/ NEWS: Crags closed this weekend due to fire risk
Roaches (including Skyline), Hen Cloud, Ramshaw, Windgather, Stanage (Popular to Plantation - below Causeway), all Burbage Valley, Millstone and other quarries, Froggatt, Curbar, Birchen.
Castle Naze, Bamford, Stanage (End to High Neb - Above Causeway), Kinder, Bleaklow, Derwent Edges, Chew, Baslow, Gardoms, Chatsworth, Cratcliffe.
Wharncliffe, Rivelin and Black Rocks are outside the National Park. They may be closed but no information is known at the moment. Please check signs at the crags.
I will of course comply. However, I can't imagine any way I could cause a fire when I'm out cragging as I don't smoke and I don't use a stove!
> I will of course comply. However, I can't imagine any way I could cause a fire when I'm out cragging as I don't smoke and I don't use a stove!
It is useful to think beyond yourself.
Would be worth noting that the affected areas "will be closed from today until the weekend".
Following on from yesterday - is this correct, or has someone hacked the site, the last post in the BMC Areas Forum is confused.
''The NYMNPA have just been in touch - the open moorland areas of the park are NOT officially closed. It appears a little gremlin hacked their site and posted a false news item on it! However, the moors are very dry and ranger staff will be posting warning signs this week. "
> I will of course comply. However, I can't imagine any way I could cause a fire when I'm out cragging as I don't smoke and I don't use a stove!
When a fire started by someone else was about to burn you to death, I don't think it would make any difference if you did not smoke.
Fair enough, but there's no real option other than let everyone in, or let no-one in. Or do you think there should be fixed access points, and everyione searched before being allowed through?
As I understand it, the closures have come about because the fire risk has reached a level of 5 (not sure who sets this). Once this happens, closure is automatic. Once the risk level falls, access is automatically restored.
> It is useful to think beyond yourself.
What do you mean? Where's the evidence that I didn't? I've just said I will comply. Keeping everyone away is the most practical way of ensuring that idiots with fags and stove don't start fires.
Don't know what the fire risk is here but everything is tinder dry! The river is very low and I'm in shorts and flip-flops.
1. Don't be ridiculous. The probability of that around the peak is zilch.
2. Not my point anyway.
3. You lame troll.
Isn't Sypelands closed anyway at the moment, for shooting or something?
> Fair enough,
Agreed - see my other message
No - see my other message
> Isn't Sypelands closed anyway at the moment, for shooting or something
Hopefully for shooting idiots with fags and stoves
> 1. Don't be ridiculous. The probability of that around the peak is zilch.
> 2. Not my point anyway.
> 3. You lame troll.
Sorry, I did not realise you know better than the park authorities.
And all the other idiots who leave glass bottles about which also starts fires very easily.
Except that, even if ti rains today, the moors still won't be open for 5 days at least. The forecast is not suggesting rain. I think we can safely assume the closures will be in effect this weekend.
no, the shooting season is closed for grouse.
Sorry, Just checked, it's closed from today until 6th May "land owners discretion" whatever that means.
> Where's the evidence that I didn't?
The evidence that you do was in your later post. Cheers.
> I've just said I will comply. Keeping everyone away is the most practical way of ensuring that idiots with fags and stove don't start fires.
Often people get indignant when their freedom is taken away.
The Lake District crags are dry.
A few years ago I was at Wimberry when a couple of local youngsters were deliberately starting small fires on the moors. I talked to a countryside warden of some sort about this, and he said that they were not worried because the moisture content of the soil was too high for a serious fire to take hold. They know from experience how dry the soil needs to be before there is a serious risk.
Not unusually so. We were there last weekend, and the normally boggy bits were still boggy, the normally wet bits were still wet, and the normally seeping cracks were, unfortunately, still seeping!
Climbers are still welcome to use Stanage Edge, the Roaches and Burbage Edge, as long as they only use public paths to get there and keep off the moorland.
taken from Peak Park authority website
Was planning to visit Crow Chin tonight- is it On or Off??
Has there in fact ever been a serious fire on the Stanage moors?
Strikes me climbers were better off before Crow, national parks and AONB's when it was just us (the climbers) and them (the land owners). Life was a lot simpler.
> The evidence that you do was in your later post. Cheers.
You continue to be incomprehensibly vague. I have repeatedly said I will comply. What is your point? What part of what later post?
> Often people get indignant when their freedom is taken away.
So? I said I'd comply.
> And all the other idiots who leave glass bottles about which also starts fires very easily.
And don't forget farmers who set fire to moors on purpose and the fire brigades who don't put them out properly - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/johndal/sets/72157600058187936/
The bracken was tinder dry at the weekend.
> Strikes me climbers were better off before Crow, national parks and AONB's when it was just us (the climbers) and them (the land owners). Life was a lot simpler.
Correct, which is why climbers reps (BMC) initially opposed it.
Alwqays been under the impression that once a peat based fire gets hold on a moorland it is notoriously difficult to fully extinguish, burning away for years underground sometimes. I could well be wrong though.
Don't know what the penalties are offhand, there's probably something about it on the Open Access website if you can find it. Probably a hefty fine.
It won't be to restrict access though, as that is provided by Act of Parliament and would I think require another Act to take it away.
I'm not sure what (if any) penalties you would face, but the closures are legal. Please don't ignore them as all the rangers (my wife included) have to spend all daylight hours trying to put the fires out.
Fair enough grumble about the closures, but stick to them...
I've seen a lot of research on the after effects of burning (both controlled and otherwise). Deep peat fires are nightmares to put out and restoration is difficult or impossible.
Save bandwidth here, go and look at what the moors for the future lot have put up about the subject on their website
They are being a bit charitable about the impact of controlled burns,btw. I'd ban them too!
so, then, to summarise?
according to the PDNP site "This does not mean that the Peak District is closed. People are welcome to walk all over the National Park as long as they stick to public footpaths."
yet some crags, in chew for instance, are approachable by public footpaths...are these banned or open?
is there a blanket ban on Castle Naze, Bamford, Stanage (End to High Neb), Kinder, Bleaklow, Derwent Edges, Chew, Baslow, Gardoms, Chatsworth, Cratcliffe?
does it apply to climbers and not walkers?
apologies, i am playing devils advocate and just looking for clarifiction
Roaches (including Skyline), Hen Cloud, Ramshaw, Windgather, Stanage (Popular to Plantation), all Burbage Valley, Millstone and other quarries, Froggatt, Curbar, Birchen.
Castle Naze, Bamford, Stanage (End to High Neb), Kinder, Bleaklow, Derwent Edges, Chew, Baslow, Gardoms, Chatsworth, Cratcliffe.
Thats a bit of a strange mix of open and closed isn't it?
Seems to me it makes no logic - unless its been a lottery drawn out of a hat...
Curber - mmm ok
Baslow (spitting distance) mmmm no...
Don't be stupid. They are necessary if you want the moorland to stay anything like it is.
From a reliable source - my daughter :-) (but it'll be right) "Moorland should be burned, in strips on rotation, every 10 - 25 years, so Grouse have access to the older, tougher heather for nesting in and the younger heather for eating.
Because of this odd obsession with shooting Grouse, the British Isles have nearly all of the world's moorland, where it supports around 37 species of bird and up to 11 species of mammal."
Curbar has a public footpath along the top. Baslow doesn't - though arguably, the far left hand end might be OK.
It does seem a bit strange
a) that climbers can't go to the far end of Stanage even if they are carrying no matches, cigarettes, stoves or glass bottles
b) that people are allowed with n restriction onto footpaths which are apparently the main location for the fires
Surely it would be better to ensure that nobody carrying matches, cigarettes, etc ventured anywhere on the moors whether or not on a footpath.
> Curbar has a public footpath along the top. Baslow doesn't.
Your right it doesn't have a public footpath along it - it has two...
One of them is some way below the crag. The other is adjacent to the crag at the far left end (hence my comment that it may be OK at that end) but quickly moves diagonally away from it. The footpath actually along the top of the crag isn't a right of way.
Do you fancy spending the day searching every person who tries to access the moors? I would guess not and neither do the rangers.
Access to footpaths cannot be withdrawn, but access to CROW land and unofficial footpaths can be. Understandable that it seems a bit odd, but they do what they can to protect the countryside.
I really don't get this idea that some climbers seem to have, that they're morally superior to everyone else. I've seen many climbers acting worse than your average chav (don't mean you personally John obviously).
Maybe the logic behind this is to keep the most popular crags open and shut the less popular ones. As well as disrupting less people, it means the park wardens don't have to patrol less popular crags just on the offchance someone is there
Personally, I'd say the PDNPA would be better off leaving all the crags open, but just publicising the need for people to be viligant and NOT SMOKE
> Maybe the logic behind this is to keep the most popular crags open and shut the less popular ones. As well as disrupting less people, it means the park wardens don't have to patrol less popular crags just on the offchance someone is there
> Personally, I'd say the PDNPA would be better off leaving all the crags open
Well I guess thats one theory - but we wanted to go to Gardoms south this weekend - wish they had shut Burbage instead!!
yeah, i thought that too...
still pretty confused about where you can actually climb after that guy's post from the peak authority's site and what people were saying about hackers earlier.
> Well I guess thats one theory - but we wanted to go to Gardoms south this weekend - wish they had shut Burbage instead!!
Thought you were going to Pembroke or have you bottled it?
Is it similar to the avalanche grades?
ie. grade five avalanche means you will be avalanched if you go on the hill
grade five fire - you will burn if you walk to the crag
Isn't burning moorland deliberately, illegal anyway.
Weird Criminals out there, putting up big signs before their crims
"moorland burnings in this area"
So I'm saying that the UK is almost all 'unnatural' and will always be so. It is my opinion that traditional farming should continue where it has survived and that these rare moorland habitats hsould be left well alone and continue to be managed as they have been for 1000 years. I suspect I'd have the same opinion about the Malvern Hills if I lived there. We're in deep enough sh1t, with climate change, as it is.
Note the 'my opinion' bit.
And burning heather is perfectly legal in England so long as you follow the rules.
“Closure is a very big issue, as has been highlighted earlier. It is also not clear how
effective closure is for preventing fires. In fact, moorland closure could actually be
considered illegal. There is also the issue that PRoW cannot be closed, and although
the moorlands may be closed, most fires are started near to PRoW and other popular routes.
There is also the the argument that allowing public access can help to spot fires
and therefore report them more quickly.”
On a slightly different point, does this affect walkers as well, just wondering where they would get information from as I can't believe there's as much trawling of rambling forums or am i very wrong.
Good news is Den Lane is still open in the Chew Valley :-)
My hackles raised at the 1000 years statement. There isn't really any evidence of regular burning in the pollen stratigraphy since before around 1500, and certainly no evidence of frequent burns for grouse moor from much before 1800.
The issue of soils is certainly of interest, the peat has degraded dramatically on some parts of the peat uplands, partly due to climate change (the old fashioned sort) partly due to management, mostly due to fires, intentional or otherwise. Industrial pollution has also been an important factor. The soil chemistry now is different than it was when grouse manageent started, and the heavy metal levels in most of the pennine moors are quite alarming.
Frequent burning for grouse favours a relative few species - the biodiversity of moorlands is quite low, although, granted several of the species are of conservation importance - many of these species were of course persecuted till very recently by game keepers as they either predated or competed for food with, the grouse.
Burning, even light rotational burning, can have severe effects on things like lichen - not sexy, but important non the less and of course terrestrial invertebrates get fried if they can't outrun the fire front. lower plants and inverts are the base of our notional pyramid of dependency, so may have unforseen effects on higher species.
What else? Burning is plat du jour amongst the carbon studying community as it contributes both directly and indirectly (through exposing peat for oxidisation) to release of CO2 and therefore man induced climate change.
Perhaps the most pertinent issue is that of colour in drinking water supplies (humic and fulvic acids released from peat make the water go brown, especially on burned moors)- certainly this is where a lot of upland research money is being pointed, as this has potential health, as well as aesthetic implications.
sorry for the minor hijack, but as we were discussing peat and burning, I thought it might be useful contextual stuff.
Yes, the 1000 years was a sun journalist headline thing. The key issue is, what is the intention for this land in future?
<end hijack> (hopefully)
Had some fun at Bosley Cloud last summer. On the drive there I noticed a load of smoke rising from close to where I wanted to do I bit of climbing. Despite being visable from miles around, the fire itself was tiny. Put the thing out with my bouldering mat and thought nothing of it until 15 mins later when 2 fire engines turned up. 8 firemen ran (struggled) up the hill and then told me I should have let them deal with it. Fair point, but if i'd done that the whole hill could have been on fire by then. It's the most use I've ever gotten out of my bouldering mat...
> “Closure is a very big issue, as has been highlighted earlier. It is also not clear how
> effective closure is for preventing fires. In fact, moorland closure could actually be
> considered illegal. There is also the issue that PRoW cannot be closed, and although
> the moorlands may be closed, most fires are started near to PRoW and other popular routes.
> There is also the the argument that allowing public access can help to spot fires
> and therefore report them more quickly.”
A bunch of academics and invited stakeholders is hardly a source of unbiased and realistsic thinking ;(
Whereas a soundbite led blogger is always trustworthy.
I seem to recall that the last time large areas of moor and hill were closed because of a perceived risk (foot and mouth) the loss of tourist business was a financial disaster for local communities and the 'never again' platitudes were uttered by all.
And don't get me started on local Dukes (no names, but he lives in Northumberland) buying up an area of hill, which is very important to the local tourism, a couple of years ago and promptly shutting it down for 6 weeks during May/June.
Hmmm. It seems that generally the most interesting and worthwhile crags that are good to visit in this sort of weather are closed, and the more mundane, overpopular, and "visit any time" crags remain open. That should please the unimaginative masses.
Time to get yourself back to Hen Cloud's E3s and E4s then?
(would join you but, sorry, off to ceuse on saturday!)
There are quite a few crags which lie on public rights of way, so blanket bans of areas i.e. Chew, Bleaklow, etc is
The general public can still walk on the footpath above The Ravenstones, so if you abseil in from the footpath, take a hanging belay just above the ground, and climb back out again, you have not really strayed from a public right of way ;-)
I don't see what all the fuss is about... it's far to warm for the grit anyway, you should all be on the limestone! tsk tsk.
i.e. the Peak District National Park Authority, Manchester University, Greater Manchester Fire Service, National Trust, Moors for the Future, etc.
On the other side, pushing for closures, we have the landowners and the Countryside Alliance, if you prefer to read their completely objective stance. http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:jmh3v9_RRlcJ:www.moorlandassociation.org/burn.doc
it does seem a tad contradictory to say that all of chew is banned and then say that public rights of way are open
as you say, public rights of way run next to and around some of the crags in chew
i guess the 'blanket ban' is crude tool to keep the masses at bay
A few days closure, because of a fire risk - which isn't decided by the Park Authorities, it's a national scale and based on meterological information - isn't a big price to pay for virtually unlimited access the rest of the year.
Authorities are usually hesitant to place fire bans (because it actually encourages more fires - due to idiots who think that lighting them on purpose is fun, being attracted to those very areas), so if a closure has been put in place, it will be with good reason.
Plus these crags are absolutely desperate in hot weather.
Please give references. Are you saying there's been an advance on this state of knowledge: "It is not clear how effective closure is for preventing fires"?
On the contrary a lot of the higher, cooler, shadier areas are closed, and the lower sun-traps are open.
> On the contrary a lot of the higher, cooler, shadier areas are closed, and the lower sun-traps are open.
And a fair few of the higher North facing crags need a heat wave to dry them out.
Just my 2p's worth
It seems very hard on climbers who wish to access more remote areas and who may not be carrying anything capable of starting a fire.
Plus all the motorists driving over the Snake Pass, Woodhead Pass, as well as all the minor roads, smoking cigarettes and throwing them out of the window. Many will be oblivious to the current fire risk and won’t think about the risk of discarding a lit cigarette end while driving over the moors! Shall we close the roads as well?
These closures are all pointless until they are better publicised. I knew about it from here but when I told the two people Ive climbed with this week they were both surprised and knew nothing about it.
> Strikes me climbers were better off before Crow, national parks and AONB's when it was just us (the climbers) and them (the land owners). Life was a lot simpler
I apologise to you on behalf of the aforementioned conservation organisations and designations - we didn't realise that it would inconvenience you. AONBs don't have any statutory conditions that would affect you btw
If you have failed to comply with advice from a "said" agency - forestry commission / fire service and are then found in an area where a fire or risk of danger from fire exists you can be charged with numerous offences.
I remember a fire at the Roaches about 4 years ago where I - along with about 50 other firefighters - sat on fire watch for almost 2 days, the police I believe eventually prosecuted a local landowner who felt that his "right" to have a fire on his own land outweighed his need to comply with local advice from the fire service.
The other thing is - some of the hottest fires I have ever been to have ben scrubland fires - and believe me even with full protective gear on they BURN - I certainly wouldn't want to be out there in shorts and t-shirt.
And yes the fires do spread VERY FAST!!! and running over gorse is the surest way to break an ankle!!
Civil right and liberties only come with RESPONSIBILTY - and that means doing as the landowners and emergency services suggest.
Black Rocks are unlikely to get closed, Cromford moor may, I took a policeman up to the aerial where there was fire spreading and all the time he was curious as to whether I was taking him away from an incident :)
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