Harrisons Rocks

Harrison's Rocks

Sandstone Volunteers Group

Steve Durkin Sandstone Trust


Click for larger imageMost of our local classes happen at Harrison's Rocks. These remain to be the best known of the outcrops in the South East mostly due to a large number of good climbs at most grades of difficulty. Given our Groombridge base this great climbing spot is only a mile away.

To reach Harrison's Rocks, head south from Groombridge, passing the shops on your right and the Junction Inn. At the first fork go right and after two hundred metres turn right down a narrow lane (watch out for the small sign for Birchden Wood). At the end of the lane you'll find the car-park with toilet facilities.

Click for larger imageSandstone rock is very fragile and it is always important to protect it as much as possible to prevent erosion. Soft soled shoes should only be worn, and every effort should be made to ensure that running ropes are not in contact with the rock. Climbers are asked to untie their rope at the top of a climb and walk back down to the bottom, rather than lowering off. Abseiling is not permitted here.

Harrison's Rocks is now owned by the BMC and donations to the BMC for the upkeep of the rocks will always be welcomed. Their website for more information is www.thebmc.co.uk.

Sandstone Volunteers Group


who help to
maintain the rocks by:

  • disseminating the objects of 'The Sandstone Code' and encouraging good
    practice' which will prevent the heavy wear and tear to which the rock
    has been subjected over many years
  • carrying out work to clear overgrowth and brush where appropriate
  • repairing damaged rock, discouraging grafitti and other gratuitous
  • recognizing and protecting unique areas of rock where botanical or
    geological SSSI status could threaten future access
  • encouraging participation in projects as they arise by enlisting the
    help of professional and voluntary bodies, where applicable, and the
    climbing community
  • creating sustainable use of this unique climbing area through
    maintaining good relationships with the owners and custodians of the

If you would like to get involved with this essential rock maintenance
then the Sandstone Volunteers Group would be pleased to hear from you.




Latest on the Woodland Plan....

Harrison’s Needs Your Help.

Harrison’s Rocks - owned by the BMC - is about to undergo a period of restoration to repair the wear and tear caused by climbers and to manage the tree cover on the lower slopes which over the years has increased to such a point that the crag condition is suffering. The canopy has thickened to the point where in places, sunlight and air movement – essential to keep the crag dry - are severely restricted. We also need to build revetments to slow down the relentless wear by footfall and weathering that is gradually allowing the footpath below the crag to disappear down the hill.

A woodland management plan, developed with and agreed by the Forestry Commission to reduce the canopy in phases and remove the non-indigenous species is about to be implemented this winter and we need volunteers to help us with the work.

How can I Get Involved?

Join in with other like-minded climbers and help with the work. There are no special skills needed as the cutting will be done by professionals within the group but there will be plenty of scrub cutting, fence building, footpath maintenance, revetment building and movement of the cuttings to more suitable places to be done.

The Sandstone Volunteers’ Group - a loose knit group of climbers with successful projects at all the major outcrops, was formed in 2003 by climbers who, like now, saw a need for action and you, as a user of Harrison’s can help.

The SVG is organised through a mailing list. To join, please send me an email and I’ll add you to the list. The list is used solely for communication with the group and is not used for any other purpose.

Graham Adcock. ( adcock@clara.net )




The Steve Durkin Sandstone Trust

Sandstone Climbing is a fragile activity, both in terms of the rocks and its environment, and climbers' rights to actually access and climb on those rocks.  Sandstone climbers have long respected and cared for the rocks' natural environment, and have well established relationships with organisations such as English Nature and English Heritage.  Sandstone climbers have also built up good relationships with landowners, having nurtured a responsible approach to maintain access to many of the outcrops.

There is no guarantee this happy situation will remain forever.  The fact is there is only an 'automatic right' to climb at Harrison's Rocks, and Stone Farm Rocks.  All the other outcrops are situated on land to which climbers do not have free right to climb.  This includes important outcrops such as Bowles Rocks, High Rocks, Eridge Green Rocks and Bulls Hollow.

The future is uncertain.  The Steve Durkin Sandstone Trust is looking ahead, and has been set up to care and provide for climbers' interests with the aim of making access to the wide range of sandstone climbing more secure, and to ensure climbers are able to enjoy the very special sandstone climbing experience for years to come, and for future generations beyond.

To achieve these aims, The Steve Durkin Sandstone Trust is generating a fund, and will create opportunities to further its aims.  The Trust  which is an accountable legal entity, is administered by respected local climbers on a voluntary basis.  They have a long history of being involved caring for The Rocks and their environment.  They are; Graham Adcock, Nigel Head, Tim Skinner, Sarah Cullen and Tim Daniells, and they act in the capacity of Trustees to the Trust.  The Trust is independent of other bodies, but naturally will work closely with the British Mountaineering Council.

For more information on this new and innovative approach to the climbing environment, please contact Tim Daniells - 01892 863007/timothy415@btinternet.com or have a look at the website http://www.sdst.org.uk/



"Consider what you want to do in relation to what you are capable of doing. Climbing is, above all, a matter of integrity."
— Gaston Rébuffat

"The events of the past day have proven to me that I am wholly alive, and that no matter what transpires from here on in, I have truly lived."
— Anonymous climber