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Last chance to get close to Dales falcons

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02 August 2006

Annabelle's gong gets climbers steamed up

The cragrats on the UK Climbing forums are getting their ropes in a twist over the news that blonde uppercrust stunner Annabelle Bond has been awarded an OBE for, among other things, services to mountaineering.Annabelle was the fourth UK woman to stand on top of Everest when she summited in May 2004 and completed the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents to raise cash for the Eve Appeal which funds research into the prevention of ovarian cancer.

07 August 2006

Beer for a year on offer at geocaching event

19:12:17Any event sponsored by a brewery is guaranteed grough's attention, so it's no surprise that a little festival in the Lakes caught our eye.Jennings, the Cockermouth brewery, is one of four sponsors in a geocaching event based at Borrowdale youth hostel in September.

02 August 2006

Close all access land, say moor owners

With a pronouncement as predictable as the blast of shotguns on the 'glorious twelfth', moorland owners have blamed the Government's right-to-roam laws for a spate of fires in England.The Moorland Association (MA), which represents the owners of much of England and Wales's prime grouse-shooting land, says allowing people to roam  at will when the moors are dry presents risks.The anonymous spokeswoman for the Lancaster-based organisation told the BBC website: "There were risks opening up these vast tracks of moorland."  Either the BBC reporter has cloth ears or Ms Spokeswoman doesn't know the difference between a track and a tract.

01 August 2006

Free bus service for Dartmoor cyclists

If you're taking to two wheels on Dartmoor and want to take some of the strain out of the height gain, the national park authority is running a scheme to help you.The Dartmoor Freewheler is a free bus service with a cycle trailer attached, so you can get your bike to the high ground of the moor and enjoy the (mostly) downhill ride out again, or so the authority claims.The service runs on summer Sundays, until October, with a different route each of the four Sundays in the month.

30 July 2006

Yorkshire Dales access land closed again

Latest news from the Yorkshire Dales is that all open access areas have been reclosed because the fire risk has again risen to exceptional.The national park authority had re-opened most of the land earlier in the week.

30 July 2006

Fire-risk moorland: some areas re-open

Access land in the Peak District re-opened this week, but moorland fires raged in the South Pennines.The situation in the Peak is under constant review after Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) access areas were re-opened after weekend rain.

28 July 2006

'Wheels fall off' Government access body

Natural England, the new body which will take over access issues in October, is being starved of cash, according to its boss.The Independent reports it has seen an email from its chairman Sir Martin Doughty to the Environment Secretary, arch Blairite David Milliband, which says the wheels are coming off the new organisation before it even launches.Defra, the super agency created in the wake of the foot-and-mouth disease crisis of 2001, controls the new organisation's budget and, surprise surprise, it has cut the amount of money available to do the job.The Independent quotes Doughty's email: ""I am deeply concerned that current financial demands being placed upon us by Defra are eroding our capacity to deliver these benefits before we even begin."I understand the need for Defra to live within its budget and Natural England is committed to playing its part in that - we are already committed to £7m of cuts.

28 July 2006

Climbing-wall qualification on the way

A wide-ranging consultation on a proposed new qualification for climbing-wall supervisors has closed.Mountain Leader Training UK began the not-too-rapid look at standardising a qualification below the level of the Single Pitch Award, which was introduced for climbing supervisors in 1992.Many indoor walls use in-house training at present rather than a National Governing Body qualification.

24 July 2006

Trouble flares at Vixen Tor 'conciliation' event

More tales of woe and vexation reach grough from Vixen Tor, the Devon crag where access has been blocked.The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) reports that two climbers had to leave some of their gear in place after being made to leave the crag at the end of an open day.

03 August 2006

Young Brit sets US mountain record

Everest summiteer Jake Meyer has thrown down the gauntlet to stateside climbers by conquering the USA’s 48 continental peaks in record time.Jake, 23, was the youngest man to climb Everest when he climbed the Himalayan peak, aged 21 in 2005 – a record since broken.

03 August 2006

Rockin' across Scotland: a walk fit for the king

Our friends at The Angry Corrie (TAC), the acerbic Scottish hillzine, have unearthed what must be one of the best silly walks since John Cleese offended the whole German race.Two inventive charity walkers eschewed the usual Three Peaks Challenge so beloved of the residents of Wasdale Head to tackle their own ‘King of Walks’, from Elvis to Presley.University lecturers David Gray and Nick Spedding travelled, in a bit of a roundabout way, from the little known Elvis Voe in Shetland to Presley near Forres in Moray to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

02 August 2006

Munro bagger takes top post at MCofS

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has a new Senior Officer - its top post - and he wants your help.Dave Gibson, a former manager in the automotive industry (or making car parts as grough would call it) took up his post last week.

30 July 2006

Path blocked? Let 'em know about it

Ever come across a locked gate, a sign telling you to bugger off or any sort of unreasonable behaviour stopping you exercising your rights on access land?Highland cattle on the track to Ben Lui: not a problemOf course you have.

26 July 2006

How uncommon - protection for our open spaces

Today, grough has a little quiz for you. Mull over these quaint words and have a think if you've any idea what they mean.Estovers, pannage, piscar...

29 July 2006

Snowdon summit: demolition men move in

First, the good news: work is due to start in September to demolish one of the least loved edifices on any British mountain.

28 July 2006

Moorland ablaze on closed access land

Moor fires continue to blaze as the hot, dry spell leaves much of the high ground of northern England tinder dry.The latest outbreak was on the Yorkshire-Lancashire border, between Oakworth and Laneshawbridge, where firefighters from Lancashire and West Yorkshire were this afternoon tackling the blaze.A large area of Dove Stones Moor and Combe Hill caught fire around 2pm today.

25 July 2006

Follow in the cycle tracks of Hadrian?

A new coast-to-coast cycleway was launched this week along the route of Hadrian's Wall.More than 100 cyclists were expected to be corralled for 'photo opportunities' to mark the opening of the 120-mile route from Silloth in Cumbria to South Shields in Tyne and Wear.So perhaps this week wasn't the perfect moment to enjoy the peace and freedom of two wheels on the Sustrans-developed way.

22 July 2006

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