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.