Gorge climbing under threat after groups caught in restricted areas

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 June 2014

Cheddar Gorge is a climbing hot spot.

Cheddar Gorge is a climbing hot spot.


CLIMBING in a scenic area of Somerset could be under threat because of a minority of people being caught in banned areas.

Cheddar Gorge is a favourite spot for climbing enthusiasts, but the activity is limited to certain areas to help keep people safe, both on the rocks and below.

But over the past month, there have been a number of incidents involving people being caught in areas where climbing is prohibited.

On one weekend, staff at Cheddar Caves and Gorge (CC&G) had to approach eight groups using restricted areas - prompting a warning that the sport could be banned from the beauty spot altogether.

A spokesman for the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) said: “If there isn’t a big improvement to the situation, there is now a serious risk that CC&G could withdraw the permissive access they allow climbers to the south side crags for everything other than the winter season.

“The BMC is working with CC&G to try to do everything we can to make climbers aware of the access restrictions.

“CC&G do not want signs up marking the restricted areas at this time as they don’t like excess signage within the gorge, which would impact on the aesthetics of the place.

“We are exploring other options with them but, ultimately, it’s up to all climbers to take responsibility and make sure we’re not climbing where we shouldn’t be.”

Cheddar Caves and Gorge director Hugh Cornwell said climbers should read the BMC guidebook or look online to see which areas they can use.

He said: “The vast majority of climbers are responsible and carry public liability insurance.

“We expect everyone who climbs to be suitably insured and that really is important. You cannot simply climb wherever you wish.”

More from Weston Mercury


A long-awaited parking review has begun to try to address the problems in Weston town centre.

Read more
North Somerset Council Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 19:41

Police have cordoned off Worle Railway Station for an ongoing police incident this evening (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Fans of Abba and Grease can enjoy two hours of their greatest hits at The Playhouse on November 29.

Read more
The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:57

Life satisfaction and happiness levels have dropped in North Somerset in the past year, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

A ‘spectacular’ firework display will take place on Marine Parade on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:14

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has reassured people a teenager did not die in Worle last night (Wednesday) after rumours circulated on social media.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:04

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch and ‘night glow’ which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:58

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists