What happens at BMC area meetings?

Posted by Tony Ryan on 01/01/2017
Area Meetings are usually held in pubs...with free food.

The best way to find out what happens at BMC area meetings is to go along to one. They are open to all, and you’re encouraged, and very welcome, to attend.

Area meetings are the base from which the BMC grows. It’s where local action starts and ideas get kicked about - in a friendly way, of course. One of their purposes is to inform local climbers and walkers about regional and national issues. They also act as a forum for local opinions on matters such as crag access, conservation issues, and national debates such as wind farms, land use and road building schemes. Increasingly, they are the focal point for getting local events such as crag clean-ups and climbing and walking festivals organised and funded.

The BMC is divided into ten areas, eight in England and two in Wales. These are: Lake District; London & South East; Midlands; North East; North West; Peak District; South West; Yorkshire; Cymru North Wales; and Cymru South Wales; a Cymru Mid Wales outreach group also holds meetings. Each BMC Area usually meets four or five times a year.

What happens at an area meeting?

The usual format of a meeting is to first run through the progress made since the last time everyone got together; then comes feedback from the area's representatives on the BMC National Council, which provides an intermediary forum between the members and the Board of Directors. After that, the locally relevant discussions start, including updates from other area representatives on access, clubs, hill walking, youth etc. Discussion topics are as varied as:

  • Lake District winter climbing ethics
  • A major project to regenerate climbing in the Avon Gorge
  • Fixed equipment on sea cliffs
  • The organisation of local crag clean-ups and climbing & walking festivals
  • Responses to local access issues and planning applications
  • Quarry restoration in the Midlands
  • Management of the  Peak District’s North Lees estate
  • BMC position statements on dry tooling and fixed equipment

If anything needs to be taken to the BMC National Council that is done via the relevant area representatives, of which there are two for each BMC Area. Anything that needs local action and organisation is usually sorted out there and then.

Then what?

The food arrives and the entertainment begins. There are usually refreshments in the form of chips and butties. A guest speaker is often in attendance with slides of their latest derring-do adventure. Entertainment in the past has been provided by the likes of Nick Bullock, Gary Gibson, Alan Hinkes, Adam Long and Gordon Stainforth.

When's my next meeting?

Find all the information about your next area meeting (and lots more) in the BMC Local Areas site

How to stay in touch with your local BMC area

BMC National Council

Find out more out BMC National Council here

Find out more about the structure of the BMC here

Not currently a BMC member?

Support our work on behalf of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers by joining the BMC.

Benefits of BMC membership

Join or renew your membership here

 

 



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