Author Topic: CSCC Locks  (Read 2124 times)

Offline GarDouth

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CSCC Locks
« on: June 09, 2021, 12:19:55 pm »
Global Moderator Comment General discussion on CSCC locks split from Thrupe Lane topic: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=28146.0

Following concerns raised by local parents, the entrance gate at Thrupe Lane Swallet will soon be fitted with a CSCC padlock. Access arrangements are otherwise unchanged.

Remember, CSCC keys are held by all CSCC member clubs and are usually available to non-members on loan from one of the Mendip clubs with a hut. These are BEC, CSS, MCG, MNRC, SMCC, and WCC

Out of interest, what is the reason for not going with the "Derbyshire key" approach? Was this option put to those locals concerned?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 08:52:58 am by PeteHall »
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Offline Cavematt

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 01:12:26 pm »
I can certainly understand any locals having concerns about kids accessing the cave and getting hurt, and why they might want to see the entrance secured in some way to prevent that happening.

However, why does a padlock have to go on that requires a specific physical key that can only be collected from a club hut?

Options include the 'Derbyshire Key' approach, or a combination padlock meaning groups can just be emailed the combination rather than have to collect a physical key. Both would secure the cave perfectly fine from local children while keeping it as simple as possible for genuine cavers to enter. Having to go to a club hut to collect a key is a real pain for anyone coming from outside the area and/or caving midweek when nobody might be available at the huts (an issue I have encountered in the past).

I just wondered whether these alternatives had been considered? Could they work?

Apologies for my naivety on the situation (I'm a northern caver who likes the occasional trip down to Mendip, and Thrupe Lane Swallet has always been one of my favourites). There may be some background to this that I'm not aware of to explain why the CSCC padlock is the only option here.
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Online PeteHall

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 01:58:20 pm »
Out of interest, what is the reason for not going with the "Derbyshire key" approach? Was this option put to those locals concerned?

Fair question and not one I know the answer to off hand, but I can check.

As a general point, while the Derbyshire key system clearly works well elsewhere, it has never been widely adopted on Mendip, so the default option is the CSCC key.

I'm an open proponent of making things as accessible as possible and the idea of unnecessary locks really upsets me, however, where there is a need to control access (for public safety, or conservation), I think the CSCC key is not much more restrictive than the Derbyshire key. It's a standard key, that is widely available to local (or visiting) cavers, so nobody should ever have an issue getting hold of one.

The main draw-back is that you might need to swing by a club to pick it up and return it, but a lot of cavers will meet at the club for a cup of tea and some faff before a trip anyway, so it's not generally a great hardship. Remember, most Mendip caves are not as long as northern caves, so trips are often shorter; there is less urgency to meet at the entrance a the crack of dawn if you are only going for a 4 hour trip, rather tan an 8 hour trip. Again, because of the nature of the geology, most pitches in Mendip (Thrupe Lane being an exception) are easiest done with a ladder, and people tend to borrow these from a club rather than owning your own, as SRT cavers do with rope, so most people will be going to their club hut before a trip anyway.

For clubs without a hut, CSCC keys are held by members and I don't think there are any restrictions on how many keys a club can hold, so there are loads of key holders and usually one on most trips anyway.

For those who choose to cave outside an established club, or the BCA, access to a CSCC key may be more problematic and the CSCC is actively looking at how it can better represent and support these people, so perhaps the Derbyshire key discussion will come up again, but for now, the system seems to work ok and there doesn't seem to be a great call to change it; in the last 10 years (all that I could be bothered to check) there has not been a proposal to the CSCC AGM to change it's system for securing caves that need to be controlled. Any member caver is entitled to bring a motion before an AGM and the fact that nobody has, suggests that most local cavers don't find the system too difficult.  :shrug:

Offline GarDouth

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 02:19:11 pm »
Thanks for the info Pete.

I am personally very apposed to locking caves at all. I think there is almost no good justification for it and there is always another option. I think the Derbyshire key is a great idea but if not that then why not a combination lock as Matt said?

My feeling is that it's more about clubs wanting to retain some kind of control (power?) over the caves rather than working towards a more open system. After all, it does say in the CSCC constitution - "access for cavers should be granted as freely as possible throughout the country".

One thing I would really like to know is when any non-caver member of the public (a land-owner for example) expresses a concern about access to a cave, particularly on safety grounds, what options are they presented with? It would be natural for that person to think of a padlock first as they may not know what else could be done but do the CSCC suggest the alternatives or just go with a padlock because the land owner mentioned it? In my experience, land owners are more than happy to go with an alterative if it's given and will happily go with the experience of the cavers to recommend something that works elsewhere.
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Offline Cavematt

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 02:44:56 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Pete!
 
As the new Communications/PR Officer for CSCC, you have a hard job putting a positive spin on the locking of a cave :-[
 
As you say, if none of the CSCC member clubs have ever pushed for an alternative to the CSCC key option, then it is safe to assume everyone is happy with the status quo.

For those of us not from the area, the CSCC key is a challenge, as it relies on finding someone to give you a key or pre-arranging this; a complication and uncertainty that just puts me off wanting to cave on Mendip. I remember last time I was on Mendip trying to get a key for GB, and being sent around three club huts trying to find someone who could provide one (and when I did find someone, I faced an interrogation, and I felt that the key was relinquished with some reluctance, and a reminder of how much inconvenience we were causing).

Maybe a CSCC member club fancies working with yourself, Ed and other modernisers, to put forward a proposal to reform this system and move things in a more positive direction.

Or maybe everyone is happy with how things are; We shall see.
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Offline Duncan Price

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 03:43:54 pm »
Any member caver is entitled to bring a motion before an AGM and the fact that nobody has, suggests that most local cavers don't find the system too difficult.  :shrug:

I'm a local caver and not a member of Mendip caving club.  I'd prefer an alternative to the CSCC key if I wanted to go down a cave - especially one that I helped open up - that now has a CSCC padlock...


Offline andrewmc

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 03:51:16 pm »
Of the various access systems in use on Mendips, the CSCC key is by far the best (short of open caves)... it's a widely available key, I believe any club in the country can get one (may need to join CSCC but this doesn't cost anything), every Mendip club hands them out pretty freely, it is run by the regional council rather than an ACB or a club, and there is almost no restriction on who can borrow a key. You might even be able to get a key as an individual (not sure). If not, I think selling keys to individual BCA members would be a very reasonable thing to do - since there is never a reason to restrict a BCA member from a CSCC cave, there is no reason not to give them a key.

If you did lock a cave on Mendip with a Derbyshire key, it would probably be the only cave on Mendip you needed a spanner for, so I would suggest a combination system so either a spanner OR a CSCC key could be used, otherwise you'll get cavers turning up with the 'universal key' and getting confused!

Under normal circumstances (which these are not), getting a CSCC key on a weekend is easy (you just go to the Wessex, as the hut most likely to be occupied) but I can see that it is a pain outside of these times and at the moment. If you are staying at a hut, you can probably arrange to have a key left, but most huts lock them away even though they then hand them out to all and sundry.

Replacing the CSCC keys with combination locks across the board is probably not practical, but the CSCC could arrange for a stash of keys to be left in a combination-locked store somewhere on Mendip that could be accessed by visiting cavers when the huts are closed? Then the combination can be frequently changed (to prevent all the keys going walkies).

I'm not here to argue that gates 'protect' caves, as the cave conservation incidents that come to mind (Hunters Lodge Inn Sink, the recent apparently inept bolting in Rhino Rift) were in gated caves...

I would note that GB keys are not CSCC keys, are not controlled by the CSCC, and involve considerable additional faff compared to getting a CSCC key. There are many more rules, only club committee members of the Charterhouse clubs are authorised to give out keys, there is a lot more paperwork... as an ex-committee member who has in the past spent maybe half an hour some mornings signing out those silly little permits and collecting the accumulated shrapnel of a student club it's a PITA for all concerned! CSCC keys are easy - just hand over the key :) (albeit often in exchange for a deposit). Also, note that Rhino Rift is a Charterhouse cave, so all those restrictions aren't really achieving very much...

I would much rather all access was controlled by regional councils (directly or delegated), but hey-ho... :P

Maybe the next iteration of CSCC keys could be RFID tag readers, and the gate would unlock when you presented your BCA card... :)

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2021, 04:08:39 pm »
Yes an individual can hold a key. I've had the old one and the new one myself even though I belong to a club with several of them in the tackle store.

Offline GarDouth

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2021, 04:21:13 pm »
Replacing the CSCC keys with combination locks across the board is probably not practical

Why would it not be practical? Cost is certainly not an issue as the BCA funds the locks anyway. They wouldn't all have to be changed at the same time and would be a good chance to review each one as to if it really needs a lock at all.

it's a widely available key, I believe any club in the country can get one

Probably but not at all convenient in my experience. Possibly lack of planning on my part but I have gone to club huts several times in the past to try and get a key and there is either no one there or if there is I've been met with "sorry I don't have access to the key cupboard" or something similar.

For Charterhouse I've always forgotten my letter from God signed in a virgin's blood.

Where on the CSCC website does it say how to get a key for your club? I'm sure it's true, but not widely advertised as far as I can see.

If you did lock a cave on Mendip with a Derbyshire key, it would probably be the only cave on Mendip you needed a spanner for, so I would suggest a combination system so either a spanner OR a CSCC key could be used, otherwise you'll get cavers turning up with the 'universal key' and getting confused!

I don't think it's confusing. At least two systems exist now anyway and it's pretty easy to just have the correct information available on the CSCC website. Caves in Yorkshire and Derbyshire have all sorts of different access requirements so it's up to people to check. Good practice anyway in case there is a warning, change of rigging or some other issue to be aware of.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 04:36:31 pm by GarDouth »
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Offline Alex

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2021, 05:30:29 pm »
I agree with all of what GarDouth says.

The Mendips need to get out of their old mindsets, but I suspect it's just a way to keep us Northerners away. As if being the arse end of nowhere was not enough to put us off lol.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2021, 06:06:53 pm »
Actually you're in the arse end of nowhere, which is why having unlocked caves is less of an issue. Unfortunately, Mendip has a much smaller community of farmers, who do all talk to each other, & as we originally went for keys, that's what they all expect - we have had various discussions with landowners about other options, but it's not that easy to change their mindsets (& the thrupe lane family are new arrivals in the houses opposite whose kids are just getting to the point where they can go exploring - hence the change). Btw I was born & bred in Yorkshire...

Offline alastairgott

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2021, 07:33:33 pm »
It is also a misnomer that ALL caves in Derbyshire are Derbyshire keyed. There are a few that are locked with a key. One which seems specifically relevant to the thrupe situation is the mine widely known as youds level in a children’s playground. I’m sure if I lived near thrupe as a child then I’d be thinking of getting myself in there.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2021, 07:44:13 pm »
Replacing the CSCC keys with combination locks across the board is probably not practical

Why would it not be practical? Cost is certainly not an issue as the BCA funds the locks anyway. They wouldn't all have to be changed at the same time and would be a good chance to review each one as to if it really needs a lock at all.

Would you keep all the combinations the same, which would be easier but if that combination got stuck up on the web you might want to change them all? Or would you have different combinations for each cave, and people had to look them up? How would you keep the combination 'secret' - would you put it on a BCA member only page, or would you have to contact someone (which is a faff)? Yes, nefarious actors could, if they wanted, acquire a CSCC key, make a copy, and go into caves and do whatever it is people don't want people to do in caves is. But it's non-trivial, whereas once a combination code has been stuck up on the Web/a FB group it may not satisfy the people it needs to satisfy.

Combination locks are also, I suspect, probably less robust against Mendippian mud. Note the rather fancy engineering on the Hunters Lodge Inn Sink gate designed so that you don't have to touch the padlock when you emerge which helps you to not get it muddy :P

A Derbyshire key, obviously, avoids these issues by accepting that any vaguely prepared person can gain access. Although I remember arriving at Box Mine once to find that someone had taken an angle-grinder to the gate, despite it being locked with a single removable bolt...

Quote
For Charterhouse I've always forgotten my letter from God signed in a virgin's blood.

Charterhouse (including GB Cavern, Longwood Swallet and Rhino Rift) is indeed a completely different thing that has nothing to do with CSCC keys or the CSCC, and would continue to be different regardless of what the CSCC did from burying caves in concrete through to sucking people into caves even when they don't want to go down them.

What I can say is that the way the CSCC key system has come about, and persists, has nothing to do with the North; I'm not sure most Mendippians even realise there's anything north of Bristol other than Scotland...

Incidentally, the population of the entire Yorkshire Dales National Park is 23,500 people, although it should be considered that Ingleton, for example, is not included (towns and villages are often intentionally just missed by the boundary). The population of the Craven district is about 56,000 people. The population of North Yorkshire (a massive area that goes to the east coast) is about 824,000.

The population of the Mendips AONB is only 6,000 people, which is not very many. BUT about 800,000 people live within 10 miles of the Mendips, so while the hill itself is still stuck in the 1950s, the population catchment is arguably much larger. This is largely irrelevant though!

The best caves on Mendip are, in any event, either open and unlocked (Swildons, Eastwater), require arcane sacrifices (GB Cavern) which are nothing to do with CSCC, or are leader-led (e.g. Upper Flood) and frankly if there was a cave like Upper Flood in Yorkshire I'd want it leader-led as well. Probably some of the CSCC locked caves don't need to be, but that's an indictment of the individual cave access, not the whole system. It's the most accessible key system in the country - it's still a key system, but every other system is more difficult :P

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2021, 07:51:32 pm »
If people don't like it they can go elsewhere.

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2021, 07:56:31 pm »
Quote
... my letter from God signed in a virgin's blood

That'll only just get you past the first level of the illuminati guardians on the night of a full moon, let alone anywhere near access to the key cabinet.


Offline Pitlamp

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2021, 08:10:06 pm »
I agree with all of what GarDouth says.

The Mendips need to get out of their old mindsets, but I suspect it's just a way to keep us Northerners away. As if being the arse end of nowhere was not enough to put us off lol.

Alex - there is a lot of tradition involved but there's also a lot of switched on folk in the Mendip caving community. I'm sure they have their reasons for doing things the way they do. Equally I see no harm in Gary & Matt querying the whys & wherefores.

I'm very much a northern caver but I've been to Mendip quite a lot over the years. I can honestly say I've always been made welcome (from the age of 15 when I was very wet behind the ears) and I never had any problem with obtaining keys, either on the day or when it was necessary to make arrangements in advance.

The classic one, which I've mentioned on this forum in the past, was when Willie Stanton ran access to Reservoir Hole. I expressed interest in going there and the Mendip cavers themselves just laughed and said I'd have no chance. But I made a polite request anyway and Willie was extremely helpful.

Although I'd always prefer the most free access possible, my experience of the Mendip key situation is that many problems are perceived, rather than real.

Online mikem

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2021, 08:14:31 pm »
Box Mines had a Derbyshire key, we now have no access as too many people got in there who had no idea what they were doing (& quite a few of them left the gate open)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2021, 08:28:10 pm »
Box Mines had a Derbyshire key, we now have no access as too many people got in there who had no idea what they were doing (& quite a few of them left the gate open)

It was a worthwhile attempt by the then CSCC Access officer but suggests that the Derbyshire Key philosophy isn't a working solution to sites so close to large urban populations within single digit driving times.

Offline Ed W

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2021, 09:14:06 pm »
I am old and crusty enough to remember the introduction of the CSCC key.  The standard "one key to rule them all" replaced a bewildering array of keys/locks for caves not covered by one of the major access control bodies on the Mendips.  There is no need to book in advance, or even decide which of the caves with a CSCC padlock cave you wish to visit as long as you can get hold of a key.  As has been said by others, obtaining a CSCC key is usually easy.  Every CSCC member club is entitled to them and there are no restrictions on who can borrow one.  At weekends they can be borrowed from one of a number of clubs, but I fully understand that this may be more difficult mid-week.  However, I will personally promise that if you contact me via PM on UK Caving or via my CSCC Chair email that I will do my very best to find a way to get a key to you if you are visiting Mendip and don't know how to obtain the loan of one by other means.  Is the CSCC key method a perfect solution, no but then I would argue that there is no such thing.  The "Derbyshire Key" method was tried at Box as previously mentioned but created constant problems.  Combination locks have been tried and found wanting.  To date the CSCC key is the best method we have tried, but of course that doesn't mean that a better solution cannot be found in the future.

As to the question about whether this is the BEST way to manage access to those caves that CSCC currently controls, I have a very open mind to sensible proposals.  So long as the solution is practical and most importantly keeps the local population (including landowners) happy then I am sure that CSCC will consider any such proposal on its merits.  The caves currently locked with the CSCC key have this arrangement purely because the landowners insist that the sites are safe as part of the agreements to allow access.  The CSCC locks are there to protect the public not keep cavers out.

My personal view on cave access is that it should be as "open" as possible with the minimum restrictions commensurate with protection of vulnerable features (if necessary) and that any restrictions in place should be applied equitably across all cavers and be transparent in nature.

I would just like to add that, despite the interesting discussion about access on Mendip is general, I for one am extremely grateful for the time that people like Dave K give up  to ensure that cavers have access to sites like Thrupe Lane.  Placing a lock on the gate doesn't take much time in itself, but listening to the locals concerns and giving advance notice does take time, and this is only one of many actions that volunteers like Dave carry out very much in the background but ensure that the caving community is seen in a good light by the people we rely on to enable us to have fun.

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Offline wellyjen

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2021, 09:48:03 pm »
Box Mines had a Derbyshire key, we now have no access as too many people got in there who had no idea what they were doing (& quite a few of them left the gate open)

It was a worthwhile attempt by the then CSCC Access officer but suggests that the Derbyshire Key philosophy isn't a working solution to sites so close to large urban populations within single digit driving times.
The Derbyshire sites using the Derbyshire Key system are also close to large urban populations. Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke on Trent. The problem with Box Mine is that it isn't horrible enough inside to select out most people wanting to go in it once they have the gate open!  :o
A lot of Mendip sites could use a Derbyshire Key, self selecting for people interested in caving, though they don't have the Derbyshire mud to further deter the riff raff.
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Offline ZombieCake

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2021, 10:20:12 pm »
It'll be nice when access restrictions are finally lifted and we can actually get back access to all the currently shut caving huts, and therefore access all and any keys if needed as appropriate.
Hopefully, not too long now, but I have doubts over the 21 June date given the flakiness of the current situation.

Offline badger

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2021, 07:48:20 am »
I would think if cavers are visiting from out of area, that they will be staying at 1 of mendip caving huts, like wise when mendip cavers venture out of are they would stay at a caving hut in that area.
If staying at a cave hut it should be easily arranged that you can get access to a cscc key.
Knowing the issues sometimes caused in difficulty unlocking a padlock with a key, I believe the use of combination locks would be even worse, and require even more maintenance from cscc access officer.

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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2021, 10:59:16 am »
I would think if cavers are visiting from out of area, that they will be staying at 1 of mendip caving huts, like wise when mendip cavers venture out of are they would stay at a caving hut in that area.
If staying at a cave hut it should be easily arranged that you can get access to a cscc key.


If I ever come to Mendip, I leave my house in the East Midlands at about 5am, drive to Mendip, do a days caving, then drive home.

I don't go near any huts, and time spent procuring a key is time spent not caving.

Whereas I have a Derbyshire Key.

The upshot is that the locations I would visit on Mendip are restricted, compared to Yorkshire or Derbyshire for example.

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Online JoshW

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2021, 11:02:10 am »

The upshot is that the locations I would visit on Mendip are restricted, compared to Yorkshire or Derbyshire for example.

Be interested to see why you think this is an upshot?

Personally I'd like to see access as open as possible and funding put towards conservation campaigns to ensure pretty stuff can stay that way.
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2021, 11:46:55 am »

The upshot is that the locations I would visit on Mendip are restricted, compared to Yorkshire or Derbyshire for example.

Be interested to see why you think this is an upshot?

Personally I'd like to see access as open as possible and funding put towards conservation campaigns to ensure pretty stuff can stay that way.

Maybe wrong word!! try consequence.   :-[

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Offline Fishes

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2021, 06:17:45 pm »
As an outsider I've never had issues getting access to most Mendip sites. I think access agreements are generally best left with local cavers/landowners who have put the work in over many decades to build access arrangements. I don't think outsiders should have a major influence in the matter.




Offline alastairgott

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2021, 07:36:42 pm »
If I ever come to Mendip, I leave my house in the East Midlands at about 5am, drive to Mendip, do a days caving, then drive home.

That's keen! I think you should be given a Gold key to the Hunters inn and it's fiefdom.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2021, 07:39:23 pm »
I don't think outsiders should have a major influence in the matter.

Worry not, they don't.

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2021, 07:44:10 pm »
As usual a load of fuss about practically nothing. Most of us who cave on Mendip have our own key and as far as I know you can easily get them copied. Its a matter of trust on how they are used. I have never caved with a club and seldom visit my club huts. I am in a small band of old people who like to do things their own way and that includes sorting out access. Over Covid we have gained access to three sites for digging by using the personal approach. An approach by a committee representing hundreds of cavers would have stood no chance.

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2021, 01:10:58 am »
An approach by a committee representing hundreds of cavers would have stood no chance.

One of the strangest quotes in this thread, why?
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Offline badger

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2021, 07:21:17 am »
and not sure the thread is about landowner/caver relationship, in most mendip cases it seems fine. the issue is on how the landowner wants them secured. In CSCC it seems padlocked, then access to keys.
When I was not a member of a club or in a CSCC club I never experienced an issue in getting keys. And was only a very small inconvenience to go via a cave club. It was unusual not to find someone at the wessex who had access to keys

An all together different debate is whether the locks should be fitted with a derbyshire key or  padlock, seems to be pros and cons for both arguments, but since there for the majority is no issue getting keys why change it. FYI I am for open arrangements rather than locked caves. But dont see the reason to fix an issue which works for the majority and keeps mendip landowners happy

Online PeteHall

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2021, 08:53:30 am »
Over Covid we have gained access to three sites for digging by using the personal approach. An approach by a committee representing hundreds of cavers would have stood no chance.

I'm not sure what point you are making TOR. Isn't this always the case for :dig: ?

A more relevant question would be, once your cave goes and more people than just the diggers want to visit, what will be the access agreement? Will the landowner be happy for it to be open, or will they want some form of access control. If the latter, who will manage it?

It is surely far better for this to be managed by a regional council, with a standardised system, than for you to get a phone call every time someone wants to go down. What happens when you reach the end of your caving career and/or life? Access is lost until someone else starts from scratch talking to the landowner?

Obviously the above is irrelevant while your site is a dig and basically nobody except the diggers want to visit it, so in the context of CSCC access systems etc, it is also irrelevant is it not?  :shrug:

Online mikem

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2021, 04:29:38 pm »
But the thread title has been changed to CSCC Locks, so there is some relevance...

Online Ed

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2021, 04:58:19 pm »
Keys aren't an issue --- about 2 minutes with a cheap set of lockpicks of ebay will open them locks.

Quicker than driving to a club --- can't do that with a combination lock.

Somewhere like Box Mine is always going to have issues no matter what lock you put on. Use a paddock and someone with just use the "universal key"

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2021, 05:12:36 pm »
Keys aren't an issue --- about 2 minutes with a cheap set of lockpicks of ebay will open them locks.

That might be the case if you're a skilled lockpick, which 99.9% of the population are not, even before you think of all the mud and rust in these things, and the awkward positioning of them. A lock will keep out most people who aren't willing to grind them off.

Offline Minion

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2021, 09:34:01 pm »
If you’re not a skilled lock pick like Ed, then £4 on eBay will buy you the correct key.

I’m opposed to gates and locks, but if they’re freely available on eBay for a few quid to all and sundry, then the gates and locks serve no purpose except keep landowners happy and stroke the egos of the ‘access controlling bodies’.


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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2021, 08:24:00 am »
If you’re not a skilled lock pick like Ed, then £4 on eBay will buy you the correct key.

While I can certainly pick locks, any half-decent lockpicker knows a key is usually a quicker option, unless the lock is truly awful. Got a link to those keys?? I can't find anything with a few varied searches.
I'm pretty sure the CSCC use Abus 50 series locks, so blanks are readily available.
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Offline estelle

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2021, 09:17:26 am »
Yes an individual can hold a key. I've had the old one and the new one myself even though I belong to a club with several of them in the tackle store.
me too, got mine from the CSCC as it is just more convenient to have one myself than go via a caving hut. If you want a key for your club or individually, best to contact the CSCC.
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Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2021, 09:52:09 am »
The car park at Fairy Cave Quarry requires a CSCC key and parking is limited in the lane. Basically that's why I have the key. Please always remember to lock the gate when you are caving.

As for access ( off topic ). Correct a dig is a dig. Should it become something else a permanent access arrangement is best. Foot in the door initially really.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2021, 08:07:27 am »
If you’re not a skilled lock pick like Ed, then £4 on eBay will buy you the correct key.

If you know exactly what you're looking for and are aware that you can find it on eBay. A lock won't keep out anyone whose determined enough to do a lot of research or put a lot of effort in. Which means it will keep out everyone else. Which means they do their job pretty well.

I'm no fan of locking caves, but let's not misrepresent how well locks keep out Joe public. Instead I'd be interested to know how many legitimate cavers they keep out because it's more faff to organize a trip. That's the big issue.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2021, 08:30:23 am »
Instead I'd be interested to know how many legitimate cavers they keep out because it's more faff to organize a trip. That's the big issue.

Certainly it will keep me out. I don't go caving very often (I go mine exploring every 3-4 weeks though). When I do go caving, it can be anywhere in the country, and since it is generally a single day trip from a long way away, I will want somewhere that I can just drive to and go in.

As a consequence, I have never visited a lot of places, some of which are reputed to be quite good!

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Online Badlad

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2021, 09:01:47 am »
Quote
.....Instead I'd be interested to know how many legitimate cavers they keep out because it's more faff to organize a trip. That's the big issue.

Indeed, this is a major point.  Although the caving community 'bubble' is the significant group, and I expect access for the vast majority within it is easy, there will be other cavers on the outside who do not know the system nor have the local connections which others find so easy.

There are parallels to the permit system in the Dales which I am more familiar with.  Similarly it was claimed to be a simple system for all legitimate cavers, and it was, for those in the know and within the caving community bubble.  Just as with the keys on Mendip, local cavers, regulars if you like, could get a permit with ease.

As I got involved with access in the north, and coming from outside the permit community bubble myself, I realised many legitimate groups were either put off by it or ignored it.  These could be groups of individual cavers or clubs from outside the area and likely some from outside of BCA membership too. 

Just one of many examples of this was a group of National Park rangers who had stopped caving in the Dales as legitimate access through the permit system was too much 'faff'.  This came to light, by chance, at a National Park meeting which I attended to promote caving.  The permit system had been a barrier to this group for many years and was an eye-opener to the plight of other legitimate cavers.

The point is that within the 'caving community bubble' you don't really get to know who you are putting off caving in your area.  No one really does.  Why do anything about it when the community is happy with the system?  That very much depends on the attitude of those in charge and whether they want to encourage caving, remove barriers and open up to a much wider outdoor demographic.

That is my experience anyway.

Online PeteHall

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2021, 09:20:35 am »
The point is that within the 'caving community bubble' you don't really get to know who you are putting off caving in your area.  No one really does.  Why do anything about it when the community is happy with the system?  That very much depends on the attitude of those in charge and whether they want to encourage caving, remove barriers and open up to a much wider outdoor demographic.

For those who choose to cave outside an established club, or the BCA, access to a CSCC key may be more problematic and the CSCC is actively looking at how it can better represent and support these people

Offline andrewmc

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2021, 02:18:45 pm »
To be honest, my most hated cave access system is 'call at house'; much happier picking up some keys from somewhere than going around knocking on doors!

Offline NewStuff

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2021, 04:07:54 pm »
It certainly keeps me out, I'm not interested in jumping through hoops that simply don't need to be there. If the place is really interesting enough, there are always ways to open gates *without damaging them*. I'm certainly not in a tiny percentage, as certain sides like to claim, I'm merely pissed off enough about certain situations to get gobby about it. Most people won't speak up as they rather dislike the unofficial blacklisting they receive, and most can't open up places without damage, so it's a much more looming threat, and those that issue these threats know this well.
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Offline kay

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2021, 08:26:08 am »
To follow up Badlad’s point about the different experience of those not in the “caving bubble”, again in the North. Access was a huge deterrent. “Apply on club headed notepaper” was obviously impossible. “Informal” channels weren’t available to me. I went through Northern Caves marking all those caves within my capability that had no access restrictions - and was left with a tiny fraction of those caves within my capabilities. 

In those days it ruled out all the “write to NCC” caves; nowadays all NE land is open access.

As an individual caver in the North, access is hugely easier than it was in the 90s, thanks to Badlad and others in the CNCC, NE and its Cave Adviser, the CNCC website which gives up-to-date access arrangements and an easy booking system.

Offline droid

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2021, 02:58:50 pm »
Be careful what you wish for.

If you haven't got the nous to look up how to access a key, you probably haven't got the nous to do the cave without causing damage.

'Conservation' and all that...
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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2021, 03:43:48 pm »
Be careful what you wish for.

If you haven't got the nous to look up how to access a key, you probably haven't got the nous to do the cave without causing damage.

'Conservation' and all that...

That's pretty controversial!

I don't think it's about 'nous'. You can decline with the faff of getting a key / visiting somebodies house at 6am en-route, etc., etc. whilst still having plenty of nous.

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Offline 2xw

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2021, 04:18:29 pm »
What is nous? Is this yet another barrier to access. Who do I have to nous to get into upper flood and can I do it in public?

Offline droid

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2021, 05:21:04 pm »
What is nous? Is this yet another barrier to access. Who do I have to nous to get into upper flood and can I do it in public?

There goes another rib... :lol:
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Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #50 on: Yesterday at 11:03:23 am »
All this nonsense about locks and gates. I have had to lose half a stone to get through the ruddy hole.


Offline Fulk

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #51 on: Yesterday at 04:34:44 pm »
I don’t know the Derbyshire caving area at all well, so I guess if it works for the guys who cave regularly there, then that’s fine; nevertheless, I do find it a bit surprising that all that’s necessary to gain access to many Derbyshire caves is an adjustable spanner. I’m just surprised that ‘undesirable elements’ haven’t realized just how easy it is to gain access.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #52 on: Yesterday at 05:26:28 pm »
Ah, but the 'undesireable elements' round this part of the world tend to resort to portable angle grinders (or even oxy-acetylene cutters in the past) if DCA makes life too difficult, so they will get in if they are really determined - and some of them are really, really determined.  And that's not cheap to put right, so this seems the best compromise all round so far, given that multiple locks and keys are more expensive anyway.

After the B******s used the oxy-acetylene cutting gear on the Clayton Adit at Ecton Mine back in the 1970s, the owner gave in and walled up the entrance - end of access for all.  (Though it did avoid the risk to local kids of a 900 foot flooded shaft in the middle of the chamber with ankle deep water which you walked across - which was the reason for the lock in the first place.)  Now portable angle-grinders are the thing so DCA does the best it can.

Offline Fulk

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #53 on: Yesterday at 06:52:59 pm »
Thanks for that explanation, Jenny.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #54 on: Today at 01:45:48 pm »
I have to say it . People who try to get past locked gates or damage them are a disgrace.


Online paul

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Re: CSCC Locks
« Reply #55 on: Today at 02:14:28 pm »
Global Moderator Comment Posts specifically about Owl Hole in the Peak District split from here and moved to https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=28186.0
« Last Edit: Today at 02:25:07 pm by paul »
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