Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Covid-19 Update - 13th May 2020


Commencing Wednesday 13th May 2020, climbing will be permitted once again in England.

Crag suspension has been lifted in the Southern Sandstone area though Bowles Rocks remains closed until further notice.

The BMC have now published their advice here and it is vital that all climbers adhere to the recommendations given and that social distancing should still be followed.

Climbing will be permitted alone, with others in your household or with one other person at a time from outside your household keeping two metres apart at all times. Please do not meet up with groups of friends. Ideally climb with members of your own household. Everyone needs to be responsible and not contribute to the spread of this virus. Do not travel in cars together if you are not from the same household. No overnight stays, day trips only.

Social distancing and hygiene

  • Stay at home if you are showing symptoms of C-19 or self-isolating.

  • Maintain social distancing of at least 2m from anyone outside of your household.

  • Be cautious of touching surfaces and shared equipment. Be committed to hand hygiene.

Climbing and hill walking

  • Scale back your ambitions: be cautious, choose objectives within your technical and physical limits to minimise the risk of accidents and injury.

  • Avoid very popular areas: seek out less frequented venues, be flexible and have backup plans to avoid overcrowding.

  • Check the BMC Regional Access Database: avoid crags with known nesting birds or access issues.

  • Where possible, stay local. Whilst this is not part of the government’s guidance, staying local will reduce the load on national parks and rural communities whilst they are sensitive to increased visitor numbers.

England – specific guidance

For climbers and hill walkers in England only, the new guidance contains two key points which will come into effect on 13 May 2020:

  • Whilst not being explicit, it appears that all outdoor activities and sports (including all types of climbing and walking) will be permitted alone, with others in your household or with one other person at a time from outside your household keeping two meters apart at all times.

  • Travel is unrestricted, but importantly different regulations in Wales and Scotland do not allow travel across these borders. Where possible, stay local which will reduce the load on rural communities. 

As the situation develops, the BMC will adapt their guidance. At this point the key message is to be:

  • Cautious in your actions
  • Respectful of local communities
  • Extremely vigilant in avoiding transmitting the virus


The status of the BMC and privately owned crags is now as follows:

Harrison's Rocks
Crag - OPEN (from 13th May 2020)
Car park - OPEN - 8am to 8pm (Free Parking Currently)
Toilet Facility -  CLOSED
Camping - CLOSED (No overnight stays what so ever)

Stone Farm
Crag - OPEN (from 13th May 2020)
Parking is heavy restricted here here so please take this into consideration.

Bowles Rock
Crag - CLOSED Until further notice.

High Rocks
Crag - CLOSED Until further notice.

All other crags are open though please respect any crags who may have implamented other restrictions. 

Visits to all crags are only suitable for those able to safely make day trips. Do not rush out to the crags as we are expecting a high volume of visitors. Follow all the advice and as ever, please set up your ropes correctly and follow the code of practice to ensure the rock is not damaged. Those who do not will be asked politely to conform with the rules and regulations.