The BMC buys Crookrise


The BMC has bought Crookrise Crag in Yorkshire in order to better protect access for public use. The crag was bought from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority who have been selling off their land due to cuts in funding. There were a number of interested parties and the sale could have led to complicated access issues for climbers and walkers.

In 2015 the BMC Access Team and the BMC Land management group commissioned a study into how viable purchasing the crag would be and concluded that they would buy the land for £18,000, plus legal fees. Now that the BMC own the crag, they can get hard to work at improving it, which means a lot of gardening around classic climbs and working with local volunteers.

Speaking of the BMC's recent acquisition CEO Dave Turnbull said "Our surveys show that access and conservation is the number one priority for our 82,000 members. We now have a team of three full-time access officers supporting a network of local volunteers, to negotiate local access and national policy issues.

Our first option to secure crag access will always be through other means such as informal or statutory agreements. Where this is not possible, we seek to secure access by encouraging an appropriate third party – such as a local authority – to purchase or lease the site. As a final option the BMC will consider purchasing the land itself.

Before purchasing land, we take into account the cost, management implications such as resources required and liability, the site’s significance and the scope for resolving access problems.

Our Land Management Group was established in 2006. This group oversees the BMC's owned and managed crags and advises on potential new acquisitions. The group was established to take a professional approach towards our land ownership obligations and to review the BMC's policies for owning and managing land. Local site management groups report to the group and use the group's collective expertise as a think tank for ideas and technical guidance. 

I’m extremely pleased that we have now secured access to Crookrise for all climbers and walkers, and look forward to seeing our members up there.”

Along with Crookrise, the BMC now has eight crags in their portfolio; Horseshoe Quarry, Aldery Cliff, Harrison’s Rocks, Stone Farm, Craig y Longridge, Wilton One and Bwlch y Moch at Tremadog.


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28 Mar, 2017
Well done to the BMC for this great acquisition. Maybe this will help people see the good work that the BMC does :-) Chris
28 Mar, 2017
The significance of this is far broader than Crookrise and access to it - and I think it's something that needs to be explored and talked about in climbing circles. Tory-led austerity is leading to councils around the country trying to offload land they are responsible for managing. See this, for example: This is in line with a general dumping of public assets in the face of brutal cuts (despite council tax rises burdening ordinary people). Libraries, museums, community centres - but also parks, common land and crags. This allows private companies to come in and pick up these things on the cheap. There is a serious threat of public land being sold off cheap and access rights being lost. If the only way of stopping landgrabs by private companies is for climbers, through their representative body, to purchase land, with the explicit purposes of allowing common access and conservation, then this is exactly what the BMC should be doing. But, in the meanwhile, we need to be campaigning against the defunding of agencies that conserve and protect rural space for public use and we need to highlight how damaging austerity is to our environment and our access rights. Unfortunately, these cuts are not even visible to most people until it's too late.
28 Mar, 2017
Excellent news - but what about access to the crag? Any specific access agreement, or just the current CROW access, and still affected by shooting restrictions presumably?
28 Mar, 2017
God, give it a rest already. I didn't like the rebrand either. It's not happening. Can we move on now?
29 Mar, 2017
Great news. Is there any chance the BMC could buy Guisecliff and help to organise unearthing whatever is under there?! I hear there is a crag concealed in the vegetation but in a handful of visits over twenty years we haven't got a lot done.
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