/ Remove Tilly Whim ban, Swanage?

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oldie - on 24 Sep 2013
Do people think that the total ban on climbing to the west of Tilly Whim Caves should be reexamined?
The existing routes can be found in old guidebooks.

Presumably the ban is not due to nesting birds as seasonal restrictions could be applied.
The ban might be to discourage walkers from going over the wall bounding the coastal path (probably unlikely to happen) or to prevent people going over the ledge by the banned Tilly Whim caves due apparently to a slight danger of rockfall (however abseil access only would overcome this).

I climbed there many years ago (Rendezvous Manque and Steeple) and have recently looked at the cliffs from the sea. It would certainly be a worthwhile addition to the Swanage repertoire.
Trangia - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:

I too climbed Rendezvous Manque years ago. A magnificent route. It would be great if the ban was lifted and we could then rename it Rendezvous Garde?
John Alcock - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Trangia:
I used to sleep on the caves when new routing with Crispin Waddy many years ago.
jimtitt - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to oldie)
>
> I too climbed Rendezvous Manque years ago. A magnificent route. It would be great if the ban was lifted and we could then rename it Rendezvous Garde?

Thatīs about the ultimate in selective memory Iīve seen for a long time, Rendevous Manque was never magnificent by Swanage standards, it was slightly below average or worse.
Maybe compared with the Peak itīs magnificent?:-)
oldie - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:

Interesting to hear Swanage reminiscences.

However the main point of the thread was: (a) to see if anyone wanted to see the ban lifted, and (b) to find out the precise reasons why the ban was imposed initially rather than simply stating broad "environmental and safety" reasons.

Relations between climbers and other groups have improved considerably since the original ban.
Trangia - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:

a) As you will have gathered, a definite Yes!

b) My understanding is that climbing was banned by the owners of the Durlston Castle Estate. This ban, dating from the 1960s followed discussions between the owners and the BMC when the owners granted some concessions. My understanding is that because the area attracts a large number of tourists, some of whom were getting into difficulties on the cliffs, it was as a result of pressure from the police and coastguard that the owners were persuaded to impose the original ban. In the late 60's the situation became very delicate with some climbers ignoring the ban. A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the last half century, although the extent of the banned area has been extended rather than reduced. I don't know what the latest situation is concerning access negotiations and the BMC Access Officer is probably your best approach because I'm sure they continue to monitor the situation.
jimtitt - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:
Scott will no doubt be along to give the exact details but Tilly Whim caves were shut early on due to rockfall danger and then all the area became Durlston Country Park and is an SSI and loads of other things. The caves are home to rare bats.
steve taylor - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:

The ban was introduced waaayyyy before my time as Swanage Access Rep. However, I believe that the ban on Tilly Whim was part of an overall agreement to resolve a potential climbing ban in the whole of Durlston Country Park (i.e. Lighthouse Cliffs, Subluminal and most of the Ruckle). I understand that, at the time, it was seen as a success for climbers that we only lost Tilly Whim.

I've not climbed at Tilly Whim, but abseil access would involve climbing over the stone wall by the tourist path directly onto a steep grassy slope, right in front of lots of grockles - probably not a good idea. The old tunnel access could be re-opened, but that would also allow climbers and grockles to enter the caves and possibly disturb wildlife (bats/birds) and be at risk of rockfall (though no worse than Winspit/Hedbury surely).

Note - it's not just climbing that's banned at Tilly Whim. All public access is discouraged and there are signs/walls/fences there to discourage people from entering.

Note also that the Tilly Whim area isn't covered by CRoW.
scott titt - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:
There is no total ban on climbing to the west of Tilly Whim Caves, there is a voluntary seasonal bird restriction.
Rendevous Manque is to the east of Tilly Whim Caves.
oldie - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to scott titt:

Many apologies. I meant to discuss the East of Tilly Whim caves towards Durlston Head, where I believe there is a total ban at present. Brain malfunction in old age!

Traverse of the Gods being to the west of the caves of course.
jimtitt - on 27 Sep 2013
In reply to oldie:

Well from distant memory back in the day (1973)when Durlston was taken over by DCC to form a country park the initial plan was to ban climbing in the whole park but this was negotiated by Richard Crew and others to allow the current setup, it was felt the loss of the few routes below the castle and the odd seasonal ban was offset by the use of Subluminal and the Ruckle (the park extends to around the Ramp area so 90% of the Ruckle).
From experience (and at that time I lived in a caravan underneath the castle) the cliffs from Durlston along to Tilly Whim arenīt as good as they might look anyway, I never found anything worthwhile along there!
Climbing wasnīt banned by the Estate, in fact Swanage Climbing Club was based in the old stables in the castle.
Tilly Whim was shut in `76 due to instability and having climbed a lot there can assure you not without good reason, there are some rather large blocks lying where we used to play around in those days.
Considering the current status of the park we were lucky to have got what we did if you asked me!

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