Report of the 2009 Climbers' Liason Meeting in Pembroke

Posted by Mike Raine on 30/11/2009

The recent Pembroke Climbing Liaison Group Meeting was a very useful and positive meeting, attended by Elfyn Jones (BMC Access and Conservation Officer Wales) Steve Quinton (local access rep) and Pat Lowman (Pembs climbing club).

The meeting discussed climbing in all parts of the county had a bit of a discussion about levels of use of some of the sites with nesting season restrictions in North Pembs e.g. Penbwchdy and Ynys Deullyn where most of the routes have probably not been climbed in the last 10 years - talked about coming up with a more flexible approach to restrictions in these areas but to wait until after new guide comes out to see if usage increases.
 
Bob Haycock (CCW) has produced a very useful map to show where choughs and peregrines have nested and whether they have bred successfully, Steve also gave Bob a database of all the known crags in North Pembs so that we can now get a much better idea of where climbers and birds interact. The Restrictions are all staying the same as last year. Everything seems to be working pretty well and there was no pressure to increase restrictions apart from at Mother Carey's: There are 2 guillemots nesting inside the Deep Space chimney and we are putting an advice note in the restrictions leaflet for climbers to avoid Inner Space, Deep Space and Star Gate if the birds are there March - July. Bird breeding success seems to be patchy, choughs and peregrines doing OK, auks declining in some areas, increasing slightly in others, Kittiwakes declining rapidly, poss. due to climate change and problems with food source?
 
The meeting also discussed advice regarding seals in the late summer – autumn and went through the proposed advice in the 'green guide' sections of forthcoming CC guides.
 
We are hoping to put some more new stakes in Range West and Stackpole area over the winter with BMC funds. Steve has put 2 new ones in the Green Bridge which should make the abseil in a bit less worrying.
 
Some one has been putting a load of abseil stakes in above Lydstep Quarry, some of these have been taken out by the National Trust because of public safety (trip hazards). The NT are also trying to tackle some invasive vegetation in this area - we offered help from climbers if they need to access awkward places by abseiling.
 
The MoD reported about 180 climber visits to range west and no days where the 30 climber limit was needed.
 
We are putting a notice board with crag photos and access/conservation info for climbers in the TYF shop in St. David’s in an attempt to get better info out to climbers about where to go and what restrictions are in place.
 
We’re also going to try and sort out a site visit to Forbidden Head with the National Park to check access problems due to gorse and brambles at the top of western end. Hopefully we can sort out something here so that the routes are do-able next summer.



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