Craig Buddon Introduction
OS ref. SK558150 (Sheet 129)
SITUATION and CHARACTER
Craig Buddon together with the listed buildings - temples even - of the water treatment plant below the dam is a legacy of the construction of Swithland Reservoir in 1896. It is a very pleasant little quarried crag, with long climbs for Leicestershire, overlooking the reservoir and catching the full evening sun. The steam trains of the Great Central Railway make the only noise.
The rock is pink Mountsorrel granite: blocky and monolithic with runner placements non-existent. It gives balancy climbing that is serious for its grade on excellent rough rock. The rocks of the Mountsorrel intrusion only cover about 2 square miles (most of which is quarry) and are similar to igneous rocks in Scotland.
APPROACH and ACCESS (Location Plan)
The approach is from the Quorn-Thurcaston road. Turn off the old A6 south of Quorn. Proceed for 2 miles and then turn right down Kinchley Lane. This leads towards the reservoir, dam and old water works. After a mile or so along the side of the reservoir a gated green lane leads off right from the bridge at the end of the dam and goes beside the spillway. Craig Buddon is 50m along this lane and can be reached by climbing over the gate or the wall. The crag is clearly visible from the centre of the dam.
Craig Buddon belonged to the ratepayers of Leicester, who, through the Leicester Water Board, built the dam and (now disused) water works. It now belongs to Severn Trent who permit climbing. Severn Trent have no real use for the old water works (part is used for gas training) or Craig Buddon and the area is run like a nature reserve.
Severn Trent wish to monitor use of the crag and request that before visiting you telephone, the Leicester District Estates and Recreation Officer on 0509-413731. During working hours you will get information on how busy the crag might be and any access restriction. Outside working hours there is an answerphone for you to log the number of your party and the expected date and time.
The land over the wall at the top of the crag is part of Redland Aggregates Buddon Wood Quarry, the biggest granite quarry in Britain. The rock is highly
prized as a roadstone because it is so slow to polish and get slippery. Despite the warning signs they seem to pay little heed to climbers walking back down from the top of the crag. The active quarry face is still some way from the top of Craig Buddon.
Even though it is an old quarry, Craig Buddon is part of a SSSI. The heather slope to the left side (north) of the crag is of special interest and although it has made a convenient way down an alternative route should be used (see below).
The easiest is to go over the wall and follow it towards the reservoir. Hop back over the wall and return along the approach track. Access to the entire SSSI may be restricted during prolonged dry spells because of the fire risk and a notice will be posted to this effect.