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Climbing on Portland - A Locals perspective

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Now this is all a bit wordy.
If you don't have the patience, or don't typically like context or background information when looking into complex situations, and would rather begin to let fly with un-reasoned or emotive arguments as to why I and my community are wrong in sharing this sentiment please feel free to skip to the important stuff and let rip.
To anyone else wanting a bigger picture -->
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So last night the government offered us our latest shade of grey in response to COIVD-19 
I'm sure, like me, a lot of people instantly began to think how we can best interpret the 'new information' if you can call it that...  In such a way that will bring ME us we individuals some form of benefit with regards to travel exercise and seemingly most importantly climbing.

2020 has been a strange and scary time for a lot of people, lives turned upside down.
People loosing jobs left and right, families being ripped apart through death of loved ones as a result of a horrible virus. We've all seen the affect in one way or another.
Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones whose only real life negative consequences has been a slight loss of freedom, and no more crag/gym time.
Maybe the worst thing you've personally had to experience of the virus has only been some of the horrible videos online of people loosing it mentally, or witnessing the backlash of neighbours turning on one another in the heightened stress of it all.
Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones with a job and financial security, healthy families unaffected.

If the biggest problem in your life right now is a lack of climbing best check that privilege.

If we look hard enough into last nights address we can all find loop holes in the latest bunch of waffle from the king clown of circus land, but... when you think about it, that's kind of the point.
Keep the information vague and then that will deflect attention and responsibility from the government if/when things go wrong. 
The way I've interpreted the response is the frequency and duration of daily exercise has been increased within your immediate areas, but not necessarily the types of activities.

On the note of things having the potential to go wrong, I just want to offer my perspective on the return to climbing in Dorset, specifically Portland and the relationship between the local community and the climbing community at large.
I don't think Wednesday is quite the time to interpret this new noise as a free for all.
Especially not in a weird little place like Portland...

If you were to look at the general population of Portland you'll see a mixed bunch but a few common demographics, the vast majority of the general population is either ageing, retired or in some form of residential care.
This means a large ratio of the populace are particularly vulnerable to COVID.
These are the same people that have actively spent their entire lives in the immediate 2x4miles area, many who have contributed to 'their island' by building their homes, from of the rock they've quarried, or set up the businesses and shared infrastructure that the community share.
Most of the islanders families will have memories of times 'before a bridge' and most with living memory of the 1960's when the old railway track was the major form of access onto and off the 'Mainland' to you visitors that's the coastal path leading to the cuttings.

The majority of the younger generations made up primarily of , quarrymen, prison officers and staff, fisherman, Port workers and heavy tradespeople. You might imagine, the breed Sheffield steel workers of old, are comparable bunch but trust me we've got a very peculiar breed of 'local people'
All of which who have been particularly twitchy in recent weeks many who are caring for an elderly relative somewhere on the island.
Some have tragically have already lost loved ones and our open about it on Portland community pages.


Many others using social media for the area are actively slating climbers and visitors at any opportunity.

Now I'm not trying to scare monger or guilt trip, or sit on my high webbed footed seahorse, I'm just wanting to stress the potential repercussions of an influx of visitors to place like this.
I'm just trying to make you aware of a number of factors that play a part to the bigger picture when you are looking entering into the weird little social experiment of a community that is Portland.
This place is an almost autonomous community who bring social justice to its own, and occasionally when required to outsiders... We've stoned them weymouthers to death before, forcibly moving vehicles is not out of the ordinary on a normal day when pissing off the wrong person and moving people along certainly wouldn't be out of the question to an angered local.

I'm not suggesting this will be in fact be the case, but it wouldn't be out of the ordinary, and certainly wouldn't help the view of visitors or climbers in general.
Consider this: Portland is the kind of place where we have special words local words for tourists, its also the kind of place we have special words for locals who aren't even really 'locals' by a generation or two...
let that sentimentality sink in a minute. 

Now I'm a good 'ol country boy at heart, I don't know much about much but 2 things I do know is Portlanders and Climbers. I'm native have lived here some 29 years, my parents were both born here, and my grandparents before them.  I've climbed here over a decade and for the last 5 years very much worked on your behalf to maintain the climbing and public relations. If you are looking for a Portlander to be the butt of its 'my incestuous island' got webbed feet and a tail kinda jokes, I'm a pedigree specimen from the shallowest end of the gene pool.
Please take it from me, your visit to the island right now and the coming weeks can in a very real way risk upset to a great many people and have wider implications to the population of Portland and  future of climbing access in the area.
 

THE IMPORTANT STUFF:

The climbing access on Portland have been carefully negotiated developed and maintained over the past 30+ years.


There is a number of highly considerate and active climbers working on YOUR behalf as crag moderators, route developers, volunteers working towards increased access, and those working with or volunteering for one of the most active bolt funds in the country.
All this to support your availability to the crags and maintain the condition of the area and good relations in usual times.

We've got a couple of key landowners on the island, quarry owners who quite literally own the majority of Portland and mineral rights from the top soil to the edge of the cliffs, to the core of the earth.
These particular landowners have been attempting to capitalise on climbers for many years.
Believe me, I got shafted after spending over a year of my life working towards securing government funding to open a community run charity funded climbing wall for the area which was really a smokescreen to see how a certain few individuals may try to one day capitalise on the climbing as it exists - 'on their land'
Now isn't the time to give big business any excuse to further encroach on peoples access and freedoms to the outdoors by creating 'solutions'
Nor is it time to provoke the police measures already in place as a result bad climbing relations.
Especially consider the plant owners for boulder removal are in this category of those affected.

In early lock down we saw consecutive days of front page news that has ignited on going issues being members of the public on Portland and wider climbing community in Dorset.

Bird banned areas flaunted and drones flown around protected areas and private properties
People openly shitting in carparks 
People littering at the crags in general 
People arguing with locals 'their rights to be here' post lock down measures implemented
People travelling to camp overnight
People visiting crags in swanage the day after Portland was vocal about its closure and made the news.
Just last week a bunch of numpties got themselves stuck in a raft off the swanage coast requiring full rescue and all the emergency services trimmings.

We're already trying to combat the insane influx of accidents on Portland through inexperienced climbers coming into climbing through gym culture. The reality is these people are often just misguided and don't understand fully the consequence and bigger picture.
Damaged individuals is sadly one thing, but damaged communities is another scale.
We've already lost certain parking areas and access in the past lets not loose more through poor choices.


The fact of the situation on Portland at the moment as a result is this:

All coastal car parks are closed.
All community car parks are closed.
All usual climbing car parks are closed.

I dont mean a sign saying 'please don't park here' 
I mean literal boulders in situ blocking access. Turn up with a van it wont be possible, even in a small car it wont be possible to get from A to B unnoticed.
This is a direct result of impact from people ignoring the guidance, and wishes of the locals and the behaviour outlined above.

Its worth saying the usual streets and spots where people would tend to park up on a busy day are now gridlocked in full with the community who are grounded. The usual spaces you may find on the weekends are now taken up because people are no longer working or have joined families from else where. In searching for a sneaky spot you will be obviously identified as climbers and highly visible to twitchy net curtain types who frankly are scared and vulnerable and wont hesitate to lash out at you, or to the police, or to the council, the BMC or government. 
Puffys, big bags, scruffy, muscles colourful gear, battered cars or vans the locals know the type, they'll almost certainly recognise visitors when they see them.

Already the locals feel there is a real threat to our area by climbers
The RSPCA volunteers are actively monitoring Cheyne Weares daily as a result of the bird ban flaunts.
People in the villages on the east, west and southside of the island are actively patrolling the cliffs out of facebook social justice.

All non essential business are closed, and as much as I'd love to suggest we want tourism as many city dwelling visitor might suggest, we really don't need or want the custom right now.
We'd rather keep our our grannies safe and our crag access open in the future.

The last 6 weeks has seen a stellar effort by the community to maintain STRICT social distancing to protect the high volume of at people who are at a very real risk.
There has also been a huge effort made by local climbers to stand in unity and not to climb in areas local to use.  Even those like me who can literally see the crag from my bedroom window, and could have flaunted rules based on technicalities in the government advice but haven't out of respect and care for community at large.
The further reality is you are at a very real risk of affecting the population not only by the risk of spreading Corona but by further damaging the relationship islanders have with climbers.

You, yes you, the special climber.
The one who knows better, who wont get caught by the police, or seen by locals and, maybe even if they did catch you,  who wont be rude or vocal, who definitely doesn't have the virus to their knowledge.
The one who has to maintain some semblance of shape or grade to maintain their status in the scenes pecking order. The one whose got such a shallow life that the only thing that matters right now is climbing now.
I'm talking to you.
 

Just think twice before visiting, maybe wait until there is black and white consent from the Gov the BMC and the local communities.
We all know the expression that a reputation takes years to build and moments to destroy.
This is the very real situation on Portland.

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Very well said James.

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 George88 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

>Just think twice before visiting, maybe wait until there is black and white consent from the Gov the BMC and the local communities.

We know what consent from the Gov will look like, as we have it. 
We know what consent from the BMC will likely look like (a staggered approach I imagine)..
But what will consent look like from the local community? 

I gave the councils website a visit: https://portlandtowncouncil.gov.uk/ 

The car park section doesn't mention that any of them are closed. The activities section still lists climbing at a tourist attraction, and even suggests people should visit. The COVID section of the site doesn't mention anything about deterring tourism, climbing or otherwise. You'd think such a big issue would be reflected on the councils website. 

I think you'd be well served talking to your councilors and getting that website updated. There's literally no way to know this info about climbing being an issue without stumbling upon an angry local on either UKC or Facebook..

Also, the council can claim the car parks as businesses on google maps. They can then list them as open or shut. This would be a good way to alert out of towners that the area is shut for climbing, because who doesn't just shove the car park in the rockfax into google maps and set off when you're travelling for some climbing? I know I do. And if you do that and the place you want to go is listed as closed, google maps says 'This place might be closed by the time you get there', which might make people do some research. A google search that would hopefully turn up a blog post on the council website asking people to stay away. 

Best of luck this weekend. It's the biggest sport climbing destination in the South East, and Boris just gave the go ahead to visit. People will be there in droves. And if those car parks aren't reopened, it's going to be carnage. 

Post edited at 22:09
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harley.marshall8 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I can  emphasis totally with your predicament and some of the people who have posted on here display a dont give a f**k attitude to others.  Personally I feel if you want to go climbing, go, but go locally don't shout about it and stay out of vunerable communities. 

I live in the Lakes and plenty have talked of coming here to climb, giving the impression of no thought for others, just i have some ordained right to climb.  This area is one of the highest rates in the country for Covid 19 and there is an ageing population and to visit here to climb is selfish, irresponsible and plainly arrogant. There are many people here scared and worried by a sudden influx of people here, local police have asked people to stay away, Cumbria tourism have asked people to stay away, so stay away.  Equally the car parks are shut likewise with huge logs across them and blocking up lanes and laybys will only piss people off.  There also seems to be some idea that local people may not be welcoming and that they are wrong, maybe individuals should be reversing that and asking themselves if they are right.  People may say this is the fun police in action, or over reacting but maybe just maybe it's time to stop and think about where you are visiting and the imapctbthat may have on small rural communities. It's not about leaving Covid on gates or rock types but about the people you come into contact with and the people they come into contact with.  The shop owner, petrol station workers, possible health staff, rural workers and locals walking and going about their business. I love seeing tourists enjoying the Lakes and welcome anyone to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and nature we have here but is it really the time.  Like I say if you want to climb go climbing if it sits right with you, but please consider the communities you may be visiting and the people who live there. That's just my opinion on the matter and it may not be ok with some and I welcome any arguments or abuse that may come from this post. I don't want to guilt trip anyone or suggest the Lakes is closed but just for people to have a bit of thought about the possible repercussions of their own choices and actions.

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thank you, well written and a clear explanation of the situation on Portland. 

Your writing could be edited and applied to most, if not all of the climbing areas in the UK.

I know we are all excited but now is not the time. 

The dislike button is located below. 

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Well said. Glad I am living where guidance is clearer, protecting the people. Yes is frustrating, I have spent the last four decades walking or climbing, but the safety of all is more important. 

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In reply to George88:

I appreciate the council website in regards to parking is outdated.
That is because councils have had to close to and work limited hours, ya know to protect peoples lives.
That also why I've created this dialogue to spread awareness to people wanting to visit Portland that it is not OK at the moment.

Sadly there have been deaths related to COVID within the population of Portland. 
Its a small community and those affects are felt by many.
As a result the community has done incredibly well to maintain a strict lock down and a safe environment for the known majority of vulnerable residents.
The responsible and experienced climbers of the area have understood that stated their views that this is not an OK to visit just yet, at least until a definitive 'yes have it lads has been issued' from at minimum the BMC and at best the Gov.

The bigger picture is maintaining positive dialogue within the community of Portland.
WE DO NOT WANT TO LOOSE ACCESS LONG TERM
Especially when in recent years there has been an increasingly negative attitude towards climbers as a result of action even be it through ignorance neglect, accident or injury.

The main message i'm trying to communicate is Portland frankly isn't open, even if you did go choose to against the rules its just not going to be possible without some form of negative repercussions.

Even if you did make it here without being stopped by the by police along the motorway or A31 or in Weymouth, you'd most likely be stopped by the police patrolling the island.


Even if you made it past all that, you will most certainly be fingered as a visitor by the locals and reported when trying to find a non existent parking spot.
The reality is you'll then most likely be faced by an angry community between which ever residential areas you choose to park your obviously unfamiliar car at.
I imagine ticket warden and police will have a busy days in dealing with those who visit ahead of an announcement from the BMC and more importantly the government. 


I understand why you may be frustrated George, and may feel singled out.
Especially considering the responses and backlash you received earlier today from the wider Dorset climbing community.
Its not worth spreading the message that its OK to be visiting Portland out of spite or ignorance.
People of the area are trying to maintain a bigger access issues and serious public relations issues as a result of ignorant or self centred actions like you are suggesting.

All we are asking as a locals, and as a climbing community, is wait until a definitive answer is issued to minimise the ammo given to local people to impact on our current efforts in regards to access
 

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 George88 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

No real need to bring any earlier conversations into this, and have another go. It's unnecessary. My above comment did not advocate climbing in Portland, it just gave some easy and common sense suggestions that could be quite easily implemented and help limit flows of climbers into Portland. 

All of the suggestions are easily done from home, and don't require anything more than a computer with an internet connection.

In fact, if you don't want to wait for the council you can edit the opening hours of the car parks yourself. But you'll need to provide google with photo evidence of the blocked car parks. You can go on the car park on google maps and click 'add business hours', attach the photo, and then set all the times to closed for every day. 

Post edited at 23:12
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 Cusco 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thank you for that excellent, informative post giving a local perspective.

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I don’t think the “yes have it lads” will ever come from either the BMC or specially the Government. What we got from the government is as much we’ll get, as in “you can travel, you can do unlimited exercise”. They will never say “it’s ok to go climbing now” What I’m getting to is that the Portland locals might never be ok with climbers coming back until there’s a vaccine, as I think they never wanted us in the first place, we are a nuissance to them. I agree with you that it might be too early, but if it’s not OK when the PM says so, when will it be and who wil be in charge to say so?  Would it be the council? 

Post edited at 23:18
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 Gear Lover 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Very well written, and I completely agree with you!

Now is not the time!

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 Mr Lopez 11 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Are the cliffs privately owned? Who owns them? Do you know?

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In reply to Mr Lopez:

Most of the land is owned by either Albion Stone or Portland Stone, the two main quarry operator I believe. There’s part that is owned by the Crown as well, but not sure which bit. 

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 Mr Lopez 12 May 2020
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Thanks. You are right, it seems the whole coast/cliffs is owned by the Crown Estate but they have leased some quarryable (Is that a word?) land to those 2 companies so they'd be the defacto owners i guess.

Still have trouble wrapping my head around things like seacliffs beng owned...

p.s. Found this map which is really interesting http://map.whoownsengland.org/

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

>Found this map which is really interesting http://map.whoownsengland.org/ 

Brilliant. I've been looking for something like this. 

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I may be wrong here but I suspect a lot of the long term resentment is around parking and, lately, van camping. It seems to me that the council may be missing a trick here. If they provided more parking facilities (with a reasonable day rate, say £5) near the common access points, people would use them and over time they would pay for themselves. A permit scheme could be used so that locals don't need to pay.

If the council doesn't want to do it, perhaps the land owners should? I doubt they can prevent access as such (well they could put up a fence, which would cost a fair bit and people would make holes in it) but there's nothing wrong with them setting up paid for parking facilities, especially if that improves the parking situation elsewhere.

Of course some people still won't pay but if the car parks are conveniently situated I think they'll be popular as climbers are pretty lazy. The car park above Coastguard always seems to be busy, at any rate.

They could also use local by laws to ban van camping and ask the police to enforce this. It won't take much enforcement action to scare the van dwellers away. Again, the council or landowners could open a designated van dwelling area with some basic facilities. If it's reasonably priced, people would use it.

Perhaps the numbers won't add up to make this feasible, I don't know. The fundamental issue is it's a very popular climbing area (not least because it's close to London) but it has very limited facilities and the 'mainland' feels like a long way away, so people don't go back there to find better facilities.

There is certainly no excuse to breach bird bans or shit anywhere other than a proper toilet.

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 Mark Stevenson 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Extremely well written in many ways.

All too sadly, I understand human nature but an eloquent explanation of irrational fear does nothing to change the fact it is as depressing now as it has been throughout human history.

I completely understand the views of Portland locals (and Cumbria locals, Malham locals etc. etc.) about outsiders and climbers - it's exactly same views about "others" that have plagued humanity for generations.

Don't worry, I won't be coming to Portland any time soon, the rational arguments about preserving future access are too strong.

My real worry is not about climbing, it is far more profound. At the end of this, will the UK actually be a country worthy of the name, as opposed to an increasingly disparate collection of embittered regions and communities locked in mutual antipathy and disdain?

Nothing I've seen in the last four years and especially in the last four days gives me any real cause for optimism. 

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Hi Pymn, I hope you and your family are well.

You mention that climbers will get stopped by police at some point in the journey to the crags or get fingered by locals. Very possibly, but the, stupid and not yet appropriate in my opinion, information from the government is that travelling any distance for exercise is OK and now legal. I suspect the police won't be stopping cars as it is now legal to travel, according to the government.

The obvious rule about any group from the same household will be hard to prove or disprove.

I agree that there could be some friction between Portland residents and climbers in the coming days, but the fact remains it is legal now to travel.

Regarding land ownership and access to the crags, most of the cliffs come under the CRoW act and access is a legal right. Perhaps that can be temporarily stopped by local authorities in times such as this I don't know.

I don't know what the answer is. Personally I wouldn't consider visiting Portland and will stick to my woodie for a while longer.

As I mentioned in another thread, I've never had a problem / conflict with locals and there needs to be some consideration at the moment.

See you on the other side.

TJB. 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Are the crags privately owned or Crow land? 

EDIT: Never mind, have found the maps which show the cuttings is the only crag within the Coastal Margin and therefore the only one you have a *right* to go to.

Post edited at 09:23
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 AJM 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

How long do you think the community needs to come round to the idea of visitors returning again pymm?

Everyone seems to have interpreted the government guidance as allowing for hillwalking again - the fact that Cumbria tourist board and police are appealing to people's consciences, the fact that YDNP are reluctantly opening the car parks and so on - these aren't the actions of people who think they have the power to stop people coming and walking; you don't appeal for people to look at themselves in the mirror if you have the power to ban them. I can't really see how the BMC can conclude that you *can't* go hillwalking in line with the guidance, although they may still try and push the argument that you *shouldn't* and in many circumstances and in the short term they might be right. I am dubious personally that we will get more climbing specific permission from the government than the information in the current guidelines because we're small fry. I therefore figure we can either anchor ourselves to "you can, but should you?", assuming that we're a bit like hillwalking, or we can say that it's safe to climb when the outdoor gyms and kids playgrounds reopen, or whatever - but I can't see a specific green light for rock climbing.

You probably know better than me, but I'd be surprised if a BMC stamp of approval made portlanders any less nervous or reluctant - would it?

It therefore feels to me like the key is how long before the community are ready for people to come back. As I say above I feel like there's not much legally to stop the walkers should they wish to, but climbing access has fewer legal protections versus closing public rights of way so climbers need to be more circumspect. 

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In reply to Ramon Marin:

I think the local people will be fine when the governments statement is obvious.

If people dance around loop holes and arrive prematurely it's going to cause bad relations.

Which will enevitably lead to further issues for the entire climbing community whether big or small.

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Had a quick look at the birding community's stance.  Looks like birding from the weekend is welcomed and Portland Bird Observatory, along with car park, is open with responsible social distancing.

Couldn't find issues that the local community being sensitive about people outside of the Weymouth or the island being a concern.

Obviously, inconsiderate parking doesn't help at any time which all visitors need to be very mindful about.

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In reply to AJM:

I think locals will be happiest if they see climbers returning in lower numbers, this probably applies to all the other outdoor user groups as well. As someone who lives here I am hoping to go out at the weekend with the camera and take photos of mostly quiet cliffs that I can post on the various Portland facebook pages with a comment to the effect of "Looks like the climbers are staying away."

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 AJM 12 May 2020
In reply to johnl:

> I think locals will be happiest if they see climbers returning in lower numbers, this probably applies to all the other outdoor user groups as well

Do you mean in the short term, or permanently? 

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In reply to AJM:

If the BMC gives a statement that climbing is fair game then I'd suggest thats a perfectly fine time to go. If the government states you can travel cross county cross country to undertake riskier sports I would suggest it's an OK time to go. 

At the moment it just seems like it's OK to be out for longer than before. Venues are still closed team sports are still off I'd suggest treating the cliff as a venue as that's effectively what it is. 

The problem is anyone visiting will be met by a community that's been strictly locked down. They don't think it's OK to be out in their own streets.

Then what, they will be swamped by every over eager climbing in the south. 

Imagine this.  Your entire town has locked down to the point of a ghost town for 6 solid weeks. I mean proper locked down you'd walk the entire 5 mile loop of the top of the Island past some 10,000 peoples home on top hill and maybe see 2 other people. That's been the reality Portland for weeks. 

I know the cities have been business as usual to an extent but not here. 

Now imagine thousands of new people trying to squeeze into a space that is no longer even half as accessible to visitor as before. At a time when the vast majority of the residents are on high alert and out for blood or atleast a common enemy to channel their frustrations into. 

That will enevitably be the climbers when the great unwashed descend upon the old folks...

To damn near every resident of Portland it's going to seem the every ass hole within the south is trying to squeeze into their back garden which will enevitably be the case as all the roads and carparks are full. 

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In reply to Misha:

The problem resentment isn't parking. 

It's people... 

The huge influx of people 

From everywhere 

To a quiet town of vulnerable people 

Who band together and criminilise or demonize in an instant. 

What I'm trying to get at is don't let 'climbers' be the one to take the full brunt of the angry local people. 

We've had it good here in the past and I appreciatetthe thought of paid parking but if people would just manage themselves respectfully we wouldn't even need to consider resorting such things. 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Except that the government advice clearly states that outdoor facilities are to open, such as basketball courts etc. etc.  Why is a cliff any different? well, other than it being free to use and publicly accessible and no one has the authoristy to tell you no (for public access crags).

Just as the other side of your argument are finding their own interpretation and loopholes, so are you.

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In reply to La benya:

Cuttings would be sincerely ill advised as it's the most obviously accessible to the public. 

It's where weve had the most recent vocal issues and arguments with locals after climbers were here in the first week with no solid reason to be. 

The whole situation that this thread exists.

Plus cuttings in summer time are you mad 😂 you might as well go find a bar of soap closer to home 

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 AdrianC 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

Maybe the government advice isn't very good?

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In reply to La benya:

Basket ball court is a public funded space. Provided to a local population. 

Climbing areas are a mass effort maintained unofficially by the wider climbing community.

You wanna play basketball in your park fine, but don't bring the entire league on tour to the old folks home. 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I agree.  but is access at risk as its CRoW land?  The other coast seems to be private land and therefore access could be rescinded?  Cuttings not so much.

Going forwards (I agree climbers shouldn't have been there in the past during lockdown), after Wednesday the locals don't really have a leg to stand on, do they?

I get the whole trying to appease the locals, but really, kinda... tough tits. Its everyone's county and if people have a right to be there, then they can be there (sensible parking and not shitting places beside).

I live by the beach, but I don't go around slashing the tyres of londoners when they come down on a weekend because i view it as my god given right.

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 cb294 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

We have your kind of egotists here in Germany as well. Asking people to stay away from the tourist spot they live in, but of course taking their "right" to use the infrastructure of the nearby cities for granted. People from Munich were asked not to go hiking around the lakes in the Alpine foothills, but people living in Starnberg district were of course expecting to continue working or shopping in Munich, or to be admitted to a city hospital.

They can simply f*ck off until they realize that solidarity must always work both ways.

CB

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In reply to AJM:

Short term. Obviously. 

When there is consideredtto be a killer virus going around, killing old people, it's not really a great idea to put a sudden influx of thousands into a tiny community of - old people.

Even folks don't get sick or die, they will get scared and they will look for an enemy. That will be anyone coming to Portland, that will most likely be climbers.

It used to be beach goers and dog walkers were the main visitors to the island but now and especially in these circumstances it will be climbers rushing in at the first opportunity. 

If they are the first target we'll be fighting this fight for years. 

If there is any kind of resurgence or additional controls implemented long term in the future climbers will take the hit. 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

That's a really poor argument.

as I said, I understand what you're trying to do. but if there's one thing that will really put a lot of peoples backs up and cause them to throw the V your way, its appointing yourselves  the SJW branch of the peoples police and telling them what they can and cant do, despite the LAW to the contrary.

if the situation requires it, why not go and marshal this Wednesday/ weekend.  Infrom people of the situation, ask them to be considerate and flag and actual rule breaking (poor parking, shitting, littering etc), but most importantly, let people climb.

Post edited at 11:28
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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thank you for illustrating why people shouldn’t climb in Portland at the moment. I hope everyone takes note.

Same goes for a lot of the other great climbing venues around the country.

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

>Now imagine thousands of new people trying to squeeze into a space that is no longer even half as accessible to visitor as before.

That's imposed by the islanders themselves. They don't need to keep the car parks closed, that's their choice. And they're not even doing it in a smart manner that will deter people from coming, as shown by the fact they've not even alerted anyone to the fact that the car parks are closed and climbing shouldn't resume. 

If someone travels 150 miles, and a car park is blocked off, they're not going to turn around and drive home. They're going to park wherever they can and go climbing. 
 

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 AJM 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I can imagine that coming out of a locked down world is going to be a bit strange and scary for a lot of folk, which was why I asked how long you thought it was going to take.

The way I see it, rightly or wrongly and almost certainly in a poorly managed way lockdown is going to phase out - furlough will end, people will go back to work, (eventually) pubs and cafes will re-open. At some point something that bears a passing resemblance to old normality might resume albeit some bits will never be quite the same and it might be in the middle of a recession/depression. There's a clear start point of a fully locked down Portland and at some point in the future theres a Portland that looks a bit more like it did in January. But it's all going to happen on a scale. As far as I've understood it outdoor transmission risk is fairly low compared to indoor which is presumably why outdoor exercise is an easy first step and a relaxation of travel distance considered fairly easy too (no extra transmission risk on the journey and the same outdoor risk when you get there, seems to be the argument. Personally I'd be happy if it were moderately limited as the French and so on did, but then I can say that because I can get to nice places in 20 miles and Portland in what, 35-40 so those scale of restrictions wouldn't actually impact me). Personally the return to workplaces I would find far more troubling.

But if the end point feels inevitable, then that's not to say different people will want to take it at different paces. If the community on Portland isn't ready for exercise to start again and by extension for people to visit for exercise - which it obviously sounds like they won't be tomorrow - then the obvious question is when.

Just because I know text isn't always that clear, I'm trying to ask the question genuinely rather than being argumentative. I've realised that whilst I know who you are I'm not 100% sure if you will tag the username to the person the other way round, but either way I thought it was worth saying just to make sure.

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 mik82 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I agree with what you've written but unfortunately I don't think UKC reaches a lot of the wider climbing community.

The weather is looking good this weekend so Portland will probably be inundated with climbers -many of whom will park anywhere if the car parks are closed. Someone who's driven from London isn't going to turn around and drive all the way back straight away.

Access to crags can be withdrawn pretty quickly - some images of obstructed driveways, limited social distancing at crags and maybe a cliff rescue ought to do it.

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to AJM:

He did actually answer, as I asked the same question. He said:

>The responsible and experienced climbers of the area have understood that stated their views that this is not an OK to visit just yet, at least until a definitive 'yes have it lads has been issued' from at minimum the BMC and at best the Gov.

So when the BMC gives the go ahead, which they might very well do today in a limited capacity. 

How much the NIMBY's of Portland care about the words of the BMC... Well, I have my doubts. And either way, I doubt those boulders blocking the car parks are getting removed before tomorrow so chaos is all but guaranteed. 

Hopefully the islanders can be introspective when assessing the parking problems, and remove the boulders to relieve the stress on residential parking. 

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 r0b 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

Hopefully climbers can be introspective when assessing whether they should travel outside their local area to indulge in their hobby. 

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 climbercool 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:  In many ways banning travel to outdoor areas is counterproductive, a key part of fighting this infection will rest on facilitating 65 million people to relax/exercise in sparsely populated areas.  The more areas like portland and the lakes that say "we don't want visitors" the more it will force people from densely populated areas to continue exercising in their crowded local parks of for them all to start converging on the few national parks that are open.  If Joe bloggs stays in London, exercises locally and infects four people in his local crowded park the country will overall be in a much worse place than if Joe Blogs travels 6 hours to the lakes and infects 1 local that he meets on the mountain.  We need to defeat this infection as a nation not as isolated communities and allowing people to travel to emptier areas will be an important part of this. 

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 climbercool 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

The only real justification for banning visitors is if there is an extremely vulnerable local population, this needs to be considered quantitatively however because every community can say"yes yes we are vulnerable because my gran lives nearby" Every community in the country will want to be the one that is allowed to travel freely themselves but prevents visitors from coming in, but it won't work like that.

However having said all that, i fully get that it would be an utter p.r disaster if it were climbers pushing local communities to open, this message needs to come from the government and therefore i suppose i fully support you suggesting climbers stay away from Portland right now

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 EdS 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Similar to the Dales. 

I walk my dog through Guisecliff Woods most days, but not once even thought about a spot of climbing there. 

Likewise friends in most of the Dales villages with climbing or caving on their door step. 

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 gethin_allen 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I sympathise with the sentiment and agree that people should really give the climbing a rest for the while. But, I think you're starting to discuss climbers like they are a special unique group. Much like cyclists are discussed in the media and seen as worthy of being close passed and run off the roads because we "don't pay road tax" or some other spurious case. Climbers are just people who climb. Beyond this we span the whole community.

You're making a lot of assumptions. Who are you to determine the impact that this virus has had on such a broad group.

There will be people who have lost their livelihoods (any guides working at the moment?), People who have lost close family members or are just terrified about their family (anyone here got elderly parents or family with health issues). There may even be a few fatalities among climbers.

Some people crap in the carparks, some people park badly, some people are just dicks. It's really not helpful to blame all people who climb for this. And then to use this to in some way justify criminal actions against people of their possessions is just stupid. I get annoyed by people parking outside my house while going to the local pub, I don't go and smash up their cars, I petition for parking controls through my councilor. 

let's be constructive and considerate, not destructive and small minded.

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to climbercool:

> The only real justification for banning visitors is if there is an extremely vulnerable local population, this needs to be considered quantitatively however because every community can say"yes yes we are vulnerable because my gran lives nearby" Every community in the country will want to be the one that is allowed to travel freely themselves but prevents visitors from coming in, but it won't work like that.

Apparently 25% of Portlanders are 60+ years old. Got that from the wiki, but the citation is a dead link to the Portland council website so just going to have to take it on face value. 

In England and Wales, 22% of people are 60+ years old. Got that from Gov.uk

So there's a discrepancy there from the national average, which means Portland is likely unusually old and likely to be a more vulnerable area. Especially as cities are often much younger, and bring down the national average. 

How much that really matters? Who knows. I think general good advice for anyone travelling for any form of exercise is to not visit any shops or petrol stations in the local area, and stock up at home with everything you need. Minimize possible vectors wherever possible. An old dear isn't likely to be taking whippers on that 7b project of yours. They might touch that packet of crisps you picked up at the supermarket and then decided not to buy. 

Post edited at 12:46
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 Will Beaumont 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

I'm not awair of a law that allows us to climb on Portland. As mentioned by others earlier access to most of the cliffs is by land owner permission (rather than right of access) which can easily be withdrawn. 

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 climbercool 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

Thanks for that George, would be very difficult to ever decide how old a community should be before being considered vulnerable, 25% compared to 22%  doesn't seem that vulnerable though.

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 climbercool 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

> How much that really matters? Who knows. I think general good advice for anyone travelling for any form of exercise is to not visit any shops or petrol stations in the local area, and stock up at home with everything you need. Minimize possible vectors wherever possible. An old dear isn't likely to be taking whippers on that 7b project of yours. They might touch that packet of crisps you picked up at the supermarket and then decided not to buy. 

These could be real solutions, a compromise could be for a remote community to ban outsiders from using there supermarkets/chip shops etc but not an outright ban on visiting.

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 Skip 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

> How much that really matters? Who knows. I think general good advice for anyone travelling for any form of exercise is to not visit any shops or petrol stations in the local area, and stock up at home with everything you need. Minimize possible vectors wherever possible. An old dear isn't likely to be taking whippers on that 7b project of yours. They might touch that packet of crisps you picked up at the supermarket and then decided not to buy. 

>

Completely sensible.

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Will Beaumont:

Part of the east coast is CRoW land, which means it is public access and you therefore do not need the any landowners permission (like village greens, national parks etc). This Law guarantees access, but only for The Cuttings it seems as the other areas are outside of the scope of CRoW.

I would agree that it might be best to avoid privately owned crags.

Post edited at 13:10
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 fred99 12 May 2020
In reply to :

Will people from Portland be isolating themselves and not leaving the "island" ?

For that matter will the populations of any of these areas that have gone rabid regarding "visitors" be remaining within their own "self-decided" boundaries ?

For the above I also include trips to Supermarkets, Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries, Chemists and so forth.

"No man is an island" someone once said, and whilst some people may well complain that their little part of England (or Scotland, Wales Northern Ireland for that matter) doesn't have sufficient medical facilities to deal with mass illness, it is almost certain that THEIR ill will end up being taken to facilities within the environs of larger populations, whether that be the next town or a major city.

How would they feel if they were deprived access to Supermarkets, Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries, Chemists and so forth that WERE NOT within their own little "fiefdom" ?

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 PaulW 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

I would guess that if you exclude London and other cities which tend to have a younger population  most of England and Wales would be about the same as Portland.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of travel I don't think it's a special case at all.

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 fred99 12 May 2020
In reply to climbercool:

> Thanks for that George, would be very difficult to ever decide how old a community should be before being considered vulnerable, 25% compared to 22%  doesn't seem that vulnerable though.


I wouldn't be surprised to find that most South Coast (and hence prettier and warmer) areas have an above national average number of retirees - it's what people do when they retire. How many people has anyone on here ever heard saying something like ; "I'm retiring next year, going to settle down to enjoy my days in a terraced house in the middle of Birmingham". (Or Salford, Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds - you get the idea).

Mathematically I wouldn't have said that 25% rather than 22% was significant anyway.

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 Will Beaumont 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

Yes I agree cuttings is ok to access (due to CRoW), but i still wouldn't recommend climbing as the majority of the island is private access and this may be put at risk if we piss off the local community to much (where ever we climb).

Also, although CRoW gives us a right to access I don't know if give us the right to bolt. The owners could be well within there rights to break out the angle grinder, even at the cuttings. Extreme I admit but it has happened elsewhere. 

Post edited at 13:27
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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Will Beaumont:

No, it wont give permission to bolt. They have as much right to remove the bolts as we have to put them there.  Effectively they are lost property.  'They' can remove them and hand them over to the police or the owner.  If they keep them or damage them, technically its theft or damage to TPP.

The whole thing is trespass law;

"Consent is a defence to a trespass claim. Although most consent is express (explicit), consent can also be implied. Generally, implied consent can arise from custom, usage, or conduct. It can also arise from inaction.... Implied consent can be a defence in both civil and criminal trespass lawsuits..."

You could argue that due to inaction we have been given consent to bolt. Its hardly a secret act and it would be difficult to argue they were unaware people climbed there.

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 AdrianC 12 May 2020
In reply to fred99:

I feel sure that you can't possibly be equating access to supermarkets, hospitals etc. with access to climbing but the more I read your post, the more it seems you are.  You seem to be arguing that because people from Portland are allowed to go to hospital, we should be allowed to climb there.

Please tell me I'm wrong.

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to AdrianC:

He went a bit far in his comment, but he does have an overall point. Are Portlanders going to venture off their island to enjoy Waymouth beach for example? I imagine many will. 

And just as it'd be unrealistic and out of order for anyone to stop them from enjoying some outside time elsewhere in the country, maybe the same is true for Portlanders thinking no one can visit their island to enjoy some outside time? 

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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

I would define them as litter rather than lost property since the owner is well aware of where and when he placed that piece of metal in its position.People who leave litter on someone's property are in no position to complain about the victim disposing of it. If someone dumped a kid's trampoline in my garden I would have no qualms about cutting it up before taking it to my local amenity site.

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 Will Beaumont 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

Interesting. I'm guessing it would be pretty hard for them to remove them without damage!

I'd still not recommend going there though, as it risks access to a lot of other venues.

I hate not climbing and live about half an hour from Portland, but I'm not planning on being out. Maybe I'm being over cautious, but I'd rather not risk years of future access for the sake of a few days climbing now.

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

You might, but its not for you to decide.

if the owner has the intention of returning for the item, then it isnt abandoned. 

once you leave your car, do you just assume someone will come along and throw it away?

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

I think no court would ever accept the fact that you were intending to return for an item you glued into a wall 2 inches deep. 

I think this conversation is generally silly because of the reality of the situation. Any land owner cutting bolts can just say 'No idea who put the bolts there, no idea who cut the bolts down. Maybe it was the same person?' and how is anyone going to know otherwise? 

Maybe you're legally right, but in a practical sense it makes no difference. Bolts get cut. It's a thing that happens. Can you point to anyone ever winning any legal action against someone who has cut bolts? 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

Totally agree, moot point. however just because the situation might sound silly, doesn't mean it isn't lawful. There's plenty of weird and wonderful things in law which don't sound sensible.  Know of some unused land at the bottom of your garden which someone else owns?  Just fence it in and in 20 years its yours.  mental.

A similar situation is a wheel clamp.  You cannot cut it off as its not your property, even though its around your property. Also, there are plenty of other examples of sporting goods left long term in situ- doesnt mean people can go around nicking them.... goal posts, cricket nets, rugby scrum machines, golf flags etc etc.

If bolt chopping got bad enough, i can imagine a situation where bolters decided to get evidence of the cutting happen and use it to force the police into action.  Hopefully it wont ever get to that point.

Post edited at 14:24
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 Mr Lopez 12 May 2020
In reply to George88:

> An old dear isn't likely to be taking whippers on that 7b project of yours.

Ah, you don't know True Portlanders do you? A proper born and bred Portlander will be warming up in your 8a projects by age 80, while carrying their quarrying picks passed down from fathers to sons for 20 generations, and do that in the harshest gales while wearing nothng but shorts in the middle of winter, as summers are better served by hunting outsiders to feed them to the pigs. True story

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 Graham Booth 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I'm guessing from the 26 dislikes, there are at least "26" special climbers on this forum.....pathetic, 300+ are still dying everyday.

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Graham Booth:

Is it special to abide by the law?  Or are you special for thinking differently?

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 cb294 12 May 2020
In reply to AdrianC:

No, it is essential to equate these things.

Taking the infrastructure of other regions for granted (both before and especially during the crisis), but then trying to monopolize access to nature even after legally restrictions are lifted is arseholery of the highest level.

CB

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 Iamgregp 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thanks for the insiders view on this, I appreciate the time and effort you've spent communicating this and respoding to questions.

I won't be visiting Portland or any other area for quite some time, until I'm absolutely sure that it's fair game so no arguments from me.

However I hear what you're saying about Portland and it's aged population, and I'm afraid that whenever climbing is fair game with so many London and SE based climbers cooped up for so long Portland is going to be flooded with climbers at some point. 

Maybe not this weekend, but it will happen, and probably whilst social distancing measures are still in place, so that's going to cause a lot of anxiety for Portland's at risk groups and their families.

Now that we've agreed the climbers will come - and they will, even if it's delayed they will some at some point, you might as well be King Canute ordering back the tide as trying to stop this - we need to think about what can we do to minimize the risk and anxiety caused to Portland's residents.

For a start I'd suggest:

Turn up, climb, leave - You're unlikely to find any of Portland's elderly at your crag so not going to the shops, pubs, amenities etc so minimise the amount of places you could possibly transfer infection.  No camping, no staying overnight in your van.  

Have a plan B - If you get to Portland and all the car parks are full be prepared to drive elsewhere rather than parking where you might annoy someone.  

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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

If I leave my car on someone else's property I usually pay for that service and that gives me permission to be there.

If someone tosses a lager can on my lawn I assume they don't want it and so dispose of it.

Your original classification was "lost" property and if the owner knows where it is and intends to return for it then it isn't lost.

Given my example of a trampoline, what makes you say it isn't my decision what to do with it? (Or a fridge, or a washing machine).

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

So I can trash your car if you park it on the road, because i deem it to be abandoned? not how it works, is it.

Even if you parked it on my front lawn i would still have to go through the correct process in getting it removed.  Believe me an abandoned car is really difficult to remove legally.

if there was a trampoline in you garden and you destroyed it, and someone came around and said 'oi, that got blown out of my garden, i wanted it back, you had no right' you would be liable for the cost.  Simple.

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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

No, it's not simple, otherwise your point would also apply to a fridge or a washing machine  or a mattress or a car tyre.

And the can of lager. "Oy. There was some left in that when I chucked it there yesterday, Pay up"

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

It does apply.  if someone came back and requested their item returned and you had destroyed it, you would be liable.  you cannot decide what to do with someone elses property. the item in question is irrelevant, although someone is unlikely to request their larger can back.

But if they did you would be liable for the cost of that item....about 1p.

I know its hard to accept if you don't agree with the law...but it is the law.  Do a google for how to remove an abandoned car. Or whether you are allowed to keep found items.

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Anyway.... off topic.

Go climbing. Be considerate but don't be bullied from your rights.

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 deepsoup 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

> if someone came back and requested their item returned and you had destroyed it, you would be liable. 

Even if that person had already by their own actions made it physically impossible to return their item intact?

So in this analogy of yours from above:

> if there was a trampoline in you garden and you destroyed it, and someone came around and said 'oi, that got blown out of my garden, i wanted it back, you had no right' you would be liable for the cost.  Simple.

The trampoline wasn't blown into your garden.  They carried it there themselves, dug a hole and partially buried it in a big block of concrete.  Still simple?

Post edited at 15:34
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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

Leaving aside illegally parked cars , which seem to constitute a different category, a short google about rubbish being left on private land tells me that is the responsibility of the landowner and no-one else -not the police, not the council, not the Environment Agency - to remove or dispose of that rubbish. 

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

I've already mentioned goal posts, wheel clamps, abandoned cars (try moving an automatic with 4 blown tyres without the keys).  The reason is, there is always a legitimate reason to leave your property somewhere, so this is protected (you left your car there for the night and then got arrested and you cannot get back to it for a few days).  that doesn't mean its sensible or always the most common reason.

as i said a) sorry you dont agree but that doesnt change the fact and b) off topic- climb if you want

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

yes, but it is how you define rubbish.  A functioning fridge might be either.

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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

As the property owner faced with the rubbish dumped there it would be my definition of rubbish that was applied since it would be my resposibility to dispose of it.

And I can't really agree with the excuse that there's always a reason for leaving your property somewhere.

Anyway, as you pointed out, off topic. We wouldn't have spent time on this if someone upthread hadn't started spouting piffle about it being an offence to chop bolts.

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 deepsoup 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

> sorry you dont agree but that doesnt change the fact

I didn't say I don't agree, I asked a question.  Quite a reasonable question I thought.  If you can't answer it without perceiving it as some kind of attack perhaps you're not quite a well informed as you think.

None of the things you have offered as an analogy are permanently fixed and by their very nature impossible to remove whilst keeping them intact.  If a glue-in bolt were a wheel clamp, it would be some kind of wheel clamp that is welded to the car and can only be removed by grinding it off.

Wheel clamping is no longer legal, when it was there was no offence in removing the clamp if you could get it off without damaging it.  You did have to give it back if asked, but could actually charge for storing it in the meantime.  But if it were impossible for anybody, including the owner of the clamp to remove it without damaging it, how then could it be an offence to damage it while removing it from your own property?

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 cb294 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Just as an aside, it is an offence to chop legally placed bolts on the continent (certainly in Germany and Austria, AFAIK in France).

CB

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

jeez.  Read the CPS definition for criminal damage and then tell me if there is anything in there that states 'unless it has been left on someone elses land'.  The bolts are clearly being used and thus someones property. It cannot be reasonably held that they are abandoned or 'trash' and any attempt to remove or damage them would be criminal.  That is not to say that the act of securing them to the wall itself would not also be criminal.

last one I promise.  go. climb.

Post edited at 16:18
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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

>

13.29. "They have as much right to remove the bolts as we have to put them there"

16.12. "....any attempt to remove or damage them would be criminal".

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 deepsoup 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

> It cannot be reasonably held that they are abandoned or 'trash' and any attempt to remove or damage them would be criminal.

You gave lots of examples of things and argued that it would be criminal to damage them, not to remove them.  But in no case was the thing impossible to remove without damaging it.  Not the wheel clamp, not the abandoned car with four flat tyres.

I see your argument that it would be criminal to damage someone else's property left on your land, but you've offered nothing to suggest it is unlawful to remove it.  I just don't see how someone would have grounds for complaint that their thingamabob, whatever it is, was damaged while being removed from someone else's property to precisely the same degree that they would be obliged to damage it themselves in order to claim it back.

You're the one making an assertion here, I'm just asking questions.  A genuine question at 15:33, I was interested to see what the answer was and you seemed to know what you were on about.  Less so now.  Jeez yourself.

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

"They have as much right to remove the bolts as we have to put them there".  the statement is correct.  Neither party has a right.  get it?

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 La benya 12 May 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

You asked me to explain. I explained. several times. You chose not to believe my explanation. fine- go and make your own mind up.

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 Tom V 12 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

Yes, you seem to be saying

 no one has a right to put them there (no mention of criminality)

no one has a right to remove them (criminal offence)

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 fred99 12 May 2020
In reply to AdrianC:

> I feel sure that you can't possibly be equating access to supermarkets, hospitals etc. with access to climbing but the more I read your post, the more it seems you are.  You seem to be arguing that because people from Portland are allowed to go to hospital, we should be allowed to climb there.

> Please tell me I'm wrong.

You're wrong regarding climbing. But I do find it a bit much that, for example, some villages appear to want to use the facilities of their neighbouring town, but object so vociferously to such as an occasional cyclist passing through their village. After all, how many of such a village are going to be walking down the middle of the road all the time ?

The NIMBY attitude of many Portland Islanders towards anyone venturing onto their little bit of land for whatever reason has been well known for years, which is why I brought it up.

People need to use some common sense, and if some sectors of society are going to "go off at the deep end" for no sensible reason (and act like the inhabitants of the fictional Royston Vasey), then maybe those they are having a go at might start retaliating, and then they'll realise that their little island isn't able to supply all their needs, and they do have to be part of main society after all.

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In reply to Tom V:

Is the act of drilling the hole in somebodies else’s property the crime rather than the placing of a bolt?

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In reply to Tom V:

Locally somebody was threatened for placing bolts but the offence was an environmental issue, bats I believe.

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 George88 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

>The responsible and experienced climbers of the area have understood that stated their views that this is not an OK to visit just yet, at least until a definitive 'yes have it lads has been issued' from at minimum the BMC and at best the Gov.

So your minimum requirements have been met, as the BMC has given the go ahead. 

I think if you plan to wait for the government, you will never climb again. They're never going to specifically mention climbing. 

People should still stay away from Portland until the car parks reopen. 

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 Stuart William 12 May 2020
In reply to fred99:

I’d agree that some places seem to have an attitude to outsiders that feels unjustified. My accent doesn’t fit in at all where I live and I’m made to feel pretty conscious of that on occasion. Unfortunately things do get trickier when land you want to go onto is owned by the person you are retaliating against, or owned by their mate. 

If they own it they can do what they like with it. Common sense isn’t relevant, they don’t need to apply any given threshold of reason or rationality. They can just say “bugger off my land”. So if access to a crag (or other crags close by) is down to the owner’s permission, then a touch of respect is needed regardless of whether you agree with the locals. 

Not dissimilar to the fact that I don’t want you to come and camp in my garden. I don’t care if there’s no infection risk. I don’t care if you are being quiet and are out of sight. I don’t care if I’m not currently using that bit of garden. It’s mine and I don’t want you there, and my reasons for that are not up for debate. 

If the vast majority of Portland crags are privately owned, then knowingly or deliberately antagonising the local population could turn out to be a spectacular own goal. 

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 AdrianC 12 May 2020
In reply to fred99:

Pleased I misinterpreted that.

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 steve taylor 12 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2020/05/12/our-message-to-visitors-thinking-of-visiting-dorset-now-please-think-twice/

Looks like the car parks won't be opened. Seems a bit daft as most visitors won't check that there is anywhere to park before they set off. This weekend is going to be a clusterf**k methinks... 

Maybe UKC could operate a ticketing system for Portland (other climbing areas exist ...)? The first 50 people to apply can come, everyone else has to wait for the next ballot...

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In reply to steve taylor:

Sounds sensible to me

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Just to clarify, my comment was regarding the medium to long term, not the current situation. And in the medium to long term I don’t see the number of climbers reducing, unless a lot of bolts get chopped. So putting in place paid for facilities to manage some of the issues caused by the visitors seems like a sensible option.

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In reply to steve taylor:

As I said on the Dorset Climbing FB I think the Council have made a very stupid mistake, and there will be problems this weekend which could extend to e.g. vigilanteism (damaging cars etc).

I won't be going anywhere near there, but my opinion is that they will really come to regret this decision.

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In reply to Misha:

> Just to clarify, my comment was regarding the medium to long term, not the current situation. And in the medium to long term I don’t see the number of climbers reducing, unless a lot of bolts get chopped. So putting in place paid for facilities to manage some of the issues caused by the visitors seems like a sensible option.

There are to some extent, e.g. the Pay and Display car park at the back end of the rough (ish) estate in Weston.

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In reply to La benya:

> The bolts are clearly being used and thus someones property. It cannot be reasonably held that they are abandoned or 'trash'

I would suggest that unless the person who placed (and owned) the bolts regularly (and reasonably frequently) reclimbed that route, then they could be considered abandoned by the owner. The fact that they're subsequently used by others may be legally irrelevant.

I suspect it would become more complex if the bolt was owned by a bolt fund which might be considered some form of group ownership. Would that ownership then be jointly or severally? Would they all have to re-climb that route or just one of them.

Similarly, could the bolter have effectively (in law) passed ownership to a group of users? Murky waters, something that's often used may still be legally abandoned.

But back to the original post, it seems obvious to me that although people may have the right to go to Portland to climb (not the same as having the right to climb), it would be akin to putting your head in a wasps nest. So why would you?

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 fred99 13 May 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

> If the vast majority of Portland crags are privately owned, then knowingly or deliberately antagonising the local population could turn out to be a spectacular own goal. 

I'd be interested to know who actually does own the Portland crags.

But one thing is fairly certain, the people who are the most against visitors don't - indeed I'd be surprised if they even owned their own homes. The landed gentry they are not.

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 La benya 13 May 2020

Well, so it begins...

Not even two hours into my day and I'm being bombarded by angry locals.

Something worth considering at this point is the wider local Dorset community have shared a remarkable sentiment of solidarity and have actively agreed to hold back. 

It seems, as is does more and more in recent years the real climbers within the community stand together and it's the holier than thou gym rats, inner city wall scenes and over pysched newbies buying themselves identities as bad ass climbers are letting the side down. 

​​​​​I won't name and shame walls members or license plates at this point. Just give your selfish selves a good old pat on the back today. 

YOU SPECIAL CLIMBERS YOU. 

As always the real community will be here to mopp up your mess, develop and maintain the routes, dissolve the anger from locals, maintain the access agreements and show you what climbing  is really about. 

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 La benya 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

what are the examples of the grumbles and the transgressions?

if they are legitimate then that is very disappointing.  if its just locals moaning because people are there then i refer to my previous post- tough tits.

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 Qisheng Xie 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

What are the complaints? I should think most of us reading UKC, whether agreeing or disagreeing with the locals, are not visiting Portland. Unfortunately there is no way of informing the wider non-UKC climbing community that the locals do not want visitors. And as many others have said already, given the government effectively announced a free for all this week whether the locals like it or not people will be going climbing, whether in Portland or elsewhere. 

I think it is also important to inform the locals that us lot on UKC are carefully reading this and respecting the local views, but the climbing community is not a single body and is made up of people who are just not as engaged. Also that it is a wider issue not just in climbing with the government's announcement, no one here has the legal power to stop people from travelling. 

I hope whatever the issue is people on both sides can work together, I for one am a big fan of Portland and the community there.

Post edited at 14:04
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 gazhbo 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

> It seems, as is does more and more in recent years the real climbers within the community stand together and it's the holier than thou gym rats, inner city wall scenes and over pysched newbies buying themselves identities as bad ass climbers are letting the side down. 

I’ve got some sympathy with your position, and I’m not coming to Portland any time soon (probably ever, it’s never been a very welcoming place and it’s difficult to see how that will improve now), but there’s no basis at all for the statement above, and no way you can deduce it from the fact that some people have arrived in Portland.  It’s just a daft, nasty snipe, and it doesn’t do the rest of your argument any favours.

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 George88 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

> It seems, as is does more and more in recent years the real climbers within the community stand together and it's the holier than thou gym rats, inner city wall scenes and over pysched newbies buying themselves identities as bad ass climbers are letting the side down. 

Lol at this level of gate keeping. 
'Real climbers'...? Get over yourself. 

The 'holier than thou' complaint seems to make the least amount of sense, as it's only been you with that attitude here. 

>As always the real community will be here to mopp up your mess, develop and maintain the routes, dissolve the anger from locals, maintain the access agreements and show you what climbing is really about. 

What, shitposting online and refusing to climb? 

>YOU SPECIAL CLIMBERS YOU. 

I doubt anyone who read this thread went on to climb at Portland today. You're preaching to the choir, and just being a bit of a bellend now. People were always going to turn up at Portland today. Boris and the BMC have given the nod for climbing to resume, so what on earth did you and the people of Portland expect? 

Your time would have been much better spent trying to find someone to help you move those boulders blocking the car parks so that parking wouldn't be an issue for those arriving. This is a mess of Portlands own making now. They only have themselves to blame. 

Post edited at 16:29
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 sherwoac 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thanks for writing this post, just what I was looking for, some information on Portland climbing atm. Totally as expected - get the not welcome vibe with the slightly menacing undercurrent. Not a surprise after weeks of mass-hysteria mixed-in with first-/second-hand experience of a scary virus - plus Portland..FWIW I'm against any abuse of portland climbing spots that you mention - littering, shitting, etc. I'm also against stoning, moving cars that aren't yours and generally taking the law into your own hands.

It's gonna be hard to get the locals to appreciate this, but the climbers who claim to be staying away from climbing because it's not safe... Sez who? On what evidence? Do you care about evidence still or is it just a feeling you have?

This virus just doesn't transmit outdoors, there's 1 case in 7,000 in the only study on it so far - https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1. That's why the govt says we're 'allowed' out. The advice should be don't stay in - because that's where all the transmission is happening! If you're worried about transmission from holds on crags, don't climb or learn to wash your hands well. If you're worried about crowded crags - turn around and walk away when you see a crowd.

Those that spread the 'don't go out', 'don't do this'; 'don't do that'; narrative need to shake yourselves out of your understandable PTSD - you're being irrational. Life has to go on otherwise it's not life. People are gonna go outside, people are gonna travel, you're going to see folks from other places.

Nature doesn't belong to anybody. Access issues will always exist and people will always make (sometimes irrational) excuses to try to remove it.

As for police patrols - they're more likely to be protecting climbers from irrational (genuinely, no offence) residents than enforcing some kinda extra-judicial portland-wide fatwa on climbing.

It's clearly not rational or logical - it'll just take a few weeks for the Portlanders to get used to seeing outsiders again.

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 Iamgregp 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Like I said before, there's no way you're going to be able to stop the influx of climbers, no matter how many angry posts you put on here.  The appetite is just too great, the numbers too many, and b there are plenty of climbers of never come on here and think we're all a bunch of bellends.

I'd suggest your time is better spent mitigating the situation and trying to reduce the impact as much as possible.  

"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness"

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 Skip 13 May 2020
In reply to sherwoac:

Well said.

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In reply to sherwoac:

Hit the nail on the head here thank you. 

I love climbing and I don't want to piss off the locals of any community and that's why I'm staying away from other areas for a while but people will go and they will climb. Somehow we've got to transition ourselves all back to normal life eventually, we can't stay locked up forever! 

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In reply to George88:

This is a pretty unpleasant response to someone who has almost certainly had a role in negotiating access and equipping/re-equipping routes for the climbing you enjoy in Dorset. You may well be in the right about your ability to climb there, but that doesn't justify your attitude which appears to be based on trying to downplay community concern and blaming Portland locals for any issues.

It wouldn't be so hard to stay away until the dust settles, that's what many of us are doing to be considerate despite the go-ahead. But each to their own.

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 George88 13 May 2020
In reply to Cyrees:

I will be staying away until the car parks are open, because I can't be bothered with trying to find parking elsewhere and pissing off locals. But that is a self imposed issue as far as I'm concerned, and not one they can be blaming others for.  Like sticking a stick in your bikes spokes, and then complaining that you fell off.  

Also I can't stand gate keeping, and I think the needless attack on gym climbers as lesser folk was worthy of scorn. If he lived 130 miles from the nearest sport crag I bet the gym is where he'd spend the majority of his time too.. 

It's also baseless to assume it's only 'gym rats, inner city wall scenes and over pysched newbies' descending on Portland today and this weekend. He's plucked that from thin air, and shown an ugly underside of himself in the process. 

Edit: And someone posted this on the Dorset page in regards to climber numbers today:

2 at veranda 2pm
2 Blacknor South 2pm
3 at cuttings early afternoon,
5 at sharbutts this evening

So, basically sod all climbing happening anyway which makes his reaction even weirder. He just wanted to have a little rant about people he considers lesser climbers, by the sound of things. 

Post edited at 19:16
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 La benya 13 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Reports from other Locals suggests there was about 10 people climbing in total spread across the whole island. Exactly what we're the issues that were reported to you? 

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 Cusco 13 May 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

I'm confused.

Why should Pymm spend time mitigating the situation and try to reduce the impact of visiting climbers as much as possible? 

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 Tom V 13 May 2020
In reply to sherwoac:

> This virus just doesn't transmit outdoors, 

Really?

So all this about social distancing on the crag and sanitising , about washing your hands when you've been for a walk over stiles and gates, that's all unnecessary bollox?

if we decide to legislate according to the link you provided ( and the conclusion you have drawn from it) then we can open the beer gardens tomorrow and not give a f*ck about how close together the drinkers are sitting. i can see the attraction but I won't be going for it.

Post edited at 19:57
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 S.Kew 13 May 2020
In reply to George88:

Your right George. I Very much appreciate what people behind the scene do for climbers regarding access etc. But he is a presumptuous tit who just keeps shouting ‘stay of our island’. People gave good advice on Dorset climbing about promoting park, climb, home, take food etc and that there is no ideal time without a vaccine as OVER PSYCHED and could tell i was a newbie (15yrs exp). Sitting on his high horse shouting down at newbie climbers and gym rats. This is climbing snobbery. We were all new at some point and most started in a gym and some point. Like yourself i am not planning on climbing on Portland. But i wonder how many of those Portland residents will be heading to Weymouth beach and further afield for days out over the coming weeks. I hope they have a good day out and enjoy themselves, as i have no right to tell people where they can’t go. But advise them to be sensible. Portland is part of the uk and abides by the laws set upon us by those elected to government. Reality.
 

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 Stuart William 13 May 2020
In reply to La benya: and George88

A more generous interpretation might be that it is because of, rather than in spite of, those like pymn spreading the word that there weren’t more people there. And that if the locals were up in arms despite such small numbers perhaps that goes to show just how deep the ill will towards climbers runs. 

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In reply to George88:

Probably about the usual number of climbers for a weekday until early evening, the weekend will tell. Many of the locals have said they are just holding back a bit until the dust settles.

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 La benya 13 May 2020
In reply to Stuart William:

I haven't made a comment on what has affected the numbers. I simply asked for the reasons as to why the locals have moaned. 

If indeed there were 10 well behaved climbers and the locals still kicked up a stink then what's the point? You can't appease people that have their heart set on being offended. Not that I think we should be pandering to them anyway (just sticking to the rules is sufficient). 

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 Stuart William 13 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

The comment re. numbers was more directed at George88, not you. 

Fair enough regards your question about the issues - it read as if you were implying pymn wasn’t being truthful about the issues he was seeing. Apologies if I read that wrong. 

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In reply to Neil Williams:

Yes and it’s always full on Bush weekends and people spill out onto the roads there. 

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Could you provide a bit more detail on what the issues were? It sounds like a handful of teams were out across all of Portland, which is basically nothing. Could have been Dorset locals for all we know.

If Portlanders are going to get worked up about those kinds of numbers, I dread to think what they will make of this weekend, the upcoming bank holiday weekend and the summer generally...

I think most people who have read your thread won’t be going to Portland any time soon. I won’t be going anyway until overnight trips are permitted as it’s too far from Birmingham. Hopefully this factor will keep a lot of the regulars away.

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

I feel your pain, getting grief from your neighbours over the behaviour of others. 

As a cyclist, I get it in the neck at work when another cyclist has upset a colleague on their journey to work, like cyclists are some huge borg like mass. Climbers are clearly the same. 

I remind them of Granny's wise words. 

"Being a bellend is an equal opportunities career. One can be black, white, male, female, gay, straight, climber, cyclist, golfer, driver, Portland resident and be a bellend" 

I added the last bit to help you out. 

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 Mr Lopez 13 May 2020
In reply to George88:

To be honest, if he stayed home he couldn't know there were about the square root of f*ckall climbers in Portland today.

Probably a bunch of aggro locals saw a couple cars or climbers and went straight on the phone thumping down on the speed dial and yelling to Dim about it, so kind of understanable that he's pissed off. Nobody likes being the punching bag for your neighbour's whines.

The part of him being a demented bigoted prat unfortunately i can't find a way of excusing it as he's done an stellar job at proving his aptitude, so better to just leave it at that and move on.

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 sherwoac 13 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Hey Tom.

Glad you read the link, it's indicating that one person 'got it' outside prior to social distancing measures.

So with social distancing you should be fine outside. The idea of taking extra precautions outside is to put yourself at a distance such that, if the other person were contagious, huge if, you'd be safe anyway.

Also really glad people are returning to climbing on Portland. If anybody has a link showing land ownership of the Portland crags I'd be really grateful.

Thanks.

Adam

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 Iamgregp 14 May 2020
In reply to Cusco:

Well why should anyone do anything for the greater good of those who they share an interest with and those they live near?  

Why should spend time and money bolting routes, litter picking, cleaning, arranging access with landowners, building relations between communities? In fact why should anyone do any this for the benefit of anyone other than themselves?

I dunno man, maybe because Pym’s a good guy and wants to do what’s best for the people he shares a neighbourhood with and the people he climbs with, and as a Portland native climber he’s really well placed to do so.

Maybe he just wants the world to be a batter place and maybe I’m just trying to give some friendly advice.  I don’t see anything wrong with that?

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 Cusco 14 May 2020
In reply to Iamgregp

Your post which I queried basically said 'there's no way you'll stop the influx of visiting climbers so I'd suggest your [ie Pymm's] time is better spent mitigating the situation and trying to reduce the impact as much as possible.'

Mitigating the situation and trying to reduce the impact of visiting climbers does not fall on Pymm as a local climber. It falls on the visiting climbers themselves.

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 La benya 14 May 2020
In reply to Cusco:

And yet he and others have appointed themselves the climbing gestapo, telling people what they should do regardless of the law or official advice.

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 seankenny 14 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

> And yet he and others have appointed themselves the climbing gestapo, telling people what they should do regardless of the law or official advice.

Loving your confidence in “official advice”. 

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 La benya 14 May 2020
In reply to seankenny:

As much as it has gone against my more anarchistic tendencies, I have observed the lockdown rules to the letter- even the points that are not law, simply guidance (2m distance, only exercising once a day for example). This is despite my severe reservations about the appropriateness of the measures and the loss of civil liberties.

To then be told that I shouldn't observe the same guidance when it changes for the better is, frankly, ridiculous. 

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 seankenny 14 May 2020
In reply to La benya:

I’m not telling you whether you should or shouldn’t follow the guidance. Merely pointing out that the lockdown reductions come from a government which has overseen one of the world’s worst coronavirus responses. Assuming sudden competence is like discovering your wobbly-on-HVS mate is now claiming to cruise E4s. I mean maybe, maybe not, but would you ab into Red Walls with him? (And yes, it’s always a him, isn’t it.)

Post edited at 11:37
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 Rob Parsons 14 May 2020
In reply to seankenny:

> I’m not telling you whether you should or shouldn’t follow the guidance. Merely pointing out that the lockdown reductions come from a government which has overseen one of the world’s worst coronavirus responses.

What is your alternative to following the official guidance? Having everybody in the country coming up with his/her own personal ideas and nuanced interpretations, and acting on those? That doesn't sound like a very good approach.

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 Iamgregp 14 May 2020
In reply to Cusco:

Yes we all have to have take responsibility for our own actions, it's not Pym's responsibility to look after us or even do anything he's free to do as he pleases! 

However, if he wants to help his local community and us climbers, which given his extensive posting he clearly does, there are some things that he can do that could help more than posting on here.

For example, speaking to the landowners who have blocked off a car park, making them aware that BMC guidelines have changed so, although he's done his very best to dissuade people, an influx of climbers is expected so probably wise to unblock the car park now to avoid their cars being parked in people's way.

We climbers can't move those boulders at the entrance of the car parks, that's a responsibility that falls outside of ourselves.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

A bit of an aside. Organising placing and removal of the boulders will take time. I doubt the boulders miraculously appeared once lick down was announced, nor will they disappear similarly. 

Perhaps the wise thing to do is to accept that due to the virus the pace of life has changed. It will take longer than usual to do stuff with workers furloughed, working from home, social distancing etc. Give it a week or two before you go climbing,let Portland and elsewhere adjust to the new regulations. 

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 Oceanrower 14 May 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

They could be removed in minutes. Have you any idea how much heavy plant there is on Portland?

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In reply to Oceanrower:

You miss my point, removal is a quick action, organising it is not. 

As important as it is to you, I doubt your climbing sits at the top of the plant owners list of priorities. 

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 Oceanrower 14 May 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Organising it would take even less time. "Oi, Fred. Go and move them boulders will you? Ta."

That should do it...

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In reply to Oceanrower:

That's a rather ignorant attitude. There is a lot more to it than that. 

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 Oceanrower 14 May 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Is there, really? I'm willing to bet that's all it took to put them there...

Post edited at 18:04
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 Gerry 14 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Good essay Pymm. Having read the responses then for the first time this week I'm glad I moved to Wales. We may still be largely locked-down and have all our National Parks closed to everyone (including locals) but at least the police are still able to protect us from the selfish people who seem to think cramming into small communities and parking everywhere is OK.

And yes, I've climbed at Portland lots of times and know the area well.

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 Iamgregp 14 May 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

You’re preaching to the congregation, like I said on my first post on this thread I’m not planning to be climbing anywhere for quite some weeks yet.

Doubt it’ll be that hard to get the boulders moved...

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 virgil 14 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Thanks for writing this, informative, sensitive and well written. 

I'll be training at home.

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 George88 17 May 2020

Just got this email from Portland Council:

>We are formulating plans to reopen the leisure car parks run by Portland Town Council but we want to coordinate the opening with Dorset Council who operate the Car Parks at Portland Bill and Chesil Beach.  We hope to have some of them open over the next week.

So I think that'll realistically be the last hurdle overcome in regards to climbing Portland. Hopefully by next weekend, if not the weekend after, I think (socially distanced) climbing can resume with a clear conscience. 

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In reply to

So not as simple as "Hey Fred, shift that boulder please" then. 

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 Cusco 17 May 2020
In reply to George88:

No clear conscience previously...?

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 Oceanrower 17 May 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I think it is but I'm not sure I understand the logic here. 

Surely Portland Council open the ones on Portland (Oi, Fred etc.) and Dorset open the ones they're responsible for. Why does anything need to be "co-ordinated"? If the Portland ones are open before the Dorset ones or vice versa, so what?

Do Dorset council now need to co-ordinate with Somerset or Wiltshire?

I would have thought any parking is better than none. (And,  anyway, I expect all Dorset need to do is get a bloke out with a key. How bloody hard can it be? Do they need to synchronise watches or something?)

Post edited at 12:56
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 George88 17 May 2020
 Cusco 17 May 2020
 Oceanrower 17 May 2020
In reply to Cusco:

You appear to have posted a link to the post you've posted the link in...

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 apwebber 17 May 2020

Did anyone try and go there this weekend? What was it like?

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In reply to pymn nice but dim:

Any updates on the locals chilling out?

From looking at the Dorset and Portland council websites it looks like the public toilets are still closed at the moment but some of the car parks are opening up again. 

Cheyne Weares and Church Ope car parks still closed as they are working out how to stop overnight camping which was not allowed but a lot of people did so can understand they would want a way to stop this. 

Would be nice to get on the walls there before it starts raining for the rest of the summer but have no interest in pissing off locals and causing access issues for the future. 

cheers Rich.

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 sherwoac 27 May 2020
In reply to Rich2002:

Hey Rich.

Recent visit report:

I went to Blacknor climbing on Friday 22nd. I parked at the carpark on Wide Street (https://goo.gl/maps/ty9Ksm3ronKFiSq6A), walked west along the public footpath through the quarry, joined the coastal path southwards and descended into Blacknor North at the access point. On the way in I didn't see any 'locals', there were about 4 pairs of climbers.

Enjoyed a lovely quiet day of climbing.

At the end of the day I reversed the same route along the coastal path, but 'came up' at the main Blacknor access point. Saw a few locals, they were all friendly, they smiled, they waved, said hello, etc.

Not sure how any of my actions could affect anybody's social distancing sensitivities. I think this 'entire business' is a case of a handful of people on both sides ruining harmless enjoyment of nature for a large number of people. The only way the impasse will be broken is when people start climbing again and the sky is seen not to fall in - nobody will give you permission.

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In reply to Rich2002:

I think if the locals really were that worried they would try and manage the thousands of daytrippers and many parties going on, it’s total bullshit. I mean there was a party on chesil beach were youths burned boat chocks and got in fishermen boats. There’s been shit parking by tourists everywhere, parties by locals with no social distancing, there’s a homeless couple camping at the lookout... the list goes on, it’s all n facebook. I mean they are full of shit not letting climbers come down and let all this circus go on, such double standards. I’d say just go climbing there, you will be probably the more respectful and well behaved visitor they get ;-)

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In reply to Ramon Marin:

I think the OP might refer you to the paragraph that begins:

'You, yes you, the special climber.'

T.

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In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Whatever, I dont really care what people think about me. But if the so called locals cared that much then they need to appy the same level of judgement to all visitors, full stop. And stop throwing poo bags and beer cans over the edge of the cliff whilst we are it. 

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In reply to sherwoac:

Thanks and suspect you are right. Get back to it in a sensible discreet way.  

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In reply to Ramon Marin:

> Whatever, I dont really care what people think about me. But if the so called locals cared that much then they need to appy the same level of judgement to all visitors, full stop. And stop throwing poo bags and beer cans over the edge of the cliff whilst we are it. 


As a local I can confirm what you say is very true. Portland has been very busy recently, with walkers, bird watchers and cyclists. Osprey Quay area with watersports enthusiasts and people using the beach. The skatepark has been rammed with local youths with no sense of social distancing. Climbing wise it has been relatively quiet and if climbers start to trickle back I do not see a problem as long as they behave responsibly, keep a low profile, maybe park away from the hot spots.

Be aware though, Dorset currently has the second highest infection rate in the country and following advice regarding avoiding spreading/catching corona virus is still vitally important.

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 Jonathan Emett 28 May 2020
In reply to johnl:

>Dorset currently has the second highest infection rate in the country

Where is this from? All the stats I have found, show dorset near the bottom. I'm really hoping you're wrong, I have 3 elderly relatives in West Dorset

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 Iamgregp 28 May 2020
In reply to Jonathan Emett:

Pfft the London Borough where I live has the highest death rate in the country.  

Very little social distancing going on still - took a walk up the flats the other day there was a full 11 a side football match going on.  One team even had matching kit.  Maybe 30 odd people watching stood right next to each other.  

Also my mother is in the ultra high risk group (elderly, recently had chemo).  I'm not expecting to see her till next year.

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In reply to Jonathan Emett:

Total infections and deaths are still low but the R rate is 0.76 compared with the North East 0.8 (the worst) and London 0.4 according to government figures.

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 fred99 28 May 2020
In reply to johnl:

> As a local I can confirm ….. The skatepark has been rammed with local youths with no sense of social distancing. ….

> Be aware though, Dorset currently has the second highest infection rate in the country and following advice regarding avoiding spreading/catching corona virus is still vitally important.

Maybe some "testing & tracing" of the local youths might find the source. Only needs one of these to be asymptomatic in such a group to pass it around to innumerable families, and then on again.

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 Planeandsimple 28 May 2020
In reply to pymn nice but dim:

You got ignored from "check your privilege" onwards it's the language of the BORING. 

People have climbed through worse circumstance than this. People climbed during WW2, during the Spanish Flu and various other epidemics. Quite frankly people still climb in countries where daily mortality rates are far higher. Take Nepal for instance, most people barely make it to the 'likely to die from covid' bracket. Maybe we should stop climbing there as most people in Nepal die before their 71st birthday? Maybe everyone should stop climbing in Africa because people die from disease there? There are people who live in warzones who don't stop the imminent threat of roadside bombs impede their zest for life and ability to have fun. 

I understand that this might be the worst thing that has happened in some people's sheltered little lives but maybe those people are the ones whose privileges need to be checked. We are essentially incredibly privileged to live in a country where our population has been incredibly insulated from death to the point we possess illogical fear of the inevitable we have forgotten what mortality looks like. A truly privileged position to be in. 

Surely we can do better than letting fear and parochialism rule our actions. Although I have little hope of this when I read these forums. 

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In reply to Planeandsimple:

You got ignored from "it's the language of the BORING”

That’s the language of the teenager.

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 Tom V 28 May 2020
In reply to Planeandsimple:

Using phrases like "people's sheltered little lives" is hardly the sort of language to turn them round to your way of thinking. If you were bothered, that is.

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In reply to Planeandsimple:

> You got ignored from "check your privilege" onwards it's the language of the BORING. 

After all that Pymm's struggled through, I find this comment utterly demeaning.

> I understand that this might be the worst thing that has happened in some people's sheltered little lives...

Oddly enough, I grew up in a country and at a time where, if people really didn't like you, they killed you. Where does that get us? Nowhere.

> Surely we can do better than letting fear and parochialism rule our actions.

Think Pymm was actually arguing for tolerance and decency.

Mick

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 Offwidth 28 May 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Well said Mick.

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 Iamgregp 29 May 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Oddly enough, I grew up in a country and at a time where, if people really didn't like you, they killed you. 

So you grew up in Middlesbrough, or possibly Nazi Germany?

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In reply to Iamgregp:

Northern Ireland.

Mick

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 Iamgregp 29 May 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Ah same as my other half.

Yes that really was quite a time and place to grow up, some of the stories told by her friends and family are truly terrifying.

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