No bridge jumping
Smardale Gill Viaduct is a historic Listed Monument cared for by a charitable Trust.
The footpath across the viaduct is a “permissive path”, at the discretion of the Trustees. It is NOT a Public Right of Way.
ACCESS IS FOR RESPONSIBLE WALKERS ONLY, AND IS AT THEIR OWN RISK.
ACTIVITIES such as BRIDGE JUMPING, BUNGIE JUMPING and ABSEILING are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
Attaching belay points (tying ropes) to the railings is unsafe and may cause damage to the structure.
Northern Viaduct Trust will NOT accept liability for injuries caused by unapproved activities.
Northern Viaduct Trust and Cumbria Wildlife Trust visitors to Smardale Gill are requested to report any such damaging and dangerous activities, giving as much detail as possible.
Please call the following number ASAP: 07341 838653
Reasons why this is prohibited
Eight good Reasons why Northern Viaduct Trust can not give permission to further Bridge Jumping/Swinging/Bungie Jumps, Abseiling at Smardale Gill Viaduct, within Smardale Gill Reserve
- Smardale Gill is a National Nature Reserve and SSSI designated by Natural England and owned by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Noisy adventure activities are incompatible with this status.
- Ravens nest on the Viaduct arches (and peregrine falcons have done so in the past). Disturbing them is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
- Already the activities of the jumpers are attracting hostile criticism from Cumbria Wildlife Trust volunteers and visitors to the Nature Reserve and we will become increasingly unpopular if we are not seen to be taking action.
- Smardale Gill Viaduct is a Grade II* listed monument and both English Heritage and Eden District Council have responsibility for it: they can require us as owners to prevent any activities liable to damage the structure.
- The railings are not designed or appropriate for rope belays.
- Any safe belays would be likely to require drilling and fixing masonry bolts in the structure, which would be forbidden because of its Listed status.
- If we allow potentially dangerous adventurous activities our insurance would go through the roof – from £2,900 per year to £9,500 per year.
- Our charitable objectives (like those of Cumbria Wildlife Trust) do not include the provision of facilities for outdoor adventure.