/ Question: Ethics of developing projects in public parks.

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Steve nevers on 09 Apr 2013
Hell there,I'd thought i'd pick peoples brains on this, as I've been eyeing up a couple of lumps of rock on the edge of a park near me, and before i storm in there and offend anyone by cleaning up small parts each and falling off them a bit, I'd as the advice of the more experienced in these matters. Also the two different rocks have their own possible issues despite being pretty close together, so maybe if i detail them both you can tell me best practice for each?

1st one: Little jagged collection of aretes,
Barely needs a clean, just maybe a foot of ivy in places at the top and a few holds cleaned but thats it. clean flat landing, but very public, being yards from the public footpath through the park, although the problems would be low grade fun short problems, not anything worth much of a deathscream about!

2nd one: small over hanging, mini-'cave' kind of thing.
Loads of over hanging ivy needs clearing, fair bit of surface cleaning on the rock underneath, decent landing but with brambles that need taming not gutting, and is tucked further away from the more commonly used areas of the park.

Both are Bristol Sandstone, Along the Danny.

I'm aware of things to do such as avoid over cleaning & over chalking (or chalk totally when possible), cleaning any chalked holds gently before leaving, Tidying up, respectful noiselevels etc,
Also contacting people about others that may have developed these rocks before (1st looks likely, 2nd is very overgrown so noones touched that for a long time), respecting local wildlife, changes in access etc.

TL:DR Any advice? I'd quite like to have some fun developing some problems but i don't want to be a dick about it, any advice of how to go about it in a respectful manner would be appreciated.

Also if anyone knows the crag mod for that area of Bristol and could put me in touch with them would be grand.

I also promise to never tickmark holds, always place my google maps makers in the wrong place, and produce one sentence typos teamed with some squiggly lines over a photo. I'll try and avoid the last two.
999thAndy on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:
When I was a student in Huddersfield I got ejected from the base of a potential mini-route by the park keeper. I'm guessing all those jobs will have been either outsourced or lost altogether, so my advice would be: find out if your park is patrolled by G4S and if not, knock yourself out
Martin W on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: Or to adopt a rather more adult and responsible approach: find out who the landowner is (if it's a public park then it's likely - but not necessarily guaranteed - to be the local authority) and contact them to find out how happy they would be with what you are proposing.
toad - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin W:
> (In reply to Steve nevers) Or to adopt a rather more adult and responsible approach: find out who the landowner is (if it's a public park then it's likely - but not necessarily guaranteed - to be the local authority) and contact them to find out how happy they would be with what you are proposing.

This is by far the best approach. I'm involved with a couple of "friends" groups and I could imaging the outrage (justified or not) if someone took it upon themselves to start clearing rock, Whereas an approach with a plan might actually be welcomed. In any event, stear clear of aggressive gardening at the start of the bird nesting season, especially in a public place. Most places will have some sort of board with a phone no. on somewhere on the property, and if they don't, well you obviously have an internet connection...
999thAndy on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin W:
But the answer will be "No" with a range of H&S reasons. Climbing has a long history of such routes, I'd view it as part of the game. Just don't get caught or if you do, be prepared to take the consequences.
A Longleat Boulderer - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> But the answer will be "No" with a range of H&S reasons. Climbing has a long history of such routes, I'd view it as part of the game. Just don't get caught or if you do, be prepared to take the consequences.

I've developed a few areas and taken this approach. There isn't a way in hell a public park will let you partake in something as 'dangerous as climbing'.

Be subtle, keep a low profile, don't damage anything. Job's a good'un.
M0nkey - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> But the answer will be "No" with a range of H&S reasons. Climbing has a long history of such routes, I'd view it as part of the game. Just don't get caught or if you do, be prepared to take the consequences.

I agree with this. Especially because there really are no "consequences" to speak of. At the very worst they might call the police and the police might ask you to leave, but you aren't going to get arrested or anything dramatic like that. Most crags were developed pre H&S in exactly the above manner. I'd probably start in the area further from the beaten track if i were you. Sounds like it has more potential anyway.
pwo - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: I can categorically state that there are NO byelaws to prevent you climbing on any outcrop on either a public open space or public park. So there is no authority to stop you or eject you unless it can be proved you are causing damage. The only 'iffy' thing will be if the outcrop is part of a SSSI and if you phone the local authority and ask for the county ecologist they will tell you if it has any ecological value. After that it'll be the usual 'nimbys' (or is that nimbies?) regarding litter, language, defacing the rock blah, blah.
Howard J - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to pwo:
> (In reply to Steve nevers) I can categorically state that there are NO byelaws to prevent you climbing on any outcrop on either a public open space or public park.

How can you possibly say that without knowing the park in question and looking at the byelaws? Park byelaws commonly prohibit climbing on walls, trees etc so if there is a natural feature which can be climbed I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that is included - or quickly will be once you start climbing on it.

Secondly, although land may be publicly owned does not mean the public has a right of access (unless it comes under CRoW< which seems unlikely). You are there by implied permission, which can be withdrawn if someone in authority doesn't like what you are doing - just like any other landowner.
The Pylon King on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Howard J:

How can anyone actually own land?

Who thought they had the right to sell it in the first place?

always puzzles me, that one.

rug - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to A Longleat Boulderer:
> ... There isn't a way in hell a public park will let you partake in something as 'dangerous as climbing'..

So logically, http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=12112 this doesn't exist ? There is also a structure made of gritstone blocks in the nearby St Thomas recreation ground, built in the playing area for kids to climb on.

Rug
A Longleat Boulderer - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to rug:

One is a concious decision to provide climbing facilities that are likely to have been risk assessed and insured accordingly.

On the other hand we have a member of the public climbing on a piece of rock that happens to be in the park.

You see the difference regarding liability in the eyes of the management?
tom_in_edinburgh - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to pwo:
> (In reply to Steve nevers) I can categorically state that there are NO byelaws to prevent you climbing on any outcrop on either a public open space or public park.

Well I once checked for a crag that is commonly used in a park near me and there were about 20 pages of by-laws applying to all parks owned by the council and they forbid climbing and just about everything else except walking through without touching anything.


mcondon - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: Is this around Snuff Mills? I'd have thought since there's some climbs there already (in the Avon Cheddar guidebook and all) nobody would stop you climbing there?
Howard J - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to The Pylon King: You don't 'own' land in the same way as you own ordinary goods and chattels. You have an 'interest' in the land, which grants you certain rights and may be subject to rights belonging to others. If you 'own' the land you have a 'freehold' interest, which indicates that it's held free of rent. You might have a leasehold interest, which is for a term of years. You buy and sell the legal interest rather than the soil or buildings to which it relates, and the nature of the interest will tell you what you can do with it.

'Who thought they had the right to sell it in the first place?'

That would be William the Conquerer, who appropriated all the land in the England to the Crown, and then divided up between his followers, who divided it up between theirs, all the way down to the villein tending a few field strips in return for labouring on the lord of the manor's land. Over time all the labour, military and other services which were given in return for a grant of land got converted into money payments, either capital sums or periodic rents, and we ended up with the system of land tenure we have today. Of course along the way the lawyers have managed to make it a lot more complicated!

Bobling - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Howard J:

Very succint - thanks! I was pondering the same question only this morning.
The Pylon King on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to Howard J:
> (In reply to The Pylon King) You don't 'own' land in the same way as you own ordinary goods and chattels. You have an 'interest' in the land, which grants you certain rights and may be subject to rights belonging to others. If you 'own' the land you have a 'freehold' interest, which indicates that it's held free of rent. You might have a leasehold interest, which is for a term of years. You buy and sell the legal interest rather than the soil or buildings to which it relates, and the nature of the interest will tell you what you can do with it.
>
> 'Who thought they had the right to sell it in the first place?'
>
> That would be William the Conquerer, who appropriated all the land in the England to the Crown, and then divided up between his followers, who divided it up between theirs, all the way down to the villein tending a few field strips in return for labouring on the lord of the manor's land. Over time all the labour, military and other services which were given in return for a grant of land got converted into money payments, either capital sums or periodic rents, and we ended up with the system of land tenure we have today. Of course along the way the lawyers have managed to make it a lot more complicated!

Yep as i suspected, all very corrupt.
I will continue my right to roam.
Steve nevers on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to mcondon:
> (In reply to Steve nevers) Is this around Snuff Mills? I'd have thought since there's some climbs there already (in the Avon Cheddar guidebook and all) nobody would stop you climbing there?


They are both along the stretch of the River Frome yes, although a fair bit earlier than Snuff Mills if you are walking up that way from town.
I believe you can follow the river all the way up past Snuff Mills (the crag listed on here has suffered a little recently from kids and fires it seems) to the Ring Road area and further, So I was thinking of adding these two small project rocks as something to the cycling/walking route in from Winterbourne.
Anyone aware of any access issues for that stretch? Snuff Mills seems to be fairly open, any ideas about Eastville park and the woodlands on its edges?

I'm thinking i may progress with caution, will email the crag mod for the surrounding areas for some advice and have a chat to parkie if i see one.
Steve nevers on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: Of course anyone that suspects i may be re-developing some rocks they have worked on, please get in touch etc. cheers.
Martin W on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to The Pylon King:

> How can anyone actually own land?
>
> Who thought they had the right to sell it in the first place?
>
> always puzzles me, that one.

Have a read of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_ownership - it's pretty comprehensive for an encyclopaedia article, especially if you follow the linked sub-topics, though I wouldn't try using it to sustain an argument with a lawyer on the subject.
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mcondon - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

> They are both along the stretch of the River Frome yes, although a fair bit earlier than Snuff Mills if you are walking up that way from town.
> I believe you can follow the river all the way up past Snuff Mills (the crag listed on here has suffered a little recently from kids and fires it seems) to the Ring Road area and further, So I was thinking of adding these two small project rocks as something to the cycling/walking route in from Winterbourne.
> Anyone aware of any access issues for that stretch? Snuff Mills seems to be fairly open, any ideas about Eastville park and the woodlands on its edges?

> I'm thinking i may progress with caution, will email the crag mod for the surrounding areas for some advice and have a chat to parkie if i see one.

Seems like the best approach. I'm fairly sure most of the land around the river is open access; you can walk all the way out of the city along it (although there's bits of it you wouldn't really want to) but might well be wrong.
Martin W on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to mcondon:

> I'm fairly sure most of the land around the river is open access

Not according to the map on Natural England's Open Access web site, unfortunately: http://tinyurl.com/cbhvuxz - nothing yellow alongside the river all the way out to Winterbourne.
Steve nevers on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin W: Its pretty close to the yellow area near Frenchay. Spoken to a crag mod for the area and they seem to think it'll be ok as long as i'm respectful and obey any future requests to cease, if that situation arises.
Steve nevers on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

First day of cleaning yesterday, crags a lot bigger than i remembered it in my minds eye, its roughly 6m high on one side and rises up to about 8.5m, width is about 25-30m.

Lots of crimpy holds and pockets, few nice slopers too. Got a few projects on the go already, some may even be in the F6B-F7A range. Got a lot more of the crag to clean up as well.
pasbury on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

Sounds interesting - kudos for developing new stuff for those of us in Bristol. Got any pictures? Is the rock sound?

There are other buttresses opposite the ring road boulders but as far as I know that's private land.
Steve nevers on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to pasbury:
> (In reply to Steve nevers)
>
> Sounds interesting - kudos for developing new stuff for those of us in Bristol. Got any pictures? Is the rock sound?
>


I'm pretty sure somebody must have climbed it in the past because its so bleedin' obvious, like its just THERE along the river! Saying that its been pretty manky and mossy so its been a fair while since somebody cleaned it so who knows?

The main body of the part i've brushed down and fooled about on briefly seems sound,
i've cleaned a small section and inspected the rock a little yesterday, there is a small section of the 'face' about a foot high & wide at the base thats fragile but its below a section that any lines starting from it would be so easy its easily avoided.
Theres also a couple of holds that have a little give in, both are thin sideways flakes and just looking at them you should know that they aren't great, and also the big thick stable one next to it offers a better alternative. Its mainly a case of obvious poor holds are obvious poor holds, But theres plenty of stable others to grab.

To be honest the crag was still a little bit damp mainly where i've had to clean off some moss so i'm planning to give it a few days of dryness then go back and make another inspection before saying confidently whats solid and what concerns me.

i have a few pics, feel free to email me and i'll send some over, would be good to know if anyone recognises the place.
bpmclimb - on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

Hope you enjoy developing the crags, but be prepared for some FAs to pop up at some point and claim previous ascents.
Steve nevers on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to bpmclimb:
> (In reply to Steve nevers)
>
> Hope you enjoy developing the crags, but be prepared for some FAs to pop up at some point and claim previous ascents.


Yeah i'm expecting it. Have mentioned a few times already in this thread any people who think i'm repeating their old lines are welcome to let me know if thats the case. i'm an approachable guy.
The Pylon King on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

Well done Steve, could you email me the pics please?

Thanks

afrosam - on 17 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:
Hi Steve
I've ridden past the stuff in Eastville park many times before just never quite got round to having an in depth explore. Is it the stuff on the farside of the stream/river as you head along the main path towards Broom hill road?
If you could send some pics over that would be great.
Cheers
Sam
Steve nevers on 19 Apr 2013
In reply to afrosam:
> (In reply to Steve nevers)
> Hi Steve
> Is it the stuff on the farside of the stream/river as you head along the main path towards Broom hill road?
>
I could well be aye, has a kind of 'tunnel' through one section.

Second phase of cleaning yesterday, about 50-60% of the place sorted now.
Steve nevers on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: Entered some crag info now, just waiting for the page to be confirmed.
leland stamper on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers: Hi -found this after posting on crag site. Have climbed on this crag a few times over the last 30 years. No one has ever complained. Was seen soloing by park warden on wed but ignored. I have no desire to claim previous FAs but might like to add some routes as it develops over the summer hopefully -if that is OK. Always preferred this outcrop to Snuff Mills which gets/got use from Scout groups/schools without access issues etc. I have a friend working on Avon Gorge development so will talk to her about eco issue. Might be worth contacting "Climb Bristol". I'm sure Mr Crocker is aware of Eastville.
Steve nevers on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to leland stamper:
> might like to add some routes as it develops over the summer hopefully -if that is OK.

Of course it is.

Sounds like 'Trog's Travesty' is a different line to 'Trogoldyte's Traverse' already, if you'd like to send over some details for it i'll happily add it to the page.

Have emailed you i think anyhow. Cheers!

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