Author Topic: Update on Twll Du  (Read 19769 times)

Offline SamT

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #225 on: June 11, 2018, 04:15:41 pm »
In Derbyshire they will have built a little coe (stone shed to the uninformed) over it, fitted a code lock and charge for entrance!

 :shrug: :-\ >:( :blink: :annoyed:

Offline martinb

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #226 on: June 11, 2018, 05:25:48 pm »
In Derbyshire they will have built a little coe (stone shed to the uninformed) over it, fitted a code lock and charge for entrance!

 :shrug: :-\ >:( :blink: :annoyed:

 :lol: :lol: :kiss2:

Offline SamT

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #227 on: June 11, 2018, 09:10:55 pm »
 ;)

Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #228 on: June 14, 2018, 12:40:46 pm »
Both Scappycaver and Martin Laverty refer to the PDCMG meeting which took place last Sunday.

I did not attend the meeting myself but I have spoken to someone who did. I have been informed that there was virtually no discussion concerning Twll Du whatsoever, the official PDCMG party line being that the "problem" is being dealt with by Cadw and that everything is being left entirely up to them. In a way this is hardly surprising as, from the very outset, it has been clear that the PDCMG have been shamelessly exploiting Cadw's involvement in order to have their dirty work done for them. However, it is very disappointing that none of the other clubs or cavers attending the meeting saw fit to seriously query this policy when they had the chance. Although it is good news to my ears that Cambrian Caving Council have finally seen the light and have done everything they can to distance themselves from this current debacle, there are still far too many people going along with this senseless policy of appeasement. That's right, let's all just take the easy way out and sit back and watch it happen, shall we? Absolutely pathetic and any caving clubs or individual cavers displaying such an attitude should be utterly and totally ashamed of themselves. Just to remind you all, this is the finest entrance to the longest cave system in Wales and you are allowing it to be permanently concreted without even raising barely a whimper? Unbelievable!! You simply do not deserve the right to be classed as cavers at all in my opinion. When this is all over and done the final inevitable outcome will be down to you as much as to those who actually pour the concrete. History will be the final judge of your actions (or lack of them) but in the immediate aftermath I hope you will be very proud of what you have achieved. Well done!




Offline Dave Tyson

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #229 on: June 14, 2018, 01:06:19 pm »
Nig, I think the problem is that Cadw are holding all the cards. If they say they want it closed than there is bugger all the caving community can do. We can protest, but they seem unwilling to listen. AFAICT this is why the BCA and CCC have walked away.
If Cadw have a change of heart then maybe discussions could be had, a suitable lid fabricated and an access policy agreed - CCC and BCA would almost certainly fund the work.

Personally I think Cadw will push ahead and get the Coal Authority or another private contractor to do the work - but this will not be cheap and they will have to fund it out of their meagre budget at the expense of more important project work. I suspect the timescales for the work will be long (if not infinite).

just my opinion,

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Offline Scrappycaver

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #230 on: June 14, 2018, 01:30:46 pm »
Both Scappycaver and Martin Laverty refer to the PDCMG meeting which took place last Sunday.

I did not attend the meeting myself but I have spoken to someone who did. I have been informed that there was virtually no discussion concerning Twll Du whatsoever, the official PDCMG party line being that the "problem" is being dealt with by Cadw and that everything is being left entirely up to them. In a way this is hardly surprising as, from the very outset, it has been clear that the PDCMG have been shamelessly exploiting Cadw's involvement in order to have their dirty work done for them. However, it is very disappointing that none of the other clubs or cavers attending the meeting saw fit to seriously query this policy when they had the chance. Although it is good news to my ears that Cambrian Caving Council have finally seen the light and have done everything they can to distance themselves from this current debacle, there are still far too many people going along with this senseless policy of appeasement. That's right, let's all just take the easy way out and sit back and watch it happen, shall we? Absolutely pathetic and any caving clubs or individual cavers displaying such an attitude should be utterly and totally ashamed of themselves. Just to remind you all, this is the finest entrance to the longest cave system in Wales and you are allowing it to be permanently concreted without even raising barely a whimper? Unbelievable!! You simply do not deserve the right to be classed as cavers at all in my opinion. When this is all over and done the final inevitable outcome will be down to you as much as to those who actually pour the concrete. History will be the final judge of your actions (or lack of them) but in the immediate aftermath I hope you will be very proud of what you have achieved. Well done!
Fair comments, I'm sure 99% of us are in favour of Twll du staying permanently open and that this matter can be concluded.

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Offline SamT

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #231 on: June 14, 2018, 02:31:53 pm »
If the entrance is willfully sealed permanently, and there follows a fatal accident which might have been prevented if the casualty could have been evacuated from the cave swiftly through Twll Du, would there be grounds to sue PDCMG/CADW/Coal board for persuing/enforcing a single entrance policy?

#canofworms
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 05:00:48 pm by SamT »

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #232 on: June 14, 2018, 03:27:12 pm »
SNIP

Personally I think Cadw will push ahead and get the Coal Authority or another private contractor to do the work - but this will not be cheap and they will have to fund it out of their meagre budget at the expense of more important project work. I suspect the timescales for the work will be long (if not infinite).

just my opinion,

Dave

Rather ironic if the Coal Authority were to deliberately block a second means of egress!

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #233 on: June 14, 2018, 05:44:08 pm »
In a way this is hardly surprising as, from the very outset, it has been clear that the PDCMG have been shamelessly exploiting Cadw's involvement in order to have their dirty work done for them.

In the interests of balance, if anyone cares about such a thing nowadays, I think that some reasonably hard evidence to back up this assertion might be helpful.

Rhys

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #234 on: June 14, 2018, 05:59:57 pm »
Regarding funding any works at Twll Du. Are Cadw actually complaining about a lack of funds? Those guys restore and maintain very many castles and other such places across Wales. Surely making this apparently small hole (I haven't seen it) safe will cost peanuts compared to the hundreds of thousands they must be spening elsewhere.

Offline Scrappycaver

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #235 on: June 14, 2018, 09:52:14 pm »
Regarding funding any works at Twll Du. Are Cadw actually complaining about a lack of funds? Those guys restore and maintain very many castles and other such places across Wales. Surely making this apparently small hole (I haven't seen it) safe will cost peanuts compared to the hundreds of thousands they must be spening elsewhere.
To assume cadw have no finances are absurd..hopefully they will step up and repair the rest of the tram rd which nig  r has elaborated in the past as dangerous.
Seeing the nunnery entrance has been open for 18 months is this down to the pdmc to make safe as continuous trips have pointed out the shuttering is deteriorating and needs urgent attention?

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Offline BradW

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #236 on: June 15, 2018, 07:59:35 am »
If someone deliberately causes a hole to appear in someone else's land not having got permission to dig it in the first instance, then why should the owner or the Agency charged with protecting that land be expected to pay for restoring the ground? In a world where people take responsibility for their actions, it should be the people who created the hole who should bear the cost of repairing it.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #237 on: June 15, 2018, 09:13:23 am »
Fair comments, I'm sure 99% of us are in favour of Twll du staying permanently open and that this matter can be concluded.

It's an (accidentally) illegally dug entrance in the middle of a scheduled monument...

From the outside it looks like the Draenen situation has been going on for so long that there is no room at all for reasonable middle ground, and people go as far as possible in one direction or the other regardless of whether it is sensible or not.

I don't believe in a single entrance policy. I do believe in respecting the hard work that caving volunteers put into managing caves, whether you agree with their actions or not.
I do believe in respecting landowners, but I also believe there should be a right to go caving where that does not impinge on others.
I do believe in protecting preserving our archaeological history - and I believe it is right that Cadw is empowered and active in doing that. The Offa's Dyke case was a farce.
I do believe that cavers, as the law currently stands, often trespass on other's (underground) land - but without harm to the landowner.
I don't believe that cavers should engage in outright criminality - whether it is causing digging damage without permission or knowingly damaging a scheduled monument.
I do think it is very unfortunate that Twll Du came up where it did, and if it had come up somewhere else it would be a great entrance - but it is where it is.
I believe caving needs to come out of the dark (so to speak), and present itself as a law-abiding sport, like other outdoor sports. This is how we will get greater acceptance, and with it greater rights to caving. The way to do this is not tacit acceptance of criminal behaviour in flagrant disregard of statutory bodies put there to protect our heritage.
I believe it's not all about Twll Du, it's not about Draenen, it's not all about the PDCMG and the CCC, it's not even all about caving - sometimes people need to see the bigger picture.

The only way there could ever be legitimate access to Twll Du is if Cadw agree - unlikely, but I expect my access bodies to be trying, not disengaging. Perhaps they are already satisfied it is not an option - in which case they should be working to rebuild relationships with statutory bodies. Hopefully I shouldn't need to explain why.

What is the possible gain of this course of action? What can be gained by withdrawing from debate with the only body who could offer legitimate access?

I'm sure there can be other entrances.

I may or may not _want_ Twll Du closed, but I accept reality, and I see no benefit in damaging relationships and fuelling the fire where there is little to no hope of success.

Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #238 on: June 15, 2018, 12:54:01 pm »

I don't believe in a single entrance policy.

I do think it is very unfortunate that Twll Du came up where it did, and if it had come up somewhere else it would be a great entrance - but it is where it is.

I'm sure there can be other entrances.

I may or may not _want_ Twll Du closed, but I accept reality, and I see no benefit in damaging relationships and fuelling the fire where there is little to no hope of success.

Just to focus upon each of the four above points in turn:

Unfortunately, the PDCMG do still misguidedly believe in a single entrance policy and they will do everything in their power to see that this is ruthlessly enforced.

Hence, even if Twll Du had come out on the hillside somewhere else the PDCMG would still have wanted it closed and would have done everything they could to ensure that this was ultimately achieved (just as they are continuing to do in regard to Drws Cefn, another entrance to Ogof Draenen which has been open for almost nine years and is situated on CRoW access land). They just wouldn't have had Cadw's involvement to act as a smokescreen for their actions.

Yes, there can be other entrances. How many would you like?

Are you a caver? Again, if you are, I am amazed that any caver should want anything other than to see such a fantastic entrance to such a fine cave system remain open for the benefit and enjoyment of all other cavers. Sorry, anything else is completely incomprehensible to me and will remain so I am afraid.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #239 on: June 15, 2018, 06:15:50 pm »
Also remember that the Kinder Trespass of 1932 was an affront to the social norms of the day. However, look at the huge benefits it brought over time, which I think would be agreed with by almost everybody.

I don't have a problem pushing the boundaries to further the aims of our special interest group, hopefully in time benefits will be seen from that too.

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Offline Joe Duxbury

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #240 on: June 15, 2018, 08:42:54 pm »

in the middle of a scheduled monument...


It's not in the middle of a scheduled monument. It's not on the tramroad at all. It's off to one side of it. Just look at the various photographs that have been published. Do CADW have carte blanche to decide how wide the boundaries (the curtilage?) of their monuments are? 1 m? 5? Why not 10?

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #241 on: June 15, 2018, 08:49:12 pm »
I don't have the time to research it, but has someone checked on what the original scheduling of the Tramway site said, together with the various acts?  For example, I do know CADW's scheduling of the Great Orme does provide detail on features below the "surface".  If as I suspect the schedule and the acts make no mention of 'under the surface', then one positive of CADW current position is to reduce NRW's ability to claim CRoW's use of the word "land" does not apply to 'under the surface'.

PS - the schedule will have a map showing the surface boundaries as it is a legal requirement.

Offline AR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #242 on: June 15, 2018, 09:35:37 pm »
Scheduled sites in Wales can be located from this interactive map and their boundaries and scheduling information viewed: http://cadw.gov.wales/historicenvironment/recordsv1/cof-cymru/?lang=en

Regarding anything below the surface, legally scheduling covers this too, theoretically to the centre of the earth unless there is a specific exclusion written into the list entry.
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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #243 on: June 15, 2018, 09:57:13 pm »
Scheduled sites in Wales can be located from this interactive map and their boundaries and scheduling information viewed: http://cadw.gov.wales/historicenvironment/recordsv1/cof-cymru/?lang=en
That is a copy - is it accurate?

Regarding anything below the surface, legally scheduling covers this too, theoretically to the centre of the earth unless there is a specific exclusion written into the list entry.
NRW disagrees with that interpretation, hence my comment.  But let's not get too far into CRoW on this thread.

Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #244 on: June 16, 2018, 12:50:12 pm »

in the middle of a scheduled monument...


It's not in the middle of a scheduled monument. It's not on the tramroad at all. It's off to one side of it. Just look at the various photographs that have been published. Do CADW have carte blanche to decide how wide the boundaries (the curtilage?) of their monuments are? 1 m? 5? Why not 10?

Joe is quite correct: Twll Du is slightly to one side of the tramroad and a little way above it. However, it would appear that Cadw do indeed have the power to decide how wide the boundaries of their monuments extend: in this case there seems to be a buffer zone above the tramroad but not below it.


But let's not get too far into CRoW on this thread.

Two points are worthy of mention here:

Firstly, apart from being just within the scheduled monument boundary, Twll Du is on CRoW land, and (as has been noted earlier) had it emerged only a matter of metres further away it would have been totally outside of this boundary.

Secondly, the CRoW aspect is indeed of paramount importance due to the fact that the PDCMG are continuing to completely disregard it so far as the brutal enforcement of their single entrance policy is concerned. As I have already stated, one less than palatable fact to emerge from last week's meeting is that they are absolutely determined to push ahead with their plans to close Drws Cefn to cavers, despite it being situated on CRoW land and having been open for almost nine years. In addition to being in direct contravention of BCA's recent statement that CRoW already applies to caving, this is an act of utmost folly and will do nothing other than to exacerbate the entire Ogof Draenen situation rather than calm it down. I did not attend this latest meeting but was present at the previous one when Chris Densham proudly passed around diagrams of his latest plan to seal Drws and glibly stated "Oh, we fully expect it to be vandalised!". This is an absolutely appalling attitude in my opinion and demonstrates perfectly that those pulling the strings of the PDCMG will do anything and everything they can in pursuit of their goal. Also, as mentioned by Scrappycaver earlier, the original second entrance at the Nunnery (concreted shut by the PDCMG almost twenty years ago) has now been open for a couple of years as well. This too is situated on CRoW land and although I am unaware of any firm plans on the part of the PDCMG for its closure, I am sure they will be in the offing.

Offline nobrotson

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #245 on: June 16, 2018, 01:46:30 pm »

Secondly, the CRoW aspect is indeed of paramount importance due to the fact that the PDCMG are continuing to completely disregard it so far as the brutal enforcement of their single entrance policy is concerned. As I have already stated, one less than palatable fact to emerge from last week's meeting is that they are absolutely determined to push ahead with their plans to close Drws Cefn to cavers, despite it being situated on CRoW land and having been open for almost nine years. In addition to being in direct contravention of BCA's recent statement that CRoW already applies to caving, this is an act of utmost folly and will do nothing other than to exacerbate the entire Ogof Draenen situation rather than calm it down. I did not attend this latest meeting but was present at the previous one when Chris Densham proudly passed around diagrams of his latest plan to seal Drws and glibly stated "Oh, we fully expect it to be vandalised!". This is an absolutely appalling attitude in my opinion and demonstrates perfectly that those pulling the strings of the PDCMG will do anything and everything they can in pursuit of their goal. Also, as mentioned by Scrappycaver earlier, the original second entrance at the Nunnery (concreted shut by the PDCMG almost twenty years ago) has now been open for a couple of years as well. This too is situated on CRoW land and although I am unaware of any firm plans on the part of the PDCMG for its closure, I am sure they will be in the offing.

Who gets to attend these meetings and where and when are they? I would quite like to go to one.

Do you know Chris Densham well? From the (admittedly limited) part of this debate that I have witnessed, it seems to me that a lot of the points of view being held on both sides are often not solely motivated by a matter of principle, but also largely by opinions and assumptions about others of a personal nature. This has to stop. It is ridiculously immature, it presents a brick wall in the way of meaningful progress and it creates a very negative and hostile attitude that really discourages some people from speaking out on the issue.

Fleur, former PDCMG secretary who I consider a good friend, has been on the receiving end of some quite awful vitriol from some people and this is not on. She is a person who I consider to have a lot of integrity and who I have a lot of respect for. Likewise, Chris is a good friend of mine who I have a lot of respect for. I am starting to think that he is wrong about Draenen and the entrances from what I read and what I believe about access to caves, but that doesn't mean I have lost any of my respect for him as a cave explorer.

I would genuinely like to know whether you have tried to get to know Chris as a person. A lack of empathy and understanding seems to be pretty absent from both sides of this debate. Maybe you can change my perspective of this.
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Offline nobrotson

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #246 on: June 16, 2018, 01:48:49 pm »
I am constantly looking to the future, there is always new cave passage to discover and entrances to be found! My statement above is one of fact and should be taken at face value. Other entrances are already open and are serving their purpose of facilitating the ongoing exploration of Ogof Draenen. I do not believe the PDCMG will be able to close them, although it is clear that they would dearly love to do so and are determined to maintain their efforts in that sole direction. As you say, once they finally see the error of their ways we can all move on.

Do you need these other entrances to be open to explore the far reaches of Draenen? The way from the PDCMG's preferred entrance to, for example, the Into The Black streamway and tyhe Rock'n'Roll Choke is not especially arduous caving and does not take very long at all compared to some caves (took us around 3 hours in last time carrying kit).

With regards to the future of conservation of the cave, I would like to understand your stance. Is this something you care about? I don't know you, so I am just trying to work out what your motives are with regard to finding other entrances. Doubtless it makes exploration easier to have The Nunnery etc open as these entrances are closer to leads in the Dollimore Series, War of the Worlds etc. But it is still very possible from the current PDCMG preferred entrance. I know a number of student cavers from OUCC who have repeatedly proved this.

And with regard to conservation of formations, there is in my mind no argument that the PDCMG stance has protected the far reaches of the cave. The formations in War of the Worlds, MS&D and Luck of the Draw are extremely fragile and benefit hugely from their isolation with respect to the PDCMG preferred entrance. What is your stance on this?

Can you also answer these earlier questions?
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Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #247 on: June 16, 2018, 03:03:23 pm »
Nobrotson,

To answer your latest questions first:

The meetings referred to are those of the PDCMG which take place twice a year. The fact that you are unaware of this is somewhat surprising to me as you are friends with Chris and Fleur. It also perfectly emphasises the point made recently by Martin Laverty in this very thread concerning the lack of publicity given by the PDCMG concerning their own meetings.

If you had known about and been able to attend the previous PDCMG meeting in November last year, you would have heard me say to Chris (in front of everyone else who was there) that I thought he was a good caver: just ask anyone who attended that meeting if you do not believe me. Like yourself, I have the utmost respect for his ability as a cave explorer: of that there is no doubt. I caved with him (and several other prominent members of OUCC) when Draenen was first discovered, so I know what I am talking about from first hand experience. I enjoyed these trips and, on a personal level, it does indeed sadden me greatly that things have developed the way they have in the years since.

However, (also like it would appear you yourself are starting to believe) I am convinced that Chris (and the PDCMG) have got it totally wrong when it comes to a single entrance policy for Ogof Draenen. Now, this should be no great problem as such: after all the world is full of people holding different opinions, isn't it? The problem arises when those holding one view force theirs upon others by forcibly applying a solution to secure an outcome in their favour: in this particular case it being the concreting shut of caves. Sadly, Chris has been the chief exponent of this from the very outset, going back to the days of the Nunnery and continuing right up until the present time. Sorry, but I have absolutely zero respect on this score for any caver (be it Chris or anybody else) who wants to deny other cavers access to caves by concreting their entrances. Do you?

I do agree it is unfortunate (from the point of view of both sides) that the situation has become so polarised (and personalised) over the years. If any newcomers to the debate (such as yourself) would like to become more involved to help try to bring about some sensible means of resolution, I am sure that would be appreciated by all concerned.

I hope this helps answer some of your queries, anything else feel free to ask.

Apologies for not answering your earlier questions back in March. Virtually all the points you raised had already been covered in endless debate on this very forum and, after careful deliberation, I thought it would achieve nothing to do so again. However, I was perhaps being a little hasty and should maybe have realised that someone new to the Draenen saga was, quite simply, unaware of this. Why not check back over some of the previous threads and see what you can find? All the answers you require will be there, I am sure. I will then come back and give you any answers you are still unsure of once you have a greater grasp of what has been said previously. Is this OK?

Offline Badlad

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #248 on: June 16, 2018, 03:28:08 pm »
Global Moderator Comment Dear all Draenen watchers. I am very pleased to read a more civilised discussion on this topic and long may it continue. Please for the sake of everybody can we maintain it. The mods will take action on threads which degenerate to unacceptable levels. Thank you.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #249 on: June 16, 2018, 04:39:41 pm »
It would be interesting to know what percentage of all the millions of words on the forum have concerned Ogof Draenen. I second Tim's comment. Great to have polite debate on this vexatious topic.