It’s a green light in Portway: The ‘Avon Climbing Regeneration Project’ is off the ground and balancing up onto its first foothold!
OK, so we started all slow and cautious, just like Avon climbing; but now we’re pumped up and cruising – think Limbo or Arms Race or on a sunny winter’s day. The Project Steering Group, which first met on 26th September, has got stuck in and rebranded the Project ‘ClimbBristol’. That title bonds climbing to Bristol, and we think it will click with the agencies like Bristol City Council with whom we must collaborate. After all what other city in Britain or even in the world hosts such an important climbing site in its city limits?! Much more has been made of much less: we’re suggesting climbing in Avon Gorge is a matter of civic pride for Bristol.
So, what else are we about? We’ll spare you the detail: that will be set out on our web-site complete with pictures that may remind you how distinctive the climbing is here.
We want to promote the value of climbing in Avon Gorge to everyone that counts and those that think they might not. We’ll be seeking a rapport with the statutory agencies and drip-feeding and celebrating the climbing message wherever we can. As a key user-group climbers should not be under-represented as plans are made and implemented. We have already shown locally that we can contribute to vital conservation programmes, to public safety, and to visitors’ experience. We plan to do much more of the same.
We want to give Avon Gorge climbing every opportunity to recover its former popularity. That means we intend, with our volunteers and with the necessary consents in place, to implement practical improvements at the site over the coming year. We have secured funding from the BMC and its Access & Conservation Trust who have recognised that this Project is perhaps something special. We want the planned second year supported too, so we’ll be ensuring that climbers notice a difference in six months – and benefit.
Against a background of huge pressures on the Avon Gorge, ClimbBristol is all about securing the long-term future of climbing and making our unique city climbing experience ship-shape and not one to be missed.
We’d be delighted to receive relevant comments on Avon climbing via Facebook, or though the contact page of this site.
Finally, to the 32 volunteers who gave a show of hands at the BMCSW meeting in January 2012: you haven’t been forgotten! If you’d like to get in touch and tell us how you think you can assist; that would help us onto the next foothold.
ClimbBristol Project Officer (part-time) & Volunteer, and Guidebook Author