Monday, 28 May 2012

Climbing restrictions at Lulworth Cove - By Emma Harrington

Bob Hickish at Lulworth - Photo: Sam Cox
Several possible climbing restrictions at Lulworth Cove have been rejected by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment after the BMC lobbied against restrictions. Most importantly, she recognised that climbing is a ‘permitted activity’ not just under existing Countryside and Rights of Way legislation, but also under the 2009 Maritime and Coastal Access Act. A 20 mile section linking Rufus Castle and Lulworth was selected for its close proximity to the Olympic sailing events. The Government announcement was that work on the first stretch of the new coastal path around England would begin on the South coast soon. This was following government approval for Natural England’s access report. Caroline Spelman also acknowledged that Natural England had struck a ‘fair balance’ on the majority of objections made during consultation over the paths route. The Lulworth landowner’s objections were that climbing should be restricted because of nesting birds. The BMC will look into placing voluntary restrictions on certain routes at Lulworth as and when necessary. Coastal access could lead to increased tourism in Britain and consultations on six sections of 30km each around England’s coast is underway. When the process will be completed is not yet known. The BMC will continue to raise the issue with the Secretary of State, asking for more information about the Government’s plans. For more information visit the BMC website: www.thebmc.co.uk/coastal-access-ed-douglas?s=3