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Topic - How to stop out of bounds Cheddar climbing before a ban?

ericinbristol - on 04 Jun 2014
It really looks as though we are heading for a ban on climbing in the part of Cheddar controlled by Cheddar Caves and Gorge (CCG). So many people are ignoring the restricted periods, and not having insurance coverage (e.g. through BMC membership), and abusing the CCG staff. It would be grim if we got banned and only then the wider community of Cheddar devotees really took seriously the importance of putting our own house in order. At one level, it's not 'our' house in that there are plenty of us who won't see those breaking the rules as part of our group. But that won't stop a ban. So this thread is aimed at us collectively discussing what we might do to help prevent a ban and sort this out. Of course, coordination with/approval from Martin Crocker, CCG and so on makes sense. But we should show willing now to come up with ideas. I know there have been some threads in which these things have been raised, but this is aimed at really pulling all this together to see if we can find something useful. Here are some initial thoughts:

1. More/better signage. I've always favoured this but I understand that CCG don't want it (I don't know why) and there is the point that many of those breaking the ban ignore it (though I think it makes it harder for some to ignore and easier for the rest of us to point out when we see someone.

2. More of us taking the initiative to stop what we are doing and, as soon as we see climbers heading for banned areas, go over to them and explain. I've done that quite a few times and always successfully so far (with no abuse).

3. An online signup for volunteers managed by Martin to do some patrolling at weekends/bank holidays to speak to anyone who is about to head up to a banned area or starting to gear up at one. I would be up for some of that. You could sign up with your climbing partner and do say two hours ot two one hour blocks and climb the rest of the day. It would only take six teams to sign up for this and it would cover 8am-8pm. Volunteers could be provided with a bit of basic training on what to do/not to do, etc. to keep it non-confrontational.

4. Martin/trained volunteers going up to teams on the day climbing in the right places and asking them if they are prepared to patrol for say just one hour. There could be split so that a single trained volunteer could patrol with one or two untrained people and in effect train them as they go round.

5. A really clear leaflet for Martin/volunteers to give climbers as they arrive, getting the gear out of their car. That would help with the ego thing - people could save face by pretending they were never going to break the rules in the first place.

Whatever the specifics, the fundamental thing I think is that we all see it as our collective responsibility rather than leaving it to Martin.

Maybe these are good suggestions, maybe they suck. Views/alternatives welcome.

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