Waterfall Country Gorge Users: Compliance with Concordat Arrangements

The Waterfall Country Activity Access Concordat arrangements only work if everyone plays their part, so it would be a huge shame if  we were to lose access to these special places because some providers chose not to take these responsibilities seriously. It is therefore important not only that everyone sticks to the rules, but also that everyone feels able to challenge providers who seem to be stretching or even breaking them – either by ‘having a quiet word’ or by reporting suspected transgressions to SWOAPG or NRW. Mostly, when ‘complaints’ are raised against providers, they respond with an apology – often because they hadn’t fully understood the rules or made an honest mistake – and that’s the end of the matter. But occasionally, matters are taken further and result in formal action from NRW, which could ultimately result in that provider losing their access permission to the area.

We have recently received two reports about providers ‘breaking the rules’, which have been considered by the SWOAPG Steering Group. One of these alleged that a provider had been operating with excessive numbers in the Sychryd gorge; and has been referred to NRW for further action, since the evidence appeared to support the allegation. The other alleged that a provider had been boasting about taking large numbers into the gorge and had been operating two businesses to get around the rules; and after reviewing the evidence, these allegations have been dismissed with no further action needed.

Please could all gorge users make every effort to ‘stick to the rules’ – and to feel able to challenge those who are not doing so – so that we can keep these special places open for us to continue using. If you or your gorge leaders aren’t fully aware of our responsibilities under the Concordat arrangements, you can always re-visit the online Code of Conduct training courses if you haven’t completed them recently.

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