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BAZ

New Belper Dark Site

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BAZ

Over the last few years we have had the benefit of using the Belper Cricket Club ground as one of our dark sites. However, slowly over the years the benefits we had have been dwindling away to the point now that when the weather is wet we are not only unable to use the ground itself, but the driveway is practically impassible. We don't have access to the toilets during the winter months as the water is off and haven't had proper access to the club house either.

We have been looking for a new site to use which gives us good skies, more importantly safety and some basic facilities.

We think we have found it, literally over the road from the Cricket Club. We have had a meeting with Sharon from the Tannenbaum Campsite on the other side of the road. This gives us a larger field, toilets all year, and a small sheltered area to set the mashing tackle up in.

It has the same skies as the previous one and having had a discussion with the dark site members, the consensus of opinion is to give it a try.

 

Here's where it is. Ignore the blue arrow, the entrance is just below the red pointer. You can see that as a field it is a much larger area and we have been told we can set up anywhere we like.

This is however a 365 day camp site and will be used more often as the weather gets warmer. We are still welcome to use it all year and as the site doesn't have electricity there shouldn't be too much of an issue from bright lights. This is a no frills site and attracts a different type of camper who is looking to enjoy the great outdoors rather than an onsite bar/restaurant and spa facilities.

 

Sharon has posted about us on their FaceBook page and there has been an enthusiastic welcome to this from the regular followers of the camp site. I have reciprocated and posted an introduction from EMS.

I hope that we are able to get much more use from this site and get back to enjoying the hobby under decent skies. It's early days yet but this may be a suitable site to have events and Sharon would be more than happy to get the campers involved as well, so a bit of outreach may go a long way.

 

Any questions please fire away.

 

https://www.facebook.com/TannenbaumCampsite/

 

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Edited by BAZ

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Bino-viewer

Mine would be to do with where we park.....and having a reliable means of entry, particularly if we arrange an ad hoc session with one or two others in the middle of the week.

Do we just drive in and find a quiet corner...?

Are we allowed to drive around the perimeter ?

 

I'm also a bit worried about damaging the ground and churning it up.

I'm sure its ok between May and September, and as you say it looks like it has better drainage than over the road.

 

But anyway, i'm certainly looking forward to trying the place out.

 

Also a big thumbs up from me and thanks to all the admin and staff who have found this new place for us to use.

 

 

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philjay

It looks a viable place and Im sure once we get a few sessions up there it will all become routine.

My only question is access, we have to contact staff to contact the site to open up? It sounds a bit complicated. What happens if the lines of communication break down and someone who has driven a long way cant get in? I understand from the description its a combination lock on the gate, would it be feasible for us to have the code (ala WW) or is there an alternative?

Edited by philjay

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Daz Type-R

I am hoping in time we can get the access code for the lock but for the near future this is the way it is.

 

We will of course raise these concerns with Sharon, we did offer to buy a combination lock and give her the code for it (and share with our dark site members obviously) so will re-address this option once we have paid and have settled in.

12 hours ago, Bino-viewer said:

Mine would be to do with where we park.....and having a reliable means of entry, particularly if we arrange an ad hoc session with one or two others in the middle of the week.

Do we just drive in and find a quiet corner...?

Are we allowed to drive around the perimeter ?

 

I'm also a bit worried about damaging the ground and churning it up.

I'm sure its ok between May and September, and as you say it looks like it has better drainage than over the road.

 

But anyway, i'm certainly looking forward to trying the place out.

 

Also a big thumbs up from me and thanks to all the admin and staff who have found this new place for us to use.

 

 

We can go where ever we like according to Sharon, so near the edge, in the middle, where ever, obviously don't set-up right on top of any campers who may be there, but the field is large and unless she has a delegation of hard-core nutters who camp out in January, I do not see it being an issue, time will only tell.

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Brantuk

As a public camping facility, the site owners may have a legal obligation here. Locking travellers out of the site at night is one thing - but locking camping visitors in, is another. I would think they are legally obliged to provide access on/off the site on demand (e.g. emergency evacuation, access for emergency services, etc) - and making a phone call appears to be their current implementation of that.

 

I don't know for sure, but I'm just throwing it out there for consideration because it's not necessarily all about us, or about the site, or about the campers - there may well be a "public related" legal regulation they have to comply with. I would tread carefully with access concerns. :)

 

(That said - we did a pretty good job of keeping the gates locked at all times at Sawley lol)

 

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Bino-viewer

And this....

 

If i / we decide to bed down for the night, say if we have a late one, would we be liable for an over night charge ?

 

Kim raises a very good point there. 

If there is a requirement for us to purchase a key for example, in the future, i'd be happy to do that.

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RonC

If I take the little caravan and do stay the night, I don't mind paying the £10/11 for the stay. (Must check my bottle Gas and battery before I venture up there!) :)

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tuckstar
5 hours ago, Brantuk said:

but locking camping visitors in, is another. I would think they are legally obliged to provide access on/off the site on demand

I think they would either give the combination with a camp booking or leave it unlocked when any campers are there. As the site doesn't appear to be used much in the winter it makes sense for it to be locked most of the time and can understand her concerns. As far as fire etc is concerned, as long as the people can get out and away to safety that's all that matters. I'm sure further down the line we could re negotiate access. But for now this is how they would like us to proceed.

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Doc
9 minutes ago, Tweedledee said:

This lady Sharon doesn't yet know what a rowdy bunch of drunken hooligans we are at a starparty. ;)

So she seems very sensible in not giving us full entry rights from day one. Sounds like she's doing us a favour here and we need to prove to her that we can abide by her rules.

:thumbsup: Couldn't agree more.

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Daz Type-R

Spot on Pete.

 

:thumbsup:

 

We have to remember that this is new ground for her, she doesn't know us, doesn't know what we are like and is very generously letting us use her land, she is a very reasonable person and I think in time, we may be able to get the access sorted and come to some arrangement about people stopping over, but we need to remember this, primarily, this is a dark site, not a EMS sleep over, we have never stopped over at our dark sites before, so before we all start dragging our tents and tin snails over, lets use it for what we primarily got it for and in time, I am sure we can come to some sort of arrangement.

 

I too am keen to take a tent or something over on a Saturday night and rather than pack up at 2 am, put my head down in the tent, but small steps first, I think we are a little way off doing that yet but lets not rule it out.

 

Appreciate the responses all, keep the ideas coming.

 

Thanks all.

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Streetbob

It sounds a big improvement with greater potential. Am looking forward to a session there. Thanks to all who organised this. 

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