/ NEWS: Mysterious Boxes at LimeKilns Crag, Fife, Scotland

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
UKC News - on 11 Jun 2009
[lime kilns bat boxes II, 2 kb]Limekilns is an unusual Limestone crag in Fife, Scotland with a history of access problems, however, in recent years there has been little trouble and it has become a popular venue for climbers based in Edinburgh and the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, this situation has now changed and on Monday...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=47880
Tris - on 11 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News: 'and on Monday 8th of July mysterious boxes were installed'

Do you mean June?
JLS on 11 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News:


Capitol K looks strange?
Sam Judson on 11 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC News:

Someone trying to make a real life Marios Bros perhaps? Looks very weird either way.
el diablo - on 11 Jun 2009
In reply to JLS: Indeed, Limekilns and Gellet block.
Tim Chappell - on 11 Jun 2009
I've just sent this email to Alison Irvine. May I suggest a bit of a UKC letter-writing campaign on this? Those of you who live in South Fife, or indeed in Edinburgh, can try something like this out on your MPs, MSPs, and councillors:

"Dear Ms Irvine

I am writing to express my concern about a new threat to access to the popular and long-established climbing venue of Limekilns, near Inverkeithing.

Very recently a row of what are apparently bat boxes have been put up in rows across an impressive and atmospheric section of the crag called the Gellet Block, about 8 ot 9 feet off the ground. (There is a picture of them here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=117530 .) So far as I can see, their presence makes it more or less impossible for climbers to climb approximately 30 well-established climbing routes of various grades-- all of which have been listed for years in the SMC's and others' official climbing guides to the area.

Also, the boxes have been put up by drilling bolts into the rock, which is limestone, a notoriously brittle rock; there is no way that this drilling can have failed to have damage the rock.

Finally, there is I believe a serious question about whether the boxes have been put up in a place, or at a time, which is at all suitable for nesting bats (as opposed to obstructing climbers). Bats, I gather, are likely to find their nests rather earlier in the year. But if they were to use these boxes in the future-- so far the boxes are unused-- they would be nesting in a very vulnerable position, in full view and quite easy reach of any passing human or animal (a cat, for instance) with malign intentions. Thus these boxes, as well as being very bad news for climbers, are not even good news for bats either.

The situation is worrying, both in itself and (even more so) considering the precedent it might be thought to set for what could happen at other familiar climbing venues in Scotland. Climbers do not, of course, think that they are the only people entitled to use such venues, and we recognise the rights of the landowner. But this does seem like an action which has little imaginable purpose except to obstruct climbers from the harmless pursuit of their chosen form of recreation-- a recreation which nowadays makes a significant contribution to the health, not to mention the economy, of Scotland.

So I do hope that some reasonable, friendly, and mutually agreeable solution to this problem can be found, and I am writing to you to urge you, please, to look into this as a matter of the highest possible priority.

With all best wishes

Professor Timothy Chappell"
In reply to UKC News: It's Gellet block eds, not Gellert.

Seems the boxes have been removed as mysteriously as they arrived. Hopefully done by the estate, not have-a-go heroes. Might be worth updating the news item?
digby - on 12 Jun 2009
In reply to dan bailey:

Steady now. They might have taken them down to retrofit with bats. Lets wait for utterly official confirmation.
Brendan - on 14 Jun 2009
I just received the email below from the access officer - sounds like a victory for climbing/access!

Dear All,
Please excuse the mass e-mail response. I will reply separately to anyone who made very specific comments or suggestions.
Thank you all very much for your e-mails of concern about the apparent attempt to block access to the Gellet rock by erecting bat and bird boxes on it. By now I am sure you are all aware that the Estate land agents very quickly arranged to have the boxes taken down, and the rock is now clear of boxes.
I have also arranged to meet with the Estate again very soon to discuss general access to the Gellet Rock. Climbing through a hole in the fence caused by vandals is not a long term ideal for the area.
Many of you will be aware that access to the rock has been difficult, if not impossible prior to the passing of the Land Reform Act. Since then access to climb has been possible albeit somewhat ad hoc. I appreciate that local climbers have regularly kept the area free from litter and that climbing access has been very responsible.

I will try to keep you informed of the discussions with the Estate about longer term access. If any of you DO NOT wish me to keep your e-mail details on a group list, please let me know.

Alison Irvine

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.