken from the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club 2005 guide) is practised; - Be extra careful with route preparation, when drilling bolts, or when setting belays/topping-out. - Belayers should ensure the public are directed away from the area below a lead climber. - Bolting practises are noisy and echo through the gorge - try and restrict it to early morning/late evening, pref. mid-week. - Do not block the steps on Backwater Buttress with 'sacks or when belaying. - The farmer has requested only small groups visit the upper wings.
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.