Symonds Yat Rockfall update

Symonds Yat Rockfall update

Updated 8th September 2023

On 8 August a major rockfall took place from the cliffs at Symonds Yat Rock. Since then, we have asked all climbers to avoid using the area and the areas directly below the rockface. We have also had to formally close the public right of way leading down from Symonds Yat Rock to the River Wye (see map below).

We immediately sought professional ground engineering and geotechnical advice from a private consultancy firm. The consultant inspected the rockfall site and further parts of Symonds Yat Rock. As a result of this advice, we ask that climbers avoid Symonds Yat Rock and we will be keeping the public right of way closed for the foreseeable future. This action has significantly reduced the assessed risk as much as possible, as advised by our specialist consultants.

An estimated 20 tonnes of rock fell from the cliff face, and had it not been for the rock capture fence, the damage below could have been significant. The rock capture fence was in place for incidents like this, but the size of the fall was large enough to severely incapacitate the fence.

Why are we asking you not to climb at Symonds Yat Rock?

Although it appears that only a single area has been affected by the rock fall, preliminary advice shows there may be further areas of concern across the entire rockface.  At the moment, we don’t know whether another rockfall will happen somewhere else along the cliff face and without mitigation strategies in place, we can't take this risk.

For everyone's safety, we strongly discourage climbing anywhere in the area.

Our next steps will be to carry out a full survey/assessment of the whole of the cliff face, and to get the fence repaired or replaced. We will also look at further rockface maintenance strategies.

We will keep you updated as soon as we know more and when expected timescales become clearer. In the meantime, we thank you for your continued patience and co-operation.

Map showing a footpath closure

Public right of way closure is shown in red