UK Caving

TECHNICAL FORUMS => National Access Discussions => Topic started by: Badlad on March 29, 2014, 10:33:47 pm

Title: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on March 29, 2014, 10:33:47 pm

The latest issue of Descent includes an article on cave access.  As part of the research for the article I corresponded with the Head of Profession for Access and Rights of Way at Natural England to better understand their position on caver access under the Countryside Rights of Way Act (CRoW), which applies to England and Wales.  An extract from the article follows below,


“What they [Natural England] have conceded is that cavers do have a right of access (under CRoW) to open caves and potholes on the sides of mountains etc., because they are in effect open to the air.  I believe this is the first time that anyone has obtained this view from Natural England or certainly realised the full implications. 

This means that cavers have a legal right of access to certain limited caves, on access land.  Although these caves do not offer the 'whole' caving experience they are a good place to practice skills and visit if time does not allow a longer caving trip.  So what caves are we talking about, certainly Hull Pot, Rowten and Jingling but there is little access restriction anyway on those caves.  More importantly this covers certain caves on fells that have a restricted permit system in place such as Leck and Casterton Fells.  It now seems clear that cavers have a right of access to the open shafts of Deaths Head Hole, Gavel Pot, Rumbling Hole, Cow Pot etc.  Where the exact line is drawn between open pot and enclosed cave is not clear and the reality is that it will be up to cavers to decide just how far they go.”


Access under CRoW does not require a permit or permission from the landowner.  There is no ‘closed season’ on the above mentioned fells under CRoW and members of the public may exercise their right to walk to all cave entrances and now to descend those that can be described as ‘open caves and potholes’.  Anyone with an interest may like to read the rest of the article.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on March 29, 2014, 11:05:18 pm
Can you publish the correspondence please ?    :)

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Jopo on March 30, 2014, 12:30:30 am
Can you publish the correspondence please ?    :)

Ian

Badlad. Please consider very carefully if such correspondence should be published on a open forum.

Jopo
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: potholer on March 30, 2014, 02:37:43 am
Regardless of CROW, whose land are the parking areas on in certain places?

Landowner co-operation isn't necessarily just about people wandering over the land.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Antwan on March 30, 2014, 08:48:15 am
I read that as being able to decend the open air part of the cave i.e. The open shaft of Gavel, but not proceeding to the rest of the cave. In which case you wouldn't be able to do a massive trip.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on March 30, 2014, 08:52:16 am
Is it "allowed" to copy the descent article here? (or place a link to it?)

Potholer has a point about parking - I would imagine that applies equally to anyone using the land under CRoW ?

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Rhys on March 30, 2014, 09:06:04 am
Is it "allowed" to copy the descent article here? (or place a link to it?)

That could potentially breach Descent's copyright and the editor may not be happy. Get their permission first.

Rhys

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on March 30, 2014, 09:10:38 am
Thank you Rhys.

What I am obviously trying to get at is, can we see all see what has actually been written "with our own eyes" rather than speculate (and debate? argue?) about what might or might not have been said and in what context.

Otherwise we are liable to see this thread go the same way as so many others and for a revelation with such potential profound consequences that would be a crying shame.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: David Rose on March 30, 2014, 09:23:11 am
Well done, Badlad. This moves a debate which had become a little sterile forward, in a very significant way. I hope other cavers will now begin to see that we should be uniting around this, and demanding more open access and an end to restrictive arrangements on CROW land once and for all.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Pete K on March 30, 2014, 09:41:58 am
Well done Badlad, an interesting development indeed.
With the BCA threatening to suspend my caving qualifications or sanction my club if I don't follow the party line, you'll have to forgive me for not running up the fells just yet. I'll wait and see what the BCA have to say on this information. Have you contacted the BCA CRoW Working Party?
Good job though, lets see if it sticks.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Gollum on March 30, 2014, 09:53:49 am
Well done Badlad, an interesting development indeed.
With the BCA threatening to suspend my caving qualifications or sanction my club if I don't follow the party line.

Sounds like your getting more like me Pete  ;D Don't let them bully you and never follow the party line. Whats the point in learning to rig if you don't follow your own line  ;)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on March 30, 2014, 10:25:55 am
Good stuff Badlad. I think it's very important to reach those outside this forum about this, and Descent is an excellent way to do so.

I'm not completely convinced about the first time thing, but that's somewhat beside the point and anyone can be forgiven from not wading through The Thread.

While we wait to get hold of the Descent and see whether the correspondence is published, I can provide an extract from an email I had with NE last year

23 April 2013
"It is the view of our Access Specialist that it’s pretty clear that in common parlance, the term “open-air recreation” wouldn’t be perceived to include use of areas under the ground. And this is what two different Defra lawyers thought (DEFRA’s view in 2001 referred to below). It might well be different where a large open cave sets in the side of a mountain, as for example sometimes happens in the Lake District. In such a case a person entering the cave still has a very real sense of open-air recreation. But once one is in effect disappearing down tunnels in the ground, it seems to me that one immediately loses that sense. "
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on March 30, 2014, 11:11:36 am
My last message seemed a little snarky at points. To clarify, I merely meant that, to those wanting to see the correspondence, this might be the sort of thing to expect.

I too, would like to see some of it, but there are a whole host of reasons why copying them here may or may not be appropriate.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on March 30, 2014, 11:23:21 am
I had a lengthy correspondence on the subject of access to caves with NE.  I won't be copying that correspondence on this forum although I have shown it to a number of confidents.  I have published on here and in Descent the crucial words about open potholes.  If anyone would like to see NE's view themselves then I suggest they write to this address.

Natural England
Open Access Contact Centre
Bristol
BS1 6EB

I agree I am probably not the first to obtain this view, and it has been hinted at in correspondence I know other cavers have received.  However, I haven't noticed anyone, especially from national or regional bodies, making this right more widely known.

For the period that Descent is current, I think it fair to let the article run there.  In a month or two I would be happy to send it out to anyone who hasn't bought the magazine if they are still interested. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on March 30, 2014, 12:07:30 pm
Well done from me too. I think I quote correctly from the article when you say "cavers are their own worst enemies", I have simply never understood why, given a degree of ambiguity in the act, cavers seemed to be the most vocal in insisting that CRoW doesn't apply to caves*.

A good redressing of the balance!



*Conservation is an entirely separate thing and it is never a good idea to try to disguise one argument as another. The current permit system in the Dales does nothing, good or bad, for conservation and there are limited number of people who want to cave (try getting new members for a club) so it is highly unlikely that there will be increased foot fall. Non-cavers who want to "give it a go" are unaware of the permit system and so just go anyway.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Martin Laverty on April 01, 2014, 02:07:38 am
I have to agree with TheBitterEnd that cavers are (often) their own worst enemies; a few feel a sense of entitlement to control others, some feel it a duty, while most just want the freedom to cave when and where they want as long as they cause no trouble to landowners or anyone else (with the possible exclusion of their mothers, adherents of the Mail and its ilk, and a few others...).

In the same issue of Descent is a link to a debate held at the University of Central Lancashire on "Access v the Environment: where do you draw the line" which those with time to spare might well have a look and listen to at :

http://breeze01.uclan.ac.uk/p4bytfh9mnz (http://breeze01.uclan.ac.uk/p4bytfh9mnz)

It uses Adobe Connect (which will self install if you don't already have it) and is 2 hrs 17 minutes long, but you can skip around as it is no longer live. Most of the examples relate to the North West, but the ideas are widely applicable. The 20 minute section from 1hr 25min (There is no line!) is perhaps most relevant, challenging, and controversial in its idealist, and somewhat spiritual, solution...

As with CROW legislation, the debate does not explicitly cover caving (but the introduction included a picture of a caving group in a cave). However, it first address the American idea of wilderness which has, up to now, trumped sporting and some other environmental arguments over access to the multiple entrances to Ogof Draenen, and was probably implicit in BCA's infamous 2010 (re)statement of its position that CROW 'does not give legal access to caves, potholes or abandoned mines' (although, equally, it does not forbid access...unless, to quibble, you enter through a door, I suppose: fertile ground for a debate why we talk about cave gates and not doors, perhaps?)

I despair of  any sane native speaker of English who would quibble between 'open-air' and 'outdoor' in the present context (and any student of topology will see there is no distinction - QED). I can, however, see it as a way of prolonging the argument in the context of the passage of sumps...



Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: mmilner on April 01, 2014, 03:04:55 am
I thought the article in Descent 237 by Tim Allen was excellent. Pretty much summed up the state of affairs atm, I think.

The term 'Open Air Recreation' speaks for itself. Any cave, pothole or whatever that is on CRoW land and is 'open to the air' like   the ones mentioned above should not need a permit or whatever. (Was  climbing specifically included? Can't remember now, have lost  track...)

But don't reproduce any Descent articles here as the editor (Chris) might not be too pleased and would most definitely infringe their copyright...

off now to finish reading my copy of Descent 237. (Excellent, as usual.)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: ah147 on April 01, 2014, 11:24:08 am
Just to throw a spanner in the works from an uninformed mind...

Would an abandoned mine classify as "improved land"?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Blakethwaite on April 01, 2014, 11:43:08 am
Not sure that mine's have anything to do with CRoW. There are specific acts which cover them and I don't suppose the purpose of CRoW is to override technical regulations.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 01, 2014, 11:44:57 am
Not a "spanner in the works" but off topic. Mines are covered by separate legislation, The Mines and Quarries Act 1954. Mineral workings are excepted under Schedule 1 of the CRoW Act.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: ah147 on April 01, 2014, 12:12:42 pm
Ahh OK. I did say uninformed mind :P
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 01, 2014, 12:37:04 pm
It is very heartening that this thread has remained positive and I do believe that "badlad" has taken a momentously positive step forward on behalf of cavers sat on both sides of the access fence.

I would like to personally thank you (sorry I don't know you personally) and I hope that your work develops and that we will all (all cavers) benefit with easier and better access arrangements in the good vein in which it is clearly intended  :)

Best Regards,

Ian Adams
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 01, 2014, 05:08:28 pm
Not a "spanner in the works" but off topic. Mines are covered by separate legislation, The Mines and Quarries Act 1954. Mineral workings are excepted under Schedule 1 of the CRoW Act.
No it is a useful observation even though CRoW Schedule 1 states "Land used for the getting of minerals by surface working (including quarrying)".  I reckon that means 'open cast' style working not mining.  But you pushed my thinking along a bit.

Words are tricky things, so I am also reflecting long and hard on Sec 2(1) which states "...on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation...".  One presumes that if the legal minds which drafted this statement meant 'in the open air on any access land for the purposes of recreation' they would have said so.  'Open air' appears to only modify / limit the meaning of the word 'recreation' and not the words 'access land'.  But it is going to take some while to come to any view.  I have just spent a total of 5 hours looking for helpful legal definitions without clear success.

Having said that, I am mindful that we do (well I do) want to retain good relationships with land owners because there are things which cavers want to do which clearly are not within CRoW, like digging on the surface of the land (see Schedule 2 l and m).  I did wonder whether to say anything as conducting debates on an open forum can be disruptive to such good relationships.

I guess I should also add that I take no responsibility for any one acting upon my current thoughts.  Yesterday evening I had quite a different view point, as Tim (not Tony) will tell you.

PS - I would have lost my bet on "I would offer high odds against a search of English laws finding something which mentioned "cave" and "damage" together".  Only because Lord Cave was a law lord.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 01, 2014, 08:41:41 pm
I guess that caving was a long way from the minds of those who drafted the legislation and my hunch is that they wanted to exclude vehicles, caravans, tents etc. However we are stuck with those words and ultimately only the courts can decide.

It also leaves me wondering what "closed air" recreation would be. Whilst I expect that Google would turn up some results I am not sure they would be relevant or be something I would want in my search history  :ang:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: braveduck on April 01, 2014, 10:03:36 pm
The opposite of outdoors and open air is indoors !
So enclosed air is also indoors. We seem to be looking for problems that don't exist.
Lets get a grip and move forward !
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Alex on April 02, 2014, 01:13:11 pm
Quote
right of access (under CRoW) to open caves and potholes on the sides of mountains etc

To me I that reads as any cave without a gate or lid? As they are open, it does not appear to restrict how far you can go in. I mean you normally only count yourself as in doors if you are behind a door. So provided the cave has no door or gate you are still in the open air, as it's open at one end, no matter how far you are in the system unless say you free dive a sump?

So basically there quote does not tell us anything new as it can still be interpreted in different ways.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 02, 2014, 01:48:39 pm
I haven't read the article as my Descent subscription ran out recently but I'm sure people are going to keep pushing for access under CRoW.

I still think we've very little to gain from this and everything to lose.

I'm really not looking forward to the day I have a conversation with a farmer when I want to dig in his field and he refuses because some idiot has been protesting his CRoW rights to cave without permission.

I had a conversation with one farmer about a year ago after we emerged from a cave on his land where I thought we didn't need permission, entirely my fault, I hadn't bothered checking. It turned out we did and we were supposed to have paid a couple of quid each. We apologised, paid up and have been welcome back since. I can imagine how that conversation would have gone if one or two of the CRoW enthusiasts had been on the trip.



Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 02, 2014, 02:57:04 pm
Which cave and which farmer was that?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 02, 2014, 03:20:28 pm
Which cave and which farmer was that?

It was a Derbyshire cave, I'd been down it two or three times over the years and hadn't realised a fee was payable.

It was all very friendly, but then I didn't advise him we had every right to be there.

The access arrangements for quite a few Derbyshire caves are an example of why it would only take one or two people to start crying "CRoW" to really screw things up for diggers. Granted the farmers who charge for P8 and Giants probably wouldn't want to fall out with cavers (and these aren't on Access land anyway) but some that are much less used probably wouldn't be too bothered about any loss of revenue.

I know I've asked before but just what are people hoping to gain by CRoW?

My impression is that people like Simon want to use CRoW as a big stick to "reform" the regional councils - or make them redundant. In other words it's a political move not one based on what's best for caving. Which caves do you expect to gain access to that you don't already have - I'm sure there's a few but I can't think of many?

As I said I haven't read Tim's article but I'm a long way from convinced that rewriting the explanation of what the Act means to suit your own goal is anything other than that, and certainly not "good news on cave access".
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 02, 2014, 03:54:51 pm

My impression is that people like Simon want to use CRoW as a big stick to "reform" the regional councils - or make them redundant. In other words it's a political move not one based on what's best for caving. Which caves do you expect to gain access to that you don't already have - I'm sure there's a few but I can't think of many?


This is nothing like the impression that I got from reading the article.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 02, 2014, 03:56:47 pm
What cave in Derbyshire?

I'm scratching my head as to which caves are on CRoW and charge a fee. Granted I don't know every situation, but as one of the people on the CRoW Working Party I haven't come across any not mentioned - though I'm still ploughing through the list.

As for your comment about it being political and having a desire to reform the regions, I think you're way off there. In fact Derbyshire is a great example of an area with very few caves on CRoW land, yet we don't seem to have any of the (what I'll call) nonsense that we see in the Dales i.e. CRoW entrances that are off limits if you're wearing a caving suit (unless you don't mind waiting for permits)!

Nothing, that is on the agenda of people who might be seen as reformists, is intended to severe relations with landowners. No one is hell bent on "demanding" access and consequences be damned.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 02, 2014, 04:10:46 pm
To save you
What cave in Derbyshire?

I'm scratching my head as to which caves are on CRoW and charge a fee. Granted I don't know every situation, but as one of the people on the CRoW Working Party I haven't come across any not mentioned - though I'm still ploughing through the list.

As for your comment about it being political and having a desire to reform the regions, I think you're way off there. In fact Derbyshire is a great example of an area with very few caves on CRoW land, yet we don't seem to have any of the (what I'll call) nonsense that we see in the Dales i.e. CRoW entrances that are off limits if you're wearing a caving suit (unless you don't mind waiting for permits)!


To save you looking it wasn't on CRoW land. My point was that if it had been the resulting argument could have damaged relations between farmer and cavers.

Quote
Nothing, that is on the agenda of people who might be seen as reformists, is intended to severe relations with landowners. No one is hell bent on "demanding" access and consequences be damned.

Based on conversations (in person, not here) recently with one or two of the "reformists" I'm very afraid you're very wrong, I wish you weren't. That's exactly what at least one of them seems to be demanding and he's shown no signs of caring what the consequences are. He refuses even to discuss it.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 02, 2014, 04:12:04 pm
I'm really not looking forward to the day I have a conversation with a farmer when I want to dig in his field and he refuses because some idiot has been protesting his CRoW rights to cave without permission.

A reasonable concern.

Personally, I am very much in favour of CRoW and open access. I am also in favour of maintaining the best possible relationship with landowners for many reasons (digging aside) not least because it is their land. Good relationships with landowners serve as win/win scenarios. Bad ones do not.

I believe that the majority (if not all?) of the open access proponents will also be in favour of maintaining (at the very least) "good and proper" relations with landowners.

For my own thoughts, personally, I do not believe that CRoW will become a "weapon of war" against landowners.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 02, 2014, 04:20:11 pm
To save you looking it wasn't on CRoW land. My point was that if it had been the resulting argument could have damaged relations between farmer and cavers.

My point was that if it had been on CRoW one assumes there would never have been a problem anyway. Not sure this proves or disproves anything.


Quote
Based on conversations (in person, not here) recently with one or two of the "reformists" I'm very afraid you're very wrong, I wish you weren't. That's exactly what at least one of them seems to be demanding and he's shown no signs of caring what the consequences are. He refuses even to discuss it.

Well luckily it won't get decided by "one person", which is why BCA is on it...


Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 02, 2014, 04:59:02 pm
On a local level it might be.

it only takes one idiot to annoy a farmer.....
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 02, 2014, 05:00:57 pm
On a local level it might be.

it only takes one idiot to annoy a farmer.....

Just what I was about to say.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 02, 2014, 05:46:07 pm
I really don't understand the argument that allowing open access to caves on CRoW land would impact on relationships with landowners...

I understand the argument...Landowners want a say i who crosses their land...if they don't have the final say they will get the hump...and then be awkward for awkwards sake about sums it up...

So...have there been significant access problems on Land near Public Footpaths? Have caves that are currently on CRoW land but with no previous access restrictions become more restrictive overnight?

Or are we worrying over nothing...CRoW means landowners have had to accept unfettered access for walkers rambler birdspotters photographers climbers etc etc...has this instantly resulted in animosity between landowners and these groups...or is it a storm in a teacup...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 02, 2014, 06:05:59 pm
I know of landowner who has recently refused permission for a dig, this person does own access to a cave and really is unhappy about people believing they have a right to be on his land. That is, I am sure, a large part of his reasoning against allowing a dig on another piece of land that he owns.

So, no it ain't theoretical and no I ain't going to tell you all who or where on an open forum 'cos I do not want any of the usual idiots suspects to do anything stupid which may exacerbate the situation.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: braveduck on April 02, 2014, 06:21:49 pm
Come on Graham ,one snow flake does not make a winter !
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 02, 2014, 06:25:29 pm
Come on Graham ,one snow flake does not make a winter !

I merely give a concrete example of something that some ostriches cavers claim has never happened and will never happen.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 02, 2014, 07:04:36 pm
Come on Graham ,one snow flake does not make a winter !

One caver insisting on his "right" to cave could easily lose us access to a dozen potential digs.

One upset farmer could easily chat to his neighbour and both, or more could decide to agree no more digging permission, or even withdraw existing permissions.

Why risk it, especially for so few benefits?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 02, 2014, 07:06:19 pm
So the message seems to be some cavers are idiots and will antagonise landowners through their actions. That has more to do with some people being idiots than what access is or isn't allowed in future.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 02, 2014, 07:10:13 pm
On a local level it might be.

it only takes one idiot to annoy a farmer.....


There are many ways that landowners could be annoyed besides someone reasoning with them for access on CRow land.

I don't think this should prevent reasonable, calm discussion with landowners about access (especially with the argument that they have reduced liability).
Morevoer, if a precedent is set that cavers do have free access, and all surrounding landowners allow access and digging, this will go a long way to persuading the individual objectionable landowners. (in the same way that a farmer can spread negative words about cavers, they can also spread positives).

One or two farmers will remain steadfast in objecting - but maybe we have to let them be and go elsewhere for a year or two.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 02, 2014, 07:15:08 pm
Quote
I know of landowner who has recently refused permission for a dig, this person does own access to a cave and really is unhappy about people believing they have a right to be on his land.

But presumably this isn't in any way related to CRoW legislation...as its not been used to secure access to any Caves as yet has it...

Presumably this is a farmer unhappy about Unauthorised access to Caves on his land...fair point I can (just about) see the logic of that but if CRoW legislation were to apply to caving that would result in authorised access to Caves on his land...and Cavers would, presumably make up a very small proportion of people on his land...as cavers are a very small minority compared to Hikers, Dog Walkers etc...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on April 02, 2014, 09:31:14 pm
I haven't read the article as my Descent subscription ran out recently but I'm sure people are going to keep pushing for access under CRoW.



Could I suggest you read the article as it is very informative on this subject.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 02, 2014, 10:20:26 pm
I suspect we are approaching the key point I have been trying to get across for decades; EDUCATION!, if cavers understood farmers more, and farmers understood cavers more, what a happier world it would be for all concerned.

 I recall a time when a cave owning farmer broke an arm in the middle of haymaking and was very worried and stressed, one of the local caving clubs pulled together to help him get his harvest in, result- no problems with access for that club, and eventual ease of access for all, he was educated that cavers could be useful!

 Another local cave owning farmer was stretched for help at lambing time, a few cavers offered and gave assistance, result- access (and quite a lot of help from the farmer) to a previously forbidden dig and some passage found, along with a lot of understanding of the local hydrology.
 
All it takes is everyone understanding each other and appreciating each others way of life, if one caving numpty antagonises a farmer, its up to the more sensible ones among us (you) to discourage them and teach the farmers that we (you) are not all bad.

I understand both sides, as a Peak District farmer (thankfully on Gritstone, so no caves) and a Peak District caver of loong experience, I did however gain my farming experience on a cave owning farm.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 02, 2014, 10:58:19 pm
There seems to be a lot of talk about farmers here, which isn't particularly relevant to the situation in the Dales, where the majority of the caves with restricted access are owned by estates. I guess other caving areas of the country are fortunate that their caves lie on farm land, rather than grouse moor. I suspect it's rather harder for instance to form a relationship built on mutual understanding with, for instance, the lord lieutenant of lancashire, than it is with one of the farmers who live and work on the fells!

G.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: kay on April 02, 2014, 11:01:27 pm

Or are we worrying over nothing...CRoW means landowners have had to accept unfettered access for walkers rambler birdspotters photographers climbers etc etc...has this instantly resulted in animosity between landowners and these groups...or is it a storm in a teacup...

CRoW hasn't resulted in much extra access for ramblers etc - research on the effects showed that most people stayed on the existing footpaths. But caves aren't necessarily near footpaths, so in some areas, could it be conceivable that CRoW access for cavers would actually have more effect than CRoW access for everyone else?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 02, 2014, 11:05:16 pm
There seems to be a lot of talk about farmers here, which isn't particularly relevant to the situation in the Dales, where the majority of the caves with restricted access are owned by estates. I guess other caving areas of the country are fortunate that their caves lie on farm land, rather than grouse moor. I suspect it's rather harder for instance to form a relationship built on mutual understanding with, for instance, the lord lieutenant of lancashire, than it is with one of the farmers who live and work on the fells!

G.

A point I made some days ago is that situations vary greatly from caving area to caving area, such that using national laws to define what happens in very different areas is not a good idea.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 02, 2014, 11:14:28 pm

A point I made some days ago is that situations vary greatly from caving area to caving area, such that using national laws to define what happens in very different areas is not a good idea.

Personally I think that in the Dales, and certainly on the fells owned by the estates we probably have more to gain than lose through using the CRoW legislation (a last resort really). I can see why elsewhere in the country this might stack up differently.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 02, 2014, 11:24:46 pm
There seems to be a lot of talk about farmers here, which isn't particularly relevant to the situation in the Dales, where the majority of the caves with restricted access are owned by estates. I guess other caving areas of the country are fortunate that their caves lie on farm land, rather than grouse moor. I suspect it's rather harder for instance to form a relationship built on mutual understanding with, for instance, the lord lieutenant of lancashire, than it is with one of the farmers who live and work on the fells!

G.

Thanks for that insight George, Has anyone approached the "Lord Lieutenant",or even  "our Charlie" for clarification??
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 03, 2014, 08:13:59 am
There seems to be a lot of talk about farmers here, which isn't particularly relevant to the situation in the Dales, where the majority of the caves with restricted access are owned by estates. I guess other caving areas of the country are fortunate that their caves lie on farm land, rather than grouse moor. I suspect it's rather harder for instance to form a relationship built on mutual understanding with, for instance, the lord lieutenant of lancashire, than it is with one of the farmers who live and work on the fells!

G.

Thanks for that insight George, Has anyone approached the "Lord Lieutenant",or even  "our Charlie" for clarification??
In the North that would be the job of the CNCC Access Officer and unless the incumbent officer stands down that isn't going to happen.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 03, 2014, 08:16:11 am

Or are we worrying over nothing...CRoW means landowners have had to accept unfettered access for walkers rambler birdspotters photographers climbers etc etc...has this instantly resulted in animosity between landowners and these groups...or is it a storm in a teacup...

CRoW hasn't resulted in much extra access for ramblers etc - research on the effects showed that most people stayed on the existing footpaths. But caves aren't necessarily near footpaths, so in some areas, could it be conceivable that CRoW access for cavers would actually have more effect than CRoW access for everyone else?

Which research is that?

We have already had CRoW access for cavers for the same length of time as access "for everyone else".
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 03, 2014, 01:04:30 pm
Seems to me that lots of people are using examples from around the country. Surely, most of the time, CROW discussions are about the Dales, as that is where most of the caves on CROW land are and most of the complaints about access are (in England).

Saying that there are farmers who own non CROW land above a cave and who would be annoyed if someone tried to assert that they had access rights to the cave is not really very relevant.

Also, there appears to be a big and unsaid divide between the possible effects for sport caving and digging that is confusing this topic as people aren't making it explicit.

One person says; CROW could bring lots of benefits (meaning to sport caving)
The other says; No, that is completely wrong, there will be no benefits (meaning to digging access)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 03, 2014, 01:12:16 pm
A point I made earlier is that although, yes, most discussions around caving and CRoW are about the North, the Law doesn't just apply up there & can affect others in other parts of the country in, possibly, unforeseen ways.

Thus using national law to tackle local problems may not be the best way forward.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 03, 2014, 01:32:31 pm
Seems to me that lots of people are using examples from around the country. Surely, most of the time, CROW discussions are about the Dales, as that is where most of the caves on CROW land are and most of the complaints about access are (in England).

Saying that there are farmers who own non CROW land above a cave and who would be annoyed if someone tried to assert that they had access rights to the cave is not really very relevant.

Also, there appears to be a big and unsaid divide between the possible effects for sport caving and digging that is confusing this topic as people aren't making it explicit.

One person says; CROW could bring lots of benefits (meaning to sport caving)
The other says; No, that is completely wrong, there will be no benefits (meaning to digging access)

Sorry, I thought I'd been pretty clear.

I appreciate there will be some benefits for sports access, although I can't see that there will be lots. I am very concerned that there will be problems with digging access as a result. We have pretty good access to most Dales caves and I'm sure we could get more permits for places like Leck and Casterton if CNCC pushed for them. Equally I'm not too concerned about the big landowners, it's the local farmers who are likely to take things personally.

I think there's a big difference between cavers annoying a farmer a bit by caving without permission on his land (a bit irritating, but if challenged they'll usually apologise and sort things out) and he or she being told "we have right to be here". It is only my opinion at the end of the day but the latter invites retaliation and the only real way farmers on CRoW land could retaliate is by refusing digging permission - and from experience they will do.

We've been refused digging permission before where farmers have been annoyed other people have been digging without asking, one caver demanding his rights will be like a red rag to a bull.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 03, 2014, 01:39:42 pm
Well said blackholesun, obviously good relations with landowners are vital and an ideal system would include all the concerns of every faction and one-man-band in the caving world. However the vast majority of cavers just want to go caving so tailoring an access system around a minority of diggers or a miniscule number of very exceptional cases is at best unhelpful and more likely than not contributes to the sort of acrimony that we have seen with respect to the CNCC.

Exceptional situations are by definition exceptions, the CRoW act allows for such exceptions, for example section 26 subsection 3a allows for exclusion or restriction of access for "the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question".

In terms of national and local “caving policy” we surely must use a guiding principal of what will bring most benefit to most cavers and then build from there.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 03, 2014, 01:47:26 pm
Quote
tailoring an access system around a minority of diggers

I think diggers are in the majority nowadays in the Dales, at least in terms of man hours spent caving in any given week say :-)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 03, 2014, 02:02:08 pm
Equally I'm not too concerned about the big landowners, it's the local farmers who are likely to take things personally.

We've been refused digging permission before where farmers have been annoyed other people have been digging without asking, one caver demanding his rights will be like a red rag to a bull.


1 - By definition CRoW land is for the most part uncultivated. Without bothering to look, I'll hazard a guess that it'll have very little impact on farmers (this is almost a repeat of what George North said). Any that are should be dealt with locally and with sympathy.

2 - Diggers going on to land and digging without permission has nothing to do with CRoW. Maybe it's the diggers causing the problems!!  :bounce:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 03, 2014, 02:09:00 pm
Nah, last night at one location alone there were two parties of around 6, so 12 people doing around 3-4 hours caving - say 42 caver hours at one mid-week location in two caves.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Blakethwaite on April 03, 2014, 02:14:39 pm
1 - By definition CRoW land is for the most part uncultivated.
That depends upon what you class as uncultivated. Large swathes of CRoW land are subject to very expensive moorland management schemes, for sporting purposes and for general ecological/conservation/blah-de-blah purposes. It certainly isn't 'wild' land.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 03, 2014, 02:22:16 pm
Equally I'm not too concerned about the big landowners, it's the local farmers who are likely to take things personally.

We've been refused digging permission before where farmers have been annoyed other people have been digging without asking, one caver demanding his rights will be like a red rag to a bull.


1 - By definition CRoW land is for the most part uncultivated. Without bothering to look, I'll hazard a guess that it'll have very little impact on farmers (this is almost a repeat of what George North said). Any that are should be dealt with locally and with sympathy.

2 - Diggers going on to land and digging without permission has nothing to do with CRoW. Maybe it's the diggers causing the problems!!  :bounce:

1. I've had a quick look, George did say that but it's not true - many, many Dales caves are on access land owned run by local farmers. Most Dales caves are on fells, not cultivated land (I assume you don't include fells as cultivated). No idea what the split is, someone may know.

I'm not biting on the second point and the numbers game with TheBitterEnd is getting off topic :-)

Anyway, I've made my point so I'll shut up.
 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 03, 2014, 03:14:59 pm
Be careful with your definitions, the CRoW act states "unimproved land", not "cultivated"
 Although cultivated land is "improved", not all "improved" land is cultivated.
 "unimproved land" is usually used for rough grazing, mainly sheep, it is likely that the farmers main objection to digging is the hazard to livestock.
 The large estates maintain their "unimproved land" for a variety of reasons, not least being the lucrative business of game breeding for shooting, a knowledge of nesting and breeding patterns for these creatures should be a necessity for anyone using the fells on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 03, 2014, 03:36:12 pm

1. I've had a quick look, George did say that but it's not true - many, many Dales caves are on access land owned run by local farmers. Most Dales caves are on fells, not cultivated land (I assume you don't include fells as cultivated). No idea what the split is, someone may know....

Hi Tony, that's not what I said. I said that: "the majority of the caves with restricted access (i.e the ones requiring permits rather than just knocking on somebody's door) are owned by estates."
Do you disagree?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 03, 2014, 03:48:12 pm
And I was going to shut up!

OK, very quickly. I agree that the majority with restricted access are owned by estates BUT I don't agree with Stuart's statement:

Quote
By definition CRoW land is for the most part uncultivated. Without bothering to look, I'll hazard a guess that it'll have very little impact on farmers (this is almost a repeat of what George North said). Any that are should be dealt with locally and with sympathy

Sorry, I was too quick to assume he was right about what you had said, and to be honest I'd read it the same way.

There are, as I'm sure you'll agree, a lot of caves on CRoW land which is owned by farmers, not estates. At the moment we generally have very good access and my worry is about those areas.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 03, 2014, 04:20:25 pm
And I was going to shut up!

OK, very quickly. I agree that the majority with restricted access are owned by estates BUT I don't agree with Stuart's statement:

Quote
By definition CRoW land is for the most part uncultivated. Without bothering to look, I'll hazard a guess that it'll have very little impact on farmers (this is almost a repeat of what George North said). Any that are should be dealt with locally and with sympathy

Sorry, I was too quick to assume he was right about what you had said, and to be honest I'd read it the same way.

There are, as I'm sure you'll agree, a lot of caves on CRoW land which is owned by farmers, not estates. At the moment we generally have very good access and my worry is about those areas.

Which bit don't you agree with?

That most CRoW land is uncultivated/unimproved/fell (point taken Blakethwaite)? It is, in the main. Look at a map.

That the impact will be, in the main (and by that I mean in the Dales in this case), to the estates? You've just agreed it is, haven't you?

There probably are a lot of caves on CRoW that is owned by farmers. Kingsdale would be a good area to look at (though I don't know who owns which bits). Mainly CRoW land. Lots of caves with access requiring no permits. Has there been much trouble in Kingsdale? What is there to worry about?  :shrug: (And yes, I get it, forcing the CRoW hand on the estates - because that on the whole is what is really being discussed - might lead to poor relationships and digging being prohibited. But again, no one is saying that is to be the hand that will be played.)





Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 03, 2014, 04:40:59 pm
I don't agree it'll have very little impact on farmers.

I haven't just agreed the impact will be in the main to the estates - I've agreed that most caves with restricted access are on estates which I think is what George actually said and I accept there is some benefit from CRoW on access on the estates where limits currently apply.

I don't agree the problem is from forcing CRoW on estates - I think they'll probably accept it.

My concern is for the very areas you've just mentioned, places like Kingsdale as you say, where upsetting farmers can damage what are presently reasonably good relations and there is nothing to be gained from CRoW - we already have all the access we need but in some areas we still need permission.

There are areas of Kingsdale where although no permit is needed permission is still required. Many people perhaps don't realise this or ignore it. these are the sort of areas where a problem is likely to arise.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: badger on April 03, 2014, 04:58:20 pm
I have been told (rightly or wrongly) that the reason the owners and as this is as much to do with leck/caserton fell that the reason they the landowners wanted permit access was not to restrict cavers caving, but cars parked in/on the road around the entrance's,
So if under the CROW legislation cave's became unrestricted would this cause more cars to be parked and then therefore upset the farmers more?
and if then the caves became unrestricted and anyone caving could enter, is there anyway of telling the experience with in the group, mind you is that something that is checked any way.
and am I right in thinking most digging happens mid week, and sport caving on a weekend cant see that the two come into conflict.
or is the above just jibberish :shrug:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Jon on April 03, 2014, 06:11:34 pm
If parking is the issue then with the landowners permission couldn't CNCC / BCA organise a car park building day - gravel, manpower, hey presto, no cars parked on verges
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: danthecavingman on April 03, 2014, 09:41:30 pm

I know I've asked before but just what are people hoping to gain by CRoW?


I would gain access to some cracking Dales caving whenever I wanted to go, with whoever I wanted to go with. I wouldn't need the hoop jumping of joining a club, getting insurance, applying for permits...
As an ex club caver who curently doesn't want to be part of a club, it would give me the opportunity (if I felt so inclinced), to go and revisit some classics with a few mates.

Dan.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 03, 2014, 09:46:40 pm

I know I've asked before but just what are people hoping to gain by CRoW?


I would gain access to some cracking Dales caving whenever I wanted to go, with whoever I wanted to go with. I wouldn't need the hoop jumping of joining a club, getting insurance, applying for permits...
As an ex club caver who curently doesn't want to be part of a club, it would give me the opportunity (if I felt so inclinced), to go and revisit some classics with a few mates.

Dan.

Even better, as a non-joiner, you wouldn't need to be bothered joining in with the helpful stuff like car park building, if that was deemed to be useful in caver/landowner relations.

All round winner.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: danthecavingman on April 03, 2014, 09:59:44 pm

Even better, as a non-joiner, you wouldn't need to be bothered joining in with the helpful stuff like car park building, if that was deemed to be useful in caver/landowner relations.

All round winner.

That is one of the most Trolling comments anyone has ever posted to a reply I've made on any thread here on UK Caving. Why don't you crawl back into your hole Graham and fuck off!

Dan.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 03, 2014, 10:03:29 pm
What's wrong with being insured? It's a serious question - is it not a valuable thing to have, and not "just a hoop to jump through"?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 03, 2014, 10:11:38 pm

I know I've asked before but just what are people hoping to gain by CRoW?


I would gain access to some cracking Dales caving whenever I wanted to go, with whoever I wanted to go with. I wouldn't need the hoop jumping of joining a club, getting insurance, applying for permits...
As an ex club caver who curently doesn't want to be part of a club, it would give me the opportunity (if I felt so inclinced), to go and revisit some classics with a few mates.

Dan.

You'll have to find some mates first Dan  :tease:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: danthecavingman on April 03, 2014, 10:12:54 pm
What's wrong with being insured?

Nothing Peter, I'm for it in principle but I thought it was done through being a member of a BCA affiliated club? I may be wrong in which case insurance would seem to be prudent.
If membership of the BCA allowed access via the CNCC then that would be great but individual members cannot apply for permits.

And Graham, last time I went walking on CROW Land I don't recall having to help build a carpark before I set off into the hills...

Dan.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 03, 2014, 10:14:21 pm
Why don't you crawl back into your hole Graham and fuck off!

'cos I'm pissed off with all these takers with a sense of entitlement a fucking mile wide Dan, that's why.

Have a nice day.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 03, 2014, 10:20:36 pm
Why don't you crawl back into your hole Graham and fuck off!

Because he's got to wait 2 weeks for a permit to his hole to arrive? 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: kay on April 03, 2014, 10:24:59 pm
What's wrong with being insured?

Nothing Peter, I'm for it in principle but I thought it was done through being a member of a BCA affiliated club? I may be wrong in which case insurance would seem to be prudent.

Direct Individual Membership of BCA gives you PL insurance.

Quote
If membership of the BCA allowed access via the CNCC then that would be great but individual members cannot apply for permits.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: danthecavingman on April 03, 2014, 10:28:49 pm
I reproduce here,as a quote, one of my comments from yet another thread on CROW access:

Blackholesun, Stu, NigR and others,

Finally, people are getting the essence of what I have been trying to get across.

None of this is about dismissing or undoing any of the sterling work that has been done in the past by Regional Access Councils or Cave Management Comittees to secure access to caves where, without their assistance, we would have had no access at all or very limited access at best.

It is about our rights as UK citizens under UK law, to exercise our right to 'Open-air Recreation' on access land, as defined by the CRoW Act.

I came into this debate to try and be objective and get people talking about the CRoW Act using 'real' background material, not speculation, hearsay, rumour etc. I hope I have gone some way to acheiving that.

My personal slant on this is as follows:
I am no longer a club member (btw I was a club caver for over 20 years). I cave very infrequently and do not want to be a part of the club scene anymore. I don't want caving insurance. I don't want to have to jump through all those hoops to get a permit to go caving in some of the finest caves in Britain.  What I want to do is to be able to turn up, for example, at Bull Pot Farm, with a couple of mates, get changed, walk across the fell and go caving. Simple as that.

What I don't want to do, in excercising that right is upset land owners and cause untold problems within the already well established status quo, whether that be right or wrong.

I am suggesting that the BCA and Regional Councils should acknowledge the exisitence of this cross section of the caving population, and try to support our right to want to go caving on access land, rather than the other way round.

I accept, that a lot of the work that is done securing and maintaining access, is voluntary or funded by subscriptions. I have no proposed solution as to how to get around this. I might suggest however that a big tin, for example on the gate at BPF and a notice along the lines of 'Access to the Caves on Leck and Casterton Fells is free to all under the CRoW Act. Natural England, The BCA and CNCC are working with the Land Owners to maintain this open access. Much of this work is voluntary, your considered donation will go some way to help us manage this ongoing access and ensure the preservation and conservation of these precious environments for future generations to enjoy.'. I would happily put my hand in my pocket....

Open access could be such a good thing if everyone were to pull together to sort it out. I understand that Land Owners may have concerns. Natural England may have concerns given that many caves and their approaches may well be SSSIs. These sorts of things do not stop Walkers, Climbers etc. enjoying their chosen past-time. To put it into perspective, try and imagine having to join a Walking Club, pay a subscription, pay for insurance etc, simply to be allowed to walk up your local hill....

"I fancy going for a walk up Mam Tor this afternoon...", "Sharp intake of breath, sucking through teeth... well, are you in a club?", "No, do you need to be in one?", "Well there's insurance for a start, you'll need that. And only recognised clubs can get a permit for Mam Tor. You'll need to get written permission six weeks in advance. Oh, and you can't go on Wednesdays. Or Fridays."

I fully subscribe to the fact that the situation for caving on Private or non-CRoW land is entirely different and if I wish to cave in those circumstances then Club membership, insurance, permits, keys or whatever may be a pre-requisite. I will not be caving in those areas.

Dan.

Can I suggest you read the above quote Graham and reconsider your previous responses?

Dan.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 04, 2014, 07:43:11 am

 :hug:

I'm just glad that this is a good news, moving forward thread and has managed to avoid the usual petty slanging match...


 :kiss2:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 04, 2014, 09:28:55 am
oops.. :-[
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: paul on April 04, 2014, 12:19:13 pm
Global Moderator Comment Can we please stop the personal bickering and try and keep on topic.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Alex on April 04, 2014, 01:25:12 pm
No... it's funny. These threads never seem to go anywhere so might as well have a chuckle.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: David Rose on April 04, 2014, 02:03:17 pm
It seems to me that Tim Allen's article in Descent breaks significant new ground. If the law and the public bodies which apply it say we can walk to and descend the entrance pitches to Cow Pot, Gavel Pot etc without the need to seek permits, it seems to me most unlikely that any court would decide that the right of access ends with the daylight. The point that using CRoW to justify access reduces landowners' potential liability is also, I think, very important: they might easily come to see that CRoW actually represents a win for them.

With any luck, there won't be any need to make a big deal of this. My hunch is that apart from on Casterton and Leck Fells, abolishing permits will make little difference to the numbers going underground, and even there things would swiftly settle down after an initial surge. There doesn't seem to be much problem in places such as Kingsdale: why should Leck Fell be any different? Why should it be more of an issue to go down Lost Johns or Notts 2 than Deathshead Hole? Why would someone able to abseil down the Deathshead shaft freely, but then be trespassing if he or she went on to the streamway? The courts like logic, and there is none in saying CRoW only applies to entrances. If it did, where would the right to access end exactly? If you're in the dark but there's a strong draught blowing from the entrance, are you still in open air? And who could possibly police a framework that only allowed access to entrances? Would landowners count the ropes in your tackle bags and say," aha, I see you plan to rig the Cow Pot second pitch – so get off my land"? I doubt it. Anyway, they would have no legal right to look in your bag!

I would recommend that the BCA seek a legal opinion.

I would also suggest that the document written by Dave Judson on the BCA website, which is entitled "The BCA position on CRoW", should now be withdrawn, or at least be subject to a document pointing out that the position it describes is inaccurate.

Thanks to Jenny Potts, we have the data on CRoW sites to support the legal position. This is an opportunity to bring caving into line with other recreations which have derived benefit from CRoW legislation.In my view, we must seize this chance.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 04, 2014, 02:16:33 pm
With any luck, there won't be any need to make a big deal of this.

No chance. As I said in post #14 above the people who will make the biggest hullabaloo about this are cavers themselves. Just look up-thread, toys have already been thrown out of prams over something that, as you say, will in practice make no significant difference to the amount and nature of sport caving that occurs.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 04, 2014, 03:14:58 pm
With Leck Fell, David, I believe that you park on private land (or undergo a very long walk). As CROW doesn't give any rights of way to those not on foot, the landowner could say, 'Sure, walk around, go up and down some entrance shafts, but don't park on my land unless you have a permit'. I'd like to have more access to Leck Fell, certainly, but without a corresponding increase in access to parking, it wouldn't be very convenient.

With Casterton Fell, the whole system is something of a joke. Occasionally someone conscientious and well meaning is heard to ask at Bull Pot Farm, 'We've changed our plans for tomorrow, instead of going down YY which we originally got a permit for, does anyone have the permit for XX and can we tag along with them?' Such concern for sticking to the rules is typically met with much amusement. Removal of the need for permits there probably wouldn't even cause an initial surge and very few would notice or be affected.

If you were to experience the astronomically unlikely chance of being questioned on Casterton Fell then claiming that you were only going to do the entrance would probably just be the equivalent to saying you got lost on the way to Pippikin pot.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 04, 2014, 03:36:15 pm
Not that I disagree with the essence of what you say, David, it's just the parking issue and the existence of another excuse mean that there are some other practical considerations.

Instead of theorising what landowners will think, or readying our arguments in case we happen across one on a 'pirate' trip, perhaps it could be useful to ask one?

I (still) think that the Ingleborough estate would provide as useful place to start. Many walkers already visit, so cavers do not make a large percent of the footfall. You can climb (in Trow Gill) without a permit. There must be reasonably good relations with the owners to allow two winch meets a year, and also the owners know they are not liable for damages if a caver hurts themselves after the fatality and the court case.

If lots of people all write to Dr. Farrer, it would obviously be very counterproductive for all cavers. However, a well thought through, measured, letter asking if he would allow for open air caving to take place on his land in the light of the CROW act (such as abseiling down GG main hang) could be a useful step forwards.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 04, 2014, 04:58:45 pm
It seems to me that Tim Allen's article in Descent breaks significant new ground. If the law and the public bodies which apply it say we can walk to and descend the entrance pitches to Cow Pot, Gavel Pot etc without the need to seek permits, it seems to me most unlikely that any court would decide that the right of access ends with the daylight.

Agreed, Occam’s Razor.

The point that using CRoW to justify access reduces landowners' potential liability is also, I think, very important: they might easily come to see that CRoW actually represents a win for them. 

Agreed – a point I have made (and others I think). There is a huge benefit to landowners under CRoW with regards liability issues especially since the BCA insurance has a large excess and is not clear as to what is actually covered.

With any luck, there won't be any need to make a big deal of this. My hunch is that apart from on Casterton and Leck Fells, abolishing permits will make little difference to the numbers going underground.

Agreed again. Caving numbers and caving trips would not necessarily increase at all. In fact, in South Wales, the opposite has been the case in Ogof Draenen and the Drws Cefn entrance.

I would recommend that the BCA seek a legal opinion. 
Why not?  The BCA constitution provides that it should act in the best interests of cavers and to facilitate better and easier access (paraphrased before I get jumped on). I completely agree.


I would also suggest that the document written by Dave Judson on the BCA website, which is entitled "The BCA position on CRoW", should now be withdrawn, or at least be subject to a document pointing out that the position it describes is inaccurate.

Agreed. It is now clearly inaccurate.

Thanks to Jenny Potts, we have the data on CRoW sites to support the legal position. This is an opportunity to bring caving into line with other recreations which have derived benefit from CRoW legislation.In my view, we must seize this chance.

We must indeed seize the chance.

I cannot understand why some people throw objection after objection (usually to deflect from the central issue) to the point it becomes farcical to fight against CRoW.  CRoW is not a weapon of war, it is a means for people (of all ilk’s) to enjoy the land and to protect landowners from liability.

As cavers, we should embrace it and, of course, respect the landowners wishes.

Ian

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 04, 2014, 05:22:01 pm
Quote
Agreed – a point I have made (and others I think). There is a huge benefit to landowners under CRoW with regards liability issues especially since the BCA insurance has a large excess and is not clear as to what is actually covered.


Bear in mind that CRoW indemnity will only apply for those activities expressly allowed under the act, i.e. on the surface, incidents underground will still require a separate insurance.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 04, 2014, 06:14:49 pm
Bear in mind that CRoW indemnity will only apply for those activities expressly allowed under the act, i.e. on the surface, incidents underground will still require a separate insurance.

Interesting point. I wonder if CRoW liability insurance would cover incidents under ground if it is established that "caving" is permissible under CRoW legislation ?

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 04, 2014, 06:22:15 pm
Logically, it would.

The sticking point is the word 'logically' though.... :lol:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 04, 2014, 07:05:02 pm
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Stuart Anderson on April 04, 2014, 07:41:11 pm
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\

One presumes boundaries are applied underground...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 04, 2014, 09:33:22 pm
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\

One presumes boundaries are applied underground...

Yes they do.  Assuming that caving is permitted within a cave on CRoW land, then you need the permission of the other land owner to cross the boundary.  But can someone come up with an example on one entrance on and the other off 'CRoW land'? 

Bear in mind that CRoW indemnity will only apply for those activities expressly allowed under the act, i.e. on the surface, incidents underground will still require a separate insurance.
Interesting point. I wonder if CRoW liability insurance would cover incidents under ground if it is established that "caving" is permissible under CRoW legislation ?

This is poorly phrased.  CRoW provides a limit on the extent of liability of the land owner not 'insurance'.  I see no reason why not, assuming CRoW does apply. 

It seems to me that Tim Allen's article in Descent breaks significant new ground. If the law and the public bodies which apply it say we can walk to and descend the entrance pitches to Cow Pot, Gavel Pot etc without the need to seek permits, it seems to me most unlikely that any court would decide that the right of access ends with the daylight.

The topic of whether CRoW covers caving is complex and far from clear cut.  NE's advice indicates it does to some extent, but they clearly think there is a limit and hence would disagree with your suggestion that a court would decide the way you suggest. Whether an argument can be made to demonstrate that CRoW does cover all caving is going to take time.  The concern of many other cavers is that if some caver tries to push this 'on the ground' then they could end up precipitating a major battle between land owners and cavers.     

PS - you may wish to think of the poor canoeists whose rights were initially in the bill but removed by the time CRoW became an Act.  As well as those who pursue swimming, hang gliding and paragliding which are explicitly not covered by CRoW.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: barrabus on April 04, 2014, 09:45:13 pm
If lots of people all write to Dr. Farrer...
Dr Farrer died earlier this year.

Craven Herald article (http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/10971745.Dr_John_Farrer__of_Clapham__dies_aged_92/)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 05, 2014, 10:56:36 am
The bulk of the current discussion focuses on what cavers are legally entitled to under the CROW act.  If the issue is about improving access to caves it can be better achieved via the Caving Governing Bodies.  In addition to Tim's article in Descent 237 there is  another on Access versus the Environment.  It is a much more sensible and reasoned debate than the one here on UK Caving Forum.  The environment both above and below ground is more important than people's rights under an ill thought out piece of legislation.

I believe this subject was motivated by issues around Leck Fell.  I've spent most of my time in recent years on Leck and Casterton and for both I've never had a problem getting permits at short notice.  CNCC has good relations with both landowners and we had major surface digs at Shuttleworth Pot and Cupcake.  What more do we want and why on earth would we want to alienate landowners by not asking permission when it is so readily given?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: JessopSmythe on April 05, 2014, 02:12:20 pm

Yes they do.  Assuming that caving is permitted within a cave on CRoW land, then you need the permission of the other land owner to cross the boundary.  But can someone come up with an example on one entrance on and the other off 'CRoW land'? 


OFD - Top Entrance is on CROW land whereas both Cwm Dwr and OFD1 are not. All 3 Cwm Dwr caves lie within a quarry and OFD1 is on privately owned land. As it happens, the different landowners are all pro caving and work together to dovetail their permits and access agreements. That may not have been the case if the recent sale of the land around OFD1 had gone differently.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 05, 2014, 06:09:29 pm
The environment both above and below ground is more important than people's rights under an ill thought out piece of legislation.

Yes indeed it is, unless you are one of those who regard their perceived 'rights' as being more important than anything else.

Speaking personally, I do not regard the legislation as being particularly ill thought out. No legislation is perfect and this piece has, hitherto, worked quite well. There will always be marginal cases where things could be better, but in my personal view, the current situation with regard to access on Leck and Casterton Fells is not one of them. There is no doubt that many people are unhappy with how that works at present but most, if not all, of those issues could be dealt with internally within CNCC and by discussion with the landowners. using a national legal sledgehammer to crush a local, relatively minor, nut seems to me to be overkill in the extreme.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Fulk on April 05, 2014, 06:35:28 pm
blackholesun:

Quote
With Leck Fell, David, I believe that you park on private land (or undergo a very long walk). As CROW doesn't give any rights of way to those not on foot, the landowner could say, 'Sure, walk around, go up and down some entrance shafts, but don't park on my land unless you have a permit'.

To the best of my knowledge, the road up Leck Fell is a public road maintained by the local council at their expense.

I believe that there is some obscure legislation that allows parking within a specified distance of a public road (5 m or whatever) . . . . though, of course, in the present case, parking would be quite inappropriate within most of the 10-m corridor (and I guess that if you tried to park in somebody's front garden and quoted such legislation, they would not be amused).
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: kay on April 05, 2014, 06:59:51 pm

To the best of my knowledge, the road up Leck Fell is a public road maintained by the local council at their expense.

I believe that there is some obscure legislation that allows parking within a specified distance of a public road (5 m or whatever) . . . . though, of course, in the present case, parking would be quite inappropriate within most of the 10-m corridor (and I guess that if you tried to park in somebody's front garden and quoted such legislation, they would not be amused).

A grass verge alongside a road which is not clearly part of a roadside property is considered as part of the highway, and you may park on it as long as you do not cause an obstruction.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Alex on April 05, 2014, 08:28:56 pm
Quote
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\

Interesting, how does that work currently for example going in Lancaster and coming out Pip, are you suppose to get permits for both Leck and Cast?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 05, 2014, 08:48:11 pm
The environment both above and below ground is more important than people's rights under an ill thought out piece of legislation.

I believe this subject was motivated by issues around Leck Fell.  I've spent most of my time in recent years on Leck and Casterton and for both I've never had a problem getting permits at short notice.  CNCC has good relations with both landowners and we had major surface digs at Shuttleworth Pot and Cupcake.

It's ironic that both of the surface digs you mention were in to known cave - both extremely vulnerable to damage by the increased traffic that an easy nearby entrance provides. There can be little doubt that in both cases they would have been best conserved by leaving them to those who were skilled and determined enough to visit them as they were originally discovered. Also AFAIK no significant further discoveries have been made in either cave since the extra entrances were dug (happy to be corrected on this point though as I don't know what the divers have been up to in Witches!). I'm not saying I particularly disagree with the opening of either entrance, but you should at least be consistent in your position.

George.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 05, 2014, 08:54:58 pm
Quote
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\

Interesting, how does that work currently for example going in Lancaster and coming out Pip, are you suppose to get permits for both Leck and Cast?

I'm pretty sure that Pip is on Leck Fell House's land and you therefore don't need a permit for it. Theoretically if you were doing a Gavel to Lancaster trip then I assume you would need permits for both entrances on the different fells.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 05, 2014, 09:00:09 pm
Quote
Another one to think about;

If caving were permissible under CRoW, so indemnity was covered, how is it going to be resolved in the case of a through trip with only one entrance on CRoW land? :-\ :-\

Interesting, how does that work currently for example going in Lancaster and coming out Pip, are you suppose to get permits for both Leck and Cast?

Ahh, Alex, yet another anomaly. Maybe the permits are just for ACCESS, not EGRESS ??
Either way, for us in the Southern Pennines who've just about got it sussed, its SEP, get it sorted chaps :) :)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2014, 09:07:37 pm
If the issue is about improving access to caves it can be better achieved via the Caving Governing Bodies.

No it can't; the CNCC have refused to discuss CRoW.

Quote

I believe this subject was motivated by issues around Leck Fell.  I've spent most of my time in recent years on Leck and Casterton and for both I've never had a problem getting permits at short notice. 

That's because Tony (Bog) Brown is one of the CNCC in-crowd and was party to the secret system.

Bog, so you are telling us that the secret system operated on Casterton as well as Leck. I'm glad we sorted that one out.

Quote
CNCC has good relations with both landowners and we had major surface digs at Shuttleworth Pot and Cupcake. 

The 'we' that Bog is referring to is of course the CNCC. I didn't know the CNCC was a caving club. And as George has pointed out both those caves would have been better conserved if easy entrances had not been opened up.

Quote
What more do we want...


We want a CNCC who can be trusted to act in the interest of all cavers in a fair and honest manner.

Quote
... and why on earth would we want to alienate landowners ...

The CRoW Act has been in place for nine years and is working well on Leck and Casterton Fells without alienating the landowners.

Quote
by not asking permission when it is so readily given?

You are doing what several people have done and confuse the issue of permission for surface digs with permission to enter caves. Nobody is suggesting that permission for surface digs should not be sought.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 05, 2014, 09:15:29 pm
I cannot understand why some people throw objection after objection (usually to deflect from the central issue) to the point it becomes farcical to fight against CRoW.  CRoW is not a weapon of war, it is a means for people (of all ilk’s) to enjoy the land and to protect landowners from liability.

As cavers, we should embrace it and, of course, respect the landowners wishes.

Ian


And .... unabated, the "let's stop cavers caving " caving brigade" continue to cast obstacles in the path of their fellow comrades,

Amazing.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 05, 2014, 09:39:29 pm
If the issue is about improving access to caves it can be better achieved via the Caving Governing Bodies.

No it can't; the CNCC have refused to discuss CRoW.

Citation??
Quote


I believe this subject was motivated by issues around Leck Fell.  I've spent most of my time in recent years on Leck and Casterton and for both I've never had a problem getting permits at short notice. 

That's because Tony (Bog) Brown is one of the CNCC in-crowd and was party to the secret system.

Citation??

Bog, so you are telling us that the secret system operated on Casterton as well as Leck. I'm glad we sorted that one out.

Quote
CNCC has good relations with both landowners and we had major surface digs at Shuttleworth Pot and Cupcake. 

The 'we' that Bog is referring to is of course the CNCC. I didn't know the CNCC was a caving club. And as George has pointed out both those caves would have been better conserved if easy entrances had not been opened up.

Citation??
Quote


What more do we want...


We want a CNCC who can be trusted to act in the interest of all cavers in a fair and honest manner.

In a democratic environment, can you definitely say this is not so ??

Quote
... and why on earth would we want to alienate landowners ...

The CRoW Act has been in place for nine years and is working well on Leck and Casterton Fells without alienating the landowners.

So why change it??

Quote
by not asking permission when it is so readily given?

You are doing what several people have done and confuse the issue of permission for surface digs with permission to enter caves. Nobody is suggesting that permission for surface digs should not be sought.

I suspect a personal element here, what, exactly is your problem Simon, it seems most of your posts are negative in nature, without suggesting or volunteering a suitable outcome for "all cavers", as you are so fond of quoting, I am a recognised caver of many years standing and do not feel comfortable with your repeated assumption that you represent me.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Pete K on April 05, 2014, 09:42:54 pm
I can understand the argument that an acceptance of caving under CRoW may cause some landowners to be less inclined to allow digging on their land. I'm not sure why they would be that bothered, lets face it, literally an army of ramblers could storm all over their land anytime they chose to.
What I don't understand is why this particular fraternity of cavers believe that their rights should supersede the rights of every member of public in the UK. An acceptance of caving under CRoW is a positive move for society, along with access to rivers for canoeing and wild swimming. We are already in this mess because the rights of the minority (read rich and influential) have been placed above the rights of the many throughout our history. Can't we look at the bigger picture here and collectively say, as cavers and citizens, it is time for this mess to end and accept our right to the countryside we inhabit.

Apologies if I misinterpret the debate so far but this is how it comes over.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 05, 2014, 09:48:16 pm
I can understand the argument that an acceptance of caving under CRoW may cause some landowners to be less inclined to allow digging on their land. I'm not sure why they would be that bothered ...

So why don't you ask them?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Pete K on April 05, 2014, 10:02:39 pm
Because I am not a member of the representative body for cavers in the region under discussion. I thought I might contribute a view point to this discussion that was not personally offensive to someone or directly inflammatory.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: mmilner on April 05, 2014, 10:12:37 pm
If the issue is about improving access to caves it can be better achieved via the Caving Governing Bodies.

No it can't; the CNCC have refused to discuss CRoW.

No they haven't. See Descent 235, ffs. Pages 36-38.     :coffee: It is ongoing in association with BCA.

It'll just take research, time and patience. It will get sorted!
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Anon on April 05, 2014, 10:15:25 pm
I can understand the argument that an acceptance of caving under CRoW may cause some landowners to be less inclined to allow digging on their land. I'm not sure why they would be that bothered ...
So why don't you ask them?
Let's not be making silly suggestions. It is up to the CNCC to ask, not individuals.


I would quote (using forum quotes) bograts post/others previous but it seems a faff based on how he inserted comments. So, to briefly quote one minor point (italics)..
CNCC has good relations with both landowners and we had major surface digs at Shuttleworth Pot and Cupcake.

The 'we' that Bog is referring to is of course the CNCC. I didn't know the CNCC was a caving club. And as George has pointed out both those caves would have been better conserved if easy entrances had not been opened up.

Citation??
This is obvious; Witches II (A.K.A Shuttleworth) has already suffered damage as a result of incompetent twats descending it (you could probably find that by looking on here, personally I can't be bothered looking and quoting, feel free though). Conservation by creating easy access? And no, removing the permit system would make no difference, you'd still get the same incompetent twats descending and causing damage, so the permit system does absolutely nothing for conservation!
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 05, 2014, 10:33:56 pm
I can understand the argument that an acceptance of caving under CRoW may cause some landowners to be less inclined to allow digging on their land. I'm not sure why they would be that bothered ...
So why don't you ask them?
Let's not be making silly suggestions. It is up to the CNCC to ask, not individuals.
I'm not personally involved with CNCC, but I do have active involvement with other access agreements in other parts of the country. We talk to the various landowners & their agents/employees on a regular basis. We discuss all the matters that have been discussed on these threads and clearly understand their concerns just as they seem to understand ours.

And not only the landowners, we are actively discussing management/conservation plans with Natural England in one area and in another I have a meeting scheduled next week to discus boundaries for a probable new SSSI.

So, if CNCC is in regular dialogue with its opposite numbers, then these matters should be recorded in the minutes of meetings. If it isn't, then why not?

And would I be right, on the other hand, in guessing that some cavers are against caves being scheduled as SSSIs given that these bring with them restrictions on what may be done on or under the ground?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2014, 11:10:42 pm


We want a CNCC who can be trusted to act in the interest of all cavers in a fair and honest manner.

In a democratic environment, can you definitely say this is not so ??



The CRoW Act has been in place for nine years and is working well on Leck and Casterton Fells without alienating the landowners.

So why change it??



I suspect a personal element here, what, exactly is your problem Simon, it seems most of your posts are negative in nature, without suggesting or volunteering a suitable outcome for "all cavers", as you are so fond of quoting, I am a recognised caver of many years standing and do not feel comfortable with your repeated assumption that you represent me.

I have never claimed to represent all cavers but the CNCC do represent all members of BCA member clubs, we expect them to do it in a fair and honest manner and yes, I can "definitely say this is not so".

If you were a regular caver on Leck or were taking notice of what those who are regular cavers on Leck are saying then you would understand the situation. The CRoW Act appears to be working well for the regular cavers on Leck and has done for the last nine years; nothing needs changing. I'm quite positive about that.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 05, 2014, 11:25:45 pm
In Witches II it was the divers who recognised the potential for making important extensions via an easier entrance which they were personally involved in identifying.  There are new discoveries since the opening of Shuttleworth Pot but the main extensions north and south will not be easily won.  Cupcake was also opened up to push the limits of passages which were difficult to reach but again without major success.  In Shuttleworth, conservation efforts have failed to protect the most important floor formations but in Cupcake our conservation was more determined and hopefully more effective. Time will tell.  However taking George North's point it is debatable whether they should have been opened up.  I hope we have learned some lessons and personally I feel that for the sake of conservation we need more control rather than less.  Both Witches II and Cupcake were of course opened up for the purpose of further discovery rather than easy access for cavers generally but you can't have one without the other. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 05, 2014, 11:27:08 pm
And would I be right, on the other hand, in guessing that some cavers are against caves being scheduled as SSSIs given that these bring with them restrictions on what may be done on or under the ground?

Yes, and with good cause.

NE (and CCW in Wales) have one mandate "Conservation". You (Graham) have alluded to many examples to support your argument (but usually stop short of naming "names" - that's fair enough).

I can do the opposite and name example after example of SSSI scheduling in "nonsense" areas even outside of caving (some at the "whim" of the employee charged with that area and for no particular good reason).

I can give very specific examples of the preservation of cave sediment (and previously did) being protected in "inferior" caves where the same sediment was given a grant to be removed in others because the controlling caving club directed CCW to do so for their own benefit. I am prepared to name names publically because I consider it an outrage.

Whereas, I might agree with your sentiments, it IS being abused.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 12:17:38 am
However taking George North's point it is debatable whether they should have been opened up.  I hope we have learned some lessons and personally I feel that for the sake of conservation we need more control rather than less.  Both Witches II and Cupcake were of course opened up for the purpose of further discovery rather than easy access for cavers generally but you can't have one without the other.
I think it was entirely predictable in advance the effect that opening up the Cupcake and Shuttleworth entrances would have on the cave environment. I'm inclined to think that this was part of the reason that the digging of both was kept notably quiet from the digging community at large. Certainly in the case of Cupcake (which I was fortunate enough to be involved in the original exploration of bits of) I'm pretty dubious that there was any need for another entrance from an exploration point of view.

Regarding your comment on greater controls, as Dunc and many others have pointed out permits clearly make little or no difference to the conservation of cave passages - this is the only conclusion that anybody who caves regularly in the permit controlled and non-permit controlled areas of the Dales and compares the two can come to. Gates and leader systems clearly are effective cave conservation measures, but would be deeply unpopular and totally unenforceable in the area in question (it might even be contravening the CRoW legislation!). After that I'm slightly struggling to think of any controls which would be effective.

Citations are available on request ;)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 08:06:36 am
And would I be right, on the other hand, in guessing that some cavers are against caves being scheduled as SSSIs given that these bring with them restrictions on what may be done on or under the ground?

Yes, and with good cause.

NE (and CCW in Wales) have one mandate "Conservation". You (Graham) have alluded to many examples to support your argument (but usually stop short of naming "names" - that's fair enough).

I can do the opposite and name example after example of SSSI scheduling in "nonsense" areas even outside of caving (some at the "whim" of the employee charged with that area and for no particular good reason).

I can give very specific examples of the preservation of cave sediment (and previously did) being protected in "inferior" caves where the same sediment was given a grant to be removed in others because the controlling caving club directed CCW to do so for their own benefit. I am prepared to name names publically because I consider it an outrage.

Whereas, I might agree with your sentiments, it IS being abused.

Ian

And I shall continue to refuse to name names on an open forum, I do not have the right to do otherwise.

I am aware of times when NE and their predecessors have irritated landowners and cavers and am aware of times when permission to carry out works has irritated some cavers, too. As I have said before, no system in perfect but I am not aware of conservation issues affecting caves being 'gamed' in my area in the way that is sometimes claimed for both north Wales and the Yorkshire Dales.

Once again, this is why I do not wish to see national legislative sledgehammers being used to crack local nuts.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 06, 2014, 08:18:26 am
I hope we have learned some lessons and personally I feel that for the sake of conservation we need more control rather than less. 

There's that 'we' again. I hope you have learnt some lessons about control. I do not want to see the CNCC in control of anything because they clearly cannot be trusted.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 06, 2014, 08:25:04 am
Once again, this is why I do not wish to see national legislative sledgehammers being used to crack local nuts.

.... I have said it twice, I will say it a third time ....

Quote
CRoW is not a weapon of war, it is a means for people (of all ilk’s) to enjoy the land and to protect landowners from liability.

As cavers, we should embrace it and, of course, respect the landowners wishes.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 06, 2014, 08:42:07 am
Once again I have to agree with George North - except that the digs were by no means secretive.  There could have been cavers from up to ten clubs involved in digging out Shuttleworth and a lot of those people were involved when we moved onto Cupcake.    The problem of controls is indeed a difficult one but I would rather have a discussion on that than one on legal loopholes to achieve something that was probably never intended under the CROW act.  I liked the considered UCLAN debate on Access versus the Environment because it was a serious look at a serious subject  which a lot of this UK Forum discussion is not.   
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 06, 2014, 08:52:26 am
If the issue is about improving access to caves it can be better achieved via the Caving Governing Bodies.

No it can't; the CNCC have refused to discuss CRoW.

No they haven't. See Descent 235, ffs. Pages 36-38.     :coffee: It is ongoing in association with BCA.

It'll just take research, time and patience. It will get sorted!

That is not my perception. My perception is that there is increased focalism and agitation by grass roots cavers which is a result of the statement by the BCA that "[The CRoW Act] absolutely does not give legal access to caves." The word "absolutely" sounds quite final to me and in the view of Natural England the BCA are absolutely wrong.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 06, 2014, 09:19:35 am
Actually, thinking about it, controls work reasonably well in South Wales and Forest of Dean don't they?  In Draenen the gate has been breached but is generally effective, a back entrance has been kept sealed and a book at Cairn Junction logs visits.  Otter Hole is effectively controlled - we were only allowed to enter with a guide.  In the Dales Natural England has a responsibility for controlling underground digs.  In future, perhaps CNCC and Natural England should be involved and cavers' opinions sought, before anything like the Shuttleworth and Cupcake projects are agreed.  Wizards Chasm is a cave I would like to see protected.  You can never stop cavers breaching lids such as the  (not so) unknown cavers who knocked down the walls holding the Whitewell Pot gate iand the known cavers who broke the lock on the Committee Pot lid.  In the latter case the club whose members were involved took action.  If cavers are a part of a club, control becomes easier through influencing and controlling standards of caving practice. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 06, 2014, 09:36:01 am
... controls work ... effectively controlled ... responsibility for controlling ... control ... and controlling.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 06, 2014, 09:47:03 am
Actually, thinking about it, controls work reasonably well in South Wales …..

Errrrrr …

In Draenen the gate has been breached but is generally effective

Seriously ?

a back entrance has been kept sealed

Drws Cefn has been open for 3-4 years

control becomes …..

And herein lays one of the most contentious points of view that is at the heart of the fighting on here. Is it “right” for one peer to command dominion over another?
I say (resoundingly) no. What right have I got to command “a.n.other” that they can do this or can’t do that?

We should obey the law, respect the wishes of the landowners, respect the caves and look after what we have all got. All of which can be done without people appointing themselves Policing officers, judges, Jurors and executioners.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 10:04:17 am
The problem of controls is indeed a difficult one but I would rather have a discussion on that than one on legal loopholes to achieve something that was probably never intended under the CROW act.  I liked the considered UCLAN debate on Access versus the Environment because it was a serious look at a serious subject  which a lot of this UK Forum discussion is not.

My impression reading the CRoW act has always been that caving is just the sort of act of activity that it is intended to cover. I think Tim's article in the recent issue of Decent makes an excellent case for this point of view. I think it's pretty shameful that those in charge of the BCA and CNCC have been so opposed to it's implementation. Let's be honest and say that this has got nothing to do with cave conservation or the like, and everything to do with a relatively small group of surface diggers who have a strong vested interesting in maintaining the status quo with landowners (which is in my opinion heavily to the detriment of the rest of the caving community).

I'm think that the cat is now well and truly out of the bag on this and I have a feeling that 'boots on the ground' will force change wether the CNCC/BCA like and approve of it it or not.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Dave Tyson on April 06, 2014, 11:06:30 am
I'm think that the cat is now well and truly out of the bag on this and I have a feeling that 'boots on the ground' will force change whether the CNCC/BCA like and approve of it it or not.

+1

Dave
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 11:11:25 am
Let's be honest and say that this has got nothing to do with cave conservation or the like ...

I'm sorry but whether that is true in Yorkshire or not - and I do not have the information to judge - this is exactly the reason why many of us who deal with caves and their care in other parts of the country wish that you would sort yourselves out without taking actions that might impinge in other parts of the country where these problems do not exist.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 11:30:36 am
Let's be honest and say that this has got nothing to do with cave conservation or the like ...

I'm sorry but whether that is true in Yorkshire or not - and I do not have the information to judge - this is exactly the reason why many of us who deal with caves and their care in other parts of the country wish that you would sort yourselves out without taking actions that might impinge in other parts of the country where these problems do not exist.

Frankly, compared to the prize of unrestricted access to literally hundreds of kilometers of some of the finest caves in the country, the 'anti' argument consisting of some rather spurious conservation reasons (in the Dales, where I do think I have the information to judge), and possible impingement in other areas of the country (can you give some actual examples?) seems a little weak.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 11:43:01 am
Let's be honest and say that this has got nothing to do with cave conservation or the like ...

I'm sorry but whether that is true in Yorkshire or not - and I do not have the information to judge - this is exactly the reason why many of us who deal with caves and their care in other parts of the country wish that you would sort yourselves out without taking actions that might impinge in other parts of the country where these problems do not exist.

Frankly compared to the prize of unrestricted access to literally hundreds of kilometers of some of the finest caves in the country, the 'anti' argument consisting of some rather spurious conservation reasons (in the Dales, where I do think I have the information to judge) and possible impingement in other areas of the country (can you give some actual examples?) seems a little weak.

Sort out your very local problem on those two fells and don't do it in ways that impinge on the rest of us. Is that so much to ask? I am not giving specific examples on here for the reason that I have stated before, I do not wish to rock other people's boats. I do not have that right, I am not breaking private confidences on this very public forum.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Pete K on April 06, 2014, 11:46:39 am
Sort out our very national problem with access to all countryside for the benefit of all of us. Is that so much to ask?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: NigR on April 06, 2014, 12:04:31 pm
Pete K is correct. This is very much a national (i.e. British) problem and should be treated as such.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 12:06:39 pm
Sort out our very national problem with access to all countryside for the benefit of all of us. Is that so much to ask?

Not all of the countryside is access land. Whether Mr Rogers wishes that or not.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 12:11:08 pm
Scotland has its own system which allows "underground", check this out:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/2/part/1/chapter/1 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/2/part/1/chapter/1)

Section 1, subsection 6.

Maybe when they go independant, Yorks/Lancs/Cumbria could apply to become a satellite state?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 12:11:54 pm
Let's be honest and say that this has got nothing to do with cave conservation or the like ...

I'm sorry but whether that is true in Yorkshire or not - and I do not have the information to judge - this is exactly the reason why many of us who deal with caves and their care in other parts of the country wish that you would sort yourselves out without taking actions that might impinge in other parts of the country where these problems do not exist.

Frankly compared to the prize of unrestricted access to literally hundreds of kilometers of some of the finest caves in the country, the 'anti' argument consisting of some rather spurious conservation reasons (in the Dales, where I do think I have the information to judge) and possible impingement in other areas of the country (can you give some actual examples?) seems a little weak.

Sort out your very local problem on those two fells and don't do it in ways that impinge on the rest of us. Is that so much to ask? I am not giving specific examples on here for the reason that I have stated before, I do not wish to rock other people's boats. I do not have that right, I am not breaking private confidences on this very public forum.

It's hardly just a local problem is it? Although Leck and Casterton fells have been at the heart of this we're also talking about the majority (at least 90% of caves being on land covered by CRoW in each case) of the caves on: The Allotment, Fountains Fell, Great Whernside, Gaping Ghyll, Penyghent and others, where at present access restrictions involving permits, closed seasons, needing to be a member of a BCA club etc. apply. I'd say that was pretty nationally significant myself.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 06, 2014, 12:21:54 pm
That's still a local problem thought, isn't it. Even ythough the caves concerned are nationally significant....hence: sort out the local problem.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 12:34:25 pm
OK, if you want to get in to semantics it's a problem concerning 71% of the caves in the Northern Pennines (by some way the largest caving area in the country), and no doubt a good number elsewhere too. As such I think it needs a national response.

As I said before I think change will now be forced regardless. Hopefully the BCA/CNCC can keep up...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 06, 2014, 12:40:29 pm
Quote
Sort out our very national problem with access to all countryside for the benefit of all of us. Is that so much to ask?

Indeed Pete couldn't agree more...
So much of it is lost to us masses just because a few hundred years ago the ancestors of the present owners happened to have a horse and a sword while my ancestors were busy grubbing in the dirt!
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: kay on April 06, 2014, 12:49:31 pm
I do not want to see the CNCC in control of anything because they clearly cannot be trusted.

But you must take some responsibility for that, surely? Earby has been a member of the CNCC Committee since at least 2008.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 12:50:55 pm
Quote
Sort out our very national problem with access to all countryside for the benefit of all of us. Is that so much to ask?

Indeed Pete couldn't agree more...
So much of it is lost to us masses just because a few hundred years ago the ancestors of the present owners happened to have a horse and a sword while my ancestors were busy grubbing in the dirt!

That thing about horses doesn't apply to the landowners I deal with, yet again yorkies fail to see that the world doesn't revolve around them and their local concerns.  ::)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 01:01:07 pm
OK, if you want to get in to semantics it's a problem concerning 71% of the caves in the Northern Pennines (by some way the largest caving area in the country), and no doubt a good number elsewhere too. As such I think it needs a national response.

As I said before I think change will now be forced regardless. Hopefully the BCA/CNCC can keep up...

Ahh, so the BCA survey on caves and CRoW has been completed in the CNCC area has it?, and come up with a figure of 71% ?.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 06, 2014, 01:07:38 pm
When people resort to principles and statistics to justify their cause and start to ignore the practicalities and variability of detail, you know something has gone seriously wrong. Yes there is an issue to be resolved but too much of this, and other access related issues, seems to hinge on people having a go at each other instead of using rational thought and consideration for all factors, not just the ones that suit.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 06, 2014, 01:13:49 pm
Some people seem to be locked into the thinking that a problem that affects their area is a national problem.

Yes, there may be (are?) problems in the Dales and North Wales.

But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 01:15:56 pm
Some people seem to be locked into the thinking that a problem that affects their area is a national problem.

Yes, there may be (are?) problems in the Dales and North Wales.

But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 01:16:49 pm
OK, if you want to get in to semantics it's a problem concerning 71% of the caves in the Northern Pennines (by some way the largest caving area in the country), and no doubt a good number elsewhere too. As such I think it needs a national response.

As I said before I think change will now be forced regardless. Hopefully the BCA/CNCC can keep up...

Ahh, so the BCA survey on caves and CRoW has been completed in the CNCC area has it?, and come up with a figure of 71% ?.

The figure is from Sam Allshorn's article in Descent 235 and refers to all the caves covered by the Northern Caves guidebooks. As it says in the article the data has been passed to the BCA CRoW working group, and there's no reason to think it isn't accurate - why do you ask?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 01:26:43 pm
OK, if you want to get in to semantics it's a problem concerning 71% of the caves in the Northern Pennines (by some way the largest caving area in the country), and no doubt a good number elsewhere too. As such I think it needs a national response.

As I said before I think change will now be forced regardless. Hopefully the BCA/CNCC can keep up...

Ahh, so the BCA survey on caves and CRoW has been completed in the CNCC area has it?, and come up with a figure of 71% ?.

The figure is from Sam Allshorn's article in Descent 235 and refers to all the caves covered by the Northern Caves guidebooks. As it says in the article the data has been passed to the BCA CRoW working group, and there's no reason to think it isn't accurate - why do you ask?

Descent 235; December 2013. Working party set up, Jan/Feb 2014, just wondering whether you were involved in either?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 01:30:30 pm
When people resort to principles and statistics to justify their cause and start to ignore the practicalities and variability of detail, you know something has gone seriously wrong. Yes there is an issue to be resolved but too much of this, and other access related issues, seems to hinge on people having a go at each other instead of using rational thought and consideration for all factors, not just the ones that suit.

Why is it that those who live far away from the Dales, and probably only cave here once every Preston guild seem keenest to advise us on 'the practicalities and variability of detail'! Badlad, Simon Wilson, myself and others all prefer to speak from a position of relative knowledge on how things are. I also think this debate has been remarkably free from personal abuse and angst - probably because it's ultimately a fairly small scene and most of us have got friends on both sides of the argument.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 01:31:31 pm
OK, if you want to get in to semantics it's a problem concerning 71% of the caves in the Northern Pennines (by some way the largest caving area in the country), and no doubt a good number elsewhere too. As such I think it needs a national response.

As I said before I think change will now be forced regardless. Hopefully the BCA/CNCC can keep up...

Ahh, so the BCA survey on caves and CRoW has been completed in the CNCC area has it?, and come up with a figure of 71% ?.

The figure is from Sam Allshorn's article in Descent 235 and refers to all the caves covered by the Northern Caves guidebooks. As it says in the article the data has been passed to the BCA CRoW working group, and there's no reason to think it isn't accurate - why do you ask?

Descent 235; December 2013. Working party set up, Jan/Feb 2014, just wondering whether you were involved in either?

Nope, it was publicly accessible information. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 06, 2014, 01:34:47 pm
You're missing the point George, which is that solutions that you wish to apply to the Dales might not be ideal for other areas.

Hence Graham's assertion that it's using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 01:43:39 pm
You're missing the point George, which is that solutions that you wish to apply to the Dales might not be ideal for other areas.
I agree. Even within the Dales there are many instances where it would obviously be best to continue with the current reasonable access arrangements rather than antagonising landowners by insisting on a right to access. (I'm sure few would disagree with checking at the folk at Braida Garth Farm before going down a cave on E Kingsdale for instance).

The reality on the estate owned lands is that they're not suddenly just going to change their minds and allow free access though. In these cases I think the 'sledgehammer' of CRoW might be entirely appropriate.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: mmilner on April 06, 2014, 01:49:54 pm
You're missing the point George, which is that solutions that you wish to apply to the Dales might not be ideal for other areas.
I agree. Even within the Dales there are many instances where it would obviously be best to continue with the current reasonable access arrangements rather than antagonising landowners by insisting on a right to access. (I'm sure few would disagree with checking at the folk at Braida Garth Farm before going down a cave on E Kingsdale for instance).

Why can't somebody just talk to the Estate owners/agents of Leck & Casterton Fells and ask them their opinion on CRoW instead of just talking about it on here?  :shrug: Then report back.

Like others have said, this IS a local problem. Just sort it out with the appropriate people. Posting on here won't sort anything.

Regards Mel. DCA Conservation Officer.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 06, 2014, 01:57:41 pm
George it is precisely because I am remote and have no connection with the Dales that I think I can look at what is being discussed with a detached perspective. And what I often see is a lack of attention to practicalities etc as I said, and a good deal of "principles" - I am sure I am not the only person who has some discomfort when gauging the way this and other discussions go when it comes to access matters. Perhaps they are not so prepared to look into the bearpit as me. Your comment "Why is it that those who live far away from the Dales....", to me at least, carries the implication that it's not my business - but when it starts being discussed as a national issue, then it becomes every bit my business as well as every one else in the country. If people want it to be a national issue then we should all have the chance to comment on what you and others are considering. If you don't want "outsiders" poking their noses in, then it should be accepted that this is a local issue and should be handled as such. I am sure most people are speaking what they feel with the best of intentions, but it always, always, pays to bear in mind that others might think in a different way.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 02:06:01 pm
When people resort to principles and statistics to justify their cause and start to ignore the practicalities and variability of detail, you know something has gone seriously wrong. Yes there is an issue to be resolved but too much of this, and other access related issues, seems to hinge on people having a go at each other instead of using rational thought and consideration for all factors, not just the ones that suit.

Why is it that those who live far away from the Dales, and probably only cave here once every Preston guild seem keenest to advise us on 'the practicalities and variability of detail'! Badlad, Simon Wilson, myself and others all prefer to speak from a position of relative knowledge on how things are. I also think this debate has been remarkably free from personal abuse and angst - probably because it's ultimately a fairly small scene and most of us have got friends on both sides of the argument.

I didn't cave during the last Preston Guild 'cos I attended it, as the dear lady wife hails from there.

I am glad that this post demonstrates that you do see that this is, indeed, a local problem. It must be if folks from far away should not comment on it. So, please, treat it as such and use local tools to solve it, not national ones, that may have impacts far away that you may not know of.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 02:13:26 pm
The reality on the estate owned lands is that they're not suddenly just going to change their minds and allow free access though. In these cases I think the 'sledgehammer' of CRoW might be entirely appropriate.

As has been said before (many times) A sledgehammer blow in the form of national legislation could jepordise agreements all over the country, a local agreement is preferable, CNCC should enter into negotiations with estates and get it sorted, the members of CNCC should sort this out, get your house in order and stop trying to persuade others to back your cause. You may have the best caves in the country (debateable, especially from SW.), but I doubt you have the most cavers.

P.S. Its 2.00 pm on a Sunday, We should all be underground or in the pub :o
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 02:18:40 pm
When people resort to principles and statistics to justify their cause and start to ignore the practicalities and variability of detail, you know something has gone seriously wrong. Yes there is an issue to be resolved but too much of this, and other access related issues, seems to hinge on people having a go at each other instead of using rational thought and consideration for all factors, not just the ones that suit.

Why is it that those who live far away from the Dales, and probably only cave here once every Preston guild seem keenest to advise us on 'the practicalities and variability of detail'! Badlad, Simon Wilson, myself and others all prefer to speak from a position of relative knowledge on how things are. I also think this debate has been remarkably free from personal abuse and angst - probably because it's ultimately a fairly small scene and most of us have got friends on both sides of the argument.

I didn't cave during the last Preston Guild 'cos I attended it, as the dear lady wife hails from there.

I am glad that this post demonstrates that you do see that this is, indeed, a local problem. It must be if folks from far away should not comment on it. So, please, treat it as such and use local tools to solve it, not national ones, that may have impacts far away that you may not know of.

 :wall: everybody is of course welcome to their opinion and it's good to hear them. I think it's a shame that a wider group of people don't contribute to this forum. I stand by my point that the most vocal opposition to this seems to be coming from those far outside of the Dales though. I guess if you don't cave here regularly you feel as though you've got nothing to gain, and the possibility of something to lose.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 02:20:58 pm
P.S. Its 2.00 pm on a Sunday, We should all be underground or in the pub :o

Word.  :beer2:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 06, 2014, 02:25:01 pm
Your gain should not be at others' loss though, George.

PS. I am not in the pub because the bathroom paint is not going to strip itself..... :lol:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 06, 2014, 02:28:00 pm
I thought the only beer worth drinking/caves worth descending were in Yorkshire. I wouldn't make it in time.  :)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 03:17:49 pm
When people resort to principles and statistics to justify their cause and start to ignore the practicalities and variability of detail, you know something has gone seriously wrong. Yes there is an issue to be resolved but too much of this, and other access related issues, seems to hinge on people having a go at each other instead of using rational thought and consideration for all factors, not just the ones that suit.

Why is it that those who live far away from the Dales, and probably only cave here once every Preston guild seem keenest to advise us on 'the practicalities and variability of detail'! Badlad, Simon Wilson, myself and others all prefer to speak from a position of relative knowledge on how things are. I also think this debate has been remarkably free from personal abuse and angst - probably because it's ultimately a fairly small scene and most of us have got friends on both sides of the argument.

I didn't cave during the last Preston Guild 'cos I attended it, as the dear lady wife hails from there.

I am glad that this post demonstrates that you do see that this is, indeed, a local problem. It must be if folks from far away should not comment on it. So, please, treat it as such and use local tools to solve it, not national ones, that may have impacts far away that you may not know of.

 :wall: everybody is of course welcome to their opinion and it's good to hear them. I think it's a shame that a wider group of people don't contribute to this forum. I stand by my point that the most vocal opposition to this seems to be coming from those far outside of the Dales though. I guess if you don't cave here regularly you feel as though you've got nothing to gain, and the possibility of something to lose.

I don't cave there regularly these days, no, though my club does. It also caves in Wales, Derbyshire, Mendip & other places & yes I do think there are things to lose. So please don't bugger them up for us.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 06, 2014, 03:19:47 pm
Quote
But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.

Having Caving considered an activity that can take part on CRoW land isn't going to affect those agreements though is it? Yes, its mainly an issue that affects the Dales and yes, mainly the large estates...but farmers in Derbyshire aren't going to think Oh no! Caver's are caving freely on access land...I must instantly bar access to them on my farmland to show solidarity with my Grouse Moor owning bretheren in Yorkshire are they?

Similarly there are plenty of Caves on access land in Yorkshire were there is a fantastic and flexible arrangement in place...IE E Kingsdale Caves...no need to change things there if the interpretation of the CRoW legislation changes...if access to those Caves contains reminder...please make a courtesy call at the farm before descending...people still will...

A change in the interpretation of CRoW doesn't blow any existing relationships or agreements away...it merely opens up more possibilities in area's where access is presently difficult...or dis-allowed...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 06, 2014, 03:52:29 pm
Well put, Jasonbirder
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Jon on April 06, 2014, 04:45:12 pm
Quote
But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.

Having Caving considered an activity that can take part on CRoW land isn't going to affect those agreements though is it? Yes, its mainly an issue that affects the Dales and yes, mainly the large estates...but farmers in Derbyshire aren't going to think Oh no! Caver's are caving freely on access land...I must instantly bar access to them on my farmland to show solidarity with my Grouse Moor owning bretheren in Yorkshire are they?

Similarly there are plenty of Caves on access land in Yorkshire were there is a fantastic and flexible arrangement in place...IE E Kingsdale Caves...no need to change things there if the interpretation of the CRoW legislation changes...if access to those Caves contains reminder...please make a courtesy call at the farm before descending...people still will...

A change in the interpretation of CRoW doesn't blow any existing relationships or agreements away...it merely opens up more possibilities in area's where access is presently difficult...or dis-allowed...
Well said.

There seems to be a lot of scaremongering that using CROW will cause the sky to fall.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 06, 2014, 04:52:01 pm
I do not want to see the CNCC in control of anything because they clearly cannot be trusted.

But you must take some responsibility for that, surely? Earby has been a member of the CNCC Committee since at least 2008.

The EPC have not been a member of the committee for about 15 years before the 2014 AGM and did not attend a committee meeting before 2013. It was our representative at the meeting in 2013 who alerted us to the fact that correct procedures were not being carried out at committee meetings. I have already pointed out that the list of the committee in the agenda for the AGM is complete fiction. The officers were unable to name the committee at the January meeting; something that they have since tried to deny. As the Minutes Secretary at the time you should have known who the committee were and clearly you do not. It is highly offensive of you to suggest that the EPC bear any responsibility for the appalling behaviour of the CNCC over the past few years and you should apologise.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Anon on April 06, 2014, 05:14:00 pm
Quote
But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.
Similarly there are plenty of Caves on access land in Yorkshire were there is a fantastic and flexible arrangement in place...IE E Kingsdale Caves...no need to change things there if the interpretation of the CRoW legislation changes...if access to those Caves contains reminder...please make a courtesy call at the farm before descending...people still will...
Nothing would change with that particular example, as you pass the farm and use a field (not CRoW) to gain access to the CRoW land.. Unless of course you took a long winded route via a footpath that crosses the CRoW land and avoids the field, but that's just silly! Similar situations exist elsewhere in the Dales..
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bottlebank on April 06, 2014, 05:17:31 pm
I do not want to see the CNCC in control of anything because they clearly cannot be trusted.

But you must take some responsibility for that, surely? Earby has been a member of the CNCC Committee since at least 2008.

The EPC have not been a member of the committee for about 15 years before the 2014 AGM and did not attend a committee meeting before 2013. It was our representative at the meeting in 2013 who alerted us to the fact that correct procedures were not being carried out at committee meetings. I have already pointed out that the list of the committee in the agenda for the AGM is complete fiction. The officers were unable to name the committee at the January meeting; something that they have since tried to deny. As the Minutes Secretary at the time you should have known who the committee were and clearly you do not. It is highly offensive of you to suggest that the EPC bear any responsibility for the appalling behaviour of the CNCC over the past few years and you should apologise.





Simon,

I love the idea that Kay should apologise for the fact that despite being founder members of the CNCC the Earby couldn't be bothered getting involved until last year and so it's everyone else's fault but ours!

Of course responsibility for the way CNCC has been operating, good and bad, is partly our fault, just as it's partly the fault of every other full member club, whether they remained involved or not.

I don't like the suggestion made by someone that Dales diggers are a small minority whose views aren't worth listening to. That is much more offensive (even if only to me) than Kay's idea - but I'm not going to demand an apology :-)

Pub calls.

Tony  :beer2:

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Alex on April 06, 2014, 06:04:18 pm
Exploration is important we should support them, after all they give us more caves to play in!

But I do not think it will make any worse getting permission for digs, when CROW act gives free access, well no more problems than the 60% who ignore the permits currently, in-fact since no one would be breaking any rules I would think the land owners would have less things to be angry about.

Rather pointless me posting on here as everyone seems to just ignore me anyway. Oh well will go and make fun of that religous nut person in the expedition forum, he picked the wrong website to post that on didnt he!?

Bah it's locked.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 06:18:13 pm
Quote
But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.

Having Caving considered an activity that can take part on CRoW land isn't going to affect those agreements though is it? Yes, its mainly an issue that affects the Dales and yes, mainly the large estates...but farmers in Derbyshire aren't going to think Oh no! Caver's are caving freely on access land...I must instantly bar access to them on my farmland to show solidarity with my Grouse Moor owning bretheren in Yorkshire are they?

Similarly there are plenty of Caves on access land in Yorkshire were there is a fantastic and flexible arrangement in place...IE E Kingsdale Caves...no need to change things there if the interpretation of the CRoW legislation changes...if access to those Caves contains reminder...please make a courtesy call at the farm before descending...people still will...

A change in the interpretation of CRoW doesn't blow any existing relationships or agreements away...it merely opens up more possibilities in area's where access is presently difficult...or dis-allowed...

And still we have a Yorkie-centric view with no understanding of what happens in other places. I find this very frustrating as I cannot give details of arrangements that I know would be compromised by changes in CRoW that are being put forward here, as I am obviously not in a position to speak for others.

The sky might not fall in, but some things would undoubtedly be compromised.

Please solve your problems - which seem to be within your own access body as much as anything else - without making more for us. Please.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 06, 2014, 08:12:37 pm
Fail to understand how having Caving allowed under CRoW would impact negatively on any existing relationships...

If landowners are happy to allow access currently with minimal reservations why would bringing that under a legal framework have any negative effect?

What concrete examples are you thinking of?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Alex on April 06, 2014, 08:48:31 pm
Thats what I am thinking. If he cant explain his position how can he expect us to understand his point of view.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: zomjon on April 06, 2014, 08:52:17 pm
Jason's Yorkie-centric view is from someone who does the majority of his caving in the Peak, and as another Peak based caver, I totally concur with what he wrote.  :thumbsup: Well said Jason
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: NigR on April 06, 2014, 09:29:45 pm
Some people seem to be locked into the thinking that a problem that affects their area is a national problem.

Yes, there may be (are?) problems in the Dales and North Wales.

But there aren't problems in Derbyshire, or Mendip. Or if there are, they can be sorted locally.

There are also several different places in South Wales where problems either currently exist or could well arise in the non too distant future.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 06, 2014, 09:36:30 pm
Do you think it would stop people illegally ripping locks off gates? If so, I'm all for it.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 09:53:04 pm
Thats what I am thinking. If he cant explain his position how can he expect us to understand his point of view.

I can explain it, but I refuse to discuss potentially delicate relationships on an open forum which is not only frequented by landowners and other bodies but is used by folks who have a known distaste for their concerns.

Why can you not simply reform your own body, if you feel that to be necessary & sort out new arrangements in your own areas?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 09:59:50 pm
Your gain should not be at others' loss though, George.

I can see how the surface diggers feel they've got something to lose. It's entirely possible that if this isn't handled well then the likes of the Kay-Shuttleworth Estate would refuse permission for a future dig such as the dry entrance into Witches II. I'm slightly more sceptical that this would result in a refusal to dig on land where the landowners are more caver-friendly (Marble Steps area for instance).

I'm at a complete loss to see how this might affect access arrangements in areas outside of the Dales such as Graham is alluding to. Clearly I'm not the only one...

My hope is that the BCA/CNCC adopt a much more progressive stance on CRoW, and hopefully the negative impacts of a 'forced' change can be avoided. As David Rose said earlier removing the inaccurate 'BCA Position on CRoW' document would be a good start.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: NigR on April 06, 2014, 10:07:49 pm
Do you think it would stop people illegally ripping locks off gates? If so, I'm all for it.

In some cases it might well do so, in others maybe not.

(Only way to be 100% certain that locks and gates will not be damaged or removed is to refrain from putting them there in the first place.)

Does this mean that you are now in favour of caving on CRoW land, Peter?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 10:21:36 pm

I'm at a complete loss to see how this might affect access arrangements in areas outside of the Dales such as Graham is alluding to. Clearly I'm not the only one...


Will you not adopt the precautionary principle and accept that taking steps that might deal with a local issue locally, by reforming CNCC and revamping its relationships with the relevant estates, might be preferable to potentially destabilising relationships that currently work perfectly well elsewhere?

Don't listen to the likes of NigR, he is ideologically anti any cave gates at all. He'd even be against the gated access to cave that I negotiated some 20 years ago on the edge of a large housing estate. A cave that had been closed for 30 or more years up until that point because local kids had needed rescuing from it.

It it wasn't for me, that cave would be closed now. Instead of having concrete down the entrance it now has a gate and an access system that has worked well for 20 years.

I use this as an example because it is in an urban setting, not on CRoW land and thus cannot be used as a stick to beat me with. I use it simply to show that not every cave is in the middle of a moor.

And of course that will still be held against me, but hey.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 06, 2014, 10:29:41 pm
Graham;

That last comment is both an ad hominem and straw man fallacy. You can't reasonably say "Ignore idea Y from person X because I think person X believes idea Z, which is ludicrous".

Pen Park Hole has nothing to do with CROW.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 10:34:42 pm
Graham;

That last comment is both an ad hominem and straw man fallacy. You can't reasonably say "Ignore idea Y from person X because I think person X believes idea Z, which is ludicrous".

Pen Park Hole has nothing to do with CROW.

I have given my reasons why I shall not give more direct examples. Sorry, but I shall not change that stance simply to satisfy some people on here.

The reasons for citing that cave are twofold, firstly to demonstrate my long term commitment to improving cave access and secondly to point out - not a straw man - that some people on here are ideologically opposed to any restrictions on their access, any at all. NigR has posted his opposition to all cave gates on here, I simply give an example of a sensible cave gate.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 10:43:49 pm
Pen Park Hole has nothing to do with CROW.

BTW

The fact that you name a cave where I didn't is a perfect example of why I refuse to identify any of the other situations that I am concerned about. That one is non-contentious, others less so.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 10:44:41 pm

I'm at a complete loss to see how this might affect access arrangements in areas outside of the Dales such as Graham is alluding to. Clearly I'm not the only one...


Will you not adopt the precautionary principle and accept that taking steps that might deal with a local issue locally, by reforming CNCC and revamping its relationships with the relevant estates, might be preferable to potentially destabilising relationships that currently work perfectly well elsewhere?

I'm not sure that access could be re-negotiated at a local level if the national governing body for the sport has a document on its website (now incorrectly) stating that CRoW provides no right of access to caves. You still haven't explained how the BCA/CNCC changing its position would in any way affect a location such as PPH (I assume), or similarly sensitive locations, which believe it or not, do exist in the Dales.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Anon on April 06, 2014, 10:48:54 pm
I can explain it, but I refuse to discuss potentially delicate relationships on an open forum which is not only frequented by landowners and other bodies but is used by folks who have a known distaste for their concerns.

Why can you not simply reform your own body, if you feel that to be necessary & sort out new arrangements in your own areas?
Is this "issue" related to a surface dig on CrOW land or just plain old access for sporting types, maybe crossing a field to gain access to CRoW land? Can you allude to that at least?
I know you don't wish to reveal details but it makes it pointless even mentioning it unless some details, however vague, are presented. Like others have posted I can't understand how it affects the issue? Without some details it becomes a moot point.

As for the housing estate example; fair play and well done, no idea what location you're on about (someone has posted whilst typing this, so I now know), but great that access is available. I can understand restrictions/gates in that example, it's the middle of nowhere that concerns me and no doubt others reading this thread.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 06, 2014, 10:55:12 pm
Seems to me there are only 3 Possible situations that can arise with regards to CRoW access to caves...

1) Caves NOT on CRoW land

2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement

3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access

Every single Cave will fall into one of those 3 Categories...

A change in Caving's status as an allowed activity on CRoW land will have ZERO effect on the first

I fail to see how it can impact in anyway on the second...

In the third instance CRoW legislation is a useful tool to open up access in situations where it is difficult or impossible...

While I can see a certain hesitancy about getting the go ahead for surface digs in limited cases in the final instance...what people haven't emphasised it that the majority of digs AREN'T surface digs...they're underground...and improved access for Caving means improved access for digging... its certainly NOT an overwhelming negative for diggers as a few on here want to imply...

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 06, 2014, 10:57:12 pm
Is this "issue" related to a surface dig on CrOW land or just plain old access for sporting types, maybe crossing a field to gain access to CRoW land? Can you allude to that at least?

Potentially both

I know you don't wish to reveal details but it makes it pointless even mentioning it unless some details, however vague, are presented. Like others have posted I can't understand how it affects the issue? Without some details it becomes a moot point.
I accept that, but will not be more explicit for the reasons given.

As for the housing estate example; fair play and well done, no idea what location you're on about (someone has posted whilst typing this, so I now know), but great that access is available. I can understand restrictions/gates in that example, it's the middle of nowhere that concerns me and no doubt others reading this thread.

And yet there are those who have posted on this very site their opposition to any gates at all.

It is the refusal of some to recognise that not every access situation can be dealt with by their crude tools that concerns me.

I accept that some may have problems understanding my concerns but nobody has yet posted any reason, any at all, why the situation on Leck and Casterton fells cannot be dealt with locally.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 11:12:26 pm
I accept that some may have problems understanding my concerns but nobody has yet posted any reason, any at all, why the situation on Leck and Casterton fells cannot be dealt with locally.

As I said earlier this is not just a case of Leck and Casterton Fells (your repeat of this highlights your lack of detailed knowledge on the subject), but the majority (70% minimum) of the caves in the Dales where access is currently restricted or banned.

As for why it can't be dealt with locally only please see my point above about the BCA statement.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 06, 2014, 11:24:09 pm
Just a reminder to folk, access via CRoW is not a passport to surface digging, in fact it would be illegal without the landowners specific permission.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 06, 2014, 11:27:56 pm
I think the issue of gating entrances (on CRoW land or other land) is quite different to the general of issue of access TO entrances across CRoW land. To tie the two together here is to distract from the original thread.
Gating has a general argument about principles but also quite specific issues on certain caves. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: NigR on April 06, 2014, 11:35:10 pm
Pen Park Hole has nothing to do with CROW.

Exactly.

It is being used purely to divert attention away from the real issue at stake, i.e. caving on CRoW land, wherever it may be (not just on Leck and Casterton Fells).

Seems to me there are only 3 Possible situations that can arise with regards to CRoW access to caves...

1) Caves NOT on CRoW land

2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement

3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access

Every single Cave will fall into one of those 3 Categories...

Jason is quite correct in recognising that all caves can be put into one of the categories he specifies. The caves in South Wales where problems already exist (or are likely to appear) all firmly belong in Category 3.

(....and none of these are currently gated, so that is not a problem and there is not the slightest need to make it one).

I think the issue of gating entrances (on CRoW land or other land) is quite different to the general of issue of access TO entrances across CRoW land. To tie the two together here is to distract from the original thread.

That is precisely why gating was first mentioned, to distract people from the original topic under discussion.







Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 06, 2014, 11:35:40 pm
I think the issue of gating entrances (on CRoW land or other land) is quite different to the general of issue of access TO entrances across CRoW land. To tie the two together here is to distract from the original thread.
Gating has a general argument about principles but also quite specific issues on certain caves. 


Agreed - it seemed to me like a rather cynical attempt to obfuscate the discussion.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Anon on April 06, 2014, 11:42:04 pm
Seems to me there are only 3 Possible situations that can arise with regards to CRoW access to caves...

1) Caves NOT on CRoW land
Nothing changes.
Quote
2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement
Define satisfactory? I can usually get a permit at fairly short notice for (example) Leck/Casterton. Is that satisfactory? And no I don't agree with the permit system on CRoW land, just asking what constitutes "satisfactory"..
Quote
3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access
I can immediately think of two northern examples (yes northern-centric but it's what I know and what I can quote examples of), in the same catchment, of significant length, that fall in to that category..

Quote
I fail to see how it can impact in anyway on the second...
Just because an entrance is on CRoW land doesn't mean access to it is, as I said in a previous post. Random example: Fountains Fell is largely CRoW, but from the "usual" parking spot it involves crossing non-CRoW land to gain access to the caves. It doesn't impact nor does it it improve the situation, unless cavers are prepared to walk further to avoid landowner restrictions.

Quote
In the third instance CRoW legislation is a useful tool to open up access in situations where it is difficult or impossible...
Agreed.


Graham; thank you for your reply, still not sure I understand the situation though..
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 07, 2014, 12:05:00 am

Just because an entrance is on CRoW land doesn't mean access to it is, as I said in a previous post. Random example: Fountains Fell is largely CRoW, but from the "usual" parking spot it involves crossing non-CRoW land to gain access to the caves. It doesn't impact nor does it it improve the situation, unless cavers are prepared to walk further to avoid landowner restrictions.

As far as I'm aware all CRoW land is accessible via a public right of way. In the case of Fountains Fell for instance it would only involve an extra km or so to walk in via a legal access point, so it's hardly a show stopper to open access.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 07, 2014, 12:26:20 am
Graham,

You say "He'd even be against ...", which is future tense. If it were well known that Nig was specifically against the Pen Park Hole gating, then it would be "He is against ...". Thus it is a classic straw man as you are claiming that someone else believes something.

That aside, it matters not why someone believes something, it only matters what the merits of the idea are. That must be a basic part of any reasonable discussion. (Not that I'm saying it's the case here, but) someone may want to change things round just because they didn't like the CNCC for example. It doesn't mean that their idea is a good one or a bad one for british caving. Ideas must stand on their own and criticising the originator is a common but unnecessary part of these discussions.

Your work on Pen Park Hole is well known and simply researched. Mentioning its name just allows people to refer to it more easily than 'that cave on the housing estate that Graham worked a lot on the access of'. I can't see how naming a cave would mean that you would be less likely to name a useful example. I couldn't exactly name it again.

Naturally, as others have mentioned, a cave in a housing estate on non CROW land with a gate is of no relevance to caves on CROW land with no gates and a permit system.

Frustrating as it may be, being unable to give relevant examples means, rightly or not, that people will behave as if there aren't any.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: blackholesun on April 07, 2014, 12:31:17 am
People have started mentioning talking to the landowners and seeing what they think. I still think that the Ingleborough estate (though obviously now not Dr Farrer) could be a good start or for something more direct and specific, could the owners of the relevant Penyghent area be asked if they would consider allowing unpermitted access to Hull Pot seeing as that is clearly open air recreation?

Would anyone else support such an idea?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Anon on April 07, 2014, 12:41:16 am

Just because an entrance is on CRoW land doesn't mean access to it is, as I said in a previous post. Random example: Fountains Fell is largely CRoW, but from the "usual" parking spot it involves crossing non-CRoW land to gain access to the caves. It doesn't impact nor does it it improve the situation, unless cavers are prepared to walk further to avoid landowner restrictions.

As far as I'm aware all CRoW land is accessible via a public right of way. In the case of Fountains Fell for instance it would only involve an extra km or so to walk in via a legal access point, so it's hardly a show stopper to open access.
I didn't say it was a show-stopper, merely suggesting that from the "usual" access point it wasn't a free for all, like some people think it might be. Just as I previously said East Kingsdale could be accessed via a long winded route without asking for direct permission. And to throw another example in; Alum Pot, I could suggest access via some long winded route to gain access to the CRoW entrance of Upper Long Churn to then gain LLC and thus Alum (obviously not direct as that's not on CRoW land).. If you and others are happy to walk a good few miles extra just to avoid asking for permission then that's your prerogative. I'm not against CRoW access, just pointing out that in certain circumstances, it's not as clear cut as it first seems...

Not all CRoW land is accessible easily; I really can't be arsed trying to find it now but I recall seeing on a map (North West England somewhere, Forest of Bowland perhaps as I did a fair bit of walking around there years back) a portion of CRoW land that had no means of access - no road/path or anything else! I know, ridiculous extreme example, had to say it though..  ;) (might have to go looking now, just to satisfy my perverse curiosity!)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 07, 2014, 07:25:08 am
Graham,

You say "He'd even be against ...", which is future tense. If it were well known that Nig was specifically against the Pen Park Hole gating, then it would be "He is against ...". Thus it is a classic straw man as you are claiming that someone else believes something.

He has posted on this very forum that he believes that all cave gates are wrong.  I mentioned this site at that time. he did not deny it.

Let him deny it now, if he wishes, then we can spread the discussion on a case by case basis.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ed W on April 07, 2014, 08:02:24 am
Well done Badlad/Tim for taking the effort to look at this and provide some evidence rather than hearsay.  Personally I am all for the presumption of free access to caves on CROW land for the following reasons;

1.  The present situation just seems totally ludicrous, in that anyone has a right enshrined by law to be on that land, by the entrance and over the cave and pretty much do what they like (barring those activities specifically banned under the act) but they cannot progress down that cave beyond daylight.  To me it seems inconsistent, and quibbling about whether caves are open air or not is semantics.  My view is that caving is just the sort of activity that CROW was meant to encourage.

2.  Digging - I note and understand the fear expressed by diggers that a heavy handed approach under CROW could sour landowner relationships.    Firstly I don't see that there is any need to be heavy handed with landowners.  I don't think (though happy to be corrected) that any English/Welsh access agreement has been renegotiated/reviewed with the relevant landowners specifically with regards to impacts due to CROW.  Many of these access agreements make more sense when there was no access by the public to the land in question, and the caver's access conditions were the only possible mechanism to provide any access.  A careful approach to at least some of these landowners may get them to suggest that the current situation seems a bit silly?   

3. I also note the fear that land owners will be reluctant to grant permission to dig for a site (that if and when it goes) will have a right of access to it. The big issue as far as I am concerned here is that any new site dug (with the landowners and any required statutory body's permission) is already on land that absolutely anyone can access anyway - hence the opening of the cave would not infer any greater access to that piece land than already existed under CROW anyway.

4.  Reduction in landowner liability - that has already been covered in this thread.

5.  Future Access.  Something that I don't think has been covered in this thread to date is that pertaining to future access.  With the situation as it is at present we are completely reliant on the whims of landowners.  As many of the AntiCROWs have been very quick to point out, on idiot can sour that relationship and lead to a loss of permission, whatever the access restrictions are.  Equally a new landowner can have a different view on access (as has occurred in a non-caving situation in the village I live in).   This has been vocally voiced by various diggers with regard to surface digging permission.  However this can easily also affect access to existing caves.  Across all regions in the UK there are plenty of examples of caves where access is denied by the landowner (I don't know how many of these are on CROW land, but that s a different point).  For many of these caves extended negotiations with the landowners have failed to provide access, though patient work such as that a Pen Park can work (even if it takes decades).  My point would be that if caving were allowed under CROW then landowners would in future find it hard to exclude cavers from a large proportion of our caves, this I think is a really big gain.

6.  Finally I think that CROW may actually be of benefit to cave conservation in the UK?  This may seem a little odd given some of the conservation worries expounded above, but I'll try to put my point across.  Many of the access agreements in the UK are in operation for a wide variety of reasons other than conservation.  A substantial number have been in operation for many years with little change over that time.  With the coming of CROW, cavers will have to think carefully about how to conserve those caves now opened up - it is our responsibility as no one else is looking after the caves for us.  Conservation is an easy and emotive subject to use to beat up anyone in favour of more open access.  However, I would argue that true preservation of our caves would only be practical if no one ever went down them.  Clearly I don't think that is a desirable position!  I understand that CROW does allow for protection of special features on access land, therefore we will need to identify those caves which the caving community believes warrant special protection.  My view on this is that the only really effective method of providing protection to a cave is by gating it and using warden led trips.  So the quid pro-quo for CROW would be that a number of caves would be actively protected, and the reasons for providing that protection would have to be discussed and circulated to the caving community.  This would provide a relatively high level of protection to the most vulnerable caves, and at the same time I believe reduce the likelihood of gate damage as there would be more caves easily accessible and people would better understand why specific sites were gated.

Sorry for the essay, but I really think this is an important debate.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 07, 2014, 08:06:38 am
As I said in #54 above, exceptional situations are by definition exceptions. The CRoW act allows for such exceptions, for example section 26 subsection 3a allows for exclusion or restriction of access for "the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question".

If there are caves on CRoW land that need to be excluded then we should get them excluded and not use a tiny handful of exceptions to control the situation nationally. Nationally the vast, vast, vast majority of caves on CRoW land need no special treatment and a significant proportion of those are already open access. However if we continue to accept the misguided view that caves are excluded from CRoW we could loose that access on a landowners whim.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Pete K on April 07, 2014, 08:08:45 am
Graham, surely he is entitled to his point of view in much the same way as you are? I happen to disagree with both of you but I don't lose sleep over it, after all, the majority opinion is the one that will move forward. There will of course be objections and set backs for the minority side but they will be overcome eventually.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 07, 2014, 08:33:05 am
I do not want to see the CNCC in control of anything because they clearly cannot be trusted.

But you must take some responsibility for that, surely? Earby has been a member of the CNCC Committee since at least 2008.

The EPC decided to stand for election as a committee member after we discovered that the CNCC was been run improperly. We had previously assumed that the CNCC was adhering to it's constitution and keeping correct minutes. The EPC are responsible for attempting to reform the CNCC.

Kay Easton, please apologise.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Peter Burgess on April 07, 2014, 08:45:35 am
Do you think it would stop people illegally ripping locks off gates? If so, I'm all for it.

In some cases it might well do so, in others maybe not.

(Only way to be 100% certain that locks and gates will not be damaged or removed is to refrain from putting them there in the first place.)

Does this mean that you are now in favour of caving on CRoW land, Peter?
I am merely pointing out that in recent times this is the most serious access issue, in my opinion, that has popped up in South Wales. I can't for the life of me see how sorting out CRoW access would resolve it, but it was your comment that there are issues that need resolution that caused me to suggest it. Ripping legitimately placed locks off, or changing them, causes more division between cavers than union. Any caver who does this and thinks it's for the better good is deluded. Nothing to do with CRoW at all.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 07, 2014, 08:54:15 am
People have started mentioning talking to the landowners and seeing what they think. ............
.......................Would anyone else support such an idea?

That will not happen with the present CNCC officers. The person who claims to be the CNCC 'Access Officer' will not do that because he is firmly of the view that CRoW does not cover caves. An attempt to change the 'Access Officer' was thwarted by trickery. There is an elected post called "Access and Conservation Officer" which has been incorrectly called "Conservation Officer" in the presently published version of the constitution. A candidate attempted to stand for the post of 'Access Officer' at the AGM and was told that it is not an elected post. That is untrue and the candidate should have been allowed to stand for the post of Access and Conservation Officer.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 07, 2014, 09:23:43 am

2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement
3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access

There is something missing between 1 and 2 - "Caves on CRoW land where there is existing but fragile good will, and a satisfactory access agreement"

On Leck Fell  the landowner is happy with CNCC arrangements but unhappy about cavers not using  the permit system.  On the assumption that the landowner reads Descent and perhaps UK Caving Forum he will know that not only do cavers shun the permit system they also disregard the Close Season.

As has been said many times on this forum it is a local matter for a local body.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 07, 2014, 09:57:35 am

2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement
3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access

There is something missing between 1 and 2 - "Caves on CRoW land where there is existing but fragile good will, and a satisfactory access agreement"

On Leck Fell  the landowner is happy with CNCC arrangements but unhappy about cavers not using  the permit system.  On the assumption that the landowner reads Descent and perhaps UK Caving Forum he will know that not only do cavers shun the permit system they also disregard the Close Season.

As has been said many times on this forum it is a local matter for a local body.

I might have been satisfied with an access agreement if it was being administered fairly. But you are one of the CNCC reps who have been abusing the access agreement by giving yourselves virtually unrestricted access to permits which was not available to people outside your little group.

The goodwill depends on goodwill between three sets of people; cavers, the CNCC and the landowner. The people who have done by far the most to destroy goodwill are the CNCC.

How can you say that "cavers shun the permit system they also disregard the Close Season"? Where has anybody said that in public? A few people have pointed out on this forum that most visitors to Leck Fell go there without a CNCC permit but that is not the same as saying that they shun the permit system or disregard the closed season. The CNCC access agreement includes a closed season but if someone goes to Leck Fell under the CRoW Act then there is no closed season to disregard.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 07, 2014, 10:21:30 am

As has been said many times on this forum it is a local matter for a local body.

Iniatially in the leck fell case perhaps.
Wouldn't it be nice though if the national legislation on CRoW included caving though? - so a precedent is set, and a record of good behaviour by cavers on CRow land can be built up, for when any future policy changes are considered, or problems negotiated?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 07, 2014, 10:29:20 am
Quote
On Leck Fell  the landowner is happy with CNCC arrangements but unhappy about cavers not using  the permit system.

Firstly I'm not sure its useful to argue the general (CRoW access for cavers to access land) to th specific (the access situation on Leck Fell)

But in this instance, there is a provision in CRoW for land to be closed at particular times or under particular circumstances so the April - June close season could be enforced under existing CRoW legislation - if the land owner is wedded to that close season it would be easy to retain...though the fact that the close season isn't stipulated for other users despite being easy to implement for Walker/Photographers/Bird Watchers etc etc...seems to imply it's not the massive stumbling block some may think it is...
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 07, 2014, 10:33:43 am
The Leck closed season currently applies to dogs under CRoW.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 07, 2014, 11:47:07 am
I understand that CROW does allow for protection of special features on access land, therefore we will need to identify those caves which the caving community believes warrant special protection.  My view on this is that the only really effective method of providing protection to a cave is by gating it and using warden led trips.

Is there a specific mechanism under the act that allows for a specific site to be protected by being gated and having warden-led only trips? If so, can you give me the section of the act that lays this out?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ed W on April 07, 2014, 12:28:27 pm

Graham,

The Bitter End's post above seems to cover that...

Quote
section 26 subsection 3a allows for exclusion or restriction of access for "the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question".
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cripplecreeker on April 07, 2014, 12:35:57 pm
Quote
On Leck Fell  the landowner is happy with CNCC arrangements but unhappy about cavers not using  the permit system.

Firstly I'm not sure its useful to argue the general (CRoW access for cavers to access land) to th specific (the access situation on Leck Fell)

But in this instance, there is a provision in CRoW for land to be closed at particular times or under particular circumstances so the April - June close season could be enforced under existing CRoW legislation - if the land owner is wedded to that close season it would be easy to retain...though the fact that the close season isn't stipulated for other users despite being easy to implement for Walker/Photographers/Bird Watchers etc etc...seems to imply it's not the massive stumbling block some may think it is...

I agree with the general point you're making, but I believe the current 'closed season' could not be enforced under CRoW as there is a 28 day limit on the number of restricted days in any year (there are other regulations about when these restricted days can occur as well - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/section/22 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/section/22)). I don't know how many restricted days there are currently on Leck Fell. From my experience climbing at crags on nearby grouse moor they tend to be at weekends during the shooting season.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: antmcc on April 07, 2014, 01:19:06 pm
On Leck Fell  the landowner is happy with CNCC arrangements but unhappy about cavers not using  the permit system.  On the assumption that the landowner reads Descent and perhaps UK Caving Forum he will know that not only do cavers shun the permit system they also disregard the Close Season.

But not all cavers are covered by the permit system, since they'd have to be members of an affiliated club, so it may be that they're not shunning the permit system, just that they're not eligible to use it...

I prefer something that would permit accces for all, not just those in the know (or club), but I do recognise that this could cause issues for activities that definitely are outside the scope of the act (i.e. surface digs).

Until Graham gives more detail about the scenario that CRoW could cause problems for outside the 'Yorkshire' caving area, I can't judge as to whether the the pros outweigh the cons of using a national sledgehammer to crack a local nut, therefore I have to ignore it as 'unsubstantiated noise' in forming any opinion until I have enough information of which to take account (not that my opinion matters in the grand scheme of things...)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 07, 2014, 01:26:18 pm

Graham,

The Bitter End's post above seems to cover that...

Quote
section 26 subsection 3a allows for exclusion or restriction of access for "the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question".

And to give an example of how this may work: You get an area inside and Access Land boundary designated as Excluded. You can then put a fence around it and make whatever arrangements you want with the land owner for access (including gates, leaders, etc.). The point being it is perfectly possible to exclude an area within an area of Access Land at which point it is not access land and reverts to whatever access arrangements the landowner/NE want to apply.

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 07, 2014, 01:30:41 pm
"But not all cavers are covered by the permit system, since they'd have to be members of an affiliated club, so it may be that they're not shunning the permit system, just that they're not eligible to use it..."  (I can't do that clever quote thing like you lot)

I think the people who are shunning the permit system include people from CNCC member clubs.  Some of them may not be, but as they cave in a group that includes people in CNCC member clubs it shouldn't be a problem.  I believe "shun" is the correct work to use.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 07, 2014, 01:32:28 pm
I'm not against clarifying the CRoW act which seems a sensible thing to do and could improve matters in some respects.  It might even help landowner negotiations in some instances.  What I don't like is the cavalier attitude of people seeking to assert their rights without regard for possible long term consequences.  The UCLAN debate is balanced and relevant but I may have mentioned that before.

If what were behind all this was as sensible and well thought as Tim's Descent article and his original posting that would be fine, but it isn't is it?  It started with people coming to CNCC meetings and proclaiming loudly that they didn't need the Leck Fell permit system, didn't use it and had no intention of using it.  The article on Boxhead in Descent 219 says: "...during Wimbledon fortnight in June....".  Given my understanding that the Estate Office subscribes to Descent was it really necessary to be so blatantly open about caving on Leck in the Close Season?

Can we now have a sensible discussion on how to clarify and implement CRoW; and a new one about how Regional Caving Bodies can do their work for the benefit of cavers in their regions. I suspect CNCC has some work to with the Leck Fell Estate before CRoW comes anywhere near those discussions.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Cookie on April 07, 2014, 01:46:03 pm

Graham,

The Bitter End's post above seems to cover that...

Quote
section 26 subsection 3a allows for exclusion or restriction of access for "the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question".

And to give an example of how this may work: You get an area inside and Access Land boundary designated as Excluded. You can then put a fence around it and make whatever arrangements you want with the land owner for access (including gates, leaders, etc.). The point being it is perfectly possible to exclude an area within an area of Access Land at which point it is not access land and reverts to whatever access arrangements the landowner/NE want to apply.

Specifically, who makes the decision to exclude an area in these circumstances?

Do you know of an example of this occurring (obviously for some other feature than a cave)?

It seems to me this mechanism is potentially the compromise position between those who want the status quo and those who want caving as a right under CROW.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 07, 2014, 01:50:17 pm
Bog: your last paragraph is sensible.

It does, however, require  people to swap their equine mounts for Shetland ponies....
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 07, 2014, 02:20:09 pm
Cookie raises an extremely interesting question.

One possible answer to it would be that caves carrying a SSSI schedule which includes fragile or otherwise 'at risk' sediments, including but not limited to speleothems, but come into such a category, generally. This has the advantage, from an implementation point of view, that no new and costly consultations or assessments would be required.

That being the case, then the decision has already been made in most cases and thus, if CRoW was deemed to include caves, but with a category of section 26 subsection 3a exclusions on this sort of ground, then we would immediately see a proliferation of restricted access caves with warden/leader controlled trips only all over the Dales.

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Alternatively, you could work on reforming CNCC and its current access agreements.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 07, 2014, 02:28:50 pm
To answer Cookie, NE and the local access forums administer these these things so one would assume that it would be part of their remit.

There are plenty of open access SSSI caves in the Dales including the very frequently visited caves of Alum Pot inc. the Churns and Great Douk. No one has shown any intention of restricting access to these SSSIs for sport caving and commercial groups so I think you fears are unfounded Graham
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 07, 2014, 03:01:47 pm
Initially in the leck fell case perhaps.
Wouldn't it be nice though if the national legislation on CRoW included caving though? - so a precedent is set, and a record of good behaviour by cavers on CRow land can be built up, for when any future policy changes are considered, or problems negotiated?
As I keep saying, the CRoW Act has been in use for nine years without causing any problems with the landowner of Leck Fell. I think a record of good behaviour by cavers on CRoW land has already been built up.
 
It started with people coming to CNCC meetings and proclaiming loudly that they didn't need the Leck Fell permit system, didn't use it and had no intention of using it. 
One person said that and that person has had the conviction and honesty to do that with consistency for over 30 years that I know of. Somebody who acts with integrity in that way gains my respect. Somebody who claims to support an access agreement and then totally abuses it for his own advantage as Tony (Bog) Brown and his CNCC chums have done does not get my respect.
 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: ah147 on April 07, 2014, 03:11:40 pm
If Yorkshire push through a study into Crow and get it on record that caving is an allowed activity across the country...how will it effect other areas?

Just because a group there start using Crow to negotiate access doesn't mean other groups/areas have to! You'd get the odd caver arguing with a land owner, but a quick phone call/visit from an access officer to say "sorry about that pr1ck, don't worry. The rest of us will continue to give you your trespass fee and come ask your permission"

If anything wouldn't that improve caver/landowner relations? That you have the sledgehammer and don't use it?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: mmilner on April 07, 2014, 03:51:49 pm
If Yorkshire push through a study into Crow and get it on record that caving is an allowed activity across the country...how will it effect other areas?

There is already a "study into Crow" being done by the BCA CRoW Working Group, whom I am helping for stuff in the Peak. It is already being dealt with. (With legal opinions being sought.) Just talk to the estate owners / agents and get their opinions. I don't think there will be a problem.

BUT, digging will still need specific permission from the landowner, nowt to do with CRoW.

Regards Mel. DCA Conservation Officer.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: danthecavingman on April 07, 2014, 03:54:22 pm
I get what Graham is hinting at - one only has to look at the 1:25000 OS map around Charterhouse to note the boundaries of access land and you can work out yourselves what lies within those boundaries. However, as someone has already pointed out, the approaches to sensitive caves could be excluded from being access land.

Quoting TheBitterEnd

"And to give an example of how this may work: You get an area inside an Access Land boundary designated as Excluded. You can then put a fence around it and make whatever arrangements you want with the land owner for access (including gates, leaders, etc.). The point being it is perfectly possible to exclude an area within an area of Access Land at which point it is not access land and reverts to whatever access arrangements the landowner/NE want to apply."

Dan.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: TheBitterEnd on April 07, 2014, 04:00:02 pm
And as I said in #54 and #195 exceptions are exceptions and should be treated as such. They should not be used to spread FUD and attempt to dictate national policy.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: paul on April 07, 2014, 04:59:31 pm
(I can't do that clever quote thing like you lot)

Just click on the "Quote" button above the message in question. Everything will then be between [ q u o t e ] and [ / q u o t e ] and will show as a quoted part of the reply.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 07, 2014, 05:50:08 pm
Is there a specific mechanism under the act that allows for a specific site to be protected by being gated and having warden-led only trips? If so, can you give me the section of the act that lays this out?
Sec 26(1) gives the power to the relevant authority to exclude or restrict access to land for a purpose as laid out in Sec 26(3)(a).  The relevant authority is defined in Sec 21(5) and (6) as National Park authority, Forestry Commissioners or the appropriate countryside body (being Natural England or Natural Resources Wales).  No doubt Local Access Forums would be part of the process.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 07, 2014, 05:54:50 pm
(I can't do that clever quote thing like you lot)

Just click on the "Quote" button above the message in question. Everything will then be between [ q u o t e ] and [ / q u o t e ] and will show as a quoted part of the reply.

Thanks Paul, looks a bit odd in this little box but here goes
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on April 07, 2014, 07:21:22 pm
This whole debate is much larger than just a focus on Leck and Casterton Fells (or the CNCC for that matter).  If you read the part of my article that briefly covered the situation in Wales you will note that it is the Welsh Government who is suggesting a review of legislation which includes CRoW - not cavers.  They even state that the focus is on improving access for social, economic and health benefits and include caving as one of the activities which they might like to see with improved access. 

The BCA working group remit does not cover Wales so it will be up to the Cambrian CC to respond to the green paper consultation as will many other pro-access groups.  It is entirely possible that much greater access will be legally permitted to Welsh caves by lobby groups who are much more powerful than cavers or the bodies which are meant to represent them.

One of the points of my article was that we are not engaging with the debate on the bigger stage.  Our national and regional bodies may well continue to drag their feet but the risk is that much larger outside influences seal the deal without them and, quite frankly, that reflects very badly on them (our caving reps).
 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Ian Adams on April 07, 2014, 08:08:55 pm
The BCA working group remit does not cover Wales so it will be up to the Cambrian CC to respond to the green paper consultation .....

This was (is) a huge issue in Wales and was central to the reformation of the CCC.

The current Access and Conservation officer is now already attending to this and it is hoped that it has not been left too late.

Ian
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: droid on April 07, 2014, 08:13:33 pm
In which case, badlad, the 'representative bodies' or the denizens thereof might be better engaged in this debate, rather than seemingly defending their status or that of their organisations.

Given their lack of meaningful communication with cavers, I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on April 09, 2014, 10:16:57 am

Since my last post seems to have killed off this lively debate, I do have a question of curiosity for Graham;

Why the Citizen Smith avatar?

I have fond memories of watching this TV comedy show.  Here's a description of the show taken from the web;

Citizen Smith starred Robert Lindsay as "Wolfie" Smith, a young Marxist urban revolutionary living in Tooting, South London, who is attempting to emulate his hero Che Guevara. Wolfie is the self-proclaimed leader of the Tooting Popular Front (in reality a small bunch of his friends) the goals of which are "Power to the People" and "Freedom for Tooting". In reality, he is an unemployed dreamer and petty criminal whose plans fall through due to laziness and disorganisation.

Clearly from your postings, 'Wolfie', would not hold your views.  Can you explain? 

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 09, 2014, 10:20:52 am
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.  8)

(Unlike the avatar I don't smoke ;) )
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: NigR on April 09, 2014, 11:51:32 am
Since my last post seems to have killed off this lively debate.......

Yes, along with Ian's response, it certainly appears to have done so.

Must be the effect of people pondering over what is happening here in Wales!

Anyway, as there is a lull in the discussion, perhaps now is as good a time as any to put right a few (deliberate?) misconceptions concerning my own personal attitude towards the gating of caves. Although I would prefer all cave entrances to remain in their natural (ungated) state, I do accept that, for a variety of (sometimes valid) reasons, this is not always possible. So, (despite what some people would lead you to believe), I am not totally opposed to all cave gates purely on ideological grounds. If gates do not prevent cavers from visiting caves I have no real problem with them.

A specific example of this (in my own area, South Wales) would be Ogof Cnwc (Price's Dig) at Llangattock. The entrance is locked and gated but a key is available (on a permanent basis if so desired) to anyone (caving club members or individuals) who might want one. Although I remain unconvinced that a gate on this particular cave is absolutely essential, the means whereby access is obtained is just about as egalitarian as possible and, as such, is acceptable to me.

Also, in general terms, I am not opposed to the installation of 'lids' that can be easily opened with a readily available spanner (the "Derbyshire Key" idea). Interestingly, the first of these has recently been installed in South Wales and it is hoped that it will last somewhat longer than the previous lock which disappeared after nine days!

So, there you go, my brief attempt to put the record straight for what it's worth.

(Apologies to Graham for not addressing his specific points regarding his wonderful cave on the housing estate but I have seen that it has its own thread on the Mendip section so will do so there at a later date.)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 09, 2014, 03:54:25 pm
I am happy for the clarification as, the last time that this issue was raised, no such clarification was forthcoming.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: braveduck on April 09, 2014, 04:19:57 pm
All quiet on the western front then,sure I can hear Silent Night.
Sleep well lads :clap2:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Badlad on April 09, 2014, 09:48:40 pm
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.  8)



I'm sure you are right, but I don't understand your reply either  :confused: Anyway it is not important.  On with the debate.....

Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 09, 2014, 09:55:50 pm
All quiet on the western front then,sure I can hear Silent Night.
Sleep well lads :clap2:


And get the football ready eh? ;)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: jasonbirder on April 09, 2014, 09:57:56 pm
Quote
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have championed the rights of the "Landowner Class" to deny access to "The People" ;)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 09, 2014, 10:00:23 pm
Quote
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have championed the rights of the "Landowner Class" to deny access to "The People" ;)

And neither am I. However, I am pretty sure that the Tooting Popular Front never rioted and rampaged through the gardens in Acacia Avenue, either.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 09, 2014, 10:34:08 pm
Quote
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have championed the rights of the "Landowner Class" to deny access to "The People" ;)

And neither am I. However, I am pretty sure that the Tooting Popular Front never rioted and rampaged through the gardens in Acacia Avenue, either.

Thats only 'cos theres no decent caves in Acacia Avenue, wonder if "The Leck and Casterton Fells Popular Front" will ever take off? (P'raps not, too many syllables  ;D)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 09, 2014, 10:49:33 pm
For all you cynics out there, access to the "Derbyshire Key" ;
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=adjustable+spanners&rlz=1I7ADBR_en&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=2b9FU9ztM-aI7Aar7YGwCA&ved=0CB4Qsxg (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=adjustable+spanners&rlz=1I7ADBR_en&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=2b9FU9ztM-aI7Aar7YGwCA&ved=0CB4Qsxg)

Most gates and caps in the area are installed for general public protection at the landowners insistance, we have found this an acceptable solution for both parties thanks to our access officer (at the time) who set the system up.
 Maybe  other areas could gain from our experience and start by asking the landowners about their reservations on caves/holes on their ground?
 How many ramblers and dog walkers carry a spanner?.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: graham on April 09, 2014, 11:07:30 pm
Quote
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have championed the rights of the "Landowner Class" to deny access to "The People" ;)

And neither am I. However, I am pretty sure that the Tooting Popular Front never rioted and rampaged through the gardens in Acacia Avenue, either.

That's only 'cos there's no decent caves in Acacia Avenue,

Or indeed anywhere in Tooting. let's not push an analogy too far.
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bograt on April 09, 2014, 11:23:33 pm
Quote
I think you need a deeper understanding of socialist thought.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have championed the rights of the "Landowner Class" to deny access to "The People" ;)

And neither am I. However, I am pretty sure that the Tooting Popular Front never rioted and rampaged through the gardens in Acacia Avenue, either.

That's only 'cos there's no decent caves in Acacia Avenue,

Or indeed anywhere in Tooting. let's not push an analogy too far.

You chose the avatar! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: cavermark on April 09, 2014, 11:33:17 pm
"Don't mess with my Toot Toot!"  :)
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 10, 2014, 01:46:47 pm
2) Caves on CRoW Land where there is existing good will and a satisfactory access agreement
3) Caves on CRoW land where there is a poor relationship with Landowners and/or no or limited access
There is something missing between 1 and 2 - "Caves on CRoW land where there is existing but fragile good will, and a satisfactory access agreement" 
Bog -   Where do you think there is “fragile goodwill and a satisfactory access agreement”?

The article on Boxhead in Descent 219 says: "...during Wimbledon fortnight in June....".
What do you think is wrong with going down Boxhead during Wimbledon fortnight?
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: bog4053 on April 10, 2014, 05:26:24 pm
Simon

I’ve always understood that Leck (and Casterton)  needed more work between Access Officer and Landowner than other areas.  You will remember that the access agreement on Casterton broke down completely some years ago and the permit system has never really recovered.  Judging by the number of permits given and the number of cavers on the fell  most cavers currently disregard the permit system on Casterton.  Leck is much better with a lot of permits being given out even if a lot of them aren’t used.  Caving on Leck Fell without permits has been a landowner concern but because of CNCC dialogue the Cupcake dig, which had many cars and many cavers on the fell,  was accepted even though the agreement limits the number of cavers and the number of cars.   CNCC has achieved good will because of its efforts to control access within the agreement and this good will led to a few permits been given out during the Close Season for 2011 (I think) for conservation work;  and car parking is now allowed at the gate by Notts II.  I say fragile not so much because there is danger of access being withdrawn but because we can’t take the good will extras for granted.  The permit system access has probably improved over the years.  That is entirely down to CNCC and is despite people disregarding the permit system.

I can only speak from a personal point of view when I say the permit system is satisfactory.  For popular caves at weekend we book a long time in advance and plan around availability.  For mid-week digging there has never been a problem getting as many permits as we want.  We used to get permits for every day we might use which hadn’t already been taken but recently we have just booked regular Fridays and got others at short notice.  I believe the short notice is an improvement because strictly the Land Agent wants permits agreed in advance by the end of each month.  If the short notice arrangement becomes the norm we will no longer need to ask for 20 permits a month when we may only need 5.  Previously you could only get short notice permits if another club already had one on that day and was prepared to offer it up because they weren’t using it.
I suspect the landowner probably accepted that people were in caves even within the close season and turned a blind eye to it.  I think it is one thing the landowner tolerating people being quietly and unofficially in Boxhead when the shouldn’t be, and turning a blind eye because no damage is being done.  It is quite another telling the entire caving world that you are blatantly disregarding the landowner wishes.  If June hadn’t been mentioned in the Descent article nobody would have thought anything of it. 
I am not a CNCC rep and don’t have a vote but you do and I hope as Earby representative on CNCC  you will support the Leck Fell permit system and help develop good will so we can improve access even more. 
Title: Re: Some good news on cave access
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 10, 2014, 11:31:42 pm
Bog, thank you for taking the time to write a lengthy reply.

 
Simon
I’ve always understood that Leck (and Casterton) needed more work between Access Officer and Landowner than other areas.  You will remember that the access agreement on Casterton broke down completely some years ago and the permit system has never really recovered.  Judging by the number of permits given and the number of cavers on the fell most cavers currently disregard the permit system on Casterton. 


The access agreement broke down during the prolonged, acrimonious dispute over the tenancy of Bull Pot Farm. Other people will no doubt see it from different perspectives but my impression is that CNCC member clubs were innocent victims, there was a serious loss of goodwill and that is why the permit system has been largely ignored by the majority of cavers ever since.

 
Leck is much better with a lot of permits being given out even if a lot of them aren’t used. 


Are you telling us people get permits then don’t use them? How do you know that?

... but because of CNCC dialogue the Cupcake dig, which had many cars and many cavers on the fell,  was accepted even though the agreement limits the number of cavers and the number of cars.   CNCC has achieved good will because of its efforts to control access within the agreement and this good will led to a few permits been given out during the Close Season for 2011 (I think) for conservation work;  and car parking is now allowed at the gate by Notts II.

Parking at Notts II is on the verge of a public highway.

I say fragile not so much because there is danger of access being withdrawn but because we can’t take the good will extras for granted. 


So now we are getting to it. There is nothing “fragile” about the access agreement; it is that you (the CNCC in-crowd) want to curry favour. What are these “good will extras”? Who gets goodwill extras? The whole issue with all the disgruntlement about the CNCC started partly because someone asked the Meets Secretary for permits for five caves on one day for a special project and was flatly refused. I am not the only person who was certain that if the ‘in-crowd’ wanted five permits on one day they would have got them no problem. Have the CNCC officers got the least bit of an inkling as to why they are getting so much flak?

The permit system access has probably improved over the years.  That is entirely down to CNCC and is despite people disregarding the permit system.


Are you certain it is entirely down to the CNCC? What about all the well behaved cavers who go to Leck Fell without permits, many of whom aren't even in CNCC clubs? What about the CRoW Act; are you sure the CRoW Act has not helped to improve the relationship?

I can only speak from a personal point of view when I say the permit system is satisfactory. 


I’m certain you are only speaking from a personal point of view; the point of view of someone who has privileged access. For the vast majority of cavers the permit system is a complete pain in the arse and that is why most don’t bother with it.

For mid-week digging there has never been a problem getting as many permits as we want.  We used to get permits for every day we might use which hadn’t already been taken


I assume you are talking about the monthly permits. Please explain all about the monthly permits and how it works. The Estate Manager must have been seen the permits with about 20 dates on one permit so that must be allowed under the access agreement. Or is the Estate Manager ignoring the access agreement as well?

 
If the short notice arrangement becomes the norm we will no longer need to ask for 20 permits a month when we may only need 5. 


I really don’t understand that. Why would you ask for 20 permits in a month when you only needed 5?

I suspect the landowner probably accepted that people were in caves even within the close season and turned a blind eye to it.


I expect that the landowner will be quite happy to accept that people are there under the CRoW Act.

  I think it is one thing the landowner tolerating people being quietly and unofficially in Boxhead when the shouldn’t be,


How can you say they shouldn’t be?

It is quite another telling the entire caving world that you are blatantly disregarding the landowner wishes.


Why do you think that anybody is disregarding the landowner’s wishes? Do you know what the landowners wishes are in this respect or are you just assuming?

  If June hadn’t been mentioned in the Descent article nobody would have thought anything of it. 


Apart from you, did anybody think anything of it?

I am not a CNCC rep and don’t have a vote but you do and I hope as Earby representative on CNCC  you will support the Leck Fell permit system and help develop good will so we can improve access even more.

At the moment I have little inclination to support the Leck Fell permit system. I have asked the CNCC officers to accept that they have abused the access agreement and to apologise to all BCA member clubs. I think that could be a starting point if the CNCC want to develop any goodwill.