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Nesting birds Moss Rake

 DerwentDiluted 31 May 2020

As we were leaving  Moss Rake today we were made aware of nesting raptors in the quarry very likely to be disturbed by climbers. It is hoped that they will be done in a few weeks but it might be a good thing to avoid this crag for a week or two. Signs are likely to appear soon.

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 johncook 31 May 2020
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

It is noted on the BMC RAD. Closed from 20th May to 30th June due to raptor nesting. The BMC Regional Access Database is always worth checking for 'bird bans' and other access problems.

This should be made easier to find and publicised much better by the BMC. Always worth checking before you set out! (If you put RAD in their search it only brings up adverts for the app!

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 DerwentDiluted 31 May 2020
In reply to johncook:

Yes thanks, definately worth checking more.  This is definately one to skip for a few weeks.

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In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Thanks for the heads-up.

I received a call off Tim Birch at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust this morning, who I suspect is the person you spoke to. 

Part of the issue surrounding Moss Rake is that due to its new nature the info on the BMC's Regional Access Database and the UKC database hadn't been synced. As such, the former said "the restriction applies to the whole quarry to prevent disturbance to nesting Schedule 1 birds", whereas ours simply said to "avoid a particular area". This has now been updated.

What is of concern is to hear that another party took over an hour to leave when asked, which is clearly unacceptable behaviour and reflects very poorly on our community. Whilst I shouldn't have to remind anyone of this, if you are asked to move on as a result of nesting birds - particularly those that are rare or endangered - please do so as quickly as possible.

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 kedvenc72 01 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Just to bump this. Just driven by and a number of cars parked at entrance (not necessarily climbers of course) but 2 teams leaving.

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 nickcanute 01 Jun 2020
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

2 points - climbed there last week and on arrival 4 cars in vicinity of entrance but we were the first climbers in the quarry. Several cars in other nearby laybys towards the huge working quarry so there are other people out in the area who are not climbers. 

Secondly, when the climbing there started a year ago there was a visit from RSPB persons who had driven down from Yorkshire (Harrogate maybe, cant recall for certain). They observed the birds for over an hour whilst we climbed and told us the birds were behaving normally, had shown no signs of alarm, they therefore had no concern about climbing and felt there was no need for any restriction. The birds returned to nest again this year, so the climbing and also regular use of quarry for trials biking hasn't been disruptive. The nest is on opposite side of quarry and on a higher level with no climbs nearby. I therefore wonder if the birds are indeed "very likely to be disturbed" by climbers, or - as judged by RSPB observers during last year's nesting season - not disturbed at all by climbers (or motorcyclists).

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 johncook 02 Jun 2020
In reply to nickcanute:

Is it worth the risk when you could climb elsewhere for 4 weeks?

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 nickcanute 03 Jun 2020
In reply to johncook:

I'm not advocating going at the moment since it can only aggravate the conservation people, if not the birds. Just pointing out the discrepancy in comparison with the RSPB's assessment last year. The trials bikers and dog walkers will have the place to themselves for a bit.

Plenty of other easy mid grade sport.. i've heard Harpur Hill is good and you can have a swim and barbecue there too.

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In reply to nickcanute:

From the conversation I had it sounded like the birds were letting out alarm calls and not returning to the nest whilst climbers were around, so by all accounts it's a valid restriction. As you say though, it's not just a case of climbers and climbers only, as there's a great many other user groups that visit the area.

We'll post an update once the chicks have fledged and climbers can once again return to the quarry.

Confessional: I've never actually been there, but will do so after 30th June

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 johncook 03 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Be quick. Last time I was there a climbing club had found it. They climbed the right hand 5a and then traversed across rigging top ropes on many of the others. They had the usual numbers of people who were trying something well above their grade and scrabbly their feet all the way. The rock will soon polish on what few rugosities there are on the harder routes. I give it 2 years before it needs regrading!

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 nickcanute 03 Jun 2020
In reply to johncook:

Do you know which club?

I would like group use to be discouraged.. its not suitable for group use, as you say people top roping and trying to pedal their way up something too hard will knacker the routes. This is annoying, let them develop their own venue if they want an outdoor climbing wall

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 johncook 04 Jun 2020
In reply to nickcanute:

I do know which club. I had words with them and advised them that if I saw them there again I would 'name and shame' them. They will go elsewhere and do the same. They are almost as bad as some of the 'instructor led groups, but they mostly stay at Horseshoe/Lawrencefield/Stanage pop/Yarncliffe and ruin them!

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In reply to johncook:

Well if they're abusing other locations then I think you should name and shame them anyway.

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 johncook 04 Jun 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

The 'instructor led groups are the worst culprits. Just this club seems to be managing to annoy me!

If I see them doing the 'top rope something way beyond abilities' and scrabble in my sight again I will name and shame the club. We also need people to do the same with the instructor led groups, if you can get them to give the company name!

Post edited at 17:45
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