Pembroke Range West Online briefings Suspended

 Graeme Hammond 12 Jan 2022

Having seen a link to

It was really disappointingly to read: 

"Unfortunately, a significant number of climbers also turned up, claiming to have watched and understood the safety briefing, but when questioned by Range staff when registering to enter, were hopelessly unaware of the dangers or conservation issues found here, that are clearly mentioned in the video briefing. There were also several infringements of the agreed climbing restrictions, with some climbers claiming to be unaware of the seasonal climbing restrictions to protect nesting birds and were seen climbing within restricted areas. Some climbers also were reported to have somehow driven cars onto Range West and almost incredulously, at least two separate groups were found camping within the live firing impact areas, spotted literally minutes before live firing was about to commence. Not only is this obviously lethal but it’s also extremely costly for the MoD who then have to suspend all training activities across the whole range (involving boats, helicopters, fast jets, tanks and ground personnel), costing many tens of thousands of pounds."

And most annoyingly:

"Sadly, due to the issues mentioned above, the MoD did not feel that they could continue with the on-line briefing for 2022 and anyone wanting to access Range West for climbing in 2022 and they have informed the BMC that all visitors to Range West will have to attend one of the in-person safety briefing session."

What was a real positive step forward for access with has been ruined by a few selfish idiots. Let's hope access is not restricted further in the future 

Post edited at 21:47
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Bugger, how very annoying. I absolutely loved going to range west last year, it really opened a new side of pembroke to me. What a shame.

 Cake 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Thanks Graeme. 

Was that just one year of video briefing? What a shame

 dave657 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Wow, with that list of wrong-doings it sounds like more than just a few idiots. And also we're probably lucky to still have access at all!

Post edited at 22:09
In reply to Graeme Hammond:


In reply to Graeme Hammond:

This makes me frustrated and sad.

Well done to the BMC for negotiating last year's access changes and for damage limitation in 2022.

It's a real shame that we couldn't be trusted with the new access arrangements. As always a minority ruin it for the majority.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

FFS. This is why we can't have nice things.

How the hell do you drive on to the range? Physically how??

Also, the people who camped must not have been booked in otherwise someone would have gone looking for them overnight. So presumably they've just ignorantly hopped the fence, which could happen just as easily whatever form of briefings they've ignored. That kind of bellendery still has the potential to destroy access despite in person briefings.

 PaulJepson 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

My tax £s would have been better spent on bombing them.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Thanks for the info but how utterly shocking.

If I was the MoD I wouldn't be allowing any access at all.

Congratulations to the BMC and MoD for managing to come to an agreement for 2022, lets hope it's adhered to.

 Sans-Plan 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Sounds like the campers are lucky to be alive !

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Shocking behaviours, the online briefings were a step forward for me, Pembroke is too far to drive for just a weekend to get briefed.

It takes a special sort of idiot to drive onto or to camp on a firing range. 

In addition to the commentary quoted above, concerns were also raised about those overnighting in the car parks. This is likely to be a larger factor in the decision as more will have done so and something for the van lifers to think about.

As a community we need to understand that we are in RW under duress, the MoD do not want us there, we and the other users make their life difficult. It would be easy for the MoD to make things even more difficult for us. Repetition of last year and we may find briefings reduced to one Tuesday evening, the day before a week of firing or worse. 

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

I was very disappointed to read this. I live too far from Pembroke to attend the live briefings, so last year was my first opportunity in nearly 30 years of visiting that I was able to get onto Range West, and it was wonderful.  I had really hoped that they would continue with the remote briefings.

What is really infuriating is that many of the people who broke the rules and ruined it for everyone were probably ignorant of the access restrictions and will continue to break the rules, while the rest of us suffer the consequences.  

Climbers really have no excuse as the restrictions are made very clear in the guidebooks.  During one of our visits we were followed by another party of climbers. The MoD had someone parked along the path checking passes and they were turned back.  They should have had the book thrown at them. Idiots!

Post edited at 09:32
 joem 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

While I’m not suprised at tge return to in person briefings, it was so much buiser than perviously and the issues with climbers not taking the briefing seriously seem sadly inevitable. The issues with camping and driving cars onto the range seem to be being pinned on climbers when its just as likely to be part of the problems experienced accross the country last year. As pointed out up the thread the campers atleast didn’t engage with the system atall otherwise the mod would have known people were on the range still.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Very glad I went this year while I had the chance. Really was a great place with the abseil hole being a particular highlight. Would love to go back but like others here would be tricky not living locally. 

We went mid August and the guards seemed pretty relaxed. After the first visit only one of us ever had to get out the car to pick up the permits and we were never quizzed about the restrictions, as the article suggests some people were. One guy walked passed us on the range one of the days and asked if we had permits, but didn't ask to see them after we said yes. Makes me think maybe they weren't aware of people taking the piss till later on? Either way I'm kinda surprised the military is still permitting climbers at all after everything reported this year.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

To pivot this a little, is there some gesture we could collectively make to show our thanks and demonstrate that we're not all dickheads? Can think of a few things but not sure what would be token vs what the people at the camp who have to put up with us would genuinely appreciate.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

This is probably a matter for an Area Meeting to decide, but I would like to see the BMC indicate that it would encourage and support the MoD to take action under the byelaws whenever it deems it appropriate.  Perhaps a few arrests and some well-publicised fines might make some people think again.

 Bob Kemp 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Sans-Plan:

> Sounds like the campers are lucky to be alive !

Well, they wouldn't have slept in...

 biggianthead 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

That's a real shame.

I live 8 hours away from the ranges,  so attending briefings is tricky. They are often focused around bank holiday weekends (exactly when I avoid Pembroke). I did the on line briefing last year and the whole process very slick.

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Do you have to attend each year of does one training last forever/ x years?

 kmsands 13 Jan 2022
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Once in each year. 

 Jenny C 13 Jan 2022
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Every year.

Maybe a good option would be to allow online renewals, but you must attend an in person briefing on the first occasion. That said, what's in it for the MOD especially after the behaviour of last year?

In reply to Jenny C:

That was my thought as well, would be an ideal solution. But why would the MOD create more admin to fix a problem caused by them trying to make visiting easier for climbers

Post edited at 16:14
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

It is good to remember that there is an awful lot of great climbing outside of range west and the loss of online briefing should not dissuade anyone from visiting.

If anything, broadly, the climbing on range East is better than west. It is the rarity factor that attracts folk in.

I will get my tin hat. 

 joem 13 Jan 2022
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

well if for no other reason than climbers, along with everyone else in the country fund their existence through taxes. 

There is also a pretty good argument that a publicly funded body ( or IMHO anyone else for that matter) shouldn't restrict access to its land more than is necessary, obviously in the case of range west this is a lot more restrictive than in other circumstances.   

 duncan b 13 Jan 2022
In reply to Jenny C:

> Every year.

> Maybe a good option would be to allow online renewals, but you must attend an in person briefing on the first occasion. That said, what's in it for the MOD especially after the behaviour of last year?

That's a great suggestion. I could never understand why you had to attend the briefing every year when it was essentially identical each time. I also couldn't understand how the briefing took so long when it basically amounted to "don't touch the ordinance, don't stray off the path, check in and out when you leave".

In reply to duncan b:

There's a bit more to it than that, like what to do if it goes wrong and how not to piss off the wildlife. That stuff does change. (Off topic, but am I the only one wondering how the choughs aren't already deaf?) Last time I went they got through it all in 20mins.

 PaulJepson 08:23 Fri
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I don't know why anyone wouldnt want to go and watch 20 minutes of 'the bladdy French' getting panned live.

In reply to duncan b:

Probably trying to keep reminding the idiots who abused it causing the problem. That's if they bothered to attend in the first place🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

This is SO frustrating! We had a fantastic few days Out West in May, thanks to the online arrangement, and were really enchanted with it and excited to explore further this year. It was a genuine chink of a silver lining in a thoroughly crappy year, and great credit to the BMC and MoD for coming up with such an innovative response to the pandemic - it would have been much easier, I'm sure, just to close Range West for the year. Even more annoying that it was abused.

Here are some memories and pics from a few weather-affected excursions - maybe inspiration to jump through the logistical hoops to get briefed in person.

In reply to thread

Enough of the reasoned discussion, this is ukc after all.

Get the pitchforks out and let's have a witch hunt. Someone must know the guilty parties.

Who was it, was it you? 

Post edited at 06:17

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