UK Caving

TECHNICAL FORUMS => National Access Discussions => Topic started by: graham on October 13, 2014, 11:42:27 am

Title: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 11:42:27 am
I am very disappointed in BCA Council.

I gather that this referendum will be a vote for all BCA members (good) but it will not be an informed vote (bad).

I am told:

Quote
The paperwork accompanying the referendum ballot will be minimal, since it will be assumed that all members of the BCA are aware of the potential benefits and possible drawbacks of including caving within the permitted activities under the CRoW act. The latest Descent contains a fairly good summary of these.

I am sorry but this is simply not the case. The pros and cons may well have been extensively been discussed by cavers but these discussions have not been (and it seems will not be) informed by any real hard detail of exactly what this might mean for our caves, especially those fragile caves that almost everybody agrees do need protection.

Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England and other such bodies to discover exactly what measures would be available to protect our caves, how they might be implemented and how long these processes might take. They should have been consulting with affected landowners to gain some sort of view on how new exploration, such as digging, might be viewed by them; what might be possible and what would no longer be allowed (if anything). There should be answers to questions like if the rights granted under CRoW are extended, will those landowners who have voluntarily declared their land as access land then be able to rescind or limit that grant?

Without this hard information - not just the partially informed opinions of some cavers - this referendum will be a bit like asking the Scots if they wanted independence without giving important details like quite what currency their salaries and pensions would be paid in.

i.e. useless.

There is no point in posters to this Board going over and over the same ground yet again. We do not have sufficient information and it seems we are not going to get it.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 13, 2014, 11:56:24 am
I am very disappointed in BCA Council.

I gather that this referendum will be a vote for all BCA members (good) but it will not be an informed vote (bad).

I am told:

Quote
The paperwork accompanying the referendum ballot will be minimal, since it will be assumed that all members of the BCA are aware of the potential benefits and possible drawbacks of including caving within the permitted activities under the CRoW act. The latest Descent contains a fairly good summary of these.

I am sorry but this is simply not the case. The pros and cons may well have been extensively been discussed by cavers but these discussions have not been (and it seems will not be) informed by any real hard detail of exactly what this might mean for our caves, especially those fragile caves that almost everybody agrees do need protection.

Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England and other such bodies to discover exactly what measures would be available to protect our caves, how the might be implemented and how long these processes might take. They should have been consulting with affected landowners to gain some sort of view on how new exploration, such as digging, might be viewed by them; what might be possible and what would no longer be allowed (if anything). There should be answers to questions like if the rights granted under CRoW are extended, will those landowners who have voluntarily declared their land as access land then be able to rescind or limit that grant?

Without this hard information - not just the partially informed opinions of some cavers - this referendum will be a bit like asking the Scots if they wanted independence without giving important details like quite what currency their salaries and pensions would be paid in.

i.e. useless.

There is no point in posters to this Board going over and over the same ground yet again. We do not have sufficient information and it seems we are not going to get it.

What referendum? I've obviously missed something here. Where does the quote come from? There doesn't seem to be anything on the BCA site?



Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 11:57:41 am
What referendum? I've obviously missed something here. Where does the quote come from? There doesn't seem to be anything on the BCA site?

Last weekend's council meeting. I got this from the CSCC rep this morning.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 13, 2014, 12:03:14 pm
Thanks Graham, mind you whilst I was looking I did come across this - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350698/response_8_July_2014_as_redacted_for_the_website__2__amended.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350698/response_8_July_2014_as_redacted_for_the_website__2__amended.pdf) - which seems pretty clear cut, it's probably been on here before but I hadn't spotted it.

Presumably it'll be up to the various factions involved to try and inform everyone as best as possible then, perhaps not too different to the Scottish referendum after all - which seemed to be basically an argument from the one side based largely on known facts and common sense, against a conviction by the other side that it might be better to vote for independence based on very little other than guesswork and hope?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 12:42:46 pm
That's exactly my point, Tony.

In the Scot's referendum, the 'yes' party were making promises about staying in the EU, for example. No one officially asked the EU & the answers that did come from Europe were doubtful to say the least. The same applies here, some cavers have made bold pronouncements about what may, or may not, be possible but no-one has officially asked, on behalf of the BCA, the pertinent questions of the pertinent authorities.

And when questions have been asked, such as the one that brought the letter you quote as a response, the content is simply dismissed by those who did not want to hear it. I have a letter just like that one, also from DEFRA and yet when I quoted from it on here, that was dismissed because it was me doing so.  :shrug:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 13, 2014, 12:51:30 pm



'ere we go!


Grabs suitable selection of bricbats, makes popcorn, pulls up a chair
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 13, 2014, 04:51:46 pm
Quote
Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England

Wouldn't it make more sense after the ballot?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 13, 2014, 05:44:43 pm
Quote
Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England

Wouldn't it make more sense after the ballot?

This. It seems counter-intuitive to do it beforehand.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 13, 2014, 06:02:46 pm
http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf)

"Relevant authorities may also give directions excluding or restricting access in the interests of nature, conservation or to protect sites of historical or archaeological importance. "

"There is no application system for these restrictions. "

There. You don't even need to fill out a form or read anything. Put across a good enough case to whomever the relevant authority is deemed to be (BCA?) and they can lock it straight away as there is no formal process. Job done.

Whilst that seems a little too easy to me, it should still stop a lot of the arbitrary restrictions currently in place.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 06:03:51 pm
Quote
Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England

Wouldn't it make more sense after the ballot?

No, Surely people want to know what the effects of a decision are before they take it, rather than afterwards.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 06:05:26 pm
http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf)

"Relevant authorities may also give directions excluding or restricting access in the interests of nature, conservation or to protect sites of historical or archaeological importance. "

"There is no application system for these restrictions. "

There. You don't even need to fill out a form or read anything. Put across a good enough case to whomever the relevant authority is deemed to be (BCA?) and they can lock it straight away as there is no formal process. Job done.

Whilst that seems a little too easy to me, it should still stop a lot of the arbitrary restrictions currently in place.

So, how do you put that case, who do you put it to & how long does it take for a decision to be made?

I do not expect you to know the answers to this, but these are the questions that BCA should have been asking.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Spike on October 13, 2014, 06:06:04 pm
Quote
Prior to such a ballot the BCA should carry out an extensive consultation process with Natural England

Wouldn't it make more sense after the ballot?

This. It seems counter-intuitive to do it beforehand.

Or it could seem counter-intuitive to hold a ballot without those being balloted knowing as many facts as possible - I'd like to think that the result of a ballot would have more weight then.

There are many folk who are suspicious of interpreting CRoW to cover caves because there is little known about how the protection necessary for certain sites can be applied - particularly with reference to timescales. More information here could in fact strengthen a positive response to any ballot. There are other areas, but I don't profess to be an expert.

In general, I reckon people are nervous about wholesale change/re-evaluation where the consequences have not been completely worked through to their satisfaction. Working through these potential stumbling blocks (which must surely involve NE/DEFRA) can only be for the better, can't it?

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 13, 2014, 06:07:32 pm
It comes across as a delaying tactic...trying to insert a time-consuming and pointless bureaucratic process into events in the hope of slowing things down and taking the momentum out of the process...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 06:20:01 pm
It comes across as a delaying tactic...trying to insert a time-consuming and pointless bureaucratic process into events in the hope of slowing things down and taking the momentum out of the process...
See the Scottish referendum for details. The losing side was the one that failed to answer serious questions. If you think you should win then make a serious case, based on facts and not wishful thinking and emotion.

If you can.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 13, 2014, 06:22:51 pm
http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf)

"Relevant authorities may also give directions excluding or restricting access in the interests of nature, conservation or to protect sites of historical or archaeological importance. "

"There is no application system for these restrictions. "

There. You don't even need to fill out a form or read anything. Put across a good enough case to whomever the relevant authority is deemed to be (BCA?) and they can lock it straight away as there is no formal process. Job done.

Whilst that seems a little too easy to me, it should still stop a lot of the arbitrary restrictions currently in place.

So, how do you put that case, who do you put it to & how long does it take for a decision to be made?

I do not expect you to know the answers to this, but these are the questions that BCA should have been asking.

I wrote a very long winded, logical answer that I genuinely believed just solved the entire CRoW issue! But it got slightly off topic so I deleted it  :ang:

Essentially the BCA are asking whether cavers would like to carry on with the "status CRoW"  :clap2: or if they'd like the BCA to pursue it further. Rather than taking up a pro-CRoW or anti-CRoW stance at this point. I hate to sound condescending but is this possibly where your dislike of the "referendum" is coming from?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 06:26:53 pm
http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/restrictions1_tcm6-10340.pdf)

"Relevant authorities may also give directions excluding or restricting access in the interests of nature, conservation or to protect sites of historical or archaeological importance. "

"There is no application system for these restrictions. "

There. You don't even need to fill out a form or read anything. Put across a good enough case to whomever the relevant authority is deemed to be (BCA?) and they can lock it straight away as there is no formal process. Job done.

Whilst that seems a little too easy to me, it should still stop a lot of the arbitrary restrictions currently in place.

So, how do you put that case, who do you put it to & how long does it take for a decision to be made?

I do not expect you to know the answers to this, but these are the questions that BCA should have been asking.

I wrote a very long winded, logical answer that I genuinely believed just solved the entire CRoW issue! But it got slightly off topic so I deleted it  :ang:

Essentially the BCA are asking whether cavers would like to carry on with the "status CRoW"  :clap2: or if they'd like the BCA to pursue it further. Rather than taking up a pro-CRoW or anti-CRoW stance at this point. I hate to sound condescending but is this possibly where your dislike of the "referendum" is coming from?

I like voters to make informed decisions, do you?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Spike on October 13, 2014, 06:35:09 pm
Talking of informed decisions/discussions, does anyone have any official wording from BCA as to what the question is for this referendum?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 13, 2014, 06:35:49 pm
I agree entirely with your sentiment Graham.

In a perfect world the BCA would know who the relevant authority were to restrict access to caves on conservation grounds. They could then approach this relevant authority and find out the mechanisms and likely timescales to do so BUT for anybody to acknowledge a relevant authority they would need to acknowledge Cavings right of access under CRoW and that's what the BCA are asking if people would like to pursue under the knowledge that:

Restriction for conservation WILL happen in some shape or form (section 26)

Gating (not locking) for public safety WILL happen (how many gates exist on CRoW land?)

For me? That's all I need to hear.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 06:39:49 pm
I agree entirely with your sentiment Graham.

In a perfect world the BCA would know who the relevant authority were to restrict access to caves on conservation grounds. They could then approach this relevant authority and find out the mechanisms and likely timescales to do so BUT for anybody to acknowledge a relevant authority they would need to acknowledge Cavings right of access under CRoW and that's what the BCA are asking if people would like to pursue under the knowledge that:

Restriction for conservation WILL happen in some shape or form (section 26)

Gating (not locking) for public safety WILL happen (how many gates exist on CRoW land?)

For me? That's all I need to hear.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We know who the relevant authorities are, why not ask them what the effects would be? The only reason that I can think of is that the answers may not help your case. I am willing to take that risk, are you?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 13, 2014, 06:47:34 pm
I agree entirely with your sentiment Graham.

In a perfect world the BCA would know who the relevant authority were to restrict access to caves on conservation grounds. They could then approach this relevant authority and find out the mechanisms and likely timescales to do so BUT for anybody to acknowledge a relevant authority they would need to acknowledge Cavings right of access under CRoW and that's what the BCA are asking if people would like to pursue under the knowledge that:

Restriction for conservation WILL happen in some shape or form (section 26)

Gating (not locking) for public safety WILL happen (how many gates exist on CRoW land?)

For me? That's all I need to hear.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We know who the relevant authorities are, why not ask them what the effects would be? The only reason that I can think of is that the answers may not help your case. I am willing to take that risk, are you?


As someone who is only *just* pro-CRoW I don't really have a case. I've very recently placed myself in the pro-CRoW camp and could quite easily be swayed. Hence why I stay out of CRoW discussions.

I do believe BCA should be acting in the interests of cavers. If cavers wish BCA to pursue CRoW then this "referendum" will acknowledge that and influence them to do so. If cavers as a whole wish BCA not to pursue CRoW then alot of time shall stop being wasted.

As a matter of interest, who is/are the relevant authority/s? How can there be a relevant authority to restrict access when caving doesn't have a right to be there in the first place?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 07:11:26 pm

As a matter of interest, who is/are the relevant authority/s? How can there be a relevant authority to restrict access when caving doesn't have a right to be there in the first place?

You have already said, in this thread that "Restriction for conservation WILL happen..." yet you do not know the answer to this question.

I think you make my case for me quite eloquently. Thank you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 13, 2014, 07:14:09 pm

As a matter of interest, who is/are the relevant authority/s? How can there be a relevant authority to restrict access when caving doesn't have a right to be there in the first place?

You have already said, in this thread that "Restriction for conservation WILL happen..." yet you do not know the answer to this question.

I think you make my case for me quite eloquently. Thank you.

I disagree. There IS provision for restriction of access for conservation grounds under section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

The mechanisms of this provision are not known to me, you or anyone yet as for there to be a mechanism to prevent access under CRoW it has to be accepted that there is access under CRoW.

What part of that is wrong?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 13, 2014, 08:07:54 pm
It seems straightforward, there is already a mechanism for restricting disturbance to sensitive sites under the CRoW act as stated above...
One which every other organisation was comfortable with...which covers everything from from protection of Archaeological sites to conservation of rare nesting birds...
How much more information is required?
If you're looking for someone to supply you with contact details, decision time and an outcome for every possible instance then we'll all be waiting a long, long time...
Ahhhh....now I understand
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 08:19:50 pm
It seems straightforward ...

Seems? But is it, actually? Hard facts please, not woolly opinions.

You do have some facts don't you?

Oh!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 13, 2014, 08:29:32 pm
If you're looking at facts...then maybe you could explain why Caving would require a substantively different mechanism for protecting sites than that which applies to Archaeological sites, landscape features and rare wildlife?

If existing protections are enough for those...then why do you consider caving to differ massively?

Or are you simply opposed to freer caver access and looking for any mechanism by which you can delay/derail moves to facilitate it?

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: damian on October 13, 2014, 08:40:23 pm
I can confirm that BCA will be conducting a postal ballot of all its members. The details are still being worked on - we were only charged with making it happen a couple of days ago - but there are a few things I can confirm.

1) The question will be: "Should BCA, on your behalf, campaign for The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) to apply to going underground?" The options will be "yes" or "no".

2) The ballot paper will be accompanied by a summary of how BCA will proceed if the overall answer is "yes" and how it shall proceed if the answer is "no". It will also encourage members to research the issue as fully as they can and provide a link to the Act itself, but nothing else.

3) The dates are not yet fixed, but it is likely that deadline for returns will be mid- to late-December with the ballot papers being posted out about 3 weeks in advance of this deadline.

I am happy to try to answer any further questions, but you will appreciate we are busy exploring the best way of conducting the ballot at the moment, so answers may lack detail!

In the meantime, if you are a member (whatever you colour of card), you are encouraged to check we have your up-to-date address and to begin (if you haven't already) researching the various arguments. No doubt both sides will provide a summary somewhere on here in due course.

Damian Weare
BCA Secretary
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 08:44:43 pm
... It will also encourage members to research the issue as fully as they can and provide a link to the Act itself, but nothing else...

Thanks, Damian, for confirming this. It is clear from this thread that much misinformation will be taken forward and very few real, hard facts.

i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: damian on October 13, 2014, 08:49:26 pm
i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
It was debated at length. When the minutes appear you will probably see that I argued for the inclusion of a summary of the arguments from both camps, but it was clear this was not the will of the meeting. That's democracy for you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 08:59:51 pm
i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
It was debated at length. When the minutes appear you will probably see that I argued for the inclusion of a summary of the arguments from both camps, but it was clear this was not the will of the meeting. That's democracy for you.

Indeed, and as I said, I don't blame you. I'm not asking for summaries of opinions from either side, I'm asking for third party information about what would actually happen & how other parties would react. It seems that none of that is to be forthcoming.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 13, 2014, 09:05:04 pm
Its not hard to find all the information Graham claims interest in...by simply reading the CroW act...if thats too difficult i've summarised it here...

Quote
Nature conservation and heritage preservation.

The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access…to any land during any period if they are satisfied that the exclusion or restriction of…is necessary…for the purposes specified
(Including)

•   the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question;
•   the purpose of preserving — any other structure, work, site, garden or area which is of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.


The relevant authority is the countryside body, or, where the land falls within a National Park, the National Park authority. However provision enables the Forestry Commissioners to act as the relevant authority for any land which appears to the Commissioners to consist wholly or predominantly of woodland.

Provision exists...for the authorities to restrict access to preserve features where necessary...managed by either EN, the CCW, the relevant National Park Authority or the Forestry Commission...

Does Graham require any MORE information ;) or is that not sufficient...

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 13, 2014, 09:13:16 pm
Its not hard to find all the information Graham claims interest in...by simply reading the CroW act...if thats too difficult i've summarised it here...

Quote
Nature conservation and heritage preservation.

The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access…to any land during any period if they are satisfied that the exclusion or restriction of…is necessary…for the purposes specified
(Including)

•   the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question;
•   the purpose of preserving — any other structure, work, site, garden or area which is of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.


The relevant authority is the countryside body, or, where the land falls within a National Park, the National Park authority. However provision enables the Forestry Commissioners to act as the relevant authority for any land which appears to the Commissioners to consist wholly or predominantly of woodland.

Provision exists...for the authorities to restrict access to preserve features where necessary...managed by either EN, the CCW, the relevant National Park Authority or the Forestry Commission...

Does Graham require any MORE information ;) or is that not sufficient...

Who does one contact? What detail is required. Most importantly does EN have the resources to actually process these requests, how long would the process take and can any restrictions be applied in the mean time?

If you do not think these questions are reasonable, please explain why. Not to me but to those who care for Upper Flood Swallet and St Cuthbert's Swallet.

Thank you
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 13, 2014, 09:37:24 pm
Yes - one caver one vote please, regardless of how they are categorised as BCA members. Otherwise the referendum means diddly squat.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: braveduck on October 13, 2014, 09:41:09 pm
Will cavers with a Green card but no BCA membership  get an individual vote ?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 13, 2014, 09:55:22 pm
That's my point, braveduck. It's a very significant proportion of the UK's active cavers.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Les W on October 13, 2014, 09:58:55 pm
Will cavers with a Green card but no BCA membership  get an individual vote ?

A green card is BCA membership...

In the meantime, if you are a member (whatever you colour of card), you are encouraged to check we have your up-to-date address and to begin (if you haven't already) researching the various arguments. No doubt both sides will provide a summary somewhere on here in due course.


Every card holding member of BCA will get an individual ballot paper for them to use to express their preferences.
Green card holders ARE individual members of BCA
As Damian says "whatever you colour of card"...

If you want to take part in this referendum you must:
1. Be a member of BCA
2. Ensure BCA has your correct address.
3. Fill in and return the ballot paper, in good time.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Oceanrower on October 13, 2014, 10:11:50 pm
Just had a poke about on the BCA website.

Does anyone know how I can check whether they have my correct address or not as I can't see any relevant area (unless I just send an email asking them to check, and I don't think they'd want several thousand members doing that!)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 13, 2014, 10:19:11 pm
Are you a direct member or a club member? If a club member you will be relying on the club you pay dues through to have provided the correct address at the beginning of the year.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Les W on October 13, 2014, 10:36:29 pm
Will the BCA be sending Ballots to a club sec to distribute and return if they do not have individual addresses?

BCA will not be sending ballot papers to clubs to distribute as this is open to massive ballot fraud and abuse...

BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.

If you are a Direct Individual Member (DIM) then you should already be receiving correspondence from BCA to your address (membership renewal notices). If you are receiving those then BCA probably has your correct address...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 13, 2014, 11:19:37 pm
Will the BCA be sending Ballots to a club sec to distribute and return if they do not have individual addresses?

BCA will not be sending ballot papers to clubs to distribute as this is open to massive ballot fraud and abuse...

BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.

If you are a Direct Individual Member (DIM) then you should already be receiving correspondence from BCA to your address (membership renewal notices). If you are receiving those then BCA probably has your correct address...

That's the answer I was hoping for. Thanks.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: estelle on October 13, 2014, 11:25:33 pm
BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.
With the fact that we're getting close to the annual BCA renewal timescales, this is probably rather important if you moved house during the year as i'd put money a lot of clubs won't remember to inform the BCA of any address changes once individuals have their card!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Dave Tyson on October 14, 2014, 08:56:52 am

With the fact that we're getting close to the annual BCA renewal timescales, this is probably rather important if you moved house during the year as i'd put money a lot of clubs won't remember to inform the BCA of any address changes once individuals have their card!

It's really down to members who have moved house to pester their club secretary to pass the new details onto Glenn, the BCA membership secretary. One person in our club has just moved and so I will be sending an update to Glenn later this week.

Of course if you set up a mail forwarding arrangement for your old address with the Post Office you may get the ballot paper anyway...

Dave
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: caving_fox on October 14, 2014, 09:06:25 am
Thanks to all the volunteers at the BCA for their time, and for finally doing something public about CROW access. Let's hope for a clear majority one way or the other, and some clear timescales as to when/what any (potential) changes may happen.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 14, 2014, 09:41:18 am
If existing protections are enough for those...then why do you consider caving to differ massively?

Are they enough? Not that long ago we, on Mendip, saw serious damage to the Priddy Circles, an important prehistoric monument.

Priddy Circles are not on Access Land, so it's not a good example. Perhaps if they were on Access Land, the extra sets of eyes of the general public as they walked across the land might actiually have helped guard against damage by the landowner.

Rhys
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 14, 2014, 09:57:30 am
A fair point Rhys.

however, my reasons for choosing that example were firstly to demonstrate ... that I do not slavishly worship landowners and secondly to remind people that even when that damage was done, it took a very long time to get the relevant authorities to prosecute. In my view we cannot rely on them getting any process completed quickly.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 14, 2014, 12:15:24 pm
Thanks to all the volunteers at the BCA for their time, and for finally doing something public about CROW access. Let's hope for a clear majority one way or the other, and some clear timescales as to when/what any (potential) changes may happen.

I really would like a 'like'  button  on  here!      :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 14, 2014, 01:27:52 pm
Moderator Comment Have removed quite a lot of off topic sniping and irrelevancies. Try to keep on topic, strictly on topic, please. Important and potentially far-reaching debates need to be aired. Resorting to playground taunting will result in locking or wholesale pruning.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Jenny P on October 14, 2014, 02:00:11 pm
I shall be sending out a DCA Information Circular this week and will inform all our members (clubs, associates and individuals) that BCA will be asking for a vote on the CRoW issue shortly.  I will remind them that they will need to ensure that, as individual members, both DIMs and CIMs, BCA has the correct postal address for them to receive and return their ballot paper. 

I will include for every member a copy of the independently produced information leaflet on CRoW available at Hidden Earth and, for the benefit of clubs, I shall also include the web address where this can be downloaded.  I shall advise them of another web address from which they can download further relevant documents and will list the documents available in this way (i.e. both for and against).  I shall point them to the C&A section of the BCA website for the minutes and various documents put to the meeting on 16 August; to the various articles in several recent Descents; and also to the fact that the subject has been discussed at length on UKcaving.  My DCA Rep's. report on last Saturday's BCA Council Meeting will be printed and circulated to all DCA members and will be discussed at our meeting on 1 Nov.  Our DCA officers who attended the BCA C&A meeting in August will doubtless include comments in their reports to the DCA meeting.

DCA’s minutes for our previous meeting on 28 June (on our website at www.theDCA.org.uk (http://www.theDCA.org.uk)) also record discussion on this but DCA has so far not attempted to make a decision for or against; nor has it instructed its officers on how to vote at a BCA C&A or BCA Council meeting.  (It never does this, preferring to accept that DCA Officers are perfectly capable of reflecting the differing views of members).  DCA Members all know that I, personally, am in favour of CRoW extension but I will make clear that, unless DCA formally states a view at its meeting on 1st. Nov., I cannot presume to vote one way or the other as a representative on DCA's behalf at a BCA meeting.

Jenny Potts,
DCA Hon. Secretary
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: peterk on October 14, 2014, 02:26:09 pm
Re the restrictions on CROW land and "relevant authority"
There is a paper on the "GUIDANCE FOR STATUTORY AUTHORITIES INVOLVED IN ASSESSING THE NATURE CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF A STATUTORY RIGHT OF ACCESS IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNDER SECTION 26" at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008) but of course "caves" were not addressed.
There is guidance for landowners and restrictions at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047)
The BMC take on it is at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions)

The grounds for a restriction are interesting and I have concerns that, as was said earlier in the thread, all the implications have not been thought through.  This is a link to closed CROW access land on the "waterfalls walk" in Ingleton http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080 (http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080) This land is closed "The open access land shown hatched on the map below is closed. Admission by ticket only".

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 14, 2014, 02:49:13 pm
Re the restrictions on CROW land and "relevant authority"
There is a paper on the "GUIDANCE FOR STATUTORY AUTHORITIES INVOLVED IN ASSESSING THE NATURE CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF A STATUTORY RIGHT OF ACCESS IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNDER SECTION 26" at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008) but of course "caves" were not addressed.
There is guidance for landowners and restrictions at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047)
The BMC take on it is at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions)

The grounds for a restriction are interesting and I have concerns that, as was said earlier in the thread, all the implications have not been thought through.  This is a link to closed CROW access land on the "waterfalls walk" in Ingleton http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080 (http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080) This land is closed "The open access land shown hatched on the map below is closed. Admission by ticket only".

Thank you for that, Peter.

One of the things that folks need to bear in mind is that Natural England's view on 'important geological or physiographical features' will not necessarily be the same as that of cavers. After all all that white stally stuff is of little scientific importance.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 14, 2014, 03:17:43 pm
I will include for every member a copy of the independently produced information leaflet on CRoW available at Hidden Earth and, for the benefit of clubs, I shall also include the web address where this can be downloaded.

Any chance you could put that link on here as well Jenny? Googling it doesn't produce anything.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ouan on October 14, 2014, 03:22:57 pm

BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records....


What about CIMS/DIMS who live overseas?
Would this be this the caving equivalent of the West Lothian Question?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 14, 2014, 06:02:05 pm
I will include for every member a copy of the independently produced information leaflet on CRoW available at Hidden Earth and, for the benefit of clubs, I shall also include the web address where this can be downloaded.

Any chance you could put that link on here as well Jenny? Googling it doesn't produce anything.
http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01) is the link.  Within the document is another link to all of the relevant documentation so far produced including the 'Instructions' and the reference material given to the the barrister, as announced in the recent edition of Descent.   Happy reading.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 14, 2014, 06:07:38 pm
But Bob, that's merely 'stuff' about your opinions and those of your confrère's. There is nothing in there about what might happen in practice, on the ground, if you were - unlikely as it is - to get your way on this. Nothing on there actually from EN about how they might react. Nothing from DEFRA. Nothing from landowners.

Nothing of real use at all, really.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 14, 2014, 06:16:21 pm
But Bob, that's merely 'stuff' about your opinions and those of your confrère's. There is nothing in there about what might happen in practice, on the ground, if you were - unlikely as it is - to get your way on this. Nothing on there actually from EN about how they might react. Nothing from DEFRA. Nothing from landowners.

It answers the question which was asked, not your original question.  Although I have answers for most of the points you make, I am seeking advice on one outstanding point.  If I don't get it soonish, I will post the rest.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 14, 2014, 07:33:44 pm
Moderator Comment 2nd intervention on the same thread in the same day to remove personal sniping. Keep on topic or find yourself on moderated status.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: damian on October 14, 2014, 07:48:27 pm
What about CIMS/DIMS who live overseas? Would this be this the caving equivalent of the West Lothian Question?
I suspect this was a tongue-in-cheek question, but in case it was serious, ALL BCA members, regardless of where they live, will be posted a ballot paper. Obviously those who live overseas will have a shorter timescale for returns, but I guess that's to be expected.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 14, 2014, 10:37:36 pm
How much £££ is it costing to find out that the answer is yes?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: RobinGriffiths on October 14, 2014, 10:44:40 pm
How much £££ is it costing to find out that the answer is yes?

Well, it is a once in a generation issue. To coin a (recently oft used) phrase..

And what further devolutionary concessions are offered in the case of a No vote?  Oh, none!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cookie on October 15, 2014, 01:21:19 pm
How much £££ is it costing to find out that the answer is yes?

Well North of £3000 and similar for the follow-up ballot.  :down:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 02:14:20 pm
How much £££ is it costing to find out that the answer is yes?

Well North of £3000 and similar for the follow-up ballot.  :down:

Surely you could half that by having both ballots in one go - i.e. Question 1 - are you against/in favour and Question 2, in the event of the vote in question 1 going in favour would you agree to the following changes?

I'd have thought the BCA could spend the money in better ways, and whilst in principle I'm in favour of a ballot, given the cost and that it seems there is little chance of Defra and NE changing their view it does seem pretty pointless.

Why not wait and see how the canoeists get on?



Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 15, 2014, 02:44:37 pm
How much £££ is it costing to find out that the answer is yes?

Well North of £3000 and similar for the follow-up ballot.  :down:
That money could have been spent investigating an efficient and virtually free online alternative to letters and stamps, which is what I presume this money is being used for.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: estelle on October 15, 2014, 02:54:17 pm
Just a thought as the BCA annual renewal is only just over a couple of months away - would it be more sense to wait until after then and use the renewal to ensure that the BCA has as many email addresses as possible and up to date contact details for those not on email in order to do some sort of mainly online process rather than spending £3k+ on a postal ballot?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: kdxn on October 15, 2014, 02:57:49 pm
That kind of money would be better spent signing up to an electronic voting system and then all BCA members could vote on AGM issues and not just those with the money and time to attend the AGM.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 02:59:28 pm
That kind of money would be better spent signing up to an electronic voting system and then all BCA members could vote on AGM issues and not just those with the money and time to attend the AGM.

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 15, 2014, 02:59:55 pm
The reason "not everyone has an email address or goes online" doesn't work, before anyone brings it up. Of our 130-ish club members, only three actually need things posted to them.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 03:06:32 pm
The reason "not everyone has an email address or goes online" doesn't work, before anyone brings it up. Of our 130-ish club members, only three actually need things posted to them.

I agree. At the very least an online registration system where you can opt in and vote would minimise postage.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Pete K on October 15, 2014, 03:10:40 pm
Now £3k sounds a lot to me personally but I'm certain that the BCA can afford to do this. Not everyone has an email address or wishes to correspond electronically. It would probably take years to get the membership details of everyone checked and updated to include an email address. To change the way cavers vote at AGM's to an online ballot would be progressive. It would however, probably require it's own postal ballot first.

I for one am pleased that my representative body is making the effort to seek the opinion of it's members and, although there is a cost involved, I support the ballot. This is an exceptional circumstance that requires an abnormal response. Once the direction of the wind is known then the decision making process can go back to BCA AGM and committees etc..

As for rolling the 2 ballots to one, I see why this makes financial sense but it would be a bit presumptuous to have a follow on 'yes' question and no 'no' question. Would there be a follow up to a 'no' majority vote?

The situation with the canoeists (and all river users) is barely comparable on the surface. Anyone with knowledge of this area knows that the right to navigate inland waters was enshrined in Magna Carta and has not been removed save for a few places. They have a law on their side and an opposition with a good PR campaign and money, they are not seeking a clarification of the law like we are. This is a poor comparison.

Well done the BCA, don't let the moaning get you down!
Come on the rest of you, surely (and hopefully) a confirmation of greater freedoms is worth the effort?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 15, 2014, 03:15:59 pm
I am not moaning. Making observations and thinking of a better method for the future is not moaning. Also, spending a bit of time making it more efficient and more likely to elicit a reply (online methods tend to get better responses than posted paper ones), saves the money for something else, equally worthwhile. What difference does a few weeks or months make either way?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Pete K on October 15, 2014, 03:20:02 pm
Sorry Peter, I'm not really free to get into a debate, I just wanted to put a positive post up on UKCaving for a change.

As for waiting a few weeks or months - I suspect that would play exactly into the hands of one of the sides in this debate.
One word: Momentum.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 15, 2014, 03:30:10 pm
As for waiting a few weeks or months - I suspect that would play exactly into the hands of one of the sides in this debate.
One word: Momentum.

I have already been criticised on this, or a similar point, upthread, but it really is nonsense. This legislation has been in place for 14 years. So why will a few weeks either way make any difference to how a process might go?

It really does sound more to me like the other side of this debate are worried that too much information in the hands of the membership might go against them.

Why the rush?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 15, 2014, 03:34:01 pm
Well, I think being accused of moaning does not fit into the category of a 100 percent "positive post". Of course it's good that members' views are being sought.  :shrug:

One thing I don't think is clever is undue haste. It isn't urgent. We aren't all going to have our boots and helmets confiscated if we don't do it immediately. I shall still be caving with or without this process getting underway in the coming days.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Pete K on October 15, 2014, 03:39:52 pm
Some quality UKCaving word twisting.
Never said we need to rush things.
Never accused anyone personally of moaning (the lady doth protest too much...), just the overall tone of the topic (and frankly the site recently)
Stuff it, shall save my input for the vote.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 04:15:09 pm

As for rolling the 2 ballots to one, I see why this makes financial sense but it would be a bit presumptuous to have a follow on 'yes' question and no 'no' question. Would there be a follow up to a 'no' majority vote?

The situation with the canoeists (and all river users) is barely comparable on the surface. Anyone with knowledge of this area knows that the right to navigate inland waters was enshrined in Magna Carta and has not been removed save for a few places. They have a law on their side and an opposition with a good PR campaign and money, they are not seeking a clarification of the law like we are. This is a poor comparison.


Two ballots into one isn't presumptuous. Given that:

Quote
2) The ballot paper will be accompanied by a summary of how BCA will proceed if the overall answer is "yes" and how it shall proceed if the answer is "no". It will also encourage members to research the issue as fully as they can and provide a link to the Act itself, but nothing else.

It's cheaper. It's a simple "if this then what" question. It may also get a better response, people wouldn't have to vote twice.

With all the canoeists PR and a campaign which has lasted many years and probably cost many thousands they still haven't persuaded the powers that be - that's the comparison. Until someone comes up with a better one it's the closest we have to an indication of how this may go.

Let's not forget if the result of the ballot is yes the BCA could be embarking on an equally long, expensive and unproductive campaign. Personally I think they have better things to do. Has anyone considered the effect of this on-going access negotiations for example?

And I agree, there does seem to be an unseemly rush but I'm inclined to feel that that's because those in favour are concerned that the initial easy sell of "right of access for all" which sounds great on the face of it will be a lot harder once people start to think in depth about what it really means.


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 15, 2014, 04:22:24 pm
With all the canoeists PR and a campaign which has lasted many years and probably cost many thousands they still haven't persuaded the powers that be - that's the comparison. Until someone comes up with a better one it's the closest we have to an indication of how this may go.

For sure. And there are many more of them, with better PR than we'll ever have.

Let's not forget if the result of the ballot is yes the BCA could be embarking on an equally long, expensive and unproductive campaign. Personally I think they have better things to do. Has anyone considered the effect of this on-going access negotiations for example?

Shh, don't confuse 'em!

And I agree, there does seem to be an unseemly rush but I'm inclined to feel that that's because those in favour are concerned that the initial easy sell of "right of access for all" which sounds great on the face of it will be a lot harder once people start to think in depth about what it really means.

Quite right, people really do need to think through all the consequences of their actions.

As someone who negotiates with landowners, I am really not looking forward to explaining the proposed constitutional change to them. I cannot see that going well, at all.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Mark Wright on October 15, 2014, 04:37:25 pm
I have read everything that is available on the subject and will certainly be voting in favour of a greater freedom of access to our caves. The £3K cost of a referendum is not that expensive in the scheme of things and I'm sure the powers that be will be looking at the pros and cons of the various methods of carrying it out and it will take as long as it takes. I'm happy to go with whatever they come up with. As Pete K says, 'This is an exceptional circumstance that requires an abnormal response'.  I don't think anyone on the 'yes' side is worried, as Graham suggests, about the available information going against them.   

If Graham is not looking forward to explaining the proposed constitutional changes to the landowners, then maybe someone else should take up that challenge.

One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.

The likely outcome of a 'no' vote would be that those who are so inclined would just go down the affected caves anyway without a permit as they have been doing for some time. 

I'm sure Graham and his followers will be there to keep an eye on how we look after the conservation issues that he rightly has concerns over. He probably won't be happy with the outcome but you can't please all the people all the time.

Cheers,

Mark Wright

     
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 15, 2014, 04:43:44 pm
The likely outcome of a 'no' vote would be that those who are so inclined would just go down the affected caves anyway without a permit as they have been doing for some time. 

Some of the affected caves, maybe. Just goes to show that some people have not thought this through and have not considered the fact that this affects more than just a couple of fells in one part of the country.


I'm sure Graham and his followers will be there to keep an eye on how we look after the conservation issues that he rightly has concerns over. He probably won't be happy with the outcome but you can't please all the people all the time.

So, if I'm not happy about delicate and fragile caves being trashed because of this other people will be happy, will they?

Great.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 15, 2014, 04:48:07 pm
One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.
Not all caves are on CRoW land, this will have no effect on the requirement to hold insurance in certain caves. Incidentally, many and perhaps most insurers pay out more in claims than they receive in premiums. The profit is made on investments made in the intervening period. Boring true but there you go...  :sleeping:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 04:50:38 pm

One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.
   

Can't quite see why - the policy is a public liability policy which protects us against claims from third parties, not just landowners. You can choose not buy it if you want - there's no requirement to do so that I'm aware of, but I'd sooner have the cover, just in case. As an argument in favour of CRoW this is irrelevant other than it would reduce the likelihood of a claim by indemnifying us against claims from some landowners.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Aubrey on October 15, 2014, 05:13:05 pm
One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.


This is rubbish!

Many non-CROW land access agreements require that we have adequate insurance. We will loose access to these caves without the insurance.

We all hope there is never any claim but there was a claim against our club following the accident in Lamb Lair and the insurance company DID pay out. (It was before the BCA insurance scheme was introduced).

Also how many people would join BCA if it was not for the BCA insurance scheme?


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Jenny P on October 15, 2014, 05:42:29 pm
In fact electronic ballot and voting were considered by BCA Council on 11th. but it was realised that currently BCA does not ask for email addresses as part of its registration details so we would have to start collecting this information from scratch.  This is likely to take a year or more before it could be implemented properly, including setting up suitable security precautions.  This is already in hand for the future but it isn't feasible at present and may not be until 2016.  There was a feeling that BCA needed to know the view of its members in time for the January 2015 Council meeting to know whether, or how, it should go forward on the issue of CRoW and access to caves.  After some discussion we felt this could only be done at the present time by a postal ballot.

I am involved in emailing to a club and a regional council so I am aware of the issues.  I do not have an email address for 13 out of 105 members of the club, i.e. about 12%.  I do not have an email address for 8 out of 51 individual members of the regional council, i.e. about 16%.  I have no idea what percentage of email addresses we would get out of the 5000 or so BCA individual members but it certainly isn't going to be 100% so you would still have to post some ballots.

Perhaps (just a suggestion) it could be possible to put on the ballot paper an additional question on the lines of "would you prefer an electronic ballot system if this becomes feasible in the future".  It's possible that some would prefer not to do this, even though they have email addresses.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 06:02:46 pm

Perhaps (just a suggestion) it could be possible to put on the ballot paper an additional question on the lines of "would you prefer an electronic ballot system if this becomes feasible in the future".  It's possible that some would prefer not to do this, even though they have email addresses.


Sounds sensible, although there isn't really a requirement for an email address to have an electronic ballot, confirming other details would be enough. Basing it on email is probably a bad way of doing things, as they can change frequently. That's probably why most government electronic systems - e.g. electoral registration, car tax etc don't require it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 15, 2014, 06:11:41 pm

Perhaps (just a suggestion) it could be possible to put on the ballot paper an additional question on the lines of "would you prefer an electronic ballot system if this becomes feasible in the future".  It's possible that some would prefer not to do this, even though they have email addresses.


Sounds sensible, although there isn't really a requirement for an email address to have an electronic ballot, confirming other details would be enough. Basing it on email is probably a bad way of doing things, as they can change frequently. That's probably why most government electronic systems - e.g. electoral registration, car tax etc don't require it.

Can't speak for electoral registration, as I haven't yet needed to amend this online, but for car tax, I still get posted a piece of paper containing a log in reference, so no money saved there. That's saved by the fact that they (now) don't need to use the post a second time to send out a tax disc.

I'm doubtful that a secure enough system yet exists for reliable internet voting. I'm not sure BCA will ever have that, either.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Jenny P on October 15, 2014, 06:13:04 pm
Not sure how you would alert people to the fact that there is a ballot going on?

Car Tax, etc. rely on you needing to do something to stay legal and for the moment I understand DVLA (or whatever) is still sending out postal reminders.  For electoral registration you would be prompted by the blitzing of you by all forms of communication that there is a vote coming up.

How could we do this for cavers?

Not that I'm discounting the idea, but I'm just not sure of how this could best be implemented in the future.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 15, 2014, 06:23:55 pm
Not sure how you would alert people to the fact that there is a ballot going on?

Car Tax, etc. rely on you needing to do something to stay legal and for the moment I understand DVLA (or whatever) is still sending out postal reminders.  For electoral registration you would be prompted by the blitzing of you by all forms of communication that there is a vote coming up.

How could we do this for cavers?

Not that I'm discounting the idea, but I'm just not sure of how this could best be implemented in the future.

You could announce the ballot by emailing clubs, through Descent, here and of course email not to mention the BCA website. The ballot itself wouldn't need to use email. As for security my green card has a voting membership number on it, allow each member to vote once and confirm who they are using their address, DOB if you have it, name and membership number. Secure enough.

It would make it much easier for anyone abroad, and you could always send out postal ballots on demand.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 15, 2014, 06:48:27 pm

One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.
   

Off topic I know but I would very much want to continue the insurance. Remember it insures your mates and your club against claims. Suppose someone you are caving with dies in a cave and they have life insurance, their dependents claim on that insurance and that insurance company decides to recover their losses by suing you, your club, and anyone else they can think of.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cookie on October 15, 2014, 07:19:09 pm
In fact electronic ballot and voting were considered by BCA Council on 11th. but it was realised that currently BCA does not ask for email addresses as part of its registration details so we would have to start collecting this information from scratch.  This is likely to take a year or more before it could be implemented properly, including setting up suitable security precautions.  This is already in hand for the future but it isn't feasible at present and may not be until 2016.  There was a feeling that BCA needed to know the view of its members in time for the January 2015 Council meeting to know whether, or how, it should go forward on the issue of CRoW and access to caves.  After some discussion we felt this could only be done at the present time by a postal ballot.

Well the final sentence is correct  ::)

BCA did ask for email addresses as part of this years renewal process. The Membership Administrator wasn't available to ask but we certainly do have the email addresses of a significant number of our members.

I have demonstrated a simple online contact maintenance system for BCA which was discussed at the Council meeting last weekend. It allows members to check and update their contact details online. It is currently under test but given that it is now a high priority I hope to make it live very soon.

It was not designed to be an on-line voting system although it wouldn't take much to turn it into one. However that is not going to happen in the next 3 to 4 weeks, hence the decision to go with 100% postal ballot.

I expect that it will be ready for an AGM ballot if that is required and a secure voting process can be agreed.

 
 

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Mark Wright on October 16, 2014, 12:21:51 am
I know I went off topic a bit with the insurance thing but for me having to have insurance to go down a cave as part of the access agreement is something that really grinds on me and the CRoW debate always brings it to mind. I wondered what sort of reaction there would be to the insurance issue. I'm clearly on my own with this one.

Graham, of course nobody will be happy if delicate and fragile caves are trashed and I'm sure nobody on ukCaving would suggest otherwise.

Peak Cavern is a good example of a cave, as Blakethwaite suggests, requiring those entering to hold the BCA insurance cover. This is policed very well, mainly by members of my club the TSG. It is relatively easy to police it though as most people going down the cave get changed in the Chapel.

Whilst insurance companies may well generate income through the investment of premiums you can be absolutely sure that if there was a big claim, and if there was a claim it is likely to be a big one, as TheBitterEnd suggests, then our current premiums would significantly increase.  I don't know what we pay collectively in premiums per year but if people reckon a postal ballot of BCA members (insurance holders) would cost £3K (I would think double that if there are around 5000 individual members as Jenny suggests. Two second class stamps and two envelopes x 5000 = +/- £6K) then I would guess at around £50K a year in insurance premiums. Even if they just settled on £1M instead of the £5M maximum on the policy, premiums will rocket. However unlikely, one successful claim would significantly alter the balance of risk for future policies.

If those making such a claim weren't successful then as joint policy holders we would likely be questioning using the same insurance company in the future. With a history of a big claim, regardless of a settlement, which we would have to disclose, it is unlikely any other insurance company would touch us. Where would that leave all the access agreements that Aubrey mentions that have been negotiated on the basis of holding the BCA insurance?

Following the Lamb Lair accident and subsequent claim, which was 40 years ago, I'm sure simple control measures were introduced by the club. Always have a belay when climbing ladders and don't stand directly underneath someone who's climbing. That should ensure that type of accident never happens again.

Under the current permitted access agreements, e.g. in the Dales, you can't get a permit unless you are a member of a BCA affiliated club and insurance cover is mandatory so if you want to go caving on Leck Fell you don't have a choice as Bottlebank suggests otherwise, unless of course you go down without a permit.   

If the BCA Insurance scheme is the only thing that brings in members, then the BCA needs to have a word with itself. This referendum though (to bring it back on topic again - sorry) is a clear indication that it has in fact had a word with itself and is in fact benefiting the British caving fraternity. I would hope the educators are doing their bit by discussing what they need to do to help keep Graham happy, although I doubt Graham and others would be happy until all caves have a 5 lever mortice deadlock attached to the gate. Graham could get a chance to speak with some of our younger educators if he takes up the offer from Hellie to put the case forward for a 'no' vote at the CHECC event next month. I think that is a fantastic idea. They should video the 'yes' and 'no' speakers and put it on youtube for the rest of us to watch before we cast our votes.

Graham has every right though to worry about all the changes that are afoot. They are potentially very big changes if the vote is a 'yes' and nobody likes change and the older you get the more it bothers you from my experience. On the insurance issue though, if there was a claim and premiums became unaffordable, which is very likely, where does that leave us?

Whoever wrote the BCA document to help convince club members to sign up to the insurance scheme in the first place certainly did a good job of scaremongering despite saying they didn't want to. They did make it clear in that document though that if there was a claim we would probably not be able to get insured afterwards.   

BCA insurance scheme must have been running now for 8 years. By my reckoning that's £400K that could have been invested more wisely for the benefit of all rather than for the benefit of the first person who makes a claim.

Sorry moderators for going off topic and waffling on. I'll leave it at that.

Cheers,

Mark
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 16, 2014, 12:50:21 am
There are lots of caves in the Peak, many not on access land that require BCA insurance in order to make the landowner (big or small) and/or tenant happy.

Some examples of big landowners are:- Natural England, Chatsworth, National Trust, Okeover Estates.

It's just mostly to give them peace of mind in case anybody has an accident on their land, but if you were caving with a bunch of people and one had an accident and decided it was your fault then you need insurance to cover any claim against you. For the small annual cost, it's hardly worth arguing over!  :coffee:

I also suggest people stop slagging off the peeps running BCA. They are all volunteers trying to do their best for the general caving community. Taking into consideration ease of access as well as conservation issues. They should have our support. It isn't easy trying to make everybody happy and never will be, unfortunately...  :coffee:

The CRoW referendum, ballot, whatever is an excellent example of BCA trying to act in the best interests of it's members. Tired now...  :sleeping:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Brains on October 16, 2014, 04:28:53 am

One of the outcomes of a 'yes' vote could be that we finally get rid of the ridiculous requirement for everyone to hold insurance cover. Lets face it, its most unlikely anyone will ever make a claim and if they did make a claim its most likely the insurance company would try and wriggle out of paying (that is, after all, how they make their money) and whatever happens here will certainly result in the insurance premiums for the future being unaffordable.
   

Off topic I know but I would very much want to continue the insurance. Remember it insures your mates and your club against claims. Suppose someone you are caving with dies in a cave and they have life insurance, their dependents claim on that insurance and that insurance company decides to recover their losses by suing you, your club, and anyone else they can think of.

I was under the impresion the insurance was a third party indemnity, so that if for example a cow fell down a shaft that had been left open, the farmer could be compensated for his loss. If however the cow squashed a caver, then it would be upto the individuals own life policy as to what paymentt could be made to the deceaseds estate. Likewise if caver A drops a rock on caver B, this is NOT covered, but if caver A drops a rock on a passer by then the passer by is eligible to claim through A's BCA cover.... Could someone perhaps confirm this?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 06:31:42 am

Likewise if caver A drops a rock on caver B, this is NOT covered


The policy includes member to member cover.

As with so many aspects of this debate, there is clearly a lot of ignorance out there. This is my point.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 16, 2014, 08:46:20 am

Under the current permitted access agreements, e.g. in the Dales, you can't get a permit unless you are a member of a BCA affiliated club and insurance cover is mandatory so if you want to go caving on Leck Fell you don't have a choice as Bottlebank suggests otherwise, unless of course you go down without a permit.   


I was only suggesting that we are not forced to take out BCA insurance, obviously this will preclude you from a few caves and may mean your only option on others is as you suggest to ignore the permit system. It's an option various people over the years have adopted.

I'm pretty sure that of all the various policies I have the BCA's remains by far the cheapest.

Back on topic Cookies comments on online systems are very encouraging.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 11:40:49 am
I must preface this response by first pointing out that the statements made in the pro CroW documentation only apply to caves which are on Access Land.  I did not think I needed to spell out that these statements did not apply to caves which were not on Access Land.  (Apologies to those who feel insulted because I spell out such a basic point.)   So nothing changes to caves off Access Land, including responding in some cases to the demand by the land owner to provide insurance to cover any claim against the land owner by someone down a cave on their land.

re delicate and fragile caves are trashed - there is an adequate mechanism under Section 26 to protect such caves.  I will provide details of how it works in due course but I am awaiting a response from one statutory body.  But simply said if granted, then there need be no change in existing the access control system.  Indeed one cave has already been identified as being caught by the CRoW restricted access system.  It is also worth noting that from returns to date it looks as if there are likely to be well under 50 caves where such control may be justified, out of perhaps 3000 caves in all.  So far only 4 have been clearly identified as potential candidates.  And of those perhaps 3000 caves, around 2000 have access restrictions imposed on them which have nothing to do with conservation.  (I have rounded the numbers for simplicity.)

re impact of an insurance claim - As the founding BCA Treasurer, I have always been conscious that BCA is likely to become a busted flush if there is a major claim since the chance of getting the policy renewed seemed to me to be vanishingly small.  As those who were active at the time will recall; BCA came into effect because BCRA lost its cover when their insurance company just refused to renew it in September 2003.  Access to many caves was lost up until the start of 2004 when BCA came into being with a new insurance policy.  Getting CRoW applying underground will remove the need for insurance cover for land owners for those caves and thus reduce our dependence on needing insurance.  Surely no bad thing?

There is also the point that I doubt if our insurance policy will cover situations where assuming CRoW applies to caving, an agreement is made between cavers and a land owner to apply voluntary restrictions and insurance cover for the land owner is claimed to be included in that voluntary agreement.  The insurance company will reasonably reject any claim saying 'none existed in law because CRoW removed it so the voluntary agreement was therefore unnecessary'.   

As an aside, Lamb Lear was not shut because of a need for insurance;  access continued after the accident.  My memory is that the farmer wanted an annual payment of a substantial sum of money which CSCC felt was too much to pay and would cause other land owners to say I also am going to charge similar.

I also should point out that BCA will only be paying for the letter going out with the ballot form.  You will have to pay the postage for sending it back.  Whilst BCA holds email addresses for roughly half of its membership, as I understood it, Council decided that they could not get a secure enough system for voting by the web on the time scales they wanted.  And as BCA made a surplus last year of over £7,000, it is not as if it can't afford to do it.   Given there are in existence secure 'over the web' systems for voting, this should be achievable assuming that those doing it have the time to do so in place of the many other activities they do for caving.  Another aside, it is worrying that BCA is still dependent upon relatively few people doing many of the tasks to keep it running.   

However Bottlebank's suggested list of data (membership number, address & DOB) is insufficient for security purposes.  Us old lags recall a postal poll back in 1993 which was subject to substantial fraudulent returns.  It also needs a unique number communicated to only the member which they use when making their vote.  And there is also the need to have adequate barriers against hacking the central data base. 

The reason for two votes was because as I understood it, Council felt that to put them together would open them to claims that the proposal was constitutionally invalid.  Yes I know it sounds preposterous but having been personally subject to some 'extreme' points (like a threat of legal action for conspiracy), I have sympathy with the position.  So they decided on a poll to inform them and thus justify making a subsequent constitutional change, probably at the 2015 AGM.

And for Graham - you have previously stated that none of the caves which you have an involvement in are on Access Land.  So you have no work to do.  Perhaps your efforts might be better spent getting the SSSI status of Mendip caves to apply to caves; the current exemption for any caving activity means a caver can down those caves, trash them and suffer no penalty.  Hardly a good conservation position for all those ungated caves on Mendip. 

Lastly if you want more information and have not already done so, then go and read http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01) .
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 12:04:20 pm
Bob

Since you mention me by name, I shall respond.

I have been involved in getting an SSSI schedule on a cave. When this process, a well-understood one, is complete it will have taken about two years. So when you say that

Quote
there is an adequate mechanism under Section 26 to protect such caves


you are talking complete cock, unless you have an authoritative statement from NE and their lawyers that this process can be carried out rapidly or that access controls can be kept legally in place whilst the process goes through.

Can you do that?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 16, 2014, 01:10:11 pm
Forgive me Graham, but I get the impression from many of your posts that you're more concerned about preventing people from going down caves than facilitating the activity. And now you're abusing Bob Mehew, who has done a tremendous amount of research.

So I'd like to ask you a question. How often do you actually go underground these days? When did you last, and what was the trip?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 01:17:23 pm
Forgive me Graham, but I get the impression from many of your posts that you're more concerned about preventing people from going down caves than facilitating the activity. And now you're abusing Bob Mehew, who has done a tremendous amount of research.

So I'd like to ask you a question. How often do you actually go underground these days? When did you last, and what was the trip?

What business of yours is it how often I go underground? What relevance does it have to the issue at hand?

And why the hell do you think I spent, in one case, ten years carefully negotiating the re-opening of one cave if I want to prevent people from going down caves?

Why do people take pot-shots at me all the time on threads like this? Can it be because they are trying to disguise the fact that they cannot actually answer the substantive  points I raise about the actual matter at hand?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Greg Jones on October 16, 2014, 01:26:50 pm
Graham, it is precisely because you had to spend "ten years carefully negotiating the re-opening of one cave" that more "right of access" is so desirable to many cavers. You might enjoy all that negotiating bollocks, but most of us just want to go caving with minimum of fuss.
David and Bob, you both have my utmost admiration for the work you are doing. Graham, you too have my admiration for the work you put in,  but I think that by the time all the controls wre put in place that you require I will be too old to go underground.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Mark Wright on October 16, 2014, 01:36:08 pm
The CRoW referendum is probably THE most important thing in British caving that we have ever been asked to cast our votes on. To get the best level of response from BCA members it seems a bit short sighted not to send out the voting slips in a SAE. We need to do everything we can to ensure we get a good return of votes.

Cheers,

Mark
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 01:44:18 pm
Graham, it is precisely because you had to spend "ten years carefully negotiating the re-opening of one cave" that more "right of access" is so desirable to many cavers. You might enjoy all that negotiating bollocks, but most of us just want to go caving with minimum of fuss.
David and Bob, you both have my utmost admiration for the work you are doing. Graham, you too have my admiration for the work you put in,  but I think that by the time all the controls wre put in place that you require I will be too old to go underground.

All that negotiating bollocks was with a local authority for a cave that by no stretch of the imagination could be described as being anywhere near "mountain, moorland, heath and down." Should I not have bothered?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 02:18:32 pm
Bob

Since you mention me by name, I shall respond.

I have been involved in getting an SSSI schedule on a cave. When this process, a well-understood one, is complete it will have taken about two years. So when you say that

Quote
there is an adequate mechanism under Section 26 to protect such caves


you are talking complete cock, unless you have an authoritative statement from NE and their lawyers that this process can be carried out rapidly or that access controls can be kept legally in place whilst the process goes through.

Can you do that?

Graham - You have misrepresented what I said. 

I talked about obtaining a Section 26 Direction to restrict access to Access Land.  Not about getting a SSSI applied to a cave.  Section 26 is under CRoW and has a totally different process to that for SSSIs which are under Section 28 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.  So your experience is not relevant.  The guidance issued by NE actually cites time scales.  I will provide more detail in due course when I have finished assimilating the advice I have just got from a statutory body, probably tomorrow morning.

PS - I mentioned your name in connection with a totally different point, namely by your own admission you will not be concerned with seeking Section 26 Directions.  Are you withdrawing that statement? 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 02:23:11 pm
Bob

If you can cite guidance with time scales then all to the good, however, as my experience actually concerned applying legal protection to a cave it has some relevance.

You mentioned my name, yes, why? What need was there to do so? This is not about me any more than it is about you?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 03:00:02 pm
Sigh.  Obtaining a SSSI is a totally different procedure.  Your experience is irrelevant as much as you might like to suggest otherwise.

I take it from you response you will not be involved in applying for Section 26 Directions, so I don't need to keep you directly informed of my work. 

PS - I may be delayed getting advice out as NE have helpfully just had their web access switched to the ####ing gov.uk portal.  I wonder how many links have been disrupted. Initial look see suggests every bloody one.  Excuse me whilst I go and weep.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 16, 2014, 03:15:40 pm
If your primary influence for deciding how to vote is the effect on conservation/protection procedures, and I accept that not everybody's is, how can you possibly come to a decision if you do not know whether the potential future process is better or worse than current practice?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 04:15:57 pm
If your primary influence for deciding how to vote is the effect on conservation/protection procedures, and I accept that not everybody's is, how can you possibly come to a decision if you do not know whether the potential future process is better or worse than current practice?

I repeat, in my view Graham's experience of his time scale for getting SSSI status is irrelevant to the time scale for the process of getting a Section 26 Direction. 

If a cave does warrant SSSI status, say because it has been newly discovered in a new area, then it is entirely feasible that a provisional SSSI case could be made to get a 'non long term' direction "...normally be decided within six weeks of receipt..." (I cite NE's guidance) thus giving time to get through the SSSI process.  The real problem in such circumstances is, as I see it, diggers keeping their mouths shut for those 6 weeks or so whilst the direction is obtained.  And of course there is always the potential problem that if you approach the authorities with the wrong spirit and get their backs up, then they are not going to be overly helpful and prompt in their responses.  From the reports that I have heard, NE seem quite good in dealing with cavers (especially to those who have been digging without their permission on SSSIs - not the best of starting points).
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 04:47:59 pm

I repeat, in my view Graham's experience of his time scale for getting SSSI status is irrelevant to the time scale for the process of getting a Section 26 Direction.


Yet you cannot actually say what the timescale might be for getting a Section 26 direction.

Still if you are searching on .gov.uk this link might be helpful to you. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350698/response_8_July_2014_as_redacted_for_the_website__2__amended.pdf) It's quite recent.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 06:06:51 pm
Yet you cannot actually say what the timescale might be for getting a Section 26 direction.
Graham you are misrepresenting me yet again.  I said that I would divulge the time scales provided by NE tomorrow.  To stop you making more erroneous claims on this point, the relevant information is:

Application cases must normally be decided within six weeks of receipt unless the relevant authority proposes a long-term restriction, in which case the application must be decided within four months. The relevant authority may take longer where necessary to make its decision, but only with the consent of the applicant.

See Chapter 2.1.10 in RAG V  at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140605090108/http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/RAG%20V4%20for%20website_tcm6-12375.pdf (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140605090108/http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/RAG%20V4%20for%20website_tcm6-12375.pdf) (they switched every web link I had!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 06:46:33 pm
Fine Bob. Can access restrictions be legally kept in place during that four month period? it doesn't take anywhere near that long to trash a cave.

And, as I have noted before, has anyone considered the very important point that shiny pretty stal may have great aesthetic value but little scientific value? Will NE take aesthetics into account before issuing an order?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 16, 2014, 07:36:00 pm
This thread is related to a Yes or No vote, could Graham give a valid and coherent reason why he is so obviously against the proposal?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 16, 2014, 07:47:19 pm
Graham, it's my business - and the business of this forum - to ascertain when you last went underground and how often you do for a simple reason. Most of us are active cavers. I've been one for more than 40 years, and I love the sport now as much as I ever did. Pressures of work and family mean I don't go caving as much as I would like, but I absolutely consider myself an active caver still. My last trip was to almost - 1000 metres in the Picos, over three days' camping underground, with a lot of pushing a potential (though eventually frustrating) leadi. My next trip will be with my ten year old son and one of his mates to sump 1 in Swildon's over half term. I'm looking forward to that enormously. 

I know there are many younger, harder people out there. But I think I still know what motivates them, for the simple reason it still motivates me. Does "it" still motivate you? I'm not trying to be rude, just work out where it is you're coming from, with all this aggression you seem to have. It's like you want to win a battle, not figure out how we can all be happy - and get better access to our caves.

So, once again, please answer my questions. When did you last go caving? What did you do? How often do you manage to get underground, nowadays?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 16, 2014, 08:05:34 pm
Global Moderator Comment Enough willy waving. Please stay clear of the personal stuff andf stick to the topic. Graham's, David's or anyones caving prowess is not the issue here
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 16, 2014, 08:23:12 pm
Nice moderating Rhys :thumbsup: :thumbsup:.
 Totally irellevant Dave, lets concentrate on getting an answer out of Graham as to why he doesn't like the acceptance of CRoW.
He keeps harping on about lack of information, but offers none himself, what doe's he fear?????
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 16, 2014, 08:34:27 pm
Well, over the months that this has been debated, Graham has made it pretty clear where he stands and the reasoning behind it. So unless his thinking has changed, you only need to look back at past contributions. If it matters so much to you, I suggest you settle down with some coffee and have a long read.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 16, 2014, 08:36:38 pm
Bograt, that is also a very good question. Maybe it's another way of trying to figure out the same thing I was. But I'm heartened that most people seem to want the same objectives I do: both protection of vulnerable sites and recognised rights of access, at the same time. Months ago I posted here suggesting these goals are not mutually exclusive, and that I was sure we could devise ways of ensuring this was the case. I sense that view is becoming widespread.   
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 16, 2014, 08:38:19 pm
Bograt: if there's a paucity of information, how can Grasham provide it?

And according to Dave Rose, this 'vote' should be entirely superfluous. This thread gets more hilarious by the minute......
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 16, 2014, 08:44:06 pm
No, the vote is important. It will render threads like this superfluous: we'll all finally know what we're talking about.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 16, 2014, 08:45:16 pm
I rather doubt that, David...... :lol:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 08:56:56 pm
Can access restrictions be legally kept in place during that four month period? it doesn't take anywhere near that long to trash a cave.
I have already answered that question Graham but obviously you don't wish to recall my posting at 3.15 this afternoon.  So I will repeat The real problem in such circumstances is, as I see it, diggers keeping their mouths shut for those 6 weeks or so whilst the direction is obtained. For 6 weeks insert 4 months.  I am aware of a chamber in a very popular cave whose presence has been known for many years but kept discretely quite to avoid such despoliation.  So it can be done.

And, as I have noted before, has anyone considered the very important point that shiny pretty stal may have great aesthetic value but little scientific value? Will NE take aesthetics into account before issuing an order?
Obviously you have forgotten what is said in the acts.  Section 26(3) of CRoW states The purposes referred to in subsection (1) are— (a) the purpose of conserving ... physiographical features of the land in question....  Sec 28 of W&C act which coves creating SSSIs states Where Natural England are of the opinion that any area of land is of special interest by reason of any of its ...  physiographical features....

And to save me time and counter your next objection, I would suggest any reasonable person would consider 'physiographical' as covering what you derogatorily call 'shiny pretty stal'.  But of course if you present a case which uses the phrase 'shiny pretty stal', then as I said at 3.15 ...there is always the potential problem that if you approach the authorities with the wrong spirit...

Fine Bob.
I take it that you accept my posting of 5.06.  Does that extend to an apology for misrepresenting me?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: peterk on October 16, 2014, 09:03:38 pm
The start of this thread had a comparison between this vote and the recent referendum.  From what I'm reading that comparison holds good - polarised views with personal attacks.  Everyone assumes they know the exact views of their opponents and avoids answering direct questions. At what point in the future will "big business" (AKA Landowners) bring their opinions into the argument?

I asked some time ago how "caving is covered by CROW" will be implemented in English Law and I've seen no hint of an answer.  I've resurrected that question because I've been looking at CROW restrictions and their administration and from what I've read I can't see anything changing for years.  In the case of England the reviews of CROW restrictions and their renewal are now started 12 months before the expiry date, the 10 year period between reviews of access land has now been changed to 20 years and the  2013/4 statutory review of the maps of ‘open country’ and registered common land under section 10 of the CROW Act 2000 has been deferred by regulations for 5 years.  On the basis of those facts I believe/have formed the opinion/think that the government cuts on civil service expenditure have bitten hard on CROW resources and any action to make caving part of CROW will only be taken for near zero cost solutions.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 09:22:03 pm

I asked some time ago how "caving is covered by CROW" will be implemented in English Law and I've seen no hint of an answer.


Thank you, Peter. This is exactly what the pro- camp should be explaining and have thus far manifestly failed to do.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 16, 2014, 09:36:37 pm
The argument we pro CroW have been putting forward is that all it requires is a statement by NE that it does.  I presume you have read Descent and the link which is also at http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving) which provides the arguments as to why and also the anti arguments.  There is then a consequential which is getting those caves considered worthy of safeguarding into a legal position.  This could easily be done in tandem so the announcement is made at the same time as the directions being issued.  We claim that the maps which show Access Land already cover the caves beneath the surface.  So there is no need to change anything else, though updating some of the advice would be needed. 

I understand work is in hand by BCA on the land owner front but am not privy to the detail. 

Alternatively as I said months ago, someone takes a civil claim against an access controlling body which will solve the problem one way or other.  There are other alternatives but I won't go there on this forum.

And for what it is worth, Graham has previously brought up some useful points which help in making our pro case.  Which is why I am prepared to answer him on some occasions despite his general tone and misrepresentations.   
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 16, 2014, 09:47:35 pm
I am neither pro/against, and I do find the against camp especially Graham frustratingly negative ( I try not to get involved in mudslinging as think it is negative, so apologise as it is not intended as such but more how I feel) , or put it another way they have some very valid points but I don't feel they put questions/views across in the right way, however in this situation and the start of this topic I feel Graham has voiced very valued points, we know even locked caves with access procedures are easily vandalised as seen from this forum, I know of a leader led cave that (this is only hearsay from) but it is alleged that a leader was prepared to take a group into an off limits area. we also know that certain well visited caves (swildons) has suffered from extensive caving, so for those concerned with a lack of access restrictions do have valued points that need answering, balance this with those people very frustrated with not being able to get permits to caves, especially it would seem those of Yorkshire.
if we vote yes, I think we need to have in place or the motions in place a list of caves that need some form of access restrictions.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 10:04:45 pm
The argument we pro CroW have been putting forward is that all it requires is a statement by NE that it does.

Argue as much as you like. get a statement from NE to this effect and you might, possibly, start to convince people.

The explain how long getting such a statement would take.

Then explain what'll happen to the cave in the mean time.

After that we'll start to talk about landowners & things like their views on digging, should this happen.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 16, 2014, 10:12:39 pm
And, as I have noted before, has anyone considered the very important point that shiny pretty stal may have great aesthetic value but little scientific value? Will NE take aesthetics into account before issuing an order?

What is the point in conserving aesthetics if nobody gets to see them?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 10:17:44 pm
And, as I have noted before, has anyone considered the very important point that shiny pretty stal may have great aesthetic value but little scientific value? Will NE take aesthetics into account before issuing an order?

What is the point in conserving aesthetics if nobody gets to see them?

What makes you think nobody will get to see them? AFAIK cavers are going down UFS just about every weekend.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 16, 2014, 10:23:03 pm
Many other caves where this isn't the case, but, even in the case of Upper Flood Swallet, its determined on the whim of leaders. I'm grateful for all cave leaders who give up time to take people caving into these restricted caves. But, they are only human, can't constantly be available and the access isn't open to all.

A busy working life combined with family life leaves many of us not 100% sure of what free time we shall have, so can't book trips so do look for trips at short notice. Its hard (not impossible) to find lead trips at short notice (with good reason). Without the access restrictions many more people would get to see these caves of great aesthetic value.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 16, 2014, 10:32:11 pm
And without those restrictions, there would be a lot less to see. Compare and contrast Swildons and St.Cuthbert's.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 17, 2014, 06:25:50 am
The one consistent thing about all the ProCrow side is that we are expected to believe that all will be perfect and nice in the free-access Nirvana that is Crow for Caves.

I've yet to read anything that convinces ME that it will be the case. Could the ProCrows be indulging in wishful thinking?

I think we should be told.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 17, 2014, 07:20:58 am
Could the ProCrows be indulging in wishful thinking?

I think we should be told.

No, I don't think we are. There will probably be the odd issue, as there usually is with anything in life.
I don't think anyone not living in fairyland thinks it will be the problem-free nirvana of caving that you attempt to foist upon us.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 07:34:19 am
So what, NewStuff, do you think the problems might be and how do you propose to deal with them?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Smiley Alan on October 17, 2014, 07:42:02 am
 heres a problem prehaps  . let's assume the procrow wins  and caves which are locked  can now be accesed by any one . i guess this  will mean literaly any one and not just cavers . its been said that  landowners are protected from being sooed by crow . fair enuf but wont there me a media uproar if a kiddy  gets hurt and the papers  demand it gets gated .
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 17, 2014, 07:59:58 am
Moot point! - will open access be dependent upon some kind of bona fide or will it be a case of any numpty with a site helmet and a cigarette lighter can fall down Coral Cave?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Les W on October 17, 2014, 08:35:00 am
Moot point! - will open access be dependent upon some kind of bona fide or will it be a case of any numpty with a site helmet and a cigarette lighter can fall down Coral Cave?

What makes Coral Cave any different to Gaping Gill or Jingling Pot, or even Cheddar Gorge or Lands End?
Surely it is up to individuals to asses their own risk, and for Mr Darwin to intervene if they don't...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 17, 2014, 08:38:15 am
Indeed and I heartily agree; however, there is a potential media embarrassment for the powers that be IF (OK, it's a rather big "If") a child gets injured falling into an un-gated cave after the gate is removed by a change in access law, the same gate being placed there after a child got injured falling to the cave. I think that makes things possibly "a bit interesting".
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 08:40:20 am
Assessing risks is easy for a yawning gulf or a cliff edge. It's more down to experience when it comes to those places that look deceptively safe.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 17, 2014, 08:58:00 am
How is it any different to the current situation???  There are thousands, yes literally thousands, of open caves and mines all over the country, how often does anyone fall down them, get stuck, or whatever? I simply cannot see that there are hoards of people who are yearning to go underground but are restrained from chucking themselves down every possible hole by a few words in a piece of legislation.

Pretty much everyone who wants to go underground is already doing so, there will be no significant change in numbers of cavers or cave rescues.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: owd git on October 17, 2014, 09:06:53 am
Assessing risks is easy for a yawning gulf or a cliff edge. It's more down to experience when it comes to those places that look deceptively safe.

wot? like the 'NO' camp?  :shrug:

I'm already fetching me coat!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Andy Sparrow on October 17, 2014, 09:14:04 am
It seems to me there are three questions to be addressed:

1.  Does CROW apply to caving.

2.  If it does will gated caves on access land be legally required to have said gates removed?  How long would the process of enforcement take?

3.  If gated caves on access land are required to have their gates removed will this be overridden by applying section 20?  How long will this process take?

Is the process of '2' really going to be faster than the process of '3'?

And let us not forget that caves like Waterwheel and Upper Flood are on County Council land adjacent to the Charterhouse Centre, and within the area used by young children for self-led orienteering.    The county and the centre have a duty of care that would clearly be breached by leaving entrance shafts wide open. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 09:20:55 am
And let us not forget that caves like Waterwheel and Upper Flood are on County Council land adjacent to the Charterhouse Centre, and within the area used by young children for self-led orienteering.    The county and the centre have a duty of care that would clearly be breached by leaving entrance shafts wide open. 

Thus clearly demonstrating one way in which these caves differ from Gaping Gill or Jingling Pot.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Greg Jones on October 17, 2014, 09:21:36 am
Indeed and I heartily agree; however, there is a potential media embarrassment for the powers that be IF (OK, it's a rather big "If") a child gets injured falling into an un-gated cave after the gate is removed by a change in access law, the same gate being placed there after a child got injured falling to the cave. I think that makes things possibly "a bit interesting".

Chris, name me one single cave that has been gated because a child was injured after falling into or entering it. They have been gated either because the landowner was worried that either people or livestock might fall into or enter it; or because one group of cavers thought that other cavers should not have free and easy access to the cave.

I may be wrong, but I have not heard of any problems regarding rock-climbing that have occurred as a result of CROW.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 09:28:02 am

Chris, name me one single cave that has been gated because a child was injured after falling into or entering it.


Pen Park Hole, Southmead, Bristol. Sealed by the City Council in 1961 after some local kids had to be retrieved from it. Re-opened (and gated) in 1993 after 10 years of patient negotiation by me so that cavers could get down there once again.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 17, 2014, 11:35:22 am
If you go for a stroll in the Moelwyns, you will come across many open entrances to the slate mines. Some of them you could easily fall into, especially in the mist. I'm not aware of any incident of this kind. This part of the thread is a red herring. There are valid arguments for seeking restrictions on access to UFS on conservation grounds, but not kids falling down it, a problem which could (if it exists) be solved with minimal imagination.   
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 12:27:50 pm
I know a Surrey mine that is gated following rescue incidents. Lock it or block it was the local authority's response. It was locked. Had it not been for caver lobbying, it would have been blocked. David Rose may not be aware of such incidents but that doesn't mean that they don't happen.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Alex on October 17, 2014, 12:34:10 pm
The Derbyshire key solves the child hole filling issue.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 12:39:04 pm
A lot of the children I know are capable of using a spanner. I suspect the children that required rescuing in the site I referred to would probably also know how to use a spanner.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 17, 2014, 12:39:34 pm
Exactly, Alex. That's what I meant.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 12:40:38 pm
I know a Surrey mine that is gated following rescue incidents. Lock it or block it was the local authority's response. It was locked. Had it not been for caver lobbying, it would have been blocked. David Rose may not be aware of such incidents but that doesn't mean that they don't happen.

It's not so much that they are not aware of such incidents (though it seems they are not) but that they have the same "one size fits all" mindset which places all cave & mine entrances out on lonely fells miles from anywhere. This is simply not the case.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 01:15:45 pm
"one size fits all" - isn't that a bit Marxist?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 01:28:55 pm
OK, I've checked. Coral Cave is, indeed on access land. It is also right next to a footpath and less than 100 m from the nearest house.

The entrance opens onto a 15 m drop. Just what you want that close to where children can play.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 17, 2014, 01:38:45 pm
OK not a cave but Alderley Edge has all entrances gated, and locked, as a condition of reopening the mines, some of which had been blocked after accidents including deaths had occurred.

Despite the locks we still had break ins. A Derbyshire spanner isn't enough there.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 01:44:41 pm
You can include mines in the debate. Bob Mehew says so.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 17, 2014, 02:13:39 pm
If "kids" are using Derbyshire keys to gain access, then it's no longer an "accidental" issue of stumbling blindly into a cave. Chuck up a warning sign, put a nut on it, and let Darwin raise the collective intelligence of the populace.

I have no issue with Gates themselves in sensible places (Next to footpaths etc...), on the condition that access is easy for those that want it. We all know how to use a derbyshire key, and most of us are prepared should we be in a region that has them.

I don't see why many legitimate cavers/explorers should have the ability to access a lot of these places restricted when there is a suitable solution that has already been proven to work. Should it not work in the odd case, then that can be looked at. It's not rocket science is it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 02:20:28 pm

I have no issue with Gates themselves in sensible places (Next to footpaths etc...), on the condition that access is easy for those that want it. We all know how to use a derbyshire key, and most of us are prepared should we be in a region that has them.


But the application of CRoW isn't conditional, is it. It means that access must not be restricted. If, as you seem to be saying, you have no problem with appropriate gates, why lobby for a change in the law that would prevent these perfectly reasonable precautions being applied as they are now?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 02:26:20 pm
I will tell you what would happen if at a particular site (a real site) next to a footpath and close to a large conurbation, we replaced the present lock with a nut and bolt. The site would be opened up by plenty more than a few genuine mine explorers. The site would be left open on a regular basis. Someone would get lost and need rescuing. The site would then be permanently, and I mean permanently, sealed. Where is the positive outcome in that? Now translate that scenario to the CRoW situation. A cave or mine is not kept as secure as it really needs to be due to pressure from the CRoW idealists. The above situation occurs. Those with the clout to see things done then insist on the entrance being made more secure, if you are lucky. If you are not lucky, the concrete mixer lorry will probably get involved.

1. Casual entry does occur if you don't impose proper security.
2. Authorities WILL ensure that things are sorted out for public safety, if a site is not secure enough.
3. You might as well have left things as they were in the first place, methods proven to work over many years.
4. Derbyshire keys have their place, but they don't come remotely near being the answer at many sites.
5. Even if you don't give a toss for public safety and don't care if idiots fall prey to their own idiocy, you surely do care about the reaction of third parties in authority to repeated problems involving public safety.

The caving world needs more realists and fewer idealists.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 17, 2014, 02:31:40 pm
Peter, I agree with all of that. Alderley is a case in point. You can't look at a Derbyshire key at say, Water Icicle, and assume because it works there it will work in every situation where a gate is needed.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 02:49:20 pm
Careful, Peter. The angry mob will turn up and claim that you want the cement lorry to turn up.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 17, 2014, 02:54:33 pm
The cement lorry can't turn up in the case of caving being accepted under CRoW as that would be restricting access.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 02:57:59 pm
Quote
Careful, Peter. The angry mob will turn up and claim that you want the cement lorry to turn up.

Probably! Not bothered.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 02:58:53 pm
The cement lorry can't turn up in the case of caving being accepted under CRoW as that would be restricting access.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Safety perceptions will over ride, if an authority says so. It always has, and always will.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 17, 2014, 03:04:11 pm

The cement lorry can't turn up in the case of caving being accepted under CRoW as that would be restricting access.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Safety perceptions will over ride, if an authority says so. It always has, and always will.

With the thousands of injured walkers and climbers on CRoW land every year, can you cite a single case where access has been restricted on safety grounds?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 17, 2014, 03:09:15 pm
Of course not, but do you really think that wider perception of dangerous holes is the same as the wider perception of open moorland? The wider, probably exaggerated view, is that holes/cavers are dangerous/foolhardy (despite excellent media coverage), and moors and walkers are exhilarating / healthy. You cannot place caves/mines and moors in the same category, simply because the wider world is never going to do it. You are swimming against the flow with that one.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: crickleymal on October 17, 2014, 03:24:51 pm
Of course not, but do you really think that wider perception of dangerous holes is the same as the wider perception of open moorland? The wider, probably exaggerated view, is that holes/cavers are dangerous/foolhardy (despite excellent media coverage), and moors and walkers are exhilarating / healthy. You cannot place caves/mines and moors in the same category, simply because the wider world is never going to do it. You are swimming against the flow with that one.

Absolutely. If I could bring an example from my own experience. I was refused life insurance about 3 years ago because I went caving (I'm sure i've mentioned this before). The insurance company weren't interested in any stats showing just how few caving accidents there really are and weren't in the slightest bit concerned about me riding a motorbike 50 miles to work every day.
The fact that there are many more people injured walking on fells and moors than injured in the caves beneath them plays not the slightest part in their mindset.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 17, 2014, 03:46:47 pm

The cement lorry can't turn up in the case of caving being accepted under CRoW as that would be restricting access.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Safety perceptions will over ride, if an authority says so. It always has, and always will.

With the thousands of injured walkers and climbers on CRoW land every year, can you cite a single case where access has been restricted on safety grounds?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No, although there may have been, but I can think of several caves and mines that have been, which seems to suggest that they are seen differently as others have said.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 17, 2014, 03:55:27 pm
Graham asks three questions which I summarise as:

1.   What are the systems for protecting caves which need protection
2.   What impact will there be on land owners, and
3.   What is the implication for declared land and can the declaration be revoked.

To these I add the topic of 'public safety concerns'.

The answer to these questions are fairly long.  In simple terms for Question 1, both NE and NRW have published material on seeking a Section 26 Direction see http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-02 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-02) for details.  The processes surrounding the issue of directions under CRoW have been applied thousands of times by NE (mostly for restricting dogs) and does quite by chance, already include controlling access to at least one cave.  Put simply, the placing of a restriction will allow the existing access controlling regime to continue without any changes.

Noting the recent comments on public safety concerns, I feel I should draw your attention to Section 25 which provides for directions to be issued to safeguard against 'danger to the public'.  RAG V4 at page 57 Chapter 2.5.39 allows for representations on public safety grounds to be made and directions granted.  The process is similar to that for a Section 26 Direction.  I gather a number of such directions have already been issued see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100224w0001.htm#column_WA297 (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100224w0001.htm#column_WA297), though I have no details.

For question 2, the major impact will be to their benefit in that land owners’ liability will be removed, see http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01) .  (Please download this document if you want to print it, there is some glitch which stops printing from the web.)  Whether land owners see it this way is a separate question.  No doubt they will remain divided in their views.  I understand some work is in hand by BCA to obtain views from some land owner bodies.  What is clear is that if cavers approach land owners in a negative mode saying ‘claims that CRoW apply to caving are rubbish’, then it will not be surprising if land owner is turned off by subsequent approach saying ‘sorry it does apply’. 

For question 3, see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69557/pb13764-guidance-land-dedication.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69557/pb13764-guidance-land-dedication.pdf) .  The simple answer is same as for any other land.  The dedication is not revocable.

In more general terms, I see CRoW applying to caving as a major boon to both caves, cavers and land owners.  I say for caves because we will bring about a better understanding of the legal protection which many caves do enjoy.  In addition, this has been a spur to BCA’s C&A Committee who are tasked with reviewing conservation advice and documentation.  Hopefully some progress will be evident at their next meeting on 22 November to enhance cavers understanding of the need for cave conservation.  For cavers because it will remove the existing arbitrary restrictions on over 2000 caves which have neither a basis on nor a benefit for conservation.  And for land owners because the liability problem will effectively go away as will the need for cavers need to insurance to protect the land owner.   

The review of caves is still progressing and the numbers will vary but in simple terms there are so far only a few caves which have currently been identified as probably requiring access control under CRoW (Grebe Swallet, OFD Columns, St Cuthberts and Upper Flood Swallet) and in the ball park of twenty caves where the locks will have to be removed unless a good case can be made. 

Would those of you identifying locations on safety grounds which may be affected if CRoW does apply please advise the Working Group via Jenny Potts so the data base can be updated.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 17, 2014, 04:05:34 pm

I have no issue with Gates themselves in sensible places (Next to footpaths etc...), on the condition that access is easy for those that want it. We all know how to use a derbyshire key, and most of us are prepared should we be in a region that has them.


But the application of CRoW isn't conditional, is it. It means that access must not be restricted. If, as you seem to be saying, you have no problem with appropriate gates, why lobby for a change in the law that would prevent these perfectly reasonable precautions being applied as they are now?

Because there are numerous examples of gates not being reasonable, and access being awkward to non-existent... You can't empire build, or show favour with a Derby key. Everyone is equal.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 17, 2014, 04:11:56 pm
Chris, name me one single cave that has been gated because a child was injured after falling into or entering it.

Already did. Coral Cave. Willie Stanton and his school chums got into deep doo-doo because of it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 04:25:17 pm
You can't empire build, or show favour with a Derby key. Everyone is equal.

Including the eight year old who lives 100 yards from Coral Cave  ::)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 17, 2014, 04:26:12 pm
For question 2, the major impact will be to their benefit in that land owners’ liability will be removed.
Could you explain for the benefit of those of us who haven't had the opportunity (or ability) to read & understand all of the legal documentation how that statement relates to note A on this document, presuming that this document is accurate, particularly where would the landowner stand if it was an accident that happened in a cave that had been dug/bolted/maintained/whatever with his permission?
Quote
The above Acts clearly define that if you invite, specifically permit or licence an activity you immediately have a much greater duty of care to those on your land.
http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf (http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 17, 2014, 04:39:57 pm
For question 2, the major impact will be to their benefit in that land owners’ liability will be removed.
Could you explain for the benefit of those of us who haven't had the opportunity (or ability) to read & understand all of the legal documentation how that statement relates to note A on this document, presuming that this document is accurate, particularly where would the landowner stand if it was an accident that happened in a cave that had been dug/bolted/maintained/whatever with his permission?
Quote
The above Acts clearly define that if you invite, specifically permit or licence an activity you immediately have a much greater duty of care to those on your land.
http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf (http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf)

My reading of this (which may be wrong) is that CRoW removes the landowners liability, but if he allows you to dig he incurs the liability again - a serious barrier to those of us needing to get permission to dig and one which doesn't seem to have been considered by the pro lobby. The same presumably applies to led or guided trips, whether professionally guided or not.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 17, 2014, 05:16:06 pm
You can include mines in the debate. Bob Mehew says so.

I seriously doubt that Bob is correct on this because the act is clear that it does not apply where access is restricted by other legislation and mines are covered by the Mines and Quarries act. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 17, 2014, 05:21:05 pm
Just to expand on my last post.

At the moment the landowner has a duty of care, this would be removed for caving if CRoW applied.

The landowner also has a duty of care if they allow digging, whether CRoW applies or not.

In other words after being told they now have no or less liability, if they subsequently allow digging they are again open to claims. My view is having got rid of the problem of liability landowners are going to be very reluctant to open themselves up to it again.

Obviously we can't predict how landowners will react to a given situation, but it seems sensible to err on the side of caution.

This of course is in addition to the fact that some landowners may be upset that we now have a "right" to use their caves, which most people posting here don't seem to accept is a possibility.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 17, 2014, 05:22:03 pm
My reading of this (which may be wrong) is that CRoW removes the landowners liability, but if he allows you to dig he incurs the liability again - a serious barrier to those of us needing to get permission to dig and one which doesn't seem to have been considered by the pro lobby. The same presumably applies to led or guided trips, whether professionally guided or not.

It is no more of a barrier than exists at the moment. If the landowner permits you to enter on to his land then he has the same level of liability that he has on non CRoW land. If you are using your "right to roam" then the landowner has much reduced liability.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 17, 2014, 05:31:28 pm
You can't empire build, or show favour with a Derby key. Everyone is equal.

Including the eight year old who lives 100 yards from Coral Cave  ::)

So you put the nut higher up... 

Your arguments for gating everything up seem to consist of a lot of "what if's..." "What if an 8yr old gets a spanner and opens the gate!"
Well, at that point you might as well concrete the UKFC lot as there's always a chance someone, somewhere may sprain a UKFC ankle...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 05:35:16 pm
You can't empire build, or show favour with a Derby key. Everyone is equal.

Including the eight year old who lives 100 yards from Coral Cave  ::)

So you put the nut higher up... 

Your arguments for gating everything up seem to consist of a lot of "what if's..." "What if an 8yr old gets a spanner and opens the gate!"
Well, at that point you might as well concrete the UKFC lot as there's always a chance someone, somewhere may sprain a UKFC ankle...

Language, boy. The new owners don't like swearing on here.

But as you are so clever, tell me how you put a nut higher up a gate that is flush to the ground.

Please bear in mind that this cave, as Cap'n Chris has pointed out is  not a "what if" but a cave that was originally gated because of a problem with kids.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 17, 2014, 05:41:26 pm
Language, boy. The new owners don't like swearing on here.

Boy?

I'm sure we've had this before, I'm your equal any day of the week...

I'm done with your shit, you're way beyond genuine and firmly into trolling. Feel free to swing that banhammer as I said a naughty word! OMG! Given that I've heard kids on trips come out with *far* worse, I don't see that I'm into dangerous territory.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 17, 2014, 05:51:07 pm
I seriously doubt that Bob is correct on this because the act is clear that it does not apply where access is restricted by other legislation and mines are covered by the Mines and Quarries act.
Whilst working mines are so excluded, abandoned mines are not, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm (http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm) and in detail see in guidance document Reg 4 which excludes abandoned mines from these forthcoming regs.  What does cross my mind is how far is the definition of working mine going to cover activities other than extracting minerals within a mine but that is a different topic.

Thank you for answering Bottlebank's observation.

Lastly may I remind all of Section 25 in CroW which states "The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access by virtue of section 2(1) in relation to any land during a specified period if the authority are satisfied— (b) that, by reason of anything done, or proposed to be done, on the land or on adjacent land, the exclusion or restriction under this section of access to the land by virtue of section 2(1) to the extent provided by the direction is necessary for the purpose of avoiding danger to the public." allows for the locking of a gate to an entrance if such case can be made. 


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 17, 2014, 06:12:45 pm
Language, boy. The new owners don't like swearing on here.

Boy?

I'm sure we've had this before, I'm your equal any day of the week...

I'm done with your shit, you're way beyond genuine and firmly into trolling. Feel free to swing that banhammer as I said a naughty word! OMG! Given that I've heard kids on trips come out with *far* worse, I don't see that I'm into dangerous territory.

I'd cheerfully match you word for word, but the new ownership has clearly come down against that sort of thing. So don't accuse me of trolling.

And I note that you ignored the substantive point.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 17, 2014, 07:20:27 pm
I seriously doubt that Bob is correct on this because the act is clear that it does not apply where access is restricted by other legislation and mines are covered by the Mines and Quarries act.
Whilst working mines are so excluded, abandoned mines are not, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm (http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm) and in detail see in guidance document Reg 4 which excludes abandoned mines from these forthcoming regs.  What does cross my mind is how far is the definition of working mine going to cover activities other than extracting minerals within a mine but that is a different topic.

Sorry Bob, I haven't had time to read all 101 pages of that document but a quick search for "disused" and "abandoned" does enlighten. However section 151 of the Mines and Quarries Act says :

Quote
It shall be the duty of the owner of every abandoned mine and of every mine which, notwithstanding that it has not been abandoned, has not been worked for a period of twelve months to secure that the surface entrance to every shaft or outlet thereof is provided with an efficient enclosure, barrier, plug or other device so designed and constructed as to prevent any person from accidentally falling down the shaft or from accidentally entering the outlet and that every device so provided is properly maintained:

I seem to recall that CRoW says that other legislation takes precedence.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 17, 2014, 09:57:53 pm
The key words are "...accidentally falling down or ... accidentally entering...".  That allows another person to deliberately enter.  Which is why the derbyshire key solution has worked so well.  Though I gather other areas across the land tend to favor sealing up abandoned mines which is a pity.  I had discussed this in a bit more detail at page 33 of http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf).
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 17, 2014, 10:50:16 pm
Whilst working mines are so excluded, abandoned mines are not, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm (http://www.hse.gov.uk/mining/mlr.htm) and in detail see in guidance document Reg 4 which excludes abandoned mines from these forthcoming regs.  What does cross my mind is how far is the definition of working mine going to cover activities other than extracting minerals within a mine but that is a different topic.

This is very relevant to me Bob. Ecton Mines, not worked in the mining for ore sense of the word, are, I've been told recently when I discussed CRoW with the landowners The National Trust, regarded them as 'working mines' presumably as they were used regularly for educational purposes. (I've been on one of their skill share visits down there.) I need to get this clarified, but it appears that 'working mine' has a wide interpretation!  :-\
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 17, 2014, 11:55:04 pm
Please remember that use of CRoW for finacial gain is not allowed, alternative arrangements have to be agreed with the landowner.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 18, 2014, 12:03:56 am
Please remember that use of CRoW for finacial gain is not allowed, alternative arrangements have to be agreed with the landowner.

U r quite right Boggie. The NT Skill Share days are free and for NT staff and volunteers.

Hmm, I wonder if the Ecton Hill Trust thingy charges for their visits? Must find out. They use Salts Level though so it might not be NT or access land...  :-\
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Brains on October 18, 2014, 06:47:06 am
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 18, 2014, 06:56:33 am
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?

Coral cave is on access land, yes. This has already been stated on this thread. if it needed to be secured for safety reasons, why not choose a concrete block? Far safer than a grill.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 18, 2014, 07:30:35 am
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?

Coral cave is on access land, yes. This has already been stated on this thread. if it needed to be secured for safety reasons, why not choose a concrete block? Far safer than a grill.

to maintain access for bats?  :shrug:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Brains on October 18, 2014, 07:55:51 am
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?

Coral cave is on access land, yes. This has already been stated on this thread. if it needed to be secured for safety reasons, why not choose a concrete block? Far safer than a grill.

to maintain access for bats?  :shrug:
The troll showing his real yearning for caves - seal them up tp prevent the great unwashed getting in, and also the inconvenient flying mice
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 18, 2014, 08:31:33 am
Please remember that use of CRoW for finacial gain is not allowed, alternative arrangements have to be agreed with the landowner.
But please read paras 10 to 2 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69558/pb13765-info-note-crwa-gen-restictions.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69558/pb13765-info-note-crwa-gen-restictions.pdf)  It looks like a blurred boundary.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 18, 2014, 08:37:45 am
For question 2, the major impact will be to their benefit in that land owners’ liability will be removed.
Could you explain for the benefit of those of us who haven't had the opportunity (or ability) to read & understand all of the legal documentation how that statement relates to note A on this document, presuming that this document is accurate, particularly where would the landowner stand if it was an accident that happened in a cave that had been dug/bolted/maintained/whatever with his permission?
Quote
The above Acts clearly define that if you invite, specifically permit or licence an activity you immediately have a much greater duty of care to those on your land.
http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf (http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf)

My reading of this (which may be wrong) is that CRoW removes the landowners liability, but if he allows you to dig he incurs the liability again - a serious barrier to those of us needing to get permission to dig and one which doesn't seem to have been considered by the pro lobby. The same presumably applies to led or guided trips, whether professionally guided or not.

Bob,

I'd still like to hear your response to this one? Blakethwaite raises a very good point, and one which so far as I can see hasn't been considered in your proposals?

Thanks

Tony
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 18, 2014, 09:20:52 am
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?

Coral cave is on access land, yes. This has already been stated on this thread. if it needed to be secured for safety reasons, why not choose a concrete block? Far safer than a grill.

to maintain access for bats?  :shrug:
The troll showing his real yearning for caves - seal them up tp prevent the great unwashed getting in, and also the inconvenient flying mice

Whereas the idiot clearly cannot read (or, possibly, think). I did not say that I wanted the cave sealed I warned that one of the possible consequences which those with a sense of their own entitlement and little else fail to address is that this might happen.

You can smear me all you want, that will make no difference to the outcome.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 18, 2014, 10:10:23 am
Why not a concrete block instead of a gate with Derbyshire key?

You need to least restrictive measure to provide accidental entrance, as shown in Bobs link.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 18, 2014, 10:23:44 am
The key words are "...accidentally falling down or ... accidentally entering...".  That allows another person to deliberately enter.  Which is why the derbyshire key solution has worked so well.  Though I gather other areas across the land tend to favor sealing up abandoned mines which is a pity.  I had discussed this in a bit more detail at page 33 of http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf).

I quite agree that the Derbyshire key does the job, but that is besides the point. My question is are mines access land within the meaning of the act. AFAIK the mines and quarries act applies and so CRoW does not.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: robjones on October 18, 2014, 12:33:23 pm

The recurring question of the potential position of abandoned mines in relation to CROW arose upthread.

The most recent governmental definition of a mine appears in the draft Statutory Instrument on Health & Safety, The Mines Regulations 2014 which is due to become law in April 2015 albeit after potential revisions and changes. The full text is accessible on http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd267.htm (http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd267.htm)

Page 18 of web document; page 4 of draft SI: para 3 (1) states: "In these Regulations, “mine” means an excavation or system of excavations, including all such excavations to which a common system of ventilation is provided, made for the purpose of, or in connection with, the getting, wholly or substantially by means of employing persons below ground, of minerals (whether in their natural state or in solution or suspension) or products of minerals."

Thus natural cavities (e.g. caves), and underground civil engineering excavations (e.g. railway tunnels; hydro scheme chambers and access tunnels; bunkers and storage facilities - the last presumably excluding former mine cavities converted into storage facilities) seem excluded from the definition of a mine.

This draft Statutory Instrument includes extensive repeals of older mining legislation, including many sections of the Mines & Quarries Act 1954 which comprises the current consolidation of core mining legislation. In the list of sections to be repealed on page 44 of web document; page 30 of draft SI, section 151 of the Mines & Quarries Act 1954 is not listed for repeal. Consequently, it will remain in force:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1954/70%20/pdfs/ukpga_19540070_en.pdf (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1954/70%20/pdfs/ukpga_19540070_en.pdf)
Mines & Quarries Act 1954, section 151 (1): "It shall be the duty of the owner of every abandoned Fencing of mine and of every mine which, notwithstanding that it has not abandoned been abandoned, has not been worked for a period of twelve and disused months to secure that the surface entrance to every shaft or mines and of quarries. outlet thereof is provided with an efficient enclosure, barrier, plug or other device so designed and constructed as to prevent
any person from accidentally falling down the shaft or from accidentally entering the outlet and that every device so provided is properly maintained: Provided that this subsection shall not apply  to mines which have not been worked for the purpose of getting minerals or products thereof since the ninth day of August, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, being mines other than of coal, stratified ironstone, shale or fireclay."


The definition of a mine, and the legal obligations of owners of abandoned mines with respect to preventing accidental access may help to inform discussion about the possible status of abandoned mines in relation to potential access to caves under CRoW.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: pwhole on October 18, 2014, 02:57:17 pm
As a BCA member without daily experience of this important issue, the amount of time required to wade through all the pro and con arguments (not to mention wading through the endless sniping inherent in these threads to try and get to some actual information) is making it extremely difficult to come up with any opinion at all. Simply put, I just don't have the time required to do all the research and reading that would make me feel confident I'd come to the 'right' decision for me.

That bothers me if the initial statement is true - 'since it will be assumed that all members of the BCA are aware of the potential benefits and possible drawbacks' - that's a pretty big assumption to make. I'm quite 'involved' in underground projects on a daily basis (though I'm not underground every day!) as I don't work full-time at the moment, but most of my fellow cavers do, and have even less time than I do to get properly stuck into this kind of issue. I would guess that many couldn't give two hoots on any decision made, even if they are BCA members.

That doesn't mean they and I don't care about caving or access, just that life is short, and there are many, many other things to be doing that need equal or more time (like digging new stuff open). All I'm saying is that whatever decision is reached, it may not be that accurate or unequivocal in reality, outside the ones who do this 'full-time'. Having spent an hour of today just reading this thread, I'm going fishing. On open-access, public land, no permit required. Sheffield City Centre...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 18, 2014, 07:36:40 pm
Out of curiosity, are the sites Peter refers to as needing to be kept secure on CRoW land, and is Coral Cave also on CRoW land?
My feeble understanding is that if sites need securing for a proven safety reason, this is permissible within the CRoW legislation?
No it isn't, although there is another site a few miles way where the workings are gated specifically to protect a bat hibernaculum, which is on access land. However, I only referred to the site to counter a statement that implied that sites did not need locked gates for public safety reasons. The location of a site on or off access land does not affect how potentially dangerous it is, so using it as a proven example was perfectly legitimate. Gating and locking is often the best way for public awareness of a place to subside since incidents in them do not get into the media. An incident at the site I referred to went national.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: pwhole on October 19, 2014, 12:40:09 am
Whenever I try to read the doc on tinyurl, I just get the title sheet followed by several blank pages?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 19, 2014, 08:04:12 am
the article in decent magazine gives a good report on the crow discussion, it also gives for and against bullet points.
from my point of view I see it like this, this not inclusive as others will see it very differently, Yorkshire present problem access to caves on crow land, difficult to get permits unless your in the in crowd, so a lot of locals don't bother, the system is for getting permits is out of date causing another issue, so a lot don't bother, land owners then blaming cavers for blocking up parking areas when in fact the majority of cars are walkers not cavers. you can only apply for a permit if you are a member of a club affiliated to BCA, individuals (regardless if they are members of BCA or not) and clubs not affiliated cannot get permits, so these people don't bother and go caving anyway.
South mendips people find it difficult to get keys to locked caves, as for most you turn up at a club hut and ask for someone who can issue keys, if no one is there then you cant get one,
Not 100% sure on access in other areas would have to look the procedures up, best thing I have found is get to know someone local in the areas and phone them for advice.
If we get free access then certain caves could be very vunerable to excessive caving, how do cavers then best protect the caves, provisions do excist but some cavers are worried that by the time the wheels of democracy work and put in place the necessary provision it would be to late for the caves, the argument from the pro people is that as cavers we are all very responsible and this would not happen. Unfortunately this does already happen in caves which have access arrangements already in place, and even in leader lead systems some cavers are either no that switched on or they not that bothered.
the diggers are worried that as being granted free access it would relieve the liability from the landowners, but being given digging permission would then put the onus back on them, this being the case they might not be so inclined to give that permission.
this is a very basic view of the for and against discussion but think it covers the main points. So essentially the yes/no comes down to if your happy the way things are you will vote no, if your not then you will vote yes.
so for anyone who cannot get to buy a copy od decent or plow through the reams of links provided by Bob I think the above covers most of the points. although I think no doubt I have missed something and will be corrected by both camps
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 19, 2014, 09:18:20 am
Whenever I try to read the doc on tinyurl, I just get the title sheet followed by several blank pages?
That is more easy to answer.  The google reader corrupts displaying and printing word and pdf documents.  Don't ask me why as they appeared OK when I put them up and viewed from my PC.  Please down load and read it via your PC / mobile phone.  But a warning, the Descent document / pro-crow-caving is over 20MB in size so don't download that on a mobile phone if your contract charges excessively by the MB.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 19, 2014, 10:49:08 am
In response to http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225629#msg225629 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225629#msg225629), Bottlebank's request for my views.  If you read Scheduled 2 of CRoW you will see there are a number of restricted activities which the right of access does not cover.  One of which is "...remove, damaging or destroy plant, shrub, tree or root...", another is "...commit a criminal offense...".  As I see it, you will be hard pushed on a surface dig to avoid a plant etc.  And if you do so avoid, will your activity of displacing soil or rock constitute a criminal offense?  So to a first approximation such digging is not covered.  Hence you are back to the existing situation where it depends upon how much cavers in the past have previously upset the land owner.  Which is why I thanked you in my post of http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225591#msg225591 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225591#msg225591) . 

I will add that there is a worrying number of examples of diggers digging on SSSIs without having first got consent to undertake an operations requiring Natural England's consent (formerly known as 'operations likely to damage the special interest' (OLDs) or 'potentially damaging operations' (PDOs).  That is a criminal offense.  I will also repeat "What is clear is that if cavers approach land owners in a negative mode saying ‘claims that CRoW apply to caving are rubbish’, then it will not be surprising if land owner is turned off by subsequent approach saying ‘sorry it does apply’."

I have seen several other similar questions elsewhere - like driving vehicles.  The right of access is not unlimited but was set up in a way to permit anything which was not specifically restricted.  Schedule 2 contains the main list of such restrictions, see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2) (regrettably Natural England's web site has just been transferred to gov.uk so most of my links are now broken).  However there is an important point in that whilst Schedule 2 restricts certain activities, the presence of that schedule does stop the land owner from granting permission for a person (or indeed the public) to undertake it.   

And for amusement value, please note Schedule 2 also prohibits metal detecting (which is defined to not only cover detecting metal but also mineral).  Hence I suspect CRoW does not permit dowsing to find caves.   
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 19, 2014, 12:08:06 pm
And I note that you ignored the substantive point.

An adage, pretty much as old as the internet, is "don't feed the troll".

I cannot believe an active caver would ever have genuine views such as yours. You much be a sad little troll that derives enjoyment from  torment of others.

I'm not playing your game, so go forth and fornicate elsewhere. This is the last post I forsee me making to you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 19, 2014, 12:33:07 pm

I will also repeat "What is clear is that if cavers approach land owners in a negative mode saying ‘claims that CRoW apply to caving are rubbish’, then it will not be surprising if land owner is turned off by subsequent approach saying ‘sorry it does apply’."


And yet according to the government, it doesn't. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350698/response_8_July_2014_as_redacted_for_the_website__2__amended.pdf)

S'funny how Bob rabbits on about government agency guidance but ignores it when it doesn't say what he wants to hear.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 19, 2014, 01:34:25 pm
Campaign

verb:  Work in an organized and active way towards a goal



The question isn't "should we do what a government agency tells us", the question is

"Should BCA, on your behalf, campaign for The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) to apply to going underground?"
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 19, 2014, 03:34:19 pm
Campaign

verb:  Work in an organized and active way towards a goal



The question isn't "should we do what a government agency tells us", the question is

"Should BCA, on your behalf, campaign for The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) to apply to going underground?"

I was responding to Bob's post, the bit I quoted. 'cos the conversation actually goes a bit like this:

Landowner: "DEFRA's advice is that CRoW does not apply to caves, is that right?"

Caver: "Yes."
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: menacer on October 19, 2014, 04:11:13 pm

S'funny how Bob rabbits on about government agency guidance but ignores it when it doesn't say what he wants to hear.

Guidance, not absolute law. Even laws (an interpritation by judges) can be negotiated, modernised and updated to changing times.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 19, 2014, 04:13:28 pm
and here lies the problem with the for/against camp.
todays advice from defra/NE is crow does not apply to caving, however none of us are defra so how do we know after being presented with the information from the for camp that they will not change there stance,
being so pedantic and negative is not helping the against camp. someone from the against camp should try to  presenting information to counter the for campaign instead sniping against that the not put a full stop in or crossed a t,
the for campaign are presenting information, whether we like it or not there is reams of it, let the no campaign come up with sensible argument why we should stay as we are
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 19, 2014, 04:43:47 pm

S'funny how Bob rabbits on about government agency guidance but ignores it when it doesn't say what he wants to hear.

Guidance, not absolute law. Even laws (an interpretation by judges) can be negotiated, modernised and updated to changing times.

For sure, it can be. But remember that cavers have not been obviously concerned with this matter for the past 14 years. Paddlers, on the other hand, who are far higher profile than us, have been campaigning on this issue for many years to no avail whatsoever.

I accept that the cases are not identical - we face far greater conservation problems than they do for one - but the parallel is one which will not be lost on others.

Given that there are, actually, very few cavers that are difficult of access for the average bona-fide caver, would our energies not be better spent tidying up the access systems that we do have, ones that work perfectly well in most cases; rather than wasting them on this extremely divisive campaign?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: menacer on October 19, 2014, 05:06:14 pm
I will concede that tidying up access systems that we already have, would be one good way to advance.
I cant agree that this course of action is divisive, any more than I thought the Scottish people had the right to a referendum or the UK may get a vote on staying in the EU. ....and not all cavers have been unconcerned for the last 14 years....
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 19, 2014, 05:39:10 pm
Quote
But remember that cavers have not been obviously concerned with this matter for the past 14 years. Paddlers, on the other hand, who are far higher profile than us, have been campaigning on this issue for many years to no avail whatsoever.

That's because Paddlers are vociferously opposed by Land Owners and the controllers of Fishing rights who use money, influence and feudal laws to aggressively deny paddlers access to our river systems...

In the case of Caves (apart from the occasional view within the caving community) there is little or no opposition to Caver access

There is simply no comparison between the two.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 19, 2014, 05:40:38 pm

I will also repeat "What is clear is that if cavers approach land owners in a negative mode saying ‘claims that CRoW apply to caving are rubbish’, then it will not be surprising if land owner is turned off by subsequent approach saying ‘sorry it does apply’."


And yet according to the government, it doesn't. (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350698/response_8_July_2014_as_redacted_for_the_website__2__amended.pdf)

S'funny how Bob rabbits on about government agency guidance but ignores it when it doesn't say what he wants to hear.
The letter you link references notes that NE sought guidance from DEFRA in December 2013 which said to paraphrase 'no CRoW does not apply to caving'.  New information produced by a practicing barrister was presented to them in July this year.  The point I have been making since the start of this debate back in March is that just maybe DEFRA is wrong in its existing view.  Just like DEFRA lawyers claimed "If the caver reaches the point underground where he crosses the boundary and the land above is no longer open country or RCL, how is he to know it?  He has no way of relating his position to the statutory maps."  A statement which appears to be in ignorance of not only 50 plus years of quality cave surveying but also several centuries of mine surveying as well as the presence of the Ingleborough Cave survey on the 1910 edition of the OS map for that area.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 19, 2014, 05:51:28 pm
A statement which appears to be in ignorance of not only 50 plus years of quality cave surveying but also several centuries of mine surveying as well as the presence of the Ingleborough Cave survey on the 1910 edition of the OS map for that area.

I note that the Ingleborough Cave survey no longer appears on OS maps. Neither the 1:25,000 nor the 1:50,000. I would also point out that regardless of the quality of our cave surveys (& I've been known to do a few myself) none of them have been carried out by a government agency. Attempting to apply them to legislation would be fraught with difficulty. This is behind the contention held by me and others that caves are not part of mapped access land.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Anonymous x on October 19, 2014, 06:06:12 pm
A statement which appears to be in ignorance of not only 50 plus years of quality cave surveying but also several centuries of mine surveying as well as the presence of the Ingleborough Cave survey on the 1910 edition of the OS map for that area.

I note that the Ingleborough Cave survey no longer appears on OS maps. Neither the 1:25,000 nor the 1:50,000.
Those maps are already overly cluttered with information as it is, so it's no real surprise such information doesn't appear.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 19, 2014, 06:07:25 pm

In the case of Caves (apart from the occasional view within the caving community) there is little or no opposition to Caver access


So why do we 'need' CRoW or CNCC etc etc?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: robjones on October 19, 2014, 08:33:54 pm
..  DEFRA lawyers claimed "If the caver reaches the point underground where he crosses the boundary and the land above is no longer open country or RCL, how is he to know it?  He has no way of relating his position to the statutory maps.

Gubberment lawyers have proven to be surprisingly ill-informed on matters pertaining to underground positioning. Back in the eighties I was coordinating the purchase of a sub-surface freehold (i.e. not extending to surface) for the construction of a major tunnel and a pretty senior member of the Treasury Solicitors staff contacted me, to very concernedly ask whether a much greater area of the sub-stratum should be purchased "in case the two ends of the tunnel miss each other"  :o [my emphasis]. He was very surprised when I assured him that for a 500m bore, it would be deeply unusual for either of the horizontal or vertical misallignments of the centreline to exceed 5mm.  8)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 19, 2014, 08:51:52 pm
I would also point out that regardless of the quality of our cave surveys (& I've been known to do a few myself) none of them have been carried out by a government agency. Attempting to apply them to legislation would be fraught with difficulty. This is behind the contention held by me and others that caves are not part of mapped access land.
You may wish to know that by law, mine owners since 1872 have been required to produce plans and deposit them with the Mining Records Office.  These days, radio location is a fairly accurate means of confirming location.  And as for the latter part of your statement; to recall, I claim that the mapped Access Land catches the land as a 3 dimensional feature as is defined by law (and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court as recently as 2010).  CRoW does not except itself from that position of the law.  But to quote from your first posting "There is no point in posters to this Board going over and over the same ground yet again."
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 19, 2014, 09:09:25 pm
You may wish to know that by law, mine owners since 1872 have been required to produce plans and deposit them with the Mining Records Office. 

I fail to see the relevence. Access to mines is coverd by legislation that overrides CRoW, even if CRoW applied to caves.....
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Cap'n Chris on October 20, 2014, 07:27:58 am
Moderator Comment Shiver me timbers, some tangential personal snipes moderated out.... Stay on topic, folks; steady as she goes!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 10:50:24 am
In response to http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225629#msg225629 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225629#msg225629), Bottlebank's request for my views.  If you read Scheduled 2 of CRoW you will see there are a number of restricted activities which the right of access does not cover.  One of which is "...remove, damaging or destroy plant, shrub, tree or root...", another is "...commit a criminal offense...".  As I see it, you will be hard pushed on a surface dig to avoid a plant etc.  And if you do so avoid, will your activity of displacing soil or rock constitute a criminal offense?  So to a first approximation such digging is not covered.  Hence you are back to the existing situation where it depends upon how much cavers in the past have previously upset the land owner.  Which is why I thanked you in my post of http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225591#msg225591 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225591#msg225591) . 

I will add that there is a worrying number of examples of diggers digging on SSSIs without having first got consent to undertake an operations requiring Natural England's consent (formerly known as 'operations likely to damage the special interest' (OLDs) or 'potentially damaging operations' (PDOs).  That is a criminal offense.  I will also repeat "What is clear is that if cavers approach land owners in a negative mode saying ‘claims that CRoW apply to caving are rubbish’, then it will not be surprising if land owner is turned off by subsequent approach saying ‘sorry it does apply’."

I have seen several other similar questions elsewhere - like driving vehicles.  The right of access is not unlimited but was set up in a way to permit anything which was not specifically restricted.  Schedule 2 contains the main list of such restrictions, see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2) (regrettably Natural England's web site has just been transferred to gov.uk so most of my links are now broken).  However there is an important point in that whilst Schedule 2 restricts certain activities, the presence of that schedule does stop the land owner from granting permission for a person (or indeed the public) to undertake it.   

And for amusement value, please note Schedule 2 also prohibits metal detecting (which is defined to not only cover detecting metal but also mineral).  Hence I suspect CRoW does not permit dowsing to find caves.   

Bob,

Thanks for the reply, but I don't think it answers the point. We both agree that digging is not covered by CRoW, nor is professional caving.

My point is that under CRoW landowners liability is reduced for caving. If Defra can be persuaded to change their advice then landowners will be sold CRoW partly on the basis that their liability is reduced - in fact it's the only benefit they get.

Diggers and professional cavers are then forced into a situation where when asking a landowner for permission they are also asking him to accept greater liability for any incidents that may occur. This in effect creates two classes of cavers.

My point is that the gap between the two is likely to influence their decision, at the moment there is little difference in the landowners liability between giving us permission to cave and permission to dig, under CRoW there would be and it's entirely possible that they may decide not to accept increased liability (agreed not increased from the present but a substantial increase on their liability under CRoW).

None of us, pro or anti CRoW, can be certain what effect this will have in practice. What we can be certain of is that it is a risk. Do you agree?

My view is that it's a risk we shouldn't take.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 20, 2014, 11:09:02 am
It seems to me that in regards to landowner liability, when it comes to digging the present arrangements will still be equally valid when the CRoW laws apply to caving; you'll probably need insurance to cover liability. And forgive me if I'm being a bit thick but CRoW isn't really designed to benefit landowners, is it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 20, 2014, 12:50:31 pm
My point is that the gap between the two is likely to influence their decision, at the moment there is little difference in the landowners liability between giving us permission to cave and permission to dig, under CRoW there would be and it's entirely possible that they may decide not to accept increased liability (agreed not increased from the present but a substantial increase on their liability under CRoW).

None of us, pro or anti CRoW, can be certain what effect this will have in practice. What we can be certain of is that it is a risk. Do you agree?

My view is that it's a risk we shouldn't take.
The land owner sees no increase in liability if CRoW applies; what he sees is a massive removal of that liability for all cavers bar the relatively small sub group of cavers who want to undertake activities not covered by CRoW.  For that sub group, there is, as Tony from Suffolk observes, no change in liability.  Furthermore, such liability as already exists on the land owner for permitting such an activity like digging can mostly be placed on the digger (duty to erect fence, get SSSI consent etc - I assume that you are not proposing that diggers can dig irresponsibly).  Surely a land owner would welcome this improvement?  My contention is that the reduction in his liability should not cause him to think he is worse off.  Presented properly, then you will be welcomed by land owners; presented negatively (or worse, not even asking) will not unreasonably upset them. 

Perhaps BCA's C&A committee, L&I convenor and Training Committee should pull together guidance material on what diggers & professional cavers should agree with the land owner to do in setting up a new dig / leading trips underground so as to minimise land owner's liability what ever the outcome of the CRoW debate.

CRoW was designed to be fair to land owners by removing liability from them in return for having access imposed on them.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 01:24:13 pm
My point is that the gap between the two is likely to influence their decision, at the moment there is little difference in the landowners liability between giving us permission to cave and permission to dig, under CRoW there would be and it's entirely possible that they may decide not to accept increased liability (agreed not increased from the present but a substantial increase on their liability under CRoW).

None of us, pro or anti CRoW, can be certain what effect this will have in practice. What we can be certain of is that it is a risk. Do you agree?

My view is that it's a risk we shouldn't take.
The land owner sees no increase in liability if CRoW applies; what he sees is a massive removal of that liability for all cavers bar the relatively small sub group of cavers who want to undertake activities not covered by CRoW.  For that sub group, there is, as Tony from Suffolk observes, no change in liability.  Furthermore, such liability as already exists on the land owner for permitting such an activity like digging can mostly be placed on the digger (duty to erect fence, get SSSI consent etc - I assume that you are not proposing that diggers can dig irresponsibly).  Surely a land owner would welcome this improvement?  My contention is that the reduction in his liability should not cause him to think he is worse off.  Presented properly, then you will be welcomed by land owners; presented negatively (or worse, not even asking) will not unreasonably upset them. 


I'd like to stick to the point on this, but at a risk of going off sending everyone off at a tangent the combined group of diggers and cavers on professionally led trips is not a "small sub group" - in fact it may even turn out a majority. A significant percentage of long term cavers (let's call them cavers who are still around ten years after their first trip) I've come across are diggers, including many proponents of CRoW.

I don't think you've missed my point, I agree landowners in the absence of all else will probably welcome reduced liability for caving but you are obscuring it by bringing digging without permission into the equation - I'm talking about digging with permission and I accept that liability for digging remains unchanged.

This has nothing to do with how landowners are presented with a case for digging, the reality is under CRoW the current situation will have been forgotten and they will be substantially increasing their actual liability if they allow led trips or digging on their land.

In a few years time for landowners the question will be simple - do they accept a far greater increase in liability by allowing digging on their land? My suggestion is that there is a real risk less will than at present, and less permissions will be granted.

Wishful thinking based possibly on how the case is presented is no basis for making a permanent and irreversible change to the situation we have at present where we enjoy very good relations with most landowners and can usually get permission to dig when we need it.

Quote
Perhaps BCA's C&A committee, L&I convenor and Training Committee should pull together guidance material on what diggers & professional cavers should agree with the land owner to do in setting up a new dig / leading trips underground so as to minimise land owner's liability what ever the outcome of the CRoW debate.

Fine - is that a tacit recognition that CRoW will indeed create the problem I describe?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 20, 2014, 01:27:27 pm

Wishful thinking based possibly on how the case is presented is no basis for making a permanent and irreversible change to the situation we have at present where we enjoy very good relations with most landowners and can usually get permission to dig when we need it.


This.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Spike on October 20, 2014, 02:09:27 pm
This has nothing to do with how landowners are presented with a case for digging, the reality is under CRoW the current situation will have been forgotten and they will be substantially increasing their actual liability if they allow led trips or digging on their land.

In a few years time for landowners the question will be simple - do they accept a far greater increase in liability by allowing digging on their land? My suggestion is that there is a real risk less will than at present, and less permissions will be granted.

Wishful thinking based possibly on how the case is presented is no basis for making a permanent and irreversible change to the situation we have at present where we enjoy very good relations with most landowners and can usually get permission to dig when we need it.

This (coupled with the conservation concerns upthread) is my biggest concern in this area, and (in the absence of a like button) I congratulate Tony for putting it so eloquently - as an active digger this spells out my concern regarding future permissions.

More importantly as an active caver, a high proportion of the caves I visit are accessed via dug entrances which only exist because of the "relatively small sub group" who got permission* in the first place and dug them out.

I, and I'm sure everyone else engaged with this thread, understand that the landowner's liability is not increased in any situation under CRoW - the concern is the increase in the difference in liability between sport caving and digging/pro caving, which by the pro camp's own propaganda information is "massive". The landowner's perception of this - not just immediately following a re-evaluation of CRoW, but when this debate is but a distant memory - is the cause for concern here among those who deal with said landowners.

* in most cases
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 20, 2014, 04:51:43 pm
I think a point is being missed here. My sister, the eminent public law expert Dinah Rose QC, has issued an opinion stating that CROW does apply to caves. If she's right, then that is the law, and whatever people say about access for digging or the conservation of delicate sites on this forum won't make any difference. While I very much hope the BCA referendum will come out in favour of supporting CROW for caves, ultimately that won't either, though it clearly will be helpful to have a national representative body articulating a case on behalf of its members.

I continue also to believe that if the BCA does fully come on board, and if Dinah's interpretation is accepted, then we can find ways to solve the genuine problems which have been highlighted. But I think it needs to be borne in mind that internal debates within the caving world will not entirely determine the outcome.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 05:02:32 pm
I respect Dinah's opinion and the work she and others have done, but I think you're missing the point. And she also concedes I think that she may be wrong.

The BCA, it appears, are only going to push for Defra to change their advice if we vote for them to do so. We deserve to know the risks as well as the benefits that will result. Any debate on here that helps clarify things will help people to make up their minds. If BCA do not go ahead others may decide to take it on on their own, fair enough.

Some problems that may be created may be solvable, others may not, but either way everyone deserves to know what they are.

Just to add to that, it's entirely possible that she may be right but that it's not in our best interests to take advantage of that particular law. In other words we could quietly acknowledge the right whilst not seeking to get the advice changed.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 20, 2014, 05:17:28 pm
I think a point is being missed here. My sister, the eminent public law expert Dinah Rose QC, has issued an opinion stating that CROW does apply to caves. If she's right, then that is the law, and whatever people say about access for digging or the conservation of delicate sites on this forum won't make any difference. While I very much hope the BCA referendum will come out in favour of supporting CROW for caves, ultimately that won't either, though it clearly will be helpful to have a national representative body articulating a case on behalf of its members.

I continue also to believe that if the BCA does fully come on board, and if Dinah's interpretation is accepted, then we can find ways to solve the genuine problems which have been highlighted. But I think it needs to be borne in mind that internal debates within the caving world will not entirely determine the outcome.

David

You are most certainly missing the point here. Whether your sister is right or not - and she herself admitted that the arguments were not necessarily correct - DEFRA and its lawyers have not changed their view at this moment. DEFRA will not change their view - if at all- unless further lobbying can convince them. Without even contemplating the fact that lobbying against it applying may well come from powerful, well-connected bodies like the CLA, cavers need to decide whether they actually think that the possible benefits outweigh the probable dis-benefits. Diggers and conservationists have severe doubts, as have been expressed on here. Those in favour need to think very, very carefully before voting to make this leap into the unknown.

Given that cavers have, on the whole, worked well with landowners down the years and shall have to continue to work with many of the same landowners in any case, landowners that will see us change our actual constitution to exclude them and who will be made cognisant once again of the liabilities brought on them by our activities - which do not wholly take place on CRoW land - we have, in my view, far more to lose than we have to gain.

if you, personally, think you have anything to gain, tell us what caves will be opened to you that you cannot actually access now.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 05:31:21 pm
Someone earlier mentioned that canoeists have a powerful lobby fighting them, and that we don't.

It's worth bearing in mind that one could emerge and we could end up in a long term battle where some landowners decide to change the way they deal with us long before it reaches a conclusion.

There are risks everyone needs to think about before they vote.

Several references have also been made to articles in Descent. Given the importance of this is there any chance these can placed online so we can all consider them?


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 20, 2014, 05:57:58 pm
Graham, I don't see what you mean by "excluding" landowners. I also think you may be overestimating by a long way the opposition landowners may have to CROW covering caves. I've just had a conversation with someone who has good contacts with several of them, who says that, in the main, their concerns are not great so far as recreational caving is concerned. We will, I think, know more about his soon.

Caves I can't get down now but would be able to (I could be mistaken about this) would include Oddmire Pot/Langcliffe Pot and Mossdale Caverns. But it's not just about opening up access to closed sites. It's about being able to say: hey, it's a nice day, conditions are good, we don't have any permit because we don't need one, but let's go and do this hole on access land we fancy looking at... ie: freedom.

 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 20, 2014, 06:15:50 pm
I think a point is being missed here. My sister, the eminent public law expert Dinah Rose QC, has issued an opinion stating that CROW does apply to caves. If she's right, then that is the law, and whatever people say about access for digging or the conservation of delicate sites on this forum won't make any difference. While I very much hope the BCA referendum will come out in favour of supporting CROW for caves, ultimately that won't either, though it clearly will be helpful to have a national representative body articulating a case on behalf of its members.

I continue also to believe that if the BCA does fully come on board, and if Dinah's interpretation is accepted, then we can find ways to solve the genuine problems which have been highlighted. But I think it needs to be borne in mind that internal debates within the caving world will not entirely determine the outcome.
I'd be most surprised if the BCA referendum doesn't come down in favour of supporting CRoW for caving. I'm pretty neutral on this, (being an old chap who's unlikely to be able to go caving again) but IMO the pro arguments are rather more persuasive than the antis; I can't see anything that, once cavers have access under CRoW, cannot be resolved.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 06:18:22 pm
Graham, I don't see what you mean by "excluding" landowners. I also think you may be overestimating by a long way the opposition landowners may have to CROW covering caves. I've just had a conversation with someone who has good contacts with several of them, who says that, in the main, their concerns are not great so far as recreational caving is concerned. We will, I think, know more about his soon.

Caves I can't get down now but would be able to (I could be mistaken about this) would include Oddmire Pot/Langcliffe Pot and Mossdale Caverns. But it's not just about opening up access to closed sites. It's about being able to say: hey, it's a nice day, conditions are good, we don't have any permit because we don't need one, but let's go and do this hole on access land we fancy looking at... ie: freedom.

Wouldn't be far less risky to sort out the CNCC system so we can say "It's about being able to say: hey, it's a nice day, conditions are good, we don't have any permit let's have a look what's available on the CNCC site for this afternoon and get a trip in".

The risk is your "freedom" for some cavers may result in curtailing the activities of cavers.

I think a point is being missed here. My sister, the eminent public law expert Dinah Rose QC, has issued an opinion stating that CROW does apply to caves. If she's right, then that is the law, and whatever people say about access for digging or the conservation of delicate sites on this forum won't make any difference. While I very much hope the BCA referendum will come out in favour of supporting CROW for caves, ultimately that won't either, though it clearly will be helpful to have a national representative body articulating a case on behalf of its members.

I continue also to believe that if the BCA does fully come on board, and if Dinah's interpretation is accepted, then we can find ways to solve the genuine problems which have been highlighted. But I think it needs to be borne in mind that internal debates within the caving world will not entirely determine the outcome.
I'd be most surprised if the BCA referendum doesn't come down in favour of supporting CRoW for caving. I'm pretty neutral on this, (being an old chap who's unlikely to be able to go caving again) but IMO the pro arguments are rather more persuasive than the antis; I can't see anything that, once cavers have access under CRoW, cannot be resolved.



Maybe we need an organised anti lobby to present arguments against to all cavers. After all, we're up against a pretty well organised pro lobby?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 20, 2014, 06:26:45 pm
I don't understand why any Landowners would be opposed to CRoW being interpreted to include caving...
the CRoW act has been in force for 14 years...walkers and climbers etc have been using access land without any problems for all this time...
In terms of comparative numbers Caving is a tiny, tiny hobby...is anyone going to seriously suggest a landowner will say...

"yes, I'm happy with thousands of Walkers using my land and have experienced few if any problems over the last 14 years; BUT allow a few dozen scruffy cavers on my land...you must be joking..."

Opposition to the CRoW act applying to caving seems to spring from within the caving community either because of concerns it would impact on surface digs, impact on Commercial Caving or whatever other agenda anti's may have...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 20, 2014, 06:38:18 pm
I don't understand why any Landowners would be opposed to CRoW being interpreted to include caving...
the CRoW act has been in force for 14 years...walkers and climbers etc have been using access land without any problems for all this time...
In terms of comparative numbers Caving is a tiny, tiny hobby...is anyone going to seriously suggest a landowner will say...

"yes, I'm happy with thousands of Walkers using my land and have experienced few if any problems over the last 14 years; BUT allow a few dozen scruffy cavers on my land...you must be joking..."

I haven't spotted thousands of walkers on Leck Fell recently, there were none yesterday, and quite a few cavers. We've been told for years that the estates are only wiling to allow a limited number of permits per day etc so there is reason to suggest they may not be happy with CRoW.

Opposition to the CRoW act applying to caving seems to spring from within the caving community either because of concerns it would impact on surface digs, impact on Commercial Caving or whatever other agenda anti's may have...

True, currently, and the debate is about whether the BCA should change it's stance, we'll probably only find out if anyone else is interested if they do.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 20, 2014, 06:51:23 pm
Graham, I don't see what you mean by "excluding" landowners.

You missed the bit about changing the constitution, then.

I also think you may be overestimating by a long way the opposition landowners may have to CROW covering caves. I've just had a conversation with someone who has good contacts with several of them, who says that, in the main, their concerns are not great so far as recreational caving is concerned. We will, I think, know more about his soon.

I am privy to conversations with landowners who are not at all happy about this. Both our cases are anecdotal, at the moment.

Caves I can't get down now but would be able to (I could be mistaken about this) would include Oddmire Pot/Langcliffe Pot and Mossdale Caverns.

OK, so two caves that you cannot go down. My heart bleeds. Doesn't seem like sufficient problem to risk screwing up a whole lot of other stuff for. Down South we have a track record for reopening caves ( not on access land, either). Maybe, given a little bit of, you know, effort, these issues could be resolved as well.

But it's not just about opening up access to closed sites. It's about being able to say: hey, it's a nice day, conditions are good, we don't have any permit because we don't need one, but let's go and do this hole on access land we fancy looking at... ie: freedom.

What's wrong with Bottlebanks suggested solution? For one thing it might avoid the first pitch having six other ropes on it by the time you arrive.

impact on Commercial Caving or whatever other agenda anti's may have...

The only people who think it'll have any impact on commercial caving are certain commercial cavers. Nobody else.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 20, 2014, 06:59:37 pm
Its also worth remembering that some permits can only be obtained on certain days and a certain times of year, particularly on expensively maintained grouse moors which does rather suggest they are particular.

Although its fashionable to slate them it is worth remembering that hunting does contribute significantly to local economies & communities (estates providing affordable rents where  cavers & the likes have pushed up house prices buying second homes, cost of & employment in moorland management, keepers, B&Bs & their chain of local suppliers & staff, garages to service landrovers & other machinery etc etc etc).

Unlike cavers who turn up to their hut with a box of Fosters & a pack smart price bacon bought at their local supermarket...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 20, 2014, 07:07:17 pm
Quote
where  cavers & the likes have pushed up house prices buying second homes

 :o

Like many cavers I know I personally bounce between my period farmhouse in the dales...and my chic cottage in the Mendips of a weekend...before heading back home!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 20, 2014, 07:12:50 pm
Quote
where  cavers & the likes have pushed up house prices buying second homes

 :o

Like many cavers I know I personally bounce between my period farmhouse in the dales...and my chic cottage in the Mendips of a weekend...before heading back home!
Do you suggest that the purchasing of second homes does not in fact cause problems in rural areas & that some of them aren't bought by cavers and the like?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 20, 2014, 07:30:48 pm
Its also worth remembering that some permits can only be obtained on certain days and a certain times of year, particularly on expensively maintained grouse moors which does rather suggest they are particular.

Although its fashionable to slate them it is worth remembering that hunting does contribute significantly to local economies & communities (estates providing affordable rents where  cavers & the likes have pushed up house prices buying second homes, cost of & employment in moorland management, keepers, B&Bs & their chain of local suppliers & staff, garages to service landrovers & other machinery etc etc etc).

But under CRoW, the grouse moors that happen to fall under the CRoW legislation allow walkers etc. to access this land anyway.

This discussion will continue to go round in circles, with no side being convinced by the other's arguments.

"Faced with the choice of changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof" - J.K. Galbraith.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 20, 2014, 07:54:39 pm
I agree that 99% of the time these debates for appear to be two entrenched sides banging on about the same-old same old and can be very tedious and somewhat counter productive. However if you are suffering from insomnia and go back over the last several years of them you will, I think see a subtle shift from people people stating very clearly that CRoW absolutely does not and cannot apply to caves, to where we are now with an eminent QC's opinion and a BCA referendum on the matter.

So yes, it may be painfully slow and largely just raking over the same ground but there is an underlying trend.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 20, 2014, 08:32:12 pm
Tony, whilst walkers may by rights be able to roam wherever they like, the fact of the matter is that they simply do not exercise that freedom. I'm in the hills at least one day a week & can confidently say that the only place you will see 99.99% of walkers is on public footpaths that existed long before CRoW and then only a small percentage of the footpaths available.

Granted it has allowed access to the odd hillock here & there but by and large, CRoW is a white elephant  insofar as walkers are concerned.

I'm also surprised that people seem to think that farmers & landowners have no issues with other groups. The hills are littered with signs telling people to close gates, keep dogs on leads, not ride bikes. not light fires blah. These aren't there because Farmer Palmer has got nothing better to do than provide helpful & informative advice, rather because of real problems caused by people accessing the countryside.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 20, 2014, 09:24:48 pm
I'm also surprised that people seem to think that farmers & landowners have no issues with other groups. The hills are littered with signs telling people to close gates, keep dogs on leads, not ride bikes. not light fires blah. These aren't there because Farmer Palmer has got nothing better to do than provide helpful & informative advice, rather because of real problems caused by people accessing the countryside.

Indeed they do have issues. On Mendip many farmers and other landowners have problems with walkers going where they want, not on access land because "right to roam, innit!"
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Greg Jones on October 20, 2014, 09:35:44 pm
I have an issue with the miles of bale-wrap plastic that litters the River Wye, and many other rivers. I dare say that was all dumped there by ramblers wasn't it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 20, 2014, 09:50:01 pm
I have an issue with the miles of bale-wrap plastic that litters the River Wye, and many other rivers. I dare say that was all dumped there by ramblers wasn't it?

I believe that the correct technical term for that post is whatabouttery.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 06:37:51 am
A further thought. Mr Rose complains that one of the seemingly very few caves that he cannot get down at present is Mossdale. others have also commented that the act allows for access being forbidden on safety grounds. I'd say that the current owners of that land would have a closure order on Mossdale before the ink was dry on any changes to the law.

So Mr Rose would still not be able to get down Mossdale.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 21, 2014, 08:55:26 am
Indeed, and presumably by the same token the likes of Flood Entrance and Cuthbert's can be similarly protected.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: David Rose on October 21, 2014, 09:55:48 am
Any cave is potentially dangerous, including those which see a great deal of traffic, but also have been the locations of fatalities. If Mossdale were to be excluded on such grounds, where would you draw the line? You could die in Swildon's, Sleets Gill or Daren Cilau, just as you can fall off a rockclimb with fatal consequences - on CROW access land. This is a poor point, Graham.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 21, 2014, 10:00:46 am
Any cave is potentially dangerous, including those which see a great deal of traffic, but also have been the locations of fatalities. If Mossdale were to be excluded on such grounds, where would you draw the line? You could die in Swildon's, Sleets Gill or Daren Cilau, just as you can fall off a rockclimb with fatal consequences - on CROW access land. This is a poor point, Graham.

David,

You can't make a coherent case for CRoW based on wishful thinking. It's not a poor case, and it's entirely possible that the owners may attempt to get a closure order. It's also possible they may fail, but you have recognise the risk?

Cheers,

Tony
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 21, 2014, 10:02:42 am
Well played Tony from Suffolk.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 10:04:36 am
Indeed, and presumably by the same token the likes of Flood Entrance and Cuthbert's can be similarly protected.

Different issue, Tony. Thus with different ways of dealing with it. The likes of UFS might need protection for conservation reasons from day one, but we have no idea how long such a process might take nor even whether NE has the resources to take the additional workload. Safety is a different issue, far more high-profile and would lead, in my view, to complete closure (as is the case at present for Mossdale) rather than limited access as would be desired for sites needing limitations for conservation reasons. Despite what some of my more rabid detractors say on here, no-one actually wants to prevent people going down these caves, they just want to ensure that care is taken. In the case of places like Mossdale, however, all access has been forbidden, strictly on safety grounds, these past fifty years (nearly) and CRoW will not change that.

So, all that the application of CRoW to caving might achieve is the opening up of Langcliffe - unless that gets hit by a safety order as well - a free-for-all at pitch heads in the more popular caves on sunny days and probable damage to the more delicate sites.

Somehow none of that seems like a good balance to me.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 10:09:20 am
Any cave is potentially dangerous, including those which see a great deal of traffic, but also have been the locations of fatalities. If Mossdale were to be excluded on such grounds, where would you draw the line? You could die in Swildon's, Sleets Gill or Daren Cilau, just as you can fall off a rockclimb with fatal consequences - on CROW access land. This is a poor point, Graham.

Mossdale remains the site of the worst disaster in British caving history. It has been closed ever since. Are you not aware of these facts, David?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 21, 2014, 10:12:04 am
Surely the land owner is not the person to make the decision on a full closure order due to safety? He can't have a final say, there would have to be consultation?

AFAIK (not that I would, as I aint that 'ard a caver!) but access is not prohibited to Mossdale, it is not actively encouraged - but I didn't think it was closed per se? But then I am new to caving.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: blackholesun on October 21, 2014, 10:18:02 am
Mossdale was closed, yes, but that doesn't mean Mossdale is closed.
I believe that it is likely prohibited, but certainly not impossible, if that helps.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 10:20:15 am
Mossdale was closed, yes, but that doesn't mean Mossdale is closed.
I believe that it is likely prohibited, but certainly not impossible, if that helps.

I'm talking legally here. That should be obvious. However, it does bring the possibility that a closure notice under CRoW might be accompanied by more robust physical methods simply to make the point clearer.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 21, 2014, 10:22:44 am
Indeed, and presumably by the same token the likes of Flood Entrance and Cuthbert's can be similarly protected.

Different issue, Tony. Thus with different ways of dealing with it. The likes of UFS might need protection for conservation reasons from day one, but we have no idea how long such a process might take nor even whether NE has the resources to take the additional workload. Safety is a different issue, far more high-profile and would lead, in my view, to complete closure (as is the case at present for Mossdale) rather than limited access as would be desired for sites needing limitations for conservation reasons. Despite what some of my more rabid detractors say on here, no-one actually wants to prevent people going down these caves, they just want to ensure that care is taken. In the case of places like Mossdale, however, all access has been forbidden, strictly on safety grounds, these past fifty years (nearly) and CRoW will not change that.

So, all that the application of CRoW to caving might achieve is the opening up of Langcliffe - unless that gets hit by a safety order as well - a free-for-all at pitch heads in the more popular caves on sunny days and probable damage to the more delicate sites.

Somehow none of that seems like a good balance to me.

I was around caving during the Mossdale disaster, and very grim it was too. A flood-prone place for sure, but then so are many other caves and there'll always be potential risks involved in exploring such places. I really don't think it's grounds to shut caves permanently though.

Regarding delicate caves; surely it's not beyond the wit of man to ensure they are protected? If CRoW is seen to apply to caves then 99% or more of cavers will be motivated to ensure that is so. It's always possible to throw up worst-case scenarios, but at the moment those caves on CRoW land are subject to the whims of the landowner, and they might change tomorrow, with new owners who have a completely different view on the caves and their access. Personally I can see more potential threats from this direction.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Jenny P on October 21, 2014, 10:23:50 am
On the subject of digging on SSSIs, worth noting that DCA, working with Natural England, produced a leaflet called "Cave Digging on SSSIs?  Before you start ... A Guide to Good Practice".

This gives a list of all the cave SSSIs in the Peak District which are being monitored by cavers, a map "Location of SSSIs with Cave / Mine Interest".  It also has several pages of good advice, useful contacts and links to other interested organisations.  It also states at the end:  "This leaflet was produced jointly by the Derbyshire Caving Association and Natural England for all those with an interest in conserving our caves for future generations."

So digging in SSSIs or on CRoW land is not impossible, Natural England are sympathetic to cavers (at least in our area) and, provided that cavers play by the book, there are no problems.

Jenny Potts,
DCA Hon. Sec.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 21, 2014, 10:26:24 am
On the subject of digging on SSSIs, worth noting that DCA, working with Natural England, produced a leaflet called "Cave Digging on SSSIs?  Before you start ... A Guide to Good Practice".

This gives a list of all the cave SSSIs in the Peak District which are being monitored by cavers, a map "Location of SSSIs with Cave / Mine Interest".  It also has several pages of good advice, useful contacts and links to other interested organisations.  It also states at the end:  "This leaflet was produced jointly by the Derbyshire Caving Association and Natural England for all those with an interest in conserving our caves for future generations."

So digging in SSSIs or on CRoW land is not impossible, Natural England are sympathetic to cavers (at least in our area) and, provided that cavers play by the book, there are no problems.

Jenny Potts,
DCA Hon. Sec.

Natural England are very helpful in the Dales as well Jenny, as I'm sure you know, but NE can only consent digs with the agreement of the landowner without which we cannot dig. Quite a few people don't seem to realise this.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 21, 2014, 10:26:45 am
And who would get final say on closure of a cave on CROW land (assuming that we do indeed have a situation where access to caves is covered under CROW) due to safety considerations? Is a landowner likely to have the ability to state 'it's dangerous, I want it closed'? If so there are a lot of places where people could get hurt and if this a method by which landowners, not overly enamored with public access over their land, can have access declined then there is a bit of an issue no? "oh, people drowned in that river - no footpath access to the riverbank", "that bloke died of hypothermia on that top, no access", "a climber died falling off that cliff, no access".

In no way do I mean to belittle the loss of life that was Mossdale, but if landowners can close land due to their own safety concerns for the public, then...well....I think there's an issue.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: blackholesun on October 21, 2014, 10:35:07 am
I was just trying to clarify, mainly for others, rather than contradict. There could be some confusion as it was legally and physically sealed, but then became not physically sealed.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Jenny P on October 21, 2014, 10:42:24 am
Another point worth noting is that before the CRoW legislation existed, the Peak District National Park Authority paid the local landowners of Kinder, Bleaklow, etc. an amount per acre every year to allow walkers to roam in these areas.  (That's us and our taxes but it came out of the funds the Peak Park had to do all the other things which are necessary in a national park.)  This all dates from the days of the "Kinder Trespass" so the Peak District has "form" in the way of wanting to be able to roam at will across open countryside. 

The agreement was that the moors would be completely open for walkers except on a few days a year when the owners wished to shoot.  On those days access was restricted but the owners were required to agree this in advance so that the Peak Park could advertise which areas would be closed for shooting and when.  There were also a few occasions when the moors were closed by agreement because of fires in the peat and these closures lasted until the fires were completely extinguished.

Now that CRoW exists, people can go wherever they like whenever they please and the Peak Park  doesn't have to pay the landowners.  However, landowners are still subsidised to keep their land open and uncultivated but now the money is coming from national government.  (Bograt can probably quote you chapter and verse.)

Note also that the main CRoW areas in the Peak District are the high moors where there are no caves - unlike the Dales, where the majority of caves are mainly in areas of open moorland.  The CRoW land in the White Peak, where most of the caves are, is broken up into small parcels, often of only a few fields, because the area is predominantly farmland - much like the Mendip area.  So comparing the situation in the Dales with the Peak District or Mendip is like comparing apples and oranges.  Peak and Mendip actually have very few caves on CRoW land, whereas the North has getting on for 2000.




Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 21, 2014, 10:58:58 am
Now that CRoW exists, people can go wherever they like whenever they please
Veering slightly off topic but whilst that right might exist I suspect it isn't taken up in a great many places. From what I remember of the likes of Bleaklow & the Kinder Plateau, the paths can be a boggy enough challenge all of their own, venturing 'off-piste' would be mainly for the particularly determined and/or unhinged and not something done by the vast majority? Its a long time since I visited either so will stand to be corrected however!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 11:09:00 am
I was around caving during the Mossdale disaster, and very grim it was too. A flood-prone place for sure, but then so are many other caves and there'll always be potential risks involved in exploring such places. I really don't think it's grounds to shut caves permanently though.

And yet access has been forbidden for 47 years. Looks like someone with more clout than you thinks differently.

Regarding delicate caves; surely it's not beyond the wit of man to ensure they are protected? If CRoW is seen to apply to caves then 99% or more of cavers will be motivated to ensure that is so.

And 1%, some of whom post on here, are motivated, shall we say, differently. A conservationist has to get it right 1005 of the time. A vandal only has to get it right once.

It's always possible to throw up worst-case scenarios, but at the moment those caves on CRoW land are subject to the whims of the landowner, and they might change tomorrow, with new owners who have a completely different view on the caves and their access. Personally I can see more potential threats from this direction.

And yet so very few caves do get closed when ownership changes and of those that do, new agreements almost always get negotiated. Looks like we are collectively actually quite good at this. So why change it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 11:11:07 am

So comparing the situation in the Dales with the Peak District or Mendip is like comparing apples and oranges.


And yet they still want to impose their 'fix' on us. Why can they not just sort out their own local problems without screwing us over?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 21, 2014, 11:16:49 am

So comparing the situation in the Dales with the Peak District or Mendip is like comparing apples and oranges.


And yet they still want to impose their 'fix' on us. Why can they not just sort out their own local problems without screwing us over?

Less of the "they" Graham  ;)

There are plenty us Northern cavers who don't like the idea of the risks involved with CRoW, I wish more of them would post here.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 11:32:49 am

So comparing the situation in the Dales with the Peak District or Mendip is like comparing apples and oranges.


And yet they still want to impose their 'fix' on us. Why can they not just sort out their own local problems without screwing us over?

Less of the "they" Graham  ;)

There are plenty us Northern cavers who don't like the idea of the risks involved with CRoW, I wish more of them would post here.

Point taken, sir. I have had feedback from a number of Mendip cavers who similarly won't post here because they dislike the abuse that follows.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 21, 2014, 11:32:58 am
I was around caving during the Mossdale disaster, and very grim it was too. A flood-prone place for sure, but then so are many other caves and there'll always be potential risks involved in exploring such places. I really don't think it's grounds to shut caves permanently though.

And yet access has been forbidden for 47 years. Looks like someone with more clout than you thinks differently.

Yes, the landowner. But surely that's the point?

Regarding delicate caves; surely it's not beyond the wit of man to ensure they are protected? If CRoW is seen to apply to caves then 99% or more of cavers will be motivated to ensure that is so.

And 1%, some of whom post on here, are motivated, shall we say, differently. A conservationist has to get it right 1005 of the time. A vandal only has to get it right once.


It's always possible to throw up worst-case scenarios, but at the moment those caves on CRoW land are subject to the whims of the landowner, and they might change tomorrow, with new owners who have a completely different view on the caves and their access. Personally I can see more potential threats from this direction.

And yet so very few caves do get closed when ownership changes and of those that do, new agreements almost always get negotiated. Looks like we are collectively actually quite good at this. So why change it?

Again, you throw up many examples of what could go wrong. That's your perspective and I respect it. Equally, I could throw up lots of possible scenarios, just as valid, where under the current situation access could be denied, caves could be vandalised.

Now supposing, as to me seems likely, the majority of cavers vote for Yes, and then cRoW is accepted as applying to caves? Someone such as yourself Graham, who has much experience in dealing with landowners and cares passionately about the preservation of caves, what would you do? I don't know you personally but you certainly don't appear to be the sort of chap who would slink away from the continuing challenge to protect such places. Neither would the vast majority of cavers.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 11:35:03 am
Now supposing, as to me seems likely, the majority of cavers vote for Yes, and then cRoW is accepted as applying to caves? Someone such as yourself Graham, who has much experience in dealing with landowners and cares passionately about the preservation of caves, what would you do? I don't know you personally but you certainly don't appear to be the sort of chap who would slink away from the continuing challenge to protect such places. Neither would the vast majority of cavers.

I'm not as young as I once was, Tony, and my health could also be better.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 21, 2014, 11:45:42 am
Well, if we're on the subject of illness, I'm by no means in the best of nick myself! I could tell you about my... ;D
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 21, 2014, 07:13:06 pm
[[/quote]

And yet access has been forbidden for 47 years. Looks like someone with more clout than you thinks differently.

and this is the negative statement that puts peoples backs up,

And yet access has been forbidden for 47 years, wins the point made

looks like someone with more clout than you thinks differently.
why add this its negative, argumentive and not needed, the point was made.

all the points put forward ( apart from bottlebanks) suggest that the against campaign have accepted they are going to lose and just want to be as argumentive as possible.
where is the constructive view points (other than decent  magazine)
where is a proposal to improve access, a system that will push cavers to vote against changing the crow stance as it is.
to simply say NE/Defra are not going to change there position, who knows that, If BCA go to them with a structured opinion from one of the most respected QC in the country then they are going listen, they might not change there view, then again they might,

so far I have seen reasons why I should vote in favour, but apart from bottlebanks reason to be cautious so might be better to vote against ( and as I am not a digger I might go along the lines this does not concern me) and my own observations from various sources of conservation I have seen not a strong reason why I should vote against.
and to keep throwing the landowner argument in my view on this that many of the caves that would be effected do the landowners actually know or is it the managing company, or is it the cavers who don't want change telling the landowners what they want them to hear. I have had one conversation with a landowner a few years ago, he was telling me the reason for access as it is was because the caving world ( general term ) had told him that's what he needed. :shrug: why did they do that, to protect the cave, cavers ( general term ) wanting a bit of power.
so that's the dilemma I think a lot of cavers in the not sure camp think. especially when you then put all the problems of the cncc permit system it might just make them think to vote yes.
so for all those that want the status quo as it is, come up with positive, constructive points, and not the sort of comments which cause a tit for tat forum
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: John S on October 21, 2014, 07:17:16 pm
I was around caving during the Mossdale disaster, and very grim it was too. A flood-prone place for sure, but then so are many other caves and there'll always be potential risks involved in exploring such places. I really don't think it's grounds to shut caves permanently though.

And yet access has been forbidden for 47 years. Looks like someone with more clout than you thinks differently.

Yes, the landowner. But surely that's the point?



Try the Coroner, but I could be wrong.  And if CroW applies then that is the time for discussion as to what area within such a large system should a closure apply too, if any.
As with many caves, some passages flood heavily while others don't.
As to it being sealed, A few years of winter floods had bypassed any blockages by 1980.
A new survey was done in 89 because new finds had been made :) http://cavemaps.org/cavePages/Great%20Whernside__Mossdale%20Caverns.htm (http://cavemaps.org/cavePages/Great%20Whernside__Mossdale%20Caverns.htm)

More holes have opened up without digging on these moors, and at present we have no access.  CRoW could be very useful in this as the area has huge potential.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 07:54:39 pm
all the points put forward ( apart from bottlebanks) suggest that the against campaign have accepted they are going to lose and just want to be as argumentive as possible.

Nope, not at all. I seriously doubt that DEFRA are going to change their minds. What I actually want to do is get cavers to think about the potential issues before voting. I think that a vote in favour of lobbying, followed by a vote to change that part of the constitution will do serious harm to caver/landowner relations, even (especially) if DEFRA hold to their current view.

Be careful of what you wish for, that is all.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 21, 2014, 08:15:26 pm
all the points put forward ( apart from bottlebanks) suggest that the against campaign have accepted they are going to lose and just want to be as argumentive as possible.

Not at all.

What is being argues is the 'it'll be all right, trust us' attitude of the ProCrows. There seems to be little to back this up other than wishful thinking, and once CRoW for Caves is a reality, it will be too late.

It might be more 'constructive' for the ProCrows to try to get their heads round the more unwanted aspects of their access panacea, rather than just hoping it'll be all right.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 21, 2014, 08:32:22 pm
1, I am neither for or against, trying to offset conservation issues with the issues of trying to get cave permits especially in Yorkshire.
2, unless you have insider knowledge no one at present knows what defra will do, the barrister I run with has said is the opinion has come from Dinah rose the people in power will listen, I don't know as I do not know her or people in defra.
3, I know you (graham) and others are trying to get people to debate what is a major change, but what I need to see and many others is constructive points, not just antagonistic, argumentive points it just puts peoples backs up. yes I am aware that there are those in the yes camp who do the same, and from Bob you get reams of information, but that's the point there is reams of information. at least you can read it and make an informed choice, and its going to be biased towards the yes camp because that is where he is coming from.
4, Bob says the systems are in place for conservation but unfortunately until its put to the test we are not going to know how long it takes, as we have nothing to compare it against, if it takes 6 weeks will it be 6 weeks to long for the cave, again we don't know, as has already stated it only takes one person to vandalise the cave, would that be the person on the first trip or the 100th trip, or would it be the person on the trip once it has received it conservation status. caves with restrictive access already have these issues.
5, if we vote yes, and defra/NE change there stance how much difference is it going to make, at the moment its pure speculation, to say aimed at Yorkshire your going to turn up at a cave entrance and find 6 ropes already there is this actually going to be the reality,
6, maybe a measure is to ask the 2 Yorkshire clubs who run the winch meets if they have any figures on cavers using the system when they have it rigged?
7, I would like to see area's mainly Yorkshire put up something to say how if things stay as they are how they can improve the issueing of permits, personally I would like to see a diary, plus a contact so that I can see if I am going to Yorkshire on a weekend what caves are available to be able to get permits for.
8, I think the pro camp have put arguments across on what they think will happen, and apart from the digging issues which whilst they have tried to answer,  have yet to my thinking provide a satisfactory response,

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 21, 2014, 09:35:18 pm
The CNCC AGM minutes usually include numbers of permits issued by each permits secretary-  here in fact (http://www.cncc.org.uk/documents/meets_sec_reports_feb_2014.pdf) - so that gives you an idea of numbers.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 21, 2014, 09:54:10 pm
Badger, I am too tired to give a comprehensive answer to this, I apologise for just cherry-picking one point.

4, Bob says the systems are in place for conservation but unfortunately until its put to the test we are not going to know how long it takes ...

Bob has such things time and again. At the beginning of this thread, which I started, I said that we didn't need cavers to go over and over the same ground, but rather we needed authoritative statements from those, NE, DEFRA, landowners, who are in a position to answer the questions that we have about this. Sadly none of those reassuring answers have been forthcoming and instead all we have had are more statements from cavers declaring how "it'll be alright on the night."

To my mind this is not good enough. We know what we have now, we understand what it means and we have long experience with carrying out the necessary negotiations to improve matters, where they need improving. We know where and why we have failed in the past. Why throw away what we know and understand for some nebulous 'benefit' which could easily produce more harm than good?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Antwan on October 22, 2014, 08:02:46 am
What Graham just said  :o
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 08:27:40 am
What Graham said yesterday!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Alex on October 22, 2014, 08:41:59 am
If there was another way to get rid of this permit system in Yorkshire then I am all ears. I still think CRoW is the best way forward. Would write a lot more but I got to go to work.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 22, 2014, 09:08:24 am

8, I think the pro camp have put arguments across on what they think will happen, and apart from the digging issues which whilst they have tried to answer,  have yet to my thinking provide a satisfactory response,

Badger, just on your last point. It's not just digging. CRoW will only cover access to caves for sport caving, pretty much everything else will need landowners permission, so for diggers read diggers, professional cavers, led groups etc.

If there was another way to get rid of this permit system in Yorkshire then I am all ears. I still think CRoW is the best way forward. Would write a lot more but I got to go to work.

Alex, of course there's another route, reform of the CNCC has already started, and I suspect it'll be a lot quicker and easier to reform one or two regional councils than to persuade Defra etc that CRoW will apply to caving.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 22, 2014, 09:11:00 am
The benefits of CRoW applying to caving are hardly nefarious. If CRoW applied to caves, and the vulnerable caves protected as well or better than they currently are, would that not be a better situation than at present?

I can understand folk being rather anxious around a degree of uncertainty, but if you can go through your life without continual change and uncertainty you're a very unusual person indeed!

"I have devoted my life to uncertainty. Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity."

 - Shekhar Kapur.


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 22, 2014, 09:14:59 am
The benefits of CRoW applying to caving are hardly nefarious. If CRoW applied to caves, and the vulnerable caves protected as well or better than they currently are, would that not be a better situation than at present?

I can understand folk being rather anxious around a degree of uncertainty, but if you can go through your life without continual change and uncertainty you're a very unusual person indeed!

"I have devoted my life to uncertainty. Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity."

 - Shekhar Kapur.

It would Tony, but CRoW does't protect caves as such, there are mechanisms within it to protect them but we already know how to protect them. One point not really mentioned is that the decision to protect them will be largely out of the hands of cavers.

The uncertainty is why we need to know what the risks are, we need to know before we vote, we can then decide whether to take them.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 22, 2014, 09:34:42 am
Yes, I understand. However, from the information provided by Bob Mayhew it seems there are clear mechanisms for putting protection in place, and rather than resisting this change, would it not be better to for cavers to explore these further? You'll never remove all uncertainty but then again the current situation bestows at least as much uncertainty.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 22, 2014, 09:53:42 am
Yes, I understand. However, from the information provided by Bob Mayhew it seems there are clear mechanisms for putting protection in place, and rather than resisting this change, would it not be better to for cavers to explore these further? You'll never remove all uncertainty but then again the current situation bestows at least as much uncertainty.

The figures we've been given so far seem to suggest we should be able to protect most caves currently protected, so far as I can see, but possibly not all? We should be able to protect new finds in the same way when needed. I think Bob would confirm this.

The reservations seem to be over the time it will take and in my case anyway I'd much sooner see cavers making the decision than bureaucrats, and of course some caves may lose protection. NE through Andy are doing a great job in the Dales a the moment, but CRoW is permanent, and at some point we could be dealing with someone far less sympathetic. The conservation work being done will continue without CRoW - we don't need it to protect caves, especially those on SSSI's.

There will inevitably be increased footfall in some areas, Ease Gill being the obvious one, but this may be balanced by reduced footfall in others, but is that simply moving damage from caves that have so far had no protection to caves which in effect have some?

And for every cave to be protected someone will have to do a fair bit of work.

That said personally I'm much more worried about landowner relations than conservation - I suspect most of the conservation issue can be dealt with.

The best case scenario if we proceed is that Defra immediately change their minds, but I know even some of the most enthusiastic pro lobby members think this unlikely. If they don't then we'll need to campaign for change, and at that point we may well see a campaign emerge from the landowners side. The end result could be lengthy, costly and quite possibly unsuccessful but could sour landowner relations in some areas for many years to come. That's where the anglers/canoeing comparison comes in. Do we really want to risk getting to the point they have?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 22, 2014, 10:00:37 am
Bob has such things time and again. At the beginning of this thread, which I started, I said that we didn't need cavers to go over and over the same ground, but rather we needed authoritative statements from those, NE, DEFRA, landowners, who are in a position to answer the questions that we have about this. Sadly none of those reassuring answers have been forthcoming and instead all we have had are more statements from cavers declaring how "it'll be alright on the night."

To my mind this is not good enough. We know what we have now, we understand what it means and we have long experience with carrying out the necessary negotiations to improve matters, where they need improving. We know where and why we have failed in the past. Why throw away what we know and understand for some nebulous 'benefit' which could easily produce more harm than good?

What Graham just said  :o


What Graham said yesterday!


 :lol:   :lol:   :lol:


There does seem to be a rather rosy view of the current situation, a trawl back through this forum or Descent will reveal idiots damaging gates, idiots breaking stal, idiots being a nuisance. All of this is part of what obtains at the moment and CRoW or no CRoW you cannot legislate against idiots. Here is just one recent example (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=16994.0)

Also consider things like the recent issue at Dow cave. I don't know the ins and outs but it is a significant cave on Access Land which seemingly the landowner closed and the CNCC is renegotiating. The permits system is a symptom, not the cause, and all the best intended reforms of it and the CNCC will not secure access to thousands of caves across the country.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 10:06:57 am
Yes, I understand. However, from the information provided by Bob Mayhew it seems there are clear mechanisms for putting protection in place, and rather than resisting this change, would it not be better to for cavers to explore these further? You'll never remove all uncertainty but then again the current situation bestows at least as much uncertainty.

Despite this being requested, Bob has yet to supply information on how long it might take to get a Section 26 protection notice placed on a cave, what features these might protect, what access conditions that one of these might require and whether the site can remain gated during the negotiation period.

This stuff is crucial.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 22, 2014, 10:26:41 am
Also consider things like the recent issue at Dow cave. I don't know the ins and outs but it is a significant cave on Access Land which seemingly the landowner closed and the CNCC is renegotiating.
Out of interest (& I ask this because I don't know, not to start an argument) will the likes of Providence Pot, Lancaster Hole etc be covered by CRoW? Both are built and engineered shafts, done with the Landowner's authority. As such they presumably drop out of the CRoW reduced Landowner liability bit? Is CRoW an all or nothing affair, once one bit fails does the whole lot fall or is it neither here nor there? Are dug shafts & entrances covered by CRoW or just 'natural' ones?

Quote
The above Acts clearly define that if you invite, specifically permit or licence an activity you immediately have a much greater duty of care to those on your land.
http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf (http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 22, 2014, 10:30:48 am

...I'm much more worried about landowner relations than conservation - I suspect most of the conservation issue can be dealt with.

The best case scenario if we proceed is that Defra immediately change their minds, but I know even some of the most enthusiastic pro lobby members think this unlikely. If they don't then we'll need to campaign for change, and at that point we may well see a campaign emerge from the landowners side. The end result could be lengthy, costly and quite possibly unsuccessful but could sour landowner relations in some areas for many years to come. That's where the anglers/canoeing comparison comes in. Do we really want to risk getting to the point they have?

The comparison with the canoeing situation is poor; they are going head to head with a very powerful group, angling being this country's largest leisure pursuit. Cavers have no such opposition. Landowners, in my experience (and I'm one myself) are concerned with possible damage resulting in either loss of income or amenity. For those caves where landowners allow access already, is it really such a significant change from the present situation? The purpose of CRoW, and it's a very noble one, is to allow everyone to have free access over their lands anyway. Will there be a sudden upsurge in numbers of cavers wishing to access caves, causing deleterious change to the land? No, very unlikely.

Regarding DEFRA's present stance; they're a typical fickle government department who will change their views whenever the right pressure is brought to bear. This is a matter of interpretation after all, not a change in the law.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 22, 2014, 11:00:55 am

...I'm much more worried about landowner relations than conservation - I suspect most of the conservation issue can be dealt with.

The best case scenario if we proceed is that Defra immediately change their minds, but I know even some of the most enthusiastic pro lobby members think this unlikely. If they don't then we'll need to campaign for change, and at that point we may well see a campaign emerge from the landowners side. The end result could be lengthy, costly and quite possibly unsuccessful but could sour landowner relations in some areas for many years to come. That's where the anglers/canoeing comparison comes in. Do we really want to risk getting to the point they have?

The comparison with the canoeing situation is poor; they are going head to head with a very powerful group, angling being this country's largest leisure pursuit. Cavers have no such opposition. Landowners, in my experience (and I'm one myself) are concerned with possible damage resulting in either loss of income or amenity. For those caves where landowners allow access already, is it really such a significant change from the present situation? The purpose of CRoW, and it's a very noble one, is to allow everyone to have free access over their lands anyway. Will there be a sudden upsurge in numbers of cavers wishing to access caves, causing deleterious change to the land? No, very unlikely.

Regarding DEFRA's present stance; they're a typical fickle government department who will change their views whenever the right pressure is brought to bear. This is a matter of interpretation after all, not a change in the law.

If you are right it's a poor comparison, but the CLA is also a very powerful lobbying body and we could end up battling it out with them - http://www.cla.org.uk/ (http://www.cla.org.uk/)

It's up to individuals cavers if they vote to decide whether to take the risk or not - but I'm not asking anyone to gamble, the pro lobby are. I've lost count of the number of times people in the pro lobby have told me "CRoW won't make much difference, we just won't have to get permits". They're right on that, we have little to gain and a lot to lose.

I suspect there will be a small upsurge in overall numbers from people who previously felt they couldn't cave in certain places without a permit, but I agree I doubt there'll be huge increase.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 22, 2014, 11:13:01 am
Call me a silly old fart if you like (most people do these days...) but personally I'd never dream of going caving without the necessary permissions, and I like to think there are a few more folks who act in the same manner.

Anyway Mr Bottlebank, you should be at work and not idling your day away on this here forum.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 22, 2014, 11:13:55 am
Despite this being requested, Bob has yet to supply information on how long it might take to get a Section 26 protection notice placed on a cave, what features these might protect, what access conditions that one of these might require and whether the site can remain gated during the negotiation period.
see http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225457#msg225457 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225457#msg225457) and http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225464#msg225464 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225464#msg225464) both on 16 October.  Your question in reply 105 was dealt with in my first response.  I also noted in my second submission to the C&A committee meeting on 16 August(see para 30 at page 51 in http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:140816_canda_minutes_draft.pdf)) that

Transfer of Power for Access Control

30 As has been argued elsewhere in more detail, it is doubted if the acceptance that CRoW does apply to caving will lead to a need to change access controls over night. The legal right of access can only be enforced through a civil court action which will take time. The courts are likely to accept that if NE is taking steps to implement the change, then the action has either no merit or not worthy of sanction.


I think that will equally apply to a new find worthy of controlling access.

Out of interest (& I ask this because I don't know, not to start an argument) will the likes of Providence Pot, Lancaster Hole etc be covered by CRoW? Both are built and engineered shafts, done with the Landowner's authority. As such they presumably drop out of the CRoW reduced Landowner liability bit? Is CRoW an all or nothing affair, once one bit fails does the whole lot fall or is it neither here nor there? Are dug shafts & entrances covered by CRoW or just 'natural' ones?
The specific question was dealt with at para 53 in the 'Instructions'.  You will need to download them from http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving), open the zip file, then open the included zip file and then read the '00 The Possible ...' file.  Para 53 reads

53.    Attention was drawn to the fact that many cave entrances were dug open, see paragraph 6 above and structures placed to secure the entrance.  Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to CRoW excludes buildings from access land (Ref 36).  Paragraph 1 in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of CRoW (Ref 36) usefully defines a building as:

“[“building”—
(a) includes any structure or erection and any part of a building as so defined, but
(b) does not include any fence or wall, anything which is a means of access as defined by section 34 or, in the case of land which is coastal margin, any slipway, hard or quay;
and for this purpose “structure” includes any tent, caravan or other temporary or moveable structure;]”

So these structures could be claimed to be buildings and hence would imply the cave entrance was exempted from access land.  However Section 34 of CRoW (Ref 13) states

“means of access”, in relation to land, means—
(a) any opening in a wall, fence or hedge bounding the land (or part of the land), with or without a gate, stile or other works for regulating passage through the opening,
(b) any stairs or steps for enabling persons to enter on the land (or part of the land), or
(c) any bridge, stepping stone or other works for crossing a watercourse, ditch or bog on the land or adjoining the boundary of the land.”

(NB this extract has not been checked to see if it is up to date.)  So the correct interpretation is that these structures are actually a means of access to part of the land and thus are not excluded from the definition of access land.


The bit '(NB this extract has not been checked to see if it is up to date.)' was just a warning that I had not checked in Lexus whether Section 34 taken from the government legal web site legisation.gov.uk was up to date.

You asked a broader question "Is CRoW an all or nothing affair".  The answer is no.  Public roads cannot be Access Land, so they are excluded.  Good examples are Burrington Combe and Cheddar Gorge.  If you go to http://www.magic.gov.uk/ (http://www.magic.gov.uk/) and drill down having switched on Access Land under Access, you will see each road is excluded. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 11:24:01 am
More opinions, Bob. No clear statements from NE. Same old, same old.

A useful answer would be to state what criteria would need to be considered in a decision to grant a section 26 exemption for a cave. You cannot do this, it requires knowledge that neither you nor any "yes" camp caver actually has.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 22, 2014, 11:48:10 am
Also consider things like the recent issue at Dow cave. I don't know the ins and outs but it is a significant cave on Access Land which seemingly the landowner closed and the CNCC is renegotiating.
Out of interest (& I ask this because I don't know, not to start an argument) will the likes of Providence Pot, Lancaster Hole etc be covered by CRoW? Both are built and engineered shafts, done with the Landowner's authority. As such they presumably drop out of the CRoW reduced Landowner liability bit? Is CRoW an all or nothing affair, once one bit fails does the whole lot fall or is it neither here nor there? Are dug shafts & entrances covered by CRoW or just 'natural' ones?

Quote
The above Acts clearly define that if you invite, specifically permit or licence an activity you immediately have a much greater duty of care to those on your land.
http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf (http://www.bhsaccesscornwall.org.uk/LandownerLiabilities.pdf)


You need to think in terms of the individuals involved. If a landowner grants permission to dig then the normal occupiers liability applies for the individuals digging, as it would to people installing a new stile, for example. However if I am exercising my CRoW right to cross the land and enter the dig (or climb a stile) without explicit permission then the reduced liability of CRoW is likely to apply*. It is not the nature of the feature itself but the nature of the activity which a person is carrying out.



*Just to throw Graham a bone, it is interesting to consider the extent of the works involved. CRoW reduces liability for "natural features" but how much human intervention would exclude an entrance from being "natural" is presumably a bit debatable, e.g. Titan, Notts II. Presumably the CRoW reduced liability would include gates and styles so long as they were properly maintained, although I don't recall and specifics from the Act.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 11:52:12 am
... presumably ... says TBE.

I remain appalled that the "pro" camp would have us make this leap in the dark based on so many woolly statements.

Anybody voting in this referendum needs hard facts, not all these opinions & presumablys.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 12:02:52 pm
And it should not be expected of all of us to go find those hard facts for ourselves. If the BCA want our votes, then the effort should be made by BCA to get those facts on our behalf.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 22, 2014, 12:08:32 pm
... presumably ... says TBE.

I remain appalled that the "pro" camp would have us make this leap in the dark based on so many woolly statements.

Anybody voting in this referendum needs hard facts, not all these opinions & presumablys.

If as individuals and as a society in general we only did stuff based on hard facts, the world would be a very boring place. Nothing would ever change, nothing would ever be invented or improved, tested or experimented. Sometimes it's necessary to be pragmatic (also applying bit of common sense); take a little risk or embrace uncertainty to improve things rather than keeping still for fear of change.

Rhys
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 12:17:12 pm
There is a massive difference between an irreversible leap in the dark, and one which you can back out of, if things are not as you expected. This is more a burn your bridges issue than a leap in the dark, perhaps? Pragmatism says, take care you can undo the possible bad things that surprise you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 22, 2014, 12:22:39 pm
It's not really such a leap in the dark though, is it? OK, the details may not be there, but there is a framework in place to make the stuff happen that needs to happen. Common sense and pragmatism suggests to me that it's likely work out OK. The people involved will make sure it does.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 22, 2014, 12:34:54 pm
More opinions, Bob. No clear statements from NE. Same old, same old.

A useful answer would be to state what criteria would need to be considered in a decision to grant a section 26 exemption for a cave. You cannot do this, it requires knowledge that neither you nor any "yes" camp caver actually has.
In the 2nd referenced posting I quoted my source as being RAG V4 produced by NE.  I will also draw attention to my posting at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575) where I provided further information.  I think that any reasonable person on reading all that information will accept them as an answer to Graham's question. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Blakethwaite on October 22, 2014, 12:47:09 pm

You need to think in terms of the individuals involved. If a landowner grants permission to dig then the normal occupiers liability applies for the individuals digging, as it would to people installing a new stile, for example. However if I am exercising my CRoW right to cross the land and enter the dig (or climb a stile) without explicit permission then the reduced liability of CRoW is likely to apply*. It is not the nature of the feature itself but the nature of the activity which a person is carrying out.
Yes I understand the basics of civil liability, its my trade. I would however doubt that a dig and a stile could be considered the same beasty.

A stile simply allows one to pass through an artifical & temporary barrier as one would if the barrier had not been placed whereas a dig allows passage where passage would not in natural circumstances exist.

I'd also be wary of Bob Mehew's claim that a mine passage or dig is the same thing as a stile. Surely a passage with a clear structural basis that has been dug, blasted, timbered, scaffed, concreted and otherwise engineered with the sole intention of allowing access to specific people will be viewed as being different to a stile or gate placed in a temporary construct of loose stone or wire with the intention of allowing all and sundry to pass? By the nature of some of his comments it seems clear that Bob know little or nothing of mines and mine exploring or the general IA community (I am happy to be corrected) and it seems somewhat of a pity that he appears to have taken it upon his shoulders to act without remit (a criticism of the CNCC that helped kickstart this whole dreary mess incidentally) and try to include mines.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 12:52:01 pm
Bob gives a link to Hansard:

Quote
Asked by Lord Greaves

    To ask Her Majesty's Government how many directions for exclusions and restrictions have been made under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in each year since the provision came into force; and how many have been made for an indefinite period. [HL2025]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The figures year by year for directions made to exclude or restrict access for nature conservation reasons under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 are as follows:
2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010 to date

5               61            22            31            11            10                  nil

Of these, 12 were made for an indefinite period.

No directions have been made to exclude or restrict access for heritage preservation reasons under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

I think the last line (highlighted) should give all those interested in cave conservation serious pause for thought.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 22, 2014, 12:53:54 pm
... presumably ... says TBE.

I remain appalled that the "pro" camp would have us make this leap in the dark based on so many woolly statements.

Anybody voting in this referendum needs hard facts, not all these opinions & presumablys.


 :lol:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 22, 2014, 01:05:08 pm
... presumably ... says TBE.

I remain appalled that the "pro" camp would have us make this leap in the dark based on so many woolly statements.

Anybody voting in this referendum needs hard facts, not all these opinions & presumablys.

If as individuals and as a society in general we only did stuff based on hard facts, the world would be a very boring place. Nothing would ever change, nothing would ever be invented or improved, tested or experimented. Sometimes it's necessary to be pragmatic (also applying bit of common sense); take a little risk or embrace uncertainty to improve things rather than keeping still for fear of change.

Rhys

Of course I agree Rhys, life revolves around an element of doubt. As you also point out it's hardly a leap in the dark.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 01:15:35 pm
It's not the darkness of the leap that is such a big deal, it's the irreversibility of it that grates with me. Consequently, I would like many many more hard facts in front of me before being happy with the idea. Dreams and wishes are not enough.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bazdog on October 22, 2014, 02:10:55 pm
Bob gives a link to Hansard:

Quote
Asked by Lord Greaves

    To ask Her Majesty's Government how many directions for exclusions and restrictions have been made under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in each year since the provision came into force; and how many have been made for an indefinite period. [HL2025]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The figures year by year for directions made to exclude or restrict access for nature conservation reasons under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 are as follows:
2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010 to date

5               61            22            31            11            10                  nil

Of these, 12 were made for an indefinite period.

No directions have been made to exclude or restrict access for heritage preservation reasons under Section 26 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

I think the last line (highlighted) should give all those interested in cave conservation serious pause for thought.

What point are you trying to make here? Have any applications ever been made and rejected or is this just another random obstacle you are trying to throw in the way. 

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 02:18:15 pm
Graham is drawing your attention to the bit he has highlighted. It's written in plain English. I can understand it. I can also see the point being alluded to.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 22, 2014, 02:21:24 pm
Graham is drawing your attention to the bit he has highlighted. It's written in plain English. I can understand it. I can also see the point being alluded to.

We need hard facts, not allusions!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 02:24:11 pm
 :) Glad to see you understand this, Rhys.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 22, 2014, 02:41:51 pm
Happy to do so had my intelligence not been questioned. Which it has........ There are people I am happy to help, and those who clearly don't know how to ask nicely!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 22, 2014, 02:43:42 pm
Graham is drawing your attention to the bit he has highlighted. It's written in plain English. I can understand it. I can also see the point being alluded to.
Graham has written "I think the last line (highlighted) should give all those interested in cave conservation serious pause for thought".  I note that 140 directions for conservation reasons had been issued between 2004 and sometime 2010.  So we do have evidence that the process does work.  All it needs is making a case to justify it.

However I wonder if he meant to write "I think the last line (highlighted) should give all those interested in cave heritage serious pause for thought" as no directions had been issued for heritage reasons which was the highlighted part of the quote.  I leave it up to others to conclude whether it is fair to draw a conclusion that all those applied for had been refused.  And so far I believe only one cave has been thought of as requiring protection on heritage grounds.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 04:16:02 pm
I am sorry that I have to do other things and cannot monitor this thread on a continuous basis. I have been doing a wee job for Natural England, today.

My point is a simple one. Neither Bob nor anyone else has yet given any indication of the grounds under which Section 26 exemptions might be made. As I have said earlier, the reasons why we wish to protect certain caves can by aesthetic rather than scientific, as shiny white stal tends to be lacking in scientific interest, as such, being a touch on the 'recent' side. Thus it is possible (No-one has answered the question, yet - another hard fact we are lacking, Rhys) that our more beautiful caves would not be eligible for protection for conservation reasons. Thus the avenue that would have to be pursued would be that of Heritage. I do not know, bazdog, what applications may have been made & refused under this heading. I do not know whether any have been made and thus whether any criteria for selection even exist.

These are not 'random obstacles' they are serious concerns that are being ignored.

I care about our caves, I resent the implication that I am merely being difficult for the sake of it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 04:18:15 pm
We need hard facts, not allusions!

Yes we do. In the absence of hard facts about the effects of this possible change in the law, I recommend not rocking the boat.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: paul on October 22, 2014, 04:38:27 pm
Global Moderator Comment Please desist from the personal bickering Bazdog and Peter Burgess. Final Warning.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: peterk on October 22, 2014, 04:52:37 pm
  I leave it up to others to conclude whether it is fair to draw a conclusion that all those applied for had been refused.  And so far I believe only one cave has been thought of as requiring protection on heritage grounds.
I didn't think an individual/group etc. could apply for a CROW restriction on heritage, nature, defence and security grounds.  I also thought/think that you have to be the landowner or have a legal interest in the land to apply on other grounds. I'm not saying you can't ask but you have no right to have your application put out to consultation etc.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 05:24:10 pm
And so far I believe only one cave has been thought of as requiring protection on heritage grounds.

Missed that one, thanks Peterk for reminding me.

I can, off the top of my head, think of several that deserve protection on heritage grounds, both for reasons of ancient archaeology and for reasons of mining heritage. Am I going to list them here and now? No! I don't want them put at risk even tangentially. And, of course, given that no Section 26 exemptions on these grounds have ever been made, we do not know what the process is, what the criteria are and what the timescales might be.

Another set of caves potentially at risk, just because a few people have got a bit annoyed with CNCC.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 22, 2014, 07:28:49 pm
I didn't think an individual/group etc. could apply for a CROW restriction on heritage, nature, defence and security grounds.  I also thought/think that you have to be the landowner or have a legal interest in the land to apply on other grounds. I'm not saying you can't ask but you have no right to have your application put out to consultation etc.
If you read the first link I posted at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575) you will see that any one can make representations to either NE or NRW for such a direction on conservation or heritage grounds.  I quote from 2.1.9 of RAG V4 "The relevant authority should give all representations on any of the other prescribed grounds reasonable consideration, although the need for detailed assessment will depend on the information it receives. "  So they are required to consider it.  If they feel a case has been made, then it goes into the process and they are required to consult with various bodies, notably the Local Access Forum and themselves for SSSI or EH / CADW for heritage.  The response to the consultations informs their decision; they do not decide it.  So it comes down the quality of the case you make in support of your representations.  And don't forget, BCA and other caving bodies such as BCRA could have a influence on NE & NRW's decision on what threshold should be adopted for such cases.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 07:39:14 pm
Quote
should ... could

Still no hard detail.  :coffee:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 22, 2014, 07:58:48 pm
Quote
should ... could

Still no hard detail.  :coffee:


.... I am obviously missing it, I can't seem to find the "hard detail" for the "no" campaign. Could someone re-post it (or point to it) please ?

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 08:07:25 pm
Quote
should ... could

Still no hard detail.  :coffee:


.... I am obviously missing it, I can't seem to find the "hard detail" for the "no" campaign. Could someone re-post it (or point to it) please ?

 :)

Ian

We are suggesting no change. Thus the hard detail is simple. We keep what we've got. It's the proponents of this leap in the dark that need to demonstrate that it's worth asking for.

I'm honestly surprised that this even needs saying.  :shrug:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Hughie on October 22, 2014, 08:23:58 pm
I didn't think an individual/group etc. could apply for a CROW restriction on heritage, nature, defence and security grounds.  I also thought/think that you have to be the landowner or have a legal interest in the land to apply on other grounds. I'm not saying you can't ask but you have no right to have your application put out to consultation etc.
If you read the first link I posted at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575) you will see that any one can make representations to either NE or NRW for such a direction on conservation or heritage grounds.  I quote from 2.1.9 of RAG V4 "The relevant authority should give all representations on any of the other prescribed grounds reasonable consideration, although the need for detailed assessment will depend on the information it receives. "  So they are required to consider it.  If they feel a case has been made, then it goes into the process and they are required to consult with various bodies, notably the Local Access Forum and themselves for SSSI or EH / CADW for heritage.  The response to the consultations informs their decision; they do not decide it.  So it comes down the quality of the case you make in support of your representations.  And don't forget, BCA and other caving bodies such as BCRA could have a influence on NE & NRW's decision on what threshold should be adopted for such cases.

Bob - if you think you'll get that lot done in a six week or whatever window, then you quite plainly haven't had many dealings with NE or the various bodies they'll need to consult with. The wheels of bureaucracy turn v e r  y,  v  e  r  y   s  l  o  w  l  y.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: peterk on October 22, 2014, 08:50:50 pm
I didn't think an individual/group etc. could apply for a CROW restriction on heritage, nature, defence and security grounds.  I also thought/think that you have to be the landowner or have a legal interest in the land to apply on other grounds. I'm not saying you can't ask but you have no right to have your application put out to consultation etc.
If you read the first link I posted at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg225575#msg225575) you will see that any one can make representations to either NE or NRW for such a direction on conservation or heritage grounds.  I quote from 2.1.9 of RAG V4 "The relevant authority should give all representations on any of the other prescribed grounds reasonable consideration, although the need for detailed assessment will depend on the information it receives. "  So they are required to consider it.  If they feel a case has been made, then it goes into the process and they are required to consult with various bodies, notably the Local Access Forum and themselves for SSSI or EH / CADW for heritage.  The response to the consultations informs their decision; they do not decide it.  So it comes down the quality of the case you make in support of your representations.  And don't forget, BCA and other caving bodies such as BCRA could have a influence on NE & NRW's decision on what threshold should be adopted for such cases.
Bob
Thanks for making me work in confirming what I said  :beer2:
What you say is correct but the references don't have the force of law. I summarise it as "You can ask and there is no legal obligation by EH or NA to do anything". The Civil Service has great expertise in saying things that would happen in an ideal world but when the political masters cut the budgets then only statutory functions are performed and as I posted earlier regulations are amended to defer delivery dates of statutory functions. To quote another HMG document on applying for a CROW restriction "Information note on restrictions and exclusions of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009" June 2012https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69559/pb13766-access-restrictions-exclusions.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69559/pb13766-access-restrictions-exclusions.pdf)  "There is no power to apply for such a direction" .

I have a great deal of cynicism when it comes to politicians' claims and government publications.  Today we have national headlines about deporting criminals and if you had asked the Home Secretary about deportations 4 years ago the reply would have included tough targets, procedures in place, etc. but no mention of the deportees' lawyers thinking "What does the law say?". I hope I used "cynicism" correctly - I can't stand publications making all sorts of claims that have little substance in fact and FAQ's that never contain the hard questions.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 09:04:01 pm
Bob - if you think you'll get that lot done in a six week or whatever window, then you quite plainly haven't had many dealings with NE or the various bodies they'll need to consult with. The wheels of bureaucracy turn v e r  y,  v  e  r  y   s  l  o  w  l  y.

Hughie

I have made that point several times. I have been helping NE with an SSSI schedule for two years now. Did another job relevant to the paperwork this morning. These things do not happen quickly and we still have no definitive statement on whether physical protection can be maintained in the meantime.

To say nothing of how to deal with intruders claiming "the gate was open & I've got a right!" in the mean time.

Humanly caused damage is almost always irreversible in low energy cave environments.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 22, 2014, 09:24:10 pm

We are suggesting no change......

I'm honestly surprised that this even needs saying.  :shrug:


When there is a democratic vote (say, a general election) all sides lay down their case. The incumbent party doesn't state "we are suggesting no change" and place the onus on everyone else do they ?

It has also been presented to the BCA officialdom that we (Cavers) already have the right to enter caves on CRoW - it seems to me that if the "no" campaign want to block the BCA acting in favour of CRoW then the "no" campaign should likewise put forward their case ?

Since you are demanding "hard facts", it is perfectly equitable to also demand "hard facts".

Regardless, each and every one of us who votes will do so based on our individual thoughts and knowledge. There is no definitive "Right or wrong" here, both sides have merits. Your continual hounding of the "yes" campaign to produce "hard facts" is erroneous as your own case is built on your opinion.

Ian


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 22, 2014, 09:43:31 pm
Ian

This is not a general election, where the various parties set out their manifestos for future action. It is a referendum, much like the Scottish referendum where the options were "change" or "no change." In that particular case, the "no change" camp won, not because they set out an alternative vision of the future but because their opponents alternative vision was deemed to be insufficiently lacking in hard detail of what that future actually held.

My contention is that the same holds true in this case.

My opinion is that the act does not apply to caves.

That is, however, not the point, here, as the vote is on whether the BCA should lobby for that change. Those who want change need to to justify that change, that particular change as other, less extreme, changes, such as an overhaul of the CNCC permit system, would in my view answer the vast majority of the current objections without the seriously problematic side-effects of CRoW.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: menacer on October 22, 2014, 10:06:03 pm
Im not really understanding the effect/ramification on Mendip for caves like UFS and Cuthberts.

BEC unofficially control Cuthberts, MCG unofficially control UFS. ( under the status quo like a grandfather rights thing)
Its been like that for years.

What rights,  that they dont have now to do that, could possibly be further removed from them under new crow?

( or maybe there is some official documentation about both those access controls  thats yet to be revealed??)

Please someone explain.


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 22, 2014, 10:37:04 pm
This is not a general election, where the various parties set out their manifestos for future action. It is a referendum, much like the Scottish referendum where the options were "change" or "no change."

Taking your own example, both sides in the Scottish referendum made their case citing the advantages of voting for their respective side. That doesn’t support your position here where you believe you have no case to make and it is for your opposition to prove their case. Your own example contradicts your position.


In that particular case, the "no change" camp won, not because they set out an alternative vision of the future but because their opponents alternative vision was deemed to be insufficiently lacking in hard detail of what that future actually held.

Forgive me, but that appears to be your opinion and not a “hard fact”.

Those who want change need to to justify that change

No they don’t. They only have to want the change.

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Les W on October 22, 2014, 10:40:12 pm
BEC unofficially control Cuthberts,

Pretty sure BEC have a lease on Cuthbert's that means they do legally control it.
They certainly used to and I doubt they would let it lapse voluntarily, although the owners, Inveresk, may have refused to renew it at some point...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 22, 2014, 11:19:40 pm
I do wish people would stop refering to the Scottish referendum, since although they remain in Great Britain, their version of CRoW does include caves.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 23, 2014, 04:01:34 am
Those who want change need to to justify that change

No they don’t. They only have to want the change.

Ian

However, if you don't justify the change you want, you are not going to persuade the CRoW sceptics of your case.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 06:49:29 am
Im not really understanding the effect/ramification on Mendip for caves like UFS and Cuthberts.

BEC unofficially control Cuthberts, MCG unofficially control UFS. ( under the status quo like a grandfather rights thing)
Its been like that for years.

What rights,  that they dont have now to do that, could possibly be further removed from them under new crow?

( or maybe there is some official documentation about both those access controls  thats yet to be revealed??)

Please someone explain.

Neither of these is controlled unofficially by the clubs concerned. The landowner has the right to control access to the site & in each case, though possibly by different mechanisms, that right is administered on the landowner's behalf by the club concerned. Were CRoW to be made to apply to caves then the landowner would no longer have the right to control access, except in certain limited ways allowed by the act. So, no more gates no more leader systems - leading inevitably to degradation of those two stunning caves.

Now, some will argue that this is not a problem because Section 26 allows for access controls to be put in place. However, they have not yet told us exactly who can put those controls in place, exactly who can request such a thing, what the eligibility criteria are, thus whether the caves might meet those criteria, how long the process might take to complete and whether any sort of control can legally be kept in place in the mean time.

Without that information (these are some of the hard facts that I keep asking about) it is quite obvious that a very real threat exists to the integrity of these really rather wonderful caves.

It's that simple.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 06:51:20 am
Those who want change need to to justify that change

No they don’t. They only have to want the change.

Ian

However, if you don't justify the change you want, you are not going to persuade the CRoW sceptics of your case.

Worse, you are going to show lots of others that in wanting change without even knowing what that change would actually mean you are willing to take enormous risks with the state of our country's caves.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 08:15:53 am
However, if you don't justify the change you want, you are not going to persuade the CRoW sceptics of your case.


In the case of a referendum, there is no requirement for either side (the voters) to persuade the other side that they are right.


Worse, you are going to show lots of others that in wanting change without even knowing what that change would actually mean you are willing to take enormous risks with the state of our country's caves.


“Enormous risks” ?  - where are the “hard facts” to support this ?


Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 08:28:58 am
However, if you don't justify the change you want, you are not going to persuade the CRoW sceptics of your case.


In the case of a referendum, there is no requirement for either side (the voters) to persuade the other side that they are right.


Worse, you are going to show lots of others that in wanting change without even knowing what that change would actually mean you are willing to take enormous risks with the state of our country's caves.


“Enormous risks” ?  - where are the “hard facts” to support this ?


Ian

In my previous post. Read and try to understand it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 23, 2014, 09:03:23 am
if you have a very well decorated cave, pristine the first time its seen by cavers, then put several hundred cavers through it and it gets damaged beyond repair. To simply say all cavers are responsible (one would like to think they are) the sad fact is that a majority are, but the small minority are not and are it would seem to wilfully cause damage, by walking on taped of areas, or helping themselves to part of the cave.
restrict access through leader led trips and we can in a small help preserve the cave, but every time a caver enters that system they change the cave environment.
damage to very popular cave systems through extensive traffic has already occurred (swildons as an example)

yes the referendum is about whether BCA should lobby for a change in crow, what graham and the no camp is concerned with is the process to get the protection for these types of caves,

what I would like to see is and maybe this would have to done by region (cncc, ccc etc) is ways that they can improve access to caves, 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 09:43:41 am

“Enormous risks” ?  - where are the “hard facts” to support this ?

Ian

In my previous post. Read and try to understand it.


All I can find in your previous posts are your assumptions and your opinion – still no “Hard Facts”   :coffee:


Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 09:49:48 am
what I would like to see is and maybe this would have to done by region (cncc, ccc etc) is ways that they can improve access to caves,

Most of our access systems work quite well most of the time.

It does seem that the CNCC permit systems could be streamlined and brought up to date using modern technology. if that were done, using some type of online booking system that worked in real time, then presumably the majority of the problems that have arisen in the recent past could be solved without the need to antagonise anyone and risk serious problems with other caves elsewhere in the country.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 10:36:37 am
Most of our access systems work quite well most of the time.

Another opinion? Where are the “hard facts” to support that ?


It does seem that the CNCC permit systems could be streamlined and brought up to date using modern technology. if that were done, using some type of online booking system that worked in real time, then presumably the majority of the problems that have arisen in the recent past could be solved without the need to antagonise anyone and risk serious problems with other caves elsewhere in the country.


Seriously ? 

The CNCC system was brought up to date with a new website et al.  It did not prevent the alleged corruption nor did it prevent or abate the pirate trips. (all previously addressed on this forum).

And, how does the CNCC system “risk serious problems with other caves elsewhere in the country” ?  That is a hugely sweeping statement – where are the “hard facts” to support your contention ?

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 23, 2014, 11:15:20 am
As I said up thread

Quote

Also consider things like the recent issue at Dow cave. I don't know the ins and outs but it is a significant cave on Access Land which seemingly the landowner closed and the CNCC is renegotiating. The permits system is a symptom, not the cause, and all the best intended reforms of it and the CNCC will not secure access to thousands of caves across the country.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 11:27:06 am

“Enormous risks” ?  - where are the “hard facts” to support this ?

Ian

In my previous post. Read and try to understand it.


All I can find in your previous posts are your assumptions and your opinion – still no “Hard Facts”   :coffee:


Ian

You haven't understood it, then. Do try harder.

Hard Fact No. 1. If this idiotic idea ever comes to fruition then we do not have the information we need on how to protect delicate caves from unthinking fools.

Got that?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 23, 2014, 11:44:36 am
Graham

The facts, in so far as they are known and as detailed as they are known, have been given to you over and over again by Bob Mehew and others. I think you are well aware that no more detail exists or is known. It might just be time to stop chasing this one. I never thought it was was clever when Jeremy Paxman asked the same question over and over again and I don't think it's clever now.

People will simply have to make their voting decision based on the information that has been provided and decide whether the potential risk and uncertainty is worth it.

Rhys
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 11:59:16 am
Graham

The facts, in so far as they are known and as detailed as they are known, have been given to you over and over again by Bob Mehew and others. I think you are well aware that no more detail exists or is known. It might just be time to stop chasing this one. I never thought it was was clever when Jeremy Paxman asked the same question over and over again and I don't think it's clever now.

People will simply have to make their voting decision based on the information that has been provided and decide whether the potential risk and uncertainty is worth it.

Rhys

Rhys

I am sorry but if people think answers to these detailed points are known, they might think that all is well. They are not known. We do not know at all. All we have is Bob's and others views on this.

We have no solid information from Natural England, from DEFRA, from anybody at all, as to how exactly these things might play out. One contact at NE tells me that they are hectically busy at present dealing with issues to do with the coast path and would have no extra resources to handle this problem - if indeed they were requested to do so and if the features that we feel need protecting fell within their ambit.

So, no, I will not shut and accept that all is potentially rosy in the garden when, despite the opinions of others, I know that it is not.

People need to know what the situation is when they come to cast their votes. If you only want one side to put their case before then, well, that is unfortunate.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 23, 2014, 12:03:09 pm
With you on that one Rhys, all I can see in Grahams posts is opinion and conjecture, very few 'hard facts'. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 12:08:28 pm
I don't understand why facts are required to keep things the way they are. When we action a Change Request at work, we have to justify what it is we want to see changed with reasons, consequences, risks, business justification etc. When we are not going to change anything, we don't have to raise a Change Request!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 23, 2014, 12:13:34 pm
Graham

The facts, in so far as they are known and as detailed as they are known, have been given to you over and over again by Bob Mehew and others. I think you are well aware that no more detail exists or is known. It might just be time to stop chasing this one. I never thought it was was clever when Jeremy Paxman asked the same question over and over again and I don't think it's clever now.

People will simply have to make their voting decision based on the information that has been provided and decide whether the potential risk and uncertainty is worth it.

Rhys

Rhys

I am sorry but if people think answers to these detailed points are known, they might think that all is well. They are not known. We do not know at all. All we have is Bob's and others views on this.

We have no solid information from Natural England, from DEFRA, from anybody at all, as to how exactly these things might play out. One contact at NE tells me that they are hectically busy at present dealing with issues to do with the coast path and would have no extra resources to handle this problem - if indeed they were requested to do so and if the features that we feel need protecting fell within their ambit.

So, no, I will not shut and accept that all is potentially rosy in the garden when, despite the opinions of others, I know that it is not.

People need to know what the situation is when they come to cast their votes. If you only want one side to put their case before then, well, that is unfortunate.

It's like deja vu all over again... You've made the point.

I won't pretend all is rosy and I'm not attempting to silence anyone, but I believe that this repetetive line of argument has been exhausted. It's not engaging and it turns people off.

Rhys
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 12:22:19 pm
There are two distinct issues here; whether CRoW should apply to caves, and how to protect the fragile nature of caves in the future.

It seems to me that whatever happens, the latter issue needs to be addressed. I can understand why cavers want to cling on to the present arrangements but these in themselves are by no means secure and depend on the goodwill of individual landowners, who might decide at any time to withhold permission for access or indeed do anything they like with them. For a long time I've held the view that natural caves should not be owned by individuals, people or companies, and in the same way that CRoW gave freedom of access to vast reacts of land for everyone, this same freedom should be bestowed to us for access to caves.

Remembering back to the arguments with landowners' representatation, we were faced with the same arguments - a need to preserve the countryside and how only landowners could do this. Many tales of doom about the consequences of allowing us ordinary folk to wander freely over the countryside were bandied about. Thankfully the government of the day saw the true nature of these scaremongering tactics and we have the wonderful CRoW legislation as a consequence.

It seems highly likely that cavers will come down in favour of pursuing CRoW for caves, but that's just the beginning. Sure, it'll be a long process to get where we need to be in terms of preservation, but so what?

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 23, 2014, 12:22:57 pm
I don't understand why facts are required to keep things the way they are. When we action a Change Request at work, we have to justify what it is we want to see changed with reasons, consequences, risks, business justification etc. When we are not going to change anything, we don't have to raise a Change Request!

When presented with a problem, changing nothing is always a valid option to be considered alongside other options. However, the risks and consequences of changing nothing have to be weighed up fairly alongside the risks and conquences of changing something. In the current situation, some people believe that the status quo is OK, others think the status quo is not ok. You need facts about the status quo to reconcile those differing opinions. That is why proponents of the status quo need to defend the status quo - when an alternative is presented.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 12:38:12 pm
With you on that one Rhys, all I can see in Grahams posts is opinion and conjecture, very few 'hard facts'. :thumbsup:

Do you not know how cave access and cave conservation are handled at the moment, Boggie? You surprise me.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 23, 2014, 12:42:08 pm
It's like deja vu all over again... You've made the point.

I won't pretend all is rosy and I'm not attempting to silence anyone, but I believe that this repetetive line of argument has been exhausted. It's not engaging and it turns people off.

Rhys

Hear hear, Rhys. It has indeed. I will add a little info to this thread b4 I go away again:-

I have recently received an excellent booklet from the BCA CRoW Working Group. It is very detailed, well balanced and well written with consideration given to both the pro and con sides of things. I hope you all get a copy in due course.

I (and other regional conservation representatives) have also recently received an interesting email from the BCA Conservation & Access Officer which contains a detailed report (from DEFRA/NE) on the use of section 26 to open up NNRs which are on access land for public access, (this one in the Dales), but at the same time restrict certain areas of them for conservation reasons. It is being done and it will be the same for cave sites. It just needs the various parties (BCA/DEFRA/NE) to work together to sort out any issues.

It's not rocket science. Sites currently with protection (but with access arrangements) in place will remain so unless someone of authority (and that means BCA) argues otherwise. BCA are aware of the issues and will sort them out, so just leave it to them please.

As I've said b4, BCA have all our interests in mind. (ie:- Conservation & Access.) Discussion on here is useful, but it won't influence DEFRA/NE, only BCA, who is consulting with it's members, can do that as the national caving body.

Regards Mel. DCA Conservation Officer.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 12:54:00 pm
Because the status quo is the status quo and is the world we have now, we can see it as it is - there are no illusions, just knowledge of how things are. Is there a philosopher in the house to explain this more simply? We don't have to guess how things are because we can look around us. There are no changes in risk either for better or worse if things are left as they are. I am not risk averse, but I do like to be risk aware. You cannot be aware of risks if you have no information to make a judgement. The US Moon program worked because they took care to reduce risks as best they could. Yes, they had a few issues, but it worked. The Soviet Moon program failed because they did not care so much about the risks, and were pursuing an ideal - to get there first - and they failed spectacularly.

If you want a "win" for cavers in the longer term, leave things as they are unless you can quantify the risks far better than anybody has bothered to do so far.

The Soviets believed they could get to the Moon, but eventually failed, the US knew they could, because they took the time to get it right, and gather as much hard fact as they could muster.

The "Moon" in this context is NOT acceptance of CRoW for caving, it is the future betterment of cave access for all of us.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 12:57:57 pm
When Jeremy Paxman continued to ask the same question repeatedly and got no straight answer, it left me with the impression that the people being questioned were simply evasive and uncooperative politicians. I am not drawing any parallels, before anyone thinks I am "bickering".
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 12:59:56 pm

I have recently received an excellent booklet from the BCA CRoW Working Group. It is very detailed, well balanced and well written with consideration given to both the pro and con sides of things. I hope you all get a copy in due course.


That's interesting on several grounds:

Wasn't the Working Group wound up by the AGM and responsibility for this matter handed to the C&A committee?

Weren't we told that no discussion papers were being sent out prior to this ballot?

So, who has actually produced this? Under what authority? Who is distributing it? To whom? Who has paid for all this?

Something very strange here, methinks.

And as for

It is being done and it will be the same for cave sites. It just needs the various parties (BCA/DEFRA/NE) to work together to sort out any issues.

The local NE people to Mendip don't believe that CRoW applies to caves & don't believe that CRoW was ever intended to apply to caves. So that's one filthy great issue that would need sorting out first.

How do I know this? I asked them.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 23, 2014, 01:22:24 pm

I have recently received an excellent booklet from the BCA CRoW Working Group. It is very detailed, well balanced and well written with consideration given to both the pro and con sides of things. I hope you all get a copy in due course.


That's interesting on several grounds:

Wasn't the Working Group wound up by the AGM and responsibility for this matter handed to the C&A committee?

Weren't we told that no discussion papers were being sent out prior to this ballot?

So, who has actually produced this? Under what authority? Who is distributing it? To whom? Who has paid for all this?

Something very strange here, methinks.



Does the booklet include the statement Bob and I posted yesterday - http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.0 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.0) ?

We live in the twenty first century, someone at BCA needs to urgently bring together all the various documents on a single easy to find web page and reference this page on the ballot paper at the very least. 

Whilst we're asking BCA questions can I ask who did the maths on the cost of the referendum. I'm sure someone mentioned earlier that there are 5,500 members to ballot? A second class stamp costs 53p I think, so 11,000 to cover two ballots would be £5300, plus the cost of printing the papers, envelopes etc? Of course if I'm wrong and only say 2,000 people are entitled to vote then I'm sure the £3000 figure is probably just about achievable.

If the second ballot is an online ballot then this could be reduced but from what I can gather we'll still be sent a unique voting number if this happens, so it won't.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Hughie on October 23, 2014, 01:28:25 pm
When Jeremy Paxman continued to ask the same question repeatedly and got no straight answer, it left me with the impression that the people being questioned were simply evasive and uncooperative politicians. I am not drawing any parallels, before anyone thinks I am "bickering".

Hughie likes this^^^^
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 23, 2014, 01:45:15 pm
With you on that one Rhys, all I can see in Grahams posts is opinion and conjecture, very few 'hard facts'. :thumbsup:

Do you not know how cave access and cave conservation are handled at the moment, Boggie? You surprise me.

I have been around a long time Graham, I am very conversant with access and conservation matters in the Peak District, I cannot understand why you as the self acclaimed spokesman on Mendip has such an issue with this, caves on Mendip affected by CRoW can be counted in two figures, those in S.Wales maybe in hundreds, Peak District; tens, Yorkshire; Thousands.
 BCA represents the whole of British caves and cavers and is striving to do the best for all.

By the way, I consider it an insult using the abreviation of my name by those who do not know me and have not caved with me, them that know me, OK, them that don't, please use my full title!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Rhys on October 23, 2014, 01:46:30 pm

The local NE people to Mendip don't believe that CRoW applies to caves & don't believe that CRoW was ever intended to apply to caves. So that's one filthy great issue that would need sorting out first.

How do I know this? I asked them.

That may be so, but it won't be the local people to Mendip solely making a national policy decision on interpretation of the law. If interpretation is changed centrally, the local staff will be obliged to comply and apply the law as decided.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Aubrey on October 23, 2014, 01:50:15 pm
For a long time I've held the view that natural caves should not be owned by individuals, people or companies, and in the same way that CRoW gave freedom of access to vast reacts of land for everyone, this same freedom should be bestowed to us for access to caves.


Tony, (not necessarily a CROW question) Do you include show caves in your desire to open up all caves to everyone?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 02:31:05 pm
For a long time I've held the view that natural caves should not be owned by individuals, people or companies, and in the same way that CRoW gave freedom of access to vast reacts of land for everyone, this same freedom should be bestowed to us for access to caves.


Tony, (not necessarily a CROW question) Do you include show caves in your desire to open up all caves to everyone?

Yes, I do Aubrey, but then I was thinking of ownership, rather than the absolute right to access the caves. It would be possible for commercial companies to operate as facilitators for public access, supplying guides, lighting etc. so that these caves could continue to be enjoyed by everyone.
 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 02:34:59 pm

The local NE people to Mendip don't believe that CRoW applies to caves & don't believe that CRoW was ever intended to apply to caves. So that's one filthy great issue that would need sorting out first.

How do I know this? I asked them.

That may be so, but it won't be the local people to Mendip solely making a national policy decision on interpretation of the law. If interpretation is changed centrally, the local staff will be obliged to comply and apply the law as decided.
They are, however, the ones who don't have the time or resources to deal with a sudden flurry of Section 26 requests. Which brings me back to  those awkward questions that you don't like me asking.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 02:35:50 pm
Rhys,

Excellent posts, thank you for your common sense approach and objective view.


Graham,

You have repeatedly challenged posts made by other people, not only demanding “hard facts” but also making a point of stating that your question(s) had not been answered; Yet, you have not been good enough to answer this (which seems to have slipped past you).

…. and risk serious problems with other caves elsewhere in the country.

And, how does the CNCC system “risk serious problems with other caves elsewhere in the country” ?  That is a hugely sweeping statement – where are the “hard facts” to support your contention ?
 

If you are not able to answer it, perhaps you would be good enough to retract it ?



Also, with regard to this statement you made;

Hard Fact No. 1. If this idiotic idea ever comes to fruition then we do not have the information we need on how to protect delicate caves from unthinking fools.

Got that?


As Rhys has rightly pointed out, much has been said by Bob Mehew and others wherein a tremendous amount of work has been put in (and will continue to be put in) precisely to address the issue of protecting caves.  Your statement comes across as a slight (snub) and you should do the decent thing and at least withdraw that statement and/or apologise to the many people who have worked so hard on this project for everyone's benefit (including yours)

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW - list of issued document
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 23, 2014, 02:50:44 pm
My understanding is that BCA will not produce anything other than a short neutral statement on the ballot paper.  The range of statements which have been made by other persons can be found as follows:

a) Descent Issue 240 p26 to 28 plus a letter by P Mellors at p37 to 38 (and a really good cartoon if anyone wants some light relief!)

b) BCA C&A meeting minutes and documents at http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:091107_canda_minutes_draft.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:091107_canda_minutes_draft.pdf)

c) A compilation of material written on CRoW (including the 'Instructions' by Allen, Mehew and Potts and its references, the opinion by Rose, the alternative view on the opinion by Judson and Wilson) at http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving)

d) A pro CRoW document by Allen, Mehew and Potts made available at Hidden Earth at http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01)

e) A document by Mehew on Section 26 processes at http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-02 (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-02)

f) A statement on The effect of changes in liability for Landowners under CRoW by Brocklebank and Mehew at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.msg225962#msg225962 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.msg225962#msg225962)

I believe the booklet Mmilner referred to is item d) which predates item f).  I would be grateful if people could PM me with any other items so I can keep the list up to date.  Happy reading
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 02:54:47 pm
Ian

I did not say that the CNCC system risked serious problems in other parts of the country. What I actually said was that instead of reforming the CNCC permits system in a way that would satisfy Yorkshire cavers, say by using an online booking system that was live in real time and could thus be interrogated and permits booked on the day of a trip (by no means technologically impossible & IMHO a better use of BCA's scarce funds than this foolish referendum) those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells are, by attempting to get this law changed, risking serious damage to delicate caves all over the country.

Quote
As Rhys has rightly pointed out, much has been said by Bob Mehew and others wherein a tremendous amount of work has been put in (and will continue to be put in) precisely to address the issue of protecting caves.  Your statement comes across as a slight (snub) and you should do the decent thing and at least withdraw that statement and/or apologise to the many people who have worked so hard on this project for everyone's benefit (including yours)

As someone who has devoted a significant amount of time to cave access and cave conservation issues of many years, I am apologising to nobody. In my view this project has been a complete waste of time and has diverted energy and resources that would be far better used elsewhere (see above) to producing a situation of serious uncertainty where no-one has been able to state with any degree of confidence just how we would go about protecting delicate and at risk caves were this to happen.

I apologise for this next bit, but it needs saying.

Bob has put in a lot of effort, yes. Many years ago, an issue was flagged up about about the relevance of the IRRs to caves and cavers. Shortly after, two lawyers spent a day in (IIRC) the SMCC Hut on Mendip going through the relevant laws on the subject and stating that they did not apply to recreational caving. They were not believed and so the Radon Working Party was born. A number of people, including Bob, put a tremendous amount of effort into that over the next few years until, eventually, the RWP reported back to the NCA (as then was) AGM that, guess what, the IRRs did not apply to recreational caving. At which point one of the lawyers stood up and said "I told you so!" Forgive me, therefore for not having faith in Bob's opinions. He has form, you see, in wasting his time and other people's.

I'll doubtless get modded for that last bit, but I think the quote from the lawyer is probably in the relevant AGM minutes.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 23, 2014, 03:16:41 pm
Sorry for going off topic but may I remind others that the IRRs do apply to professional caving and also to business land and void owners which can catch recreational cavers.  Read Section 4 at http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=publications_information:bca_radon_underground_2nd_ed.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=publications_information:bca_radon_underground_2nd_ed.pdf). 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 03:23:44 pm
Graham,

Thank you for your considered response and explanation(s).

…. those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells are, by attempting to get this law changed, risking serious damage to delicate caves all over the country.

It isn’t “those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells” who are attempting to get the law changed but, rather, a number of cavers in general (some of whom obviously cave in the fells).

Furthermore, no one is actually trying to get the “law changed”. An interpretation of the law has been presented which suggests CRoW does (and always did) cover “caving”. It is clarity that is being sought, not a change in law.

….. and you still haven’t provided any evidence (setting aside “hard facts”) that this will lead to “serious damage to caves all over the country”.


I won’t comment on your remarks regarding Bob except to say that there are many other people working towards the easing of access and the consideration of protecting delicate caves. Whereas you may think it is a waste of time, clearly some people do not – at the very least you should respect their right to their opinion mostly especially as you will also benefit if their work comes to fruition.


Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 03:24:53 pm

Many years ago, an issue was flagged up about about the relevance of the IRRs to caves and cavers. Shortly after, two lawyers spent a day in (IIRC) the SMCC Hut on Mendip going through the relevant laws on the subject and stating that they did not apply to recreational caving. They were not believed and so the Radon Working Party was born. A number of people, including Bob, put a tremendous amount of effort into that over the next few years until, eventually, the RWP reported back to the NCA (as then was) AGM that, guess what, the IRRs did not apply to recreational caving. At which point one of the lawyers stood up and said "I told you so!"

The opinions of lawyers should always be listened to and respected. They, after all, have a better understanding of such things than the rest of us.

QCs, even more so.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 03:27:17 pm
Do we need to remind ourselves that a QC will provide you with whatever result you want, within reason. It depends on what brief you give them to follow.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 23, 2014, 03:41:19 pm
Graham,

Thank you for your considered response and explanation(s).

…. those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells are, by attempting to get this law changed, risking serious damage to delicate caves all over the country.

It isn’t “those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells” who are attempting to get the law changed but, rather, a number of cavers in general (some of whom obviously cave in the fells).

Furthermore, no one is actually trying to get the “law changed”. An interpretation of the law has been presented which suggests CRoW does (and always did) cover “caving”. It is clarity that is being sought, not a change in law.

….. and you still haven’t provided any evidence (setting aside “hard facts”) that this will lead to “serious damage to caves all over the country”.


I won’t comment on your remarks regarding Bob except to say that there are many other people working towards the easing of access and the consideration of protecting delicate caves. Whereas you may think it is a waste of time, clearly some people do not – at the very least you should respect their right to their opinion mostly especially as you will also benefit if their work comes to fruition.


Ian

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Saves me the hassel of trying to explain to the ignoramuses :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 03:42:17 pm
Ian, Tony, this is for you. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 03:43:26 pm
Do we need to remind ourselves that a QC will provide you with whatever result you want, within reason. It depends on what brief you give them to follow.
... And remembering there's a difference between a result and an opinion.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 03:46:50 pm
The opinions of lawyers should always be listened to and respected. They, after all, have a better understanding of such things than the rest of us.

QCs, even more so.

Indeed. Now, one lawyer - not a caver - who read the QC's opinion said that he would not advise a client of his to litigate on the basis of that opinion. It was by no means strong enough.

Do you respect that particular lawyer's comments?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 03:49:37 pm
Do we need to remind ourselves that a QC will provide you with whatever result you want, within reason. It depends on what brief you give them to follow.
... And remembering there's a difference between a result and an opinion.
If we wish to continue the pedancy, the RESULT I referred to was the OPINION the QC in question came up with.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 03:51:38 pm
Ian, Tony, this is for you. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle)
Yes, being a clinician by profession I'm well acquainted with the precautionary principal but then I don't think the public or the environment are any more at risk from CRoW being applied to caving than for other so-called "outdoor pursuits"
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 03:53:33 pm
The opinions of lawyers should always be listened to and respected. They, after all, have a better understanding of such things than the rest of us.

QCs, even more so.

Indeed. Now, one lawyer - not a caver - who read the QC's opinion said that he would not advise a client of his to litigate on the basis of that opinion. It was by no means strong enough.

Do you respect that particular lawyer's comments?
I guess it's a question of which one's opinion to trust the most, isn't it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 23, 2014, 03:55:45 pm
Graham,

Thank you for your considered response and explanation(s).

…. those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells are, by attempting to get this law changed, risking serious damage to delicate caves all over the country.

It isn’t “those who have been dissatisfied by access arrangements on those fells” who are attempting to get the law changed but, rather, a number of cavers in general (some of whom obviously cave in the fells).

Furthermore, no one is actually trying to get the “law changed”. An interpretation of the law has been presented which suggests CRoW does (and always did) cover “caving”. It is clarity that is being sought, not a change in law.

….. and you still haven’t provided any evidence (setting aside “hard facts”) that this will lead to “serious damage to caves all over the country”.


I won’t comment on your remarks regarding Bob except to say that there are many other people working towards the easing of access and the consideration of protecting delicate caves. Whereas you may think it is a waste of time, clearly some people do not – at the very least you should respect their right to their opinion mostly especially as you will also benefit if their work comes to fruition.


Ian

Ian, Graham, Peter and anyone else if they're still listening.

So far as hard facts there are going to be a shortage of these, on both sides. The document Bob and I have produced talks about risks, we've agreed a few basic facts, but at that point all we can do is outline possible processes and outcomes. It's then up to individuals to decide whether based on that information they want to take the risk. The document was about the effect of changes in landowners liability. Bob recognises that there could be problems and I recognise that there are benefits to CRoW - but we've tried to outline the risks so you can judge for yourselves.

In the worst case scenario sport cavers as well as diggers could lose access to some areas until the CRoW campaign is over, and beyond if we lost. The area may be a couple of fields in Derbyshire or Ingleborough and the whole of the Ease Gill system, no one knows.

In the best case scenario the campaign isn't needed because Defra change their advice straight away, landowners are fine about the changes, and access is improved for everyone. Actually though I'm anti this I'd welcome that.

Alternatively the vote may go against CRoW and all carries on as at present.

This is not a black and white question. The likely outcome if the vote is in favour is going to be somewhere between the best and worse case.

The same applies to conservation. In worst case a landowner or NE may refuse to submit a Section 26 application and cavers may not be able to do so. A so far well protected cave may be unprotected for weeks, months, years or forever, and irreplaceable formations destroyed.

On the other hand all may go smoothly and we may end up with better protection.

Again, the likely outcome is going to be somewhere between the two.

The reason we are short on facts is because it hasn't happened before, no one knows quite how some of the processes will work in practice, and yes, perhaps the whole thing is being rushed a bit without enough groundwork being done.

On the other hand we do have a good understanding of how the system currently works, and of what needs doing to fix  it - the CNCC need to represent all cavers including DIM's for example.

We've all got to make up our own minds, unless we abstain from voting. Endless bickering and personal attacks simply put people off and stop the few facts we have, the opinions we have and the risks we might be taking from reaching a wider audience.

Please give it a rest  :hug:

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 03:56:30 pm

Indeed. Now, one lawyer - not a caver - who read the QC's opinion said that he would not advise a client of his to litigate on the basis of that opinion. It was by no means strong enough.

Do you respect that particular lawyer's comments?


Name the lawyer please.


….. and you still haven’t provided any evidence (setting aside “hard facts”) that this will lead to “serious damage to caves all over the country”.


Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 03:57:29 pm
Do we need to remind ourselves that a QC will provide you with whatever result you want, within reason. It depends on what brief you give them to follow.
... And remembering there's a difference between a result and an opinion.
If we wish to continue the pedancy, the RESULT I referred to was the OPINION the QC in question came up with.

I got the impression the only brief the QC was given was to give her opinion on the documentation available, not to aim for a specific result.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 03:58:44 pm
Excellent post Bottlebank  :)

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 04:02:23 pm

Name the lawyer please.

No, I doubt he'd be happy being stalked on the internet. He's not a caver, this is not his problem.

Bottlebank

What I'd like to see from the other side is embodied in your post. I'd like to see an admission from them that, no, they don't know how this is going to work, no, they don't know the answers to my questions, but that they are, quite simply, willing to take the risk that many caves might well be left unprotected and might well suffer damage. Others can then make up their minds about their motives.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 23, 2014, 04:07:40 pm
Excellent post Bottlebank  :)

Ian

Thanks, it was worth a try  :-\
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 04:10:25 pm

Name the lawyer please.

No, I doubt he'd be happy being stalked on the internet. He's not a caver, this is not his problem.


Retract your statement/question then. It is meaningless without knowing to whom you are referring and unreasonable for you to ask others to accept the opinion of an “unknown person”.


….. and you still haven’t provided any evidence (setting aside “hard facts”) that this will lead to “serious damage to caves all over the country”.

And you have not provided any serious detail about how delicate and fragile caves could be protected, just airy fairy it'll be all right on the night wishful thinking.


You’re deflecting. Plenty of information has been provided by others and, indeed, work is still on-going to ensure that this concern is addressed.

Now, please either substantiate your statement or retract it.


Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 04:28:46 pm
Ian

No.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: paul on October 23, 2014, 04:59:51 pm
Global Moderator Comment Does anyone think this Topic has run its course and is again, going nowhere?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 05:08:13 pm
Yes  ;)

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Mark Wright on October 23, 2014, 05:13:26 pm
I was surprised you let it drag on for 15 pages.

It'll only start again though under a different title.

Cheers,

Mark
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 23, 2014, 05:18:17 pm
Does anyone think this Topic has run its course and is again, going nowhere?

Excellent post Bottlebank  :)

Ian

No, but it's tedious reading the bickering bits so if everyone could pack that in I'd certainly appreciate it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 23, 2014, 05:33:10 pm
It's been fun...

Kept me entertained on a longcar journey, though 'tis a challenge to type on an iPad in such circumstances.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 23, 2014, 06:26:15 pm
Still looking for 'hard facts' from Graham???
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 23, 2014, 06:38:13 pm
If this thread gets closed someone will just start another thread   :wall:


As for reform of the CNCC and permits system, who says it is reformable???????

As I've said up thread the permits system is just a symptom of the fact that we are granted permission to enter caves by their Lordships leave and they can take that away at any time. This is not only a Dales issue. Landowners up and down the country could take away access whenever they want.

If the landowners insist on paper permits left in car windows then there is nothing the CNCC or anyone else can do. If the landowners insist that cavers cannot drive up public roads that the cavers fund with their council tax, there is nothing the CNCC can do.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 23, 2014, 06:58:13 pm
Forgive me if I have missed this in previous discussions but..

How many caves would have access limitations removed if CROW applies, versus how many nice caves would have access constraints lifted thus running the risk of damage?

Surely everyone has a right to go down a cave if on access land within the country which they fund through taxes and the like?  Some caves may see more traffic and they may get vandalised but isn't that a small price to pay for opening up the sport of caving to more people as and when they want to do it?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ianball11 on October 23, 2014, 07:01:40 pm
Some caves may see more traffic and they may get vandalised but isn't that a small price to pay for opening up the sport of caving to more people as and when they want to do it?

no
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 23, 2014, 07:12:30 pm
Some caves may see more traffic and they may get vandalised but isn't that a small price to pay for opening up the sport of caving to more people as and when they want to do it?

no

Well I guess we differ. In my opinion, it just seems there is a fundamental difference between those who want to be able to cave as and when they choose and those who want to restrict access. I am not all for damaging caves or ignoring conservation, but I guess I feel that access is more important. Other views are available.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 07:15:21 pm
And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. Some people value their own convenience against the protection of fragile environments.  :wall: :wall: :wall:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 23, 2014, 07:24:39 pm
How many caves would have access limitations removed if CROW applies, versus how many nice caves would have access constraints lifted thus running the risk of damage?
The fairly rough figures are around 2500 caves are on Access Land, of which around 1500 are on SSSIs (within a few hundred).  Of these we think around 20 have gates and of these only 4 are understood to have a leadership control system.  (Data in the download at http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01  (http://tinyurl.com/pro-CRoW-caving-01) is a bit out of date.)  I exclude Forest of Dean from the above which is a odd case in that the Forestry Commission control the 75 caves on Access Land and have used their legal powers to ban access without permission to 63 , hence stepping around CRoW.

My first pass is that 4 do have a case for control of access if CRoW applies to caving with possibly another 20 or so given they are locked but have no such control.  I can't see it is feasible to make case where the cave is not locked. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 23, 2014, 07:38:26 pm
And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. Some people value their own convenience against the protection of fragile environments.  :wall: :wall: :wall:

Who are you to decide who gets to see which cave and when? I consider myself a careful caver, I have not touched delicate formations, crossed any tape or damaged anything thing on purpose. Yes, my presence / movement through a cave is in itself damaging to a cave but then that applies to all caves.  I have no wish to venture into a cave and damage it. I fully believe that leader systems are required in some caves and appreciate the efforts of those who set them up - but taking the stance that this, which applies to a fistful of caves, should override my ability to cave and enjoy the outdoors at my leisure in my country, seems a bit short sighted.  I stress this is my view, everyone gets a vote.

If the wheels turn so slowly in government as referenced regarding getting an access restriction in place under CROW, what are the chances of these gates being cut off caves immediately? Are cavers really that desperate to see St Cuthberts or wherever ( I am sure they are not as the leader system is working well for all cavers is it not?) that they would start cutting off gates? Joe Public would have already damaged these gates if they wanted in.  Surely you then have time to sort restrictions out? There wont be a queue of people, hammers in hand, ready to descend X cave as soon as it's passed that CROW applies. 

The above combined with some delay before it is actually formally acknowledged that CROW applies to caves, should surely give us time to sort out the special cases. I stress, us, as all cavers want caves protected to suitable level.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 07:45:48 pm
And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. Some people value their own convenience against the protection of fragile environments.  :wall: :wall: :wall:

Who are you to decide who gets to see which cave and when? I consider myself a careful caver, I have not touched delicate formations, crossed any tape or damaged anything thing on purpose. Yes, my presence / movement through a cave is in itself damaging to a cave but then that applies to all caves.  I have no wish to venture into a cave and damage it. I fully believe that leader systems are required in some caves and appreciate the efforts of those who set them up - but taking the stance that this, which applies to a fistful of caves, should override my ability to cave when and where I want seems rather short sighted.  I stress this is my view, everyone gets a vote.

If the wheels turn so slowly in government as referenced regarding getting an access restriction in place under CROW, what are the chances of these gates being cut off caves immediately? Are cavers really that desperate to see St Cuthberts or wherever ( I am sure they are not as the leader system is working well for all cavers is it not?) that they would start cutting off gates? Joe Public would have already damaged these gates if they wanted in.

Two points. I do not judge who should or should not visit caves, but I do try to help people do this carefully. Leaving delicate caves open to anyone only results in damage. This is demonstrable by anyone who has read early accounts of Swildon's Hole and visited it now - and has then visited St. Cuthbert's

Gates have been taken off caves in the past and recent examples of this, often in Wales can be found on this forum. Take a look. Some people have also indicated that they would most certainly make moves for gates to be left open immediately if this campaign succeeds. Am I going to name those people here? No, of course I'm not but , again, if you read the threads, you'll find some really rather indicative posts.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 07:49:09 pm
My first pass is that 4 do have a case for control of access if CRoW applies to caving with possibly another 20 or so given they are locked but have no such control.  I can't see it is feasible to make case where the cave is not locked.

I can name more than 4 without even having to think hard. Not all on Mendip, either.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: MJenkinson on October 23, 2014, 07:55:49 pm

Some people have also indicated that they would most certainly make moves for gates to be left open immediately if this campaign succeeds. Am I going to name those people here? No, of course I'm not but , again, if you read the threads, you'll find some really rather indicative posts.

Well, that's a piss poor state of affairs, and I find it very hard to believe that any caver would actually do that to a fragile cave. Will they be jumping down holes on Leck Fell immediately - I expect so and I can't personally see an issue with that.

I will leave it at that.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Mark Wright on October 23, 2014, 08:05:50 pm
And others Graham, probably the vast majority, (the referendum will likely confirm this) value the right to go caving at their convenience on an equal par with conserving those same caves we all love so much.

Of course there will be challenges along the way if the referendum outcome is a 'yes' but those challenges will be overcome with time. I'm sure nobody really thinks the cave vandals are waiting for all the gates to be removed so they can go and trash a cave before you get your protection in place.

The examples you (Graham) give against a 'yes' vote are extreme worst case scenarios. If we live our lives always setting policy on the worst case scenario then we will never do anything.

Another worst case scenario to consider would be somebody makes a claim on the BCA insurance for £5M resulting in us not being able to afford the premiums, or more likely being refused further cover. Where would that leave us under the current system when access agreements have been made on the basis of having such insurance cover.

Whether BCA members vote 'yes' or 'no', there will always be an element of risk, however high or low you perceive it to be.

Cheers,

Mark

 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 08:11:09 pm
Perhaps people are expecting too much from these discussions. As I see it, the discussion is helpful if the following are achieved:

People unsure what to do can ask for information that helps them decide one way or the other.
People who have an opinion are permitted to express it without being chastised for doing so.
People who simply want to understand the opposite viewpoint can ask for it without being expected to change their own point of view.
People who read what is posted come to their own decision without actually getting involved in the debate.

What is not going to happen are the following:

People change their mind because they are insulted or abused. This is, in fact, counter-productive.
The referendum is cancelled because some people think it is a waste of money.

Perhaps, if those who wish to get involved in this debate bear the above points in mind the debate will have some value. If we don't, all that is achieved is animosity, and division. Both completely unnecessary in my opinion.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 09:11:24 pm
And others Graham, probably the vast majority, (the referendum will likely confirm this) value the right to go caving at their convenience on an equal par with conserving those same caves we all love so much.

So your convenience is of the same value is it.

I suggest you tell that to the people who spent their time digging "unnecessary" bypasses to delicate passages in order that the later might be kept intact.

Your "convenience" would have had "Neverland" renamed "Don't bother it's f****d land"  :wall:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: badger on October 23, 2014, 09:12:46 pm
we have 16 pages where the 2 sides have yet to move forward and at the moment never will. we can start as many threads as people want the outcome will be the same the 2 sides have different views.
Bottlebank has summed up the whole issue up very well, graham has stated that whilst he will not change his view he wants cavers to except that until or if it happens we will not know.
I am with Bottlebank, close all crow threads, there is enough information to troll through to make a decision
we will know soon enough which way cavers want the BCA to proceed
 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 23, 2014, 09:16:48 pm
It isn't expected that the "sides" will move, but it is important that "individuals" are encouraged to come to an informed decision.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bartleby on October 23, 2014, 09:20:39 pm
Have tried to get my head round exactly what this CROW act means to me, a mine explorer who ventures into caves when hell freezes over.  I don't want a long convoluted, drawn out answer, or a rant about whos right or wrong.  I genuinley have no idea whast going on.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 23, 2014, 10:07:48 pm
Have tried to get my head round exactly what this CROW act means to me, a mine explorer who ventures into caves when hell freezes over.  I don't want a long convoluted, drawn out answer, or a rant about whos right or wrong.  I genuinley have no idea whast going on.

I understand, according to those that know about mines that they will not be affected by any changes to CRoW that affect caves. there is one voice (only one) who thinks otherwise. I expect you won't notice, one way or the other.

Unless Hell does freeze over, of course.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 23, 2014, 10:15:24 pm
I agree with Badger's thoughts and still think Bottlebank's post is excellent.


Bartleby,
Sorry you have found yourself in the middle of a "rumpus". I am afraid I don't think the position with mine exploring is very clear (certainly I am not clear on it).

There is a line of thought that suggests it is covered but there is also the consideration of the "mines & quarries act" (which doesn't cover older mines in the same manner) which may override CRoW legislation.

Personally (my opinion), I would expect the mines & quarries act to supersede CRoW..... (I am agreeing with Graham that I don't think they will be affected by CRoW)

Hopefully someone with better knowledge than me will be able to give you a more definitive answer.

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on October 23, 2014, 10:36:06 pm
Does anyone think this Topic has run its course and is again, going nowhere?
Yes.
You got a few answers to this sensible question and then the terminally self-absorbed took over again.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: robjones on October 24, 2014, 12:08:00 am
There is a line of thought that suggests it is covered but there is also the consideration of the "mines & quarries act" (which doesn't cover older mines in the same manner) which may override CRoW legislation.

My post way back on page 8 of this thread might help a little with regard to the current definition of mine in UK statutes, and with regard to the current status of Mines & Quarries Act 1954 section 151.

It is my unqualified interpretation that if the CRoW Act was intended to supersede the obligations placed on owners of abandoned mines by the M&Q Act 1954, then the CRoW Act would have contained specific provision in that regard -  e.g. a section clarifying intent in this regard, such as M&Q Act 1954 ceasing to apply to mines on access land. In the absence of such provision, it is my unqualified interpretation that the provision of the preceding legislation (M&Q Act 1954) remain unaltered and that consequently the CRoW Act does not enable access to abandoned mines that fall within the M&Q Act 1954. 

As Ian (I think) noted upthread, there are some abandoned mines that fall outside the M&Q Act 1954. These can be summarised very broadly as non-coal  or stratified ironstone mines abandoned prior to 1872. With regard to such mines, I am very uncertain whether one could claim individual entrances as being not covered, or whether an entire mine would have to have been not worked after 1872. Most metal and slate mines of any size saw some degree of working after 1872, so whether 'mine' in this instance indicates 'an entrance' or 'the entire mine' would
seem to be relevant. As with so many aspects of access for mine explorers, I suspect its a can of worms best left unstirred. 

I am, however, merely a mine explorer on the Clapham omnibus...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: John S on October 24, 2014, 01:16:51 am
If I am understanding Graham correctly, he is after a time it would take to put a locked gate on (or keep it on) a CRoW cave.

We know gates can help conserve a cave but still the best method is education. We can’t put everyone in a classroom, but we still have a very good, on site educational tool. That is taping. It is not going to stop an idiot damaging stuff (nor is agate for that fact) but it will indicate what is important to preserve and it makes people think. That’s half the conservation battle won.

On a trip into Upper Flood Swallet with its gate and leader system, I was concerned about the in cave measures at the sharp end as it were. Some were very good but others need more work. A quick look at photos of UFS, will show that some have had tape removed. This means that when its re-laid it can extend the damage zone. ( Its almost as bad as seeing photographic models on the wrong side of the tape.) And this damage is done with leaders present I assume. Maybe this is another topic, so back to the main one.

So in summary, gates can help conserve a cave but we don’t need a Section 26, to tape sensitive areas. We can always keep quiet for a few weeks if we find something that really, is in need of the extra protection that a gate may provide.  So far this is less than 1% of know CRoW caves, we can put plenty of time in to get this handful sorted out. Not a huge wave to inundate the relevant authority.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 24, 2014, 04:49:05 am
Excellent post Bottlebank  :)

Ian

I agree.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: AR on October 24, 2014, 08:45:01 am
Have tried to get my head round exactly what this CROW act means to me, a mine explorer who ventures into caves when hell freezes over.  I don't want a long convoluted, drawn out answer, or a rant about whos right or wrong.  I genuinley have no idea whast going on.

This was discussed on Aditnow: http://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=9834 (http://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=9834)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: estelle on October 24, 2014, 08:50:08 am
A quick look at photos of UFS, will show that some have had tape removed. This means that when its re-laid it can extend the damage zone. ( Its almost as bad as seeing photographic models on the wrong side of the tape.) And this damage is done with leaders present I assume.
I have no idea in the photos you saw, but my assumption is that a fair amount of tape is 'removed' from cave photos in post processing of the photos as it is not deemed correct to have tape in cave photos - or at least that was what was being said at Hidden Earth ref the photo competitions. Whether it was physically removed for the photos in question i don't know.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: complex on October 24, 2014, 11:25:15 am
I've been avoiding the various CRoW topics, since they usually result in pointless bickering, but I have a question regarding gates to caves on CRoW land that I haven't been able to find an answer to, so have resorted to risking stirring up the hornets nest again and asking on here. I apologise in advance if this ends up in yet more bickering and more work for the ever patient moderators.

We've been told that locked gates to caves on CRoW land will (probably?) need to be removed, unless there is a Section 26 Order put in place by the DEFRA / Natural England cave conservation pixies. However, my reading of Schedule 2 of the Act is that public safety is another reason that locked gates can be in place:

Quote
Section 2(1) does not entitle a person to be on any land if, in or on that land, he—
... [snip] ...
(n)without reasonable excuse, interferes with any fence, barrier or other device designed to prevent accidents to people or to enclose livestock,
(see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2) for the full list in all its mind numbing glory)

So, for example, on Mendip there is Coral Cave that is right next to a footpath and which has been gated and locked with a CSCC key to prevent numpties falling down the entrance shaft. It seems to me that the CRoW act explicitly allows for such a 'barrier or other device designed to prevent accidents to people'.

To take this one step further, it seems to me that, for example, the MCG could announce that the gate to Upper Flood Swallet that is currently there for conservation reasons will be removed at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and then at 10:01 another gate (that might bear passing similarity to the existing gate) will be installed for public safety reasons (since any cave is a cold wet dark place that has obvious dangers associated with it, I'm sure that public safety could given as a valid reason to install new gates to any cave).

Is my reading of the Act correct?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: John S on October 24, 2014, 11:30:17 am
A quick look at photos of UFS, will show that some have had tape removed. This means that when its re-laid it can extend the damage zone. ( Its almost as bad as seeing photographic models on the wrong side of the tape.) And this damage is done with leaders present I assume.
I have no idea in the photos you saw, but my assumption is that a fair amount of tape is 'removed' from cave photos in post processing of the photos as it is not deemed correct to have tape in cave photos - or at least that was what was being said at Hidden Earth ref the photo competitions. Whether it was physically removed for the photos in question i don't know.

It is interesting what was said at photo comp at Hidden Earth

Will start a new thread on this

http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17194.0 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17194.0)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 24, 2014, 02:53:57 pm
...without reasonable excuse, interferes with any fence, barrier or other device designed to prevent accidents to people or to enclose livestock,
(see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/schedule/2) for the full list in all its mind numbing glory)

So, for example, on Mendip there is Coral Cave that is right next to a footpath and which has been gated and locked with a CSCC key to prevent numpties falling down the entrance shaft. It seems to me that the CRoW act explicitly allows for such a 'barrier or other device designed to prevent accidents to people'.

To take this one step further, it seems to me that, for example, the MCG could announce that the gate to Upper Flood Swallet that is currently there for conservation reasons will be removed at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and then at 10:01 another gate (that might bear passing similarity to the existing gate) will be installed for public safety reasons (since any cave is a cold wet dark place that has obvious dangers associated with it, I'm sure that public safety could given as a valid reason to install new gates to any cave).

Is my reading of the Act correct?
[/quote]

I think that is correct, that is why people won't go around removing gates willy nilly if CRoW does apply. All caves and potholes have an inherent risk to members of the public, so making them safe so that, say, inquisitive kiddies/unsupervised members of the public who aren't cavers can't go in  them and maybe get into trouble.

All the caves close to public footpaths in the Manifold Valley have had gates installed on them either by me or the NT depending whose land they are on. They all just need a 'Derbyshire Key' to gain entry though, there are virtually no padlocks.  :thumbsup:

Regards Mel. DCA Conservation Officer
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 29, 2014, 11:29:03 am
Apologies for the delay in response but my weekend was wiped out by a family emergency and I am just recovering from the aftermath.

Complex asked at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg226166#msg226166 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg226166#msg226166) above, if the exception in Schedule 2 to not interfere with a fence  designed to prevent accidents (I paraphrase) overrode the right of access.  My problem with this is if it does, then it drives  a coach and horses through the intent of the act.  I suggest such a padlocked gate to prevent accidents would be normally be excessive (though it could be allowed for by a Sec 25 Direction) so padlocking the gate would deprive the right of access.  So the provider of the padlock would be committing a breach of civil law whilst the person cutting the padlock off could be committing criminal damage.  An interesting stand off.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 29, 2014, 11:58:12 am
Yet more confusion and opinion.

Why don't the people pushing for this actually ask some detailed questions of actual authorities as to what the real outcomes of this proposed change in the law might be?

Don't they want cavers to make informed choices based on facts?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 29, 2014, 12:35:39 pm
Quote
Why don't the people pushing for this actually ask some detailed questions of actual authorities as to what the real outcomes of this proposed change in the law might be?

Probably because whilst you and a few like-minded people may be interested in the interpretation and implementation of sub-section 23a paragraph 14 in the blah blah act of 1812 as interpreted by the department of duck monitoring etc etc...Most people look and think that CRoW has been in force for nearly 15 years...have there been any significant changes to paths/landscapes/crags/cliffs? Has there been a landowner meltdown anywhere? Have crags been dynamited/spray-painted...have rare birds been trampled and killed? Nope...its worked pretty well and that's on the surface where there are literally hundreds of times more people in thousands of different places...

Caves/Cavers...its not going to be a problem is it?

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 29, 2014, 01:20:12 pm
 :thumbsup:   Well said jasonbirder
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Simon Wilson on October 29, 2014, 01:32:33 pm
:thumbsup:   Well said jasonbirder

"LIKE"
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 29, 2014, 01:40:12 pm
 :coffee: Think the paddlers might disagree with you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bartleby on October 29, 2014, 02:01:05 pm
I think some cavers would like it to be a problem. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 29, 2014, 02:10:18 pm
I think some cavers would like it to be a problem.

Can only speak for myself, it's not that I'd like it to be a problem, ideally I'd like CRoW to apply to all aspects of caving, but I have real worries about the effects it will have.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 29, 2014, 02:21:55 pm
I think some cavers would like it to be a problem. 
Utter nonsense. Please credit the vast majority of caves whatever their views on CRoW as holding good intentions.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: peterk on October 29, 2014, 02:54:32 pm
Quote
Why don't the people pushing for this actually ask some detailed questions of actual authorities as to what the real outcomes of this proposed change in the law might be?

Probably because whilst you and a few like-minded people may be interested in the interpretation and implementation of sub-section 23a paragraph 14 in the blah blah act of 1812 as interpreted by the department of duck monitoring etc etc...Most people look and think that CRoW has been in force for nearly 15 years...have there been any significant changes to paths/landscapes/crags/cliffs? Has there been a landowner meltdown anywhere? Have crags been dynamited/spray-painted...have rare birds been trampled and killed? Nope...its worked pretty well and that's on the surface where there are literally hundreds of times more people in thousands of different places...

Caves/Cavers...its not going to be a problem is it?

But I think it would be fair to look at the efforts of the BMC and the structures they have in place that range from the wildlife issues down to bolt placements.  Is it not  the case that that these are similar to the issues that are being raised and no concrete proposals to address them are being made.  Isn't it a reasonable part of any business case to address risks and state how they can be mitigated? - it also demonstrates that a considered submission is being made and also takes the high ground in any subsequent debate with objectors "we identified this and have proposed a working solution"

I thought that much of the "CROW applies" was based on a legal opinion and I fail to see why it is thought that "legal quotes" that are posted regularly should be dismissed if they are contrary to a specific view.
 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 29, 2014, 05:24:35 pm
I think some cavers would like it to be a problem. 
Utter nonsense. Please credit the vast majority of caves whatever their views on CRoW as holding good intentions.

The Vast Majority? Yup, won't argue that one. But there are a couple of people, well, the posts *do* make it seem as if they would like to put as many problems in the way of this as possible. Problem is, they like to give the impression they "speak" for the vast majority when they clearly do not.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 29, 2014, 06:34:37 pm
Don't ever forget that the lone voice crying in the wilderness can often have greater credibility and a better understanding of an issue than the massed hoards. Revelation only comes with the passing of time.

History is littered with momentous events, precipitated by popular demand, that turned out to be phenomenal mistakes. I can't say whether "yes" or No" is going to prove the best way to vote, I can only use my own judgement to make that decision, and urge others likewise to think for themselves, and consider all sides of the issue.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 29, 2014, 07:36:39 pm
Don't ever forget that the lone voice crying in the wilderness can often have greater credibility and a better understanding of an issue than the massed hoards. Revelation only comes with the passing of time.

History is littered with momentous events, precipitated by popular demand, that turned out to be phenomenal mistakes. I can't say whether "yes" or No" is going to prove the best way to vote, I can only use my own judgement to make that decision, and urge others likewise to think for themselves, and consider all sides of the issue.

Indeed, but then the final passing of the CRoW act itself was a momentous event, with many obstacles,real or manufactured, thrown in its path before its implementation. Was it a mistake? Were all the agitators who threw up objections at the time proved correct? Did the main intention of the CRoW legislation overcome these barriers?

No, no, yes.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Stuart Anderson on October 29, 2014, 08:38:56 pm
:coffee: Think the paddlers might disagree with you.

Canoeing has been mentioned a few times within these threads usually in the form of a warning. I'm not sure it's a relevant example though. It's a long time since I was a BCU member and I'm not any sort of paddler nowadays so some of this is from memory only.

Caneoing was to be include in CRoW right up to the final readings of the white paper but was excluded after very heavy lobbying by the fishing fraternity based on an economic objection (though not solely the only objection). This was taken up by the Conservatives who wanted the exclusion to be placed in the final Act (the Tories very much opposed CRoW in totality) and the Labour government allowed it as it didn't want a protracted implementation of CRoW (the Act being a big part of the Labour "thing"). Not only did canoeing get excluded but so did paddling/swimming - remind me how many bathers/wild swimmers have been turfed off the land?

The other objections lay around a) the necessity to map the waterways (cost) and b) that access to the open waterways might be problematic where there were no rights of way on private land (technical).

So arguably canoeing had its moment, its test, and failed. Caving didn't even get to the table. That for me is the travesty, that the then national body thought itself not needing to ask its membership. Has canoeing somehow lost out for having the temerity to ask for open access? Not really, canoeing is still a massive sport both in terms of participation and influence and much (and I mean fricking loads) "pirating" of rivers happens week in and week out. Also the BCU hasn't given up the fight.

We share the same space notionally as  mountaineers, walkers, climbers (they go up and over the land and we go down it). The conflict between cavers and landowners just doesn't stack up no matter how much anonymous and anecdotal evidence is put forward. Surely we have a strong precedent for our not being any more of an inconvenience then those that have gone before us for the last fourteen years.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 29, 2014, 08:45:50 pm
Surely it's better to hash out problems before the vote than after? Bit late once (you hope) caving is included in CRoW and some wholly predictable unwanted outcome occurs.

And Stuart: I reckon the problem is what happens in the event of a rescue. You will recall (maybe) why the CNCC was formed in the first place?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bartleby on October 29, 2014, 08:55:12 pm
I've tried to read all the CRoW theads on here, even read the one of Aditnow and am confused.  So CRoW went through at least 15 years ago!?.  Why all the fuss now, or have i missed something (which is likely...)

In a nutshell then am i right in assuming that if the cave access is in 'free access CRoW' land then liability is still the land owners issue?. 

Newstuff has hit the nail on the head.....
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 29, 2014, 10:15:35 pm

The other objections lay around a) the necessity to map the waterways (cost) and b) that access to the open waterways might be problematic where there were no rights of way on private land (technical).


Both of those apply to caves, which are not (officially) mapped linear features across (under) otherwise private land.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 29, 2014, 10:18:00 pm
Why all the fuss now, or have i missed something (which is likely...)

Because a localised dispute over access in one part of the country has not been resolved & some saw this as a sledgehammer way of bypassing that argument.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: NewStuff on October 29, 2014, 10:51:02 pm
Why all the fuss now, or have i missed something (which is likely...)

Because a localised dispute over access in one part of the country has not been resolved & some saw this as a sledgehammer way of bypassing that argument.

You're still a troll, but as someone is asking a legitimate question, I want to make sure they get a decent answer, not your badly mangled interpretation of one...

Most of the places in dispute in North Wales will not be covered by CRoW, graham's reply is, being generous, incredibly misleading.

I think you'll find we, quite simply, want easier access for all, and simply want a *clarification* whether an existing piece of legislation, (CRoW act), does, or does not, cover caves. Despite certain trolls trying to make this a very complex issue, it's actually very simple. There may have been issues in the past as to why the BCA did not pursue this, but they are now, as can be seen in this and other thread, working on this.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 29, 2014, 11:50:07 pm
Well, anyone who uses social media regularly will know that little if any trolling has manifested itself in the CRoW threads. I suspect a certain amount of projection takes place from time to time though.......
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: mmilner on October 30, 2014, 12:51:00 am

You're still a troll, but as someone is asking a legitimate question, I want to make sure they get a decent answer, not your badly mangled interpretation of one...

Most of the places in dispute in North Wales will not be covered by CRoW, graham's reply is, being generous, incredibly misleading.

I think you'll find we, quite simply, want easier access for all, and simply want a *clarification* whether an existing piece of legislation, (CRoW act), does, or does not, cover caves. Despite certain trolls trying to make this a very complex issue, it's actually very simple. There may have been issues in the past as to why the BCA did not pursue this, but they are now, as can be seen in this and other thread, working on this.

Hope that helps.

It has been clarified, we have the opinion of an eminent QC, Dinah Rose, after reading around 700 pages of docs supplied to her. Nothing more needs to be said about this...  :coffee: Her opinion is that it does apply to caves. A link  will  be on here somewhere, I'm off to bed   though, soz.  :sleeping:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 30, 2014, 06:25:58 am

Most of the places in dispute in North Wales will not be covered by CRoW, graham's reply is, being generous, incredibly misleading.


I have a sneaking suspicion you're barking up the wrong tree, NewStuff.

There's access 'issues' in more places than North Wales. Places where CRoW for caves would make a difference
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 30, 2014, 06:57:43 am
Why all the fuss now, or have i missed something (which is likely...)

Because a localised dispute over access in one part of the country has not been resolved & some saw this as a sledgehammer way of bypassing that argument.

You're still a troll, but as someone is asking a legitimate question, I want to make sure they get a decent answer, not your badly mangled interpretation of one...

Most of the places in dispute in North Wales will not be covered by CRoW, graham's reply is, being generous, incredibly misleading.

I think you'll find we, quite simply, want easier access for all, and simply want a *clarification* whether an existing piece of legislation, (CRoW act), does, or does not, cover caves. Despite certain trolls trying to make this a very complex issue, it's actually very simple. There may have been issues in the past as to why the BCA did not pursue this, but they are now, as can be seen in this and other thread, working on this.

Hope that helps.

Calling me silly names might make you feel clever, but does not advance the debate one way or the other.

I think you have probably read enough of the debate to understand that I was not referring to North Wales. Thus to imply that I did demonstrates exactly who it is (clue: not me) who is trying to be misleading here.

So, yet again, the debate on the serious issues that are thrown up gets derailed by a personal attack on little old me.  ::)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 30, 2014, 07:59:09 am
:coffee: Think the paddlers might disagree with you.

Canoeing has been mentioned a few times within these threads usually in the form of a warning. I'm not sure it's a relevant example though. It's a long time since I was a BCU member and I'm not any sort of paddler nowadays so some of this is from memory only.

Caneoing was to be include in CRoW right up to the final readings of the white paper but was excluded after very heavy lobbying by the fishing fraternity based on an economic objection (though not solely the only objection). This was taken up by the Conservatives who wanted the exclusion to be placed in the final Act (the Tories very much opposed CRoW in totality) and the Labour government allowed it as it didn't want a protracted implementation of CRoW (the Act being a big part of the Labour "thing"). Not only did canoeing get excluded but so did paddling/swimming - remind me how many bathers/wild swimmers have been turfed off the land?

The other objections lay around a) the necessity to map the waterways (cost) and b) that access to the open waterways might be problematic where there were no rights of way on private land (technical).

So arguably canoeing had its moment, its test, and failed. Caving didn't even get to the table. That for me is the travesty, that the then national body thought itself not needing to ask its membership. Has canoeing somehow lost out for having the temerity to ask for open access? Not really, canoeing is still a massive sport both in terms of participation and influence and much (and I mean fricking loads) "pirating" of rivers happens week in and week out. Also the BCU hasn't given up the fight.

We share the same space notionally as  mountaineers, walkers, climbers (they go up and over the land and we go down it). The conflict between cavers and landowners just doesn't stack up no matter how much anonymous and anecdotal evidence is put forward. Surely we have a strong precedent for our not being any more of an inconvenience then those that have gone before us for the last fourteen years.


 :thumbsup:  well said
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 30, 2014, 08:12:55 am

The other objections lay around a) the necessity to map the waterways (cost) and b) that access to the open waterways might be problematic where there were no rights of way on private land (technical).


Both of those apply to caves, which are not (officially) mapped linear features across (under) otherwise private land.


But the scale of the issue is entirely different. There are at least hundreds and probably thousands of miles of river that would have been open access but in reality there are very few caves which are not either wholly within or wholly outside access land.

Much as you would like it to be otherwise, the map delineates the boundary of the access land. It is a map of access land boundaries so caves would not have to be mapped in detail.

And just to address the "but how do you know where you are underground" question. There are places where the access land boundary follows no physical surface feature and no one has felt the need to delineate these on the surface.

The key point here though is one of scale, to reiterate, there are very few caves that cross an access land boundary.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: CatM on October 30, 2014, 09:31:54 am

The other objections lay around a) the necessity to map the waterways (cost) and b) that access to the open waterways might be problematic where there were no rights of way on private land (technical).


Both of those apply to caves, which are not (officially) mapped linear features across (under) otherwise private land.


But the scale of the issue is entirely different. There are at least hundreds and probably thousands of miles of river that would have been open access but in reality there are very few caves which are not either wholly within or wholly outside access land.

Much as you would like it to be otherwise, the map delineates the boundary of the access land. It is a map of access land boundaries so caves would not have to be mapped in detail.

And just to address the "but how do you know where you are underground" question. There are places where the access land boundary follows no physical surface feature and no one has felt the need to delineate these on the surface.

The key point here though is one of scale, to reiterate, there are very few caves that cross an access land boundary.

Another point/question: Is the underground course of caves considered in current access agreements? Unless I'm misunderstanding, the argument here is that a cave could cross a boundary and go out of access land, therefore you would (could) no longer be permitted to be there. It could also cross a boundary and go under another landowner's property, or into a "different" cave. A current "off the top of my head" example: Link/Mistral/Pippikin etc are non permitted. Aside from needing a rope to get up the 88 ft pitch, there is nothing to stop you going from any of those entrances right to the bottom of Lancaster/County/WR, which are permitted. In the current situation, do all landowners have a say in the access agreement, or is it just whoever has the entrance on their land? I'm guessing it's the latter, in which case why should it be any different under CRoW?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 30, 2014, 10:00:43 am
Quite right CatM.

The point here is that no additional mapping is needed. It is trite law that a surface boundary extends all the way to the centre of the earth so the existing access land boundary maps already cover the subterranean.

As you point out there are already caves that cross landowner boundaries where different access restrictions apply and no one creates a big song and dance about it. There are also examples of access land boundaries which cross open moorland and where it would not be obvious to a walker if they had crossed the boundary, here again there is no big drama and the sky does not fall in.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 30, 2014, 10:18:18 am
The key point here though is one of scale, to reiterate, there are very few caves that cross an access land boundary.

Really? I doubt that. Having mapped a number of caves that cross from one land ownership to another. It may be true for the Dales (I don't know) but the Dales isn't the whole country.

To comment on CatM's post.

The previous owners of OFD 1 did not allow everyone and anyone who was not accompanied by a designated leader to exit from their cave. In practice this meant that virtually no-one without a leader entered that part of the cave despite being able to access Cwm Dwr or OFD 2 without a leader. Similarly, back in the day, through trips from Oxlow to Giant's were specifically not permitted by the farmer at Giant's.

And, in more detail, an Irish show cave was forced to alter its route in order to stop visitors passing under someone else's land and another similar case ended up in the law courts in Dublin when the entrance was sold to one person & the land over the main chamber was sold to another. That one gave me a couple of fascinating days out in Dublin as an expert witness. Remarkable.

So to say that these things have never caused problems is simply untrue.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: TheBitterEnd on October 30, 2014, 10:34:37 am

Really? I doubt that. Having mapped a number of caves that cross from one land ownership to another. It may be true for the Dales (I don't know) but the Dales isn't the whole country.


So what, you are trying to make a comparison between "very few caves cross an access land boundary" and "a number of caves cross from one land ownership to another" - i.e. not necessarily crossing an access land boundary?

When the real point being made is


The point here is that no additional mapping is needed. It is trite law that a surface boundary extends all the way to the centre of the earth so the existing access land boundary maps already cover the subterranean.

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: CatM on October 30, 2014, 10:42:30 am
Interesting. These are isolated, extreme examples though. In general, are all landowners currently consulted on access agreements? If not (or even if they are and they currently allow access under their land), and there are no (or minimal) problems now, then why should there be any more under CRoW?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 30, 2014, 10:51:57 am
Interesting. These are isolated, extreme examples though. In general, are all landowners currently consulted on access agreements? If not (or even if they are and they currently allow access under their land), and there are no (or minimal) problems now, then why should there be any more under CRoW?

Why are they isolated or extreme? One was in a major Welsh cave & the other in a major Derbyshire cave.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 30, 2014, 12:49:53 pm
And when were these issues with the Landowner around the Chamber of Horror's Oxlow/Giant's connection?

I've heard anecdotal tales of people doing the connection...going back out...no problems (How would the Landowner know)

He merely didn't want people coming out of Giant's without paying a trespass fee...

Is that an access/mapping issue that relates to CRoW anymore than people who cave in Giants without using the honesty box is?

Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 30, 2014, 12:58:37 pm
And when were these issues with the Landowner around the Chamber of Horror's Oxlow/Giant's connection?

Certainly in the 1970s

I've heard anecdotal tales of people doing the connection...going back out...no problems (How would the Landowner know)

They did, yes, sometimes with a party down Giant's to rig Geology pot for them.

He merely didn't want people coming out of Giant's without paying a trespass fee...

Not what he told me (~1974) which was that he was worried about a rescue happening.

Is that an access/mapping issue that relates to CRoW anymore than people who cave in Giants without using the honesty box is?

It was a response to a specific question about land in different holdings.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 30, 2014, 01:07:49 pm
It was the access fee on Giants. Reasonably well documented. Including barbed wire being placed at the end of the CoH at one point.

If it was anything to do with rescue he wouldn't of allowed access at all would he?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: jasonbirder on October 30, 2014, 01:15:47 pm
Quote
Not what he told me (~1974)

Glad you had some current and relevant examples ;)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Alex on October 30, 2014, 01:16:20 pm
I thought giants was a parking fee, not an access fee. So if you parked half a mile away no fee would be administered. Same with Alum pot.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 30, 2014, 01:22:13 pm
I thought giants was a parking fee, not an access fee. So if you parked half a mile away no fee would be administered. Same with Alum pot.

Giants is a trespass fee, so payable regardless. I think the same is true of Alum but not sure, so far as I know it's a courtesy fee for want of a better description.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on October 30, 2014, 01:36:22 pm


I've heard anecdotal tales of people doing the connection...going back out...no problems (How would the Landowner know)

They did, yes, sometimes with a party down Giant's to rig Geology pot for them.



I assume you mean Garlands.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 30, 2014, 02:04:42 pm



I've heard anecdotal tales of people doing the connection...going back out...no problems (How would the Landowner know)

They did, yes, sometimes with a party down Giant's to rig Geology pot for them.



I assume you mean Garlands.

The original trip didn't actually come out Giants, but went oxlow to east canal and back out Oxlow...

How the hell am I remembering this?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 30, 2014, 02:17:22 pm


I've heard anecdotal tales of people doing the connection...going back out...no problems (How would the Landowner know)

They did, yes, sometimes with a party down Giant's to rig Geology pot for them.



I assume you mean Garlands.

Nope, I meant what I said.

I was very hungover that day & there was thick snow on the ground.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: bograt on October 30, 2014, 03:05:41 pm
For the through trip out of Giants, only Garlands has to be rigged (although it is free-climbable with a couple of slings as aids).
As a personal friend of all parties involved I am in a position to set the record straight, Tom Watson, the owner of Peakshill farm (Giants) had a bit of a spat with Oliver Rowland (Oxlow) over farming boundary issues (upkeep of walls, etc.). This led to Tom deciding that people paying Oliver to go down 'his cave' should not be allowed to exit onto Peakshill land, cavers where caught in the middle.
 At the time I did a few through trips and provided you kept both farmers happy by paying the required fees there was no problem.

Both farms have since changed hands, neither is on access land, what is the relevance?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: complex on October 30, 2014, 10:04:13 pm
Apologies for the delay in response but my weekend was wiped out by a family emergency and I am just recovering from the aftermath.

Complex asked at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg226166#msg226166 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17137.msg226166#msg226166) above, if the exception in Schedule 2 to not interfere with a fence  designed to prevent accidents (I paraphrase) overrode the right of access.  My problem with this is if it does, then it drives  a coach and horses through the intent of the act.  I suggest such a padlocked gate to prevent accidents would be normally be excessive (though it could be allowed for by a Sec 25 Direction) so padlocking the gate would deprive the right of access.  So the provider of the padlock would be committing a breach of civil law whilst the person cutting the padlock off could be committing criminal damage.  An interesting stand off.
Hi Bob,

Thanks for getting back to me. I hope that the weekends family emergency has now been resolved.

I have always been told that public safety will trump almost every other piece of legislation (with the exception of "National Security" which appears to override everything else these days). It appears from your answer that you agree that public safety could well take precedence over the right of access to open access land.

I guess that the difference between us is that I don't see it as a problem - the public have a right to wander over nice safe places like fells and so on, but that right is (potentially) withdrawn when it comes to dangerous places such as a mine shaft next to a public footpath. It only "drives a coach and horses through the intent of the act" if you believe that the act gives the general public the right to wander freely around these seemingly dangerous places.

I would have thought it all comes down to the assessment of risk to public safety for each individual site. For some (mainly Mendip) sites such as Coral Cave, the entrance has already been deemed sufficiently risky to public safety that a gate has been installed. In the eyes of a competent H&S lawyer, I would have thought that the only way that the gate can now be safely removed is by demonstrating that the risk to public safety has been reduced through other means so that the gate is no longer required. I'm fairly sure that if the gate has been removed simply to allow the general public to wander around to their hearts content, if there were to be an accident then the person who had removed the gate would be facing some difficult questions from a highly paid legal team. I wouldnt want to be the person who had sanctioned the removal of the gate in those circumstances.

Cheers,
complex
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 31, 2014, 11:29:02 am
I have always been told that public safety will trump almost every other piece of legislation (with the exception of "National Security" which appears to override everything else these days). It appears from your answer that you agree that public safety could well take precedence over the right of access to open access land.
Sec 25(1)(b) does allow a direction to be issued for "...avoiding danger to the public...".  But please note NE do state that "We cannot give a public safety direction to manage risks arising from natural features in the landscape, such as cliffs or potholes. Often these risks should be obvious to the public and the main onus is on the public to keep themselves and their children safe."  (Extract from 2nd para p13 CAX150-4 at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047).)  CAX150-4 does give as a potential example "dangerous abandoned mineral workings".  But please also note in providing restriction to Access Land, the Government have as a policy "the least restrictive option" which NE follow.  The Derbyshire experience has shown that the simple nut and bolt solution for a catch to a gate is sufficient for mine shafts.  (But see also below.)

I guess that the difference between us is that I don't see it as a problem - the public have a right to wander over nice safe places like fells and so on, but that right is (potentially) withdrawn when it comes to dangerous places such as a mine shaft next to a public footpath. It only "drives a coach and horses through the intent of the act" if you believe that the act gives the general public the right to wander freely around these seemingly dangerous places.
My reason for saying that is not because of public safety but because of the other permitted reason, livestock.  Take the case of a farmer who decides to fence off a parcel of Access Land for deer.  They have high fences you can't get over.  And he also locks the high gate which you can't climb over.  In such a case it effectively is stopping access.  Extrapolate that to a farmer who just fits similar 'high' gates so you can't climb over them and provides no styles over walls.  That is why I think it drives a coach and horses through the intent of the act.  But I think this is off topic and I have no wish to put ideas into land owners' minds.

I would have thought it all comes down to the assessment of risk to public safety for each individual site. For some (mainly Mendip) sites such as Coral Cave, the entrance has already been deemed sufficiently risky to public safety that a gate has been installed. In the eyes of a competent H&S lawyer, I would have thought that the only way that the gate can now be safely removed is by demonstrating that the risk to public safety has been reduced through other means so that the gate is no longer required. I'm fairly sure that if the gate has been removed simply to allow the general public to wander around to their hearts content, if there were to be an accident then the person who had removed the gate would be facing some difficult questions from a highly paid legal team. I wouldnt want to be the person who had sanctioned the removal of the gate in those circumstances.
I have no recollection of seeing Coral Cave so I can't comment on the specific.  But to me the key point is whether a locked gate is required as opposed to a gate held shut by a nut and bolt or a gate held shut by a simple catch.  A risk assessment is required which should take into account factors such as the potential for unaccompanied children of young age coming by who can't reasonably be expected to recognise the hazards.  That risk assessment would identify what as the appropriate 'least restrictive option'.

And just in case it is not clear; I don't wish to remove access restrictions to all caves on Access Land, just to those caves on Access Land where the restrictions were never put in place for conservation reasons.  I am quite happy for access controlling bodies and regional councils to apply for Directions to formalise restrictions where a case can be made to justify them. 
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 11:39:27 am
I am quite happy for access controlling bodies and regional councils to apply for Directions to formalise restrictions where a case can be made to justify them. 
Which implies that you would prefer such bodies to take instruction and direction when justified (justified by whom?), rather than allowing local people to use their local judgement as to what is best for the situations where up to now they have always known best. Do you really think this is an improvement?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ed W on October 31, 2014, 11:48:21 am
Peter,

I'm not sure I can see the difference between the two stances here.  Anyone can apply for access restrictions under Sect. 26, and as long as the case is well made then and justified then appropriate access controls can be put in place.  In the majority of cases, I would have thought that it is likely that the Sect 26 application is likely to be made (or at least supported) by the body currently controlling access - so its the same people!

It only becomes an issue if the body currently controlling access cannot provide sufficient justification for doing so.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 31, 2014, 11:53:20 am
It only becomes an issue if the body currently controlling access cannot provide sufficient justification for doing so.

Ed, what counts as 'sufficient justification'? What are the criteria?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 11:55:04 am
Why would a Sect 26 application be required? Oh yes - because someone "discovered" that CRoW applies to cavers and caves. So, at present, local judgment and remedial action is acceptable, and is, in my view, the only workable solution to sorting out such issues. CRoW will tie the hands of those familiar with the specific requirements of a specific site. Bob implied that local judgment was irrelevant, and matters should be passed to a "higher" body. And it would be nice to have an answer to "justified by whom?" This centralised "one size fits all we know best" attitude is disturbing.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ed W on October 31, 2014, 11:59:15 am
It does not currently seem to be disturbing to around two thirds of cavers on UK Caving according tot he poll...
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 12:03:41 pm
It does not currently seem to be disturbing to around two thirds of cavers on UK Caving according tot he poll...
Yes, and people have the option to change their decision in that poll. If people consider carefully what everyone says on both sides, and realise perhaps a point they had not earlier considered through all the bluster, they might do so. If you value your regional council not being neutered, then reject this concept, however appealing it might seem to you at first sight.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 31, 2014, 12:13:43 pm
Thank you Ed. 

To answer Peter's question about who judges, the justification will be considered not only by NE or NRW or relevant National Park (plus the relevant heritage body if appropriate) but also by the Local Access Forum to cover local views.  It will also be considered by the following national organisations: British Association for Shooting and Conservation; British Mountaineering Council; Countryside Council for Wales (if the land adjoins land in Wales); Country Land and Business Association; National Farmers’ Union; Open Spaces Society; and Ramblers’ Association.  (If BCA got its act together then perhaps it could join this august list.)  NE would also publish the fact that a Direction was being considered and allow other representations, read Annex K in RAG V4 for all the detail.

I would suggest that local judgement is highly relevant and a major contributor to both making the case and also through the Local Access Forum, deliberating on it.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 12:35:48 pm
So now we have it. Your local council is at the bottom of the heap. Thanks for the clarification, Bob.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: tony from suffolk on October 31, 2014, 12:41:30 pm
I have always been told that public safety will trump almost every other piece of legislation (with the exception of "National Security" which appears to override everything else these days). It appears from your answer that you agree that public safety could well take precedence over the right of access to open access land.
Sec 25(1)(b) does allow a direction to be issued for "...avoiding danger to the public...".  But please note NE do state that "We cannot give a public safety direction to manage risks arising from natural features in the landscape, such as cliffs or potholes. Often these risks should be obvious to the public and the main onus is on the public to keep themselves and their children safe."  (Extract from 2nd para p13 CAX150-4 at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047 (http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047).)  CAX150-4 does give as a potential example "dangerous abandoned mineral workings".  But please also note in providing restriction to Access Land, the Government have as a policy "the least restrictive option" which NE follow.  The Derbyshire experience has shown that the simple nut and bolt solution for a catch to a gate is sufficient for mine shafts.  (But see also below.)

I guess that the difference between us is that I don't see it as a problem - the public have a right to wander over nice safe places like fells and so on, but that right is (potentially) withdrawn when it comes to dangerous places such as a mine shaft next to a public footpath. It only "drives a coach and horses through the intent of the act" if you believe that the act gives the general public the right to wander freely around these seemingly dangerous places.
My reason for saying that is not because of public safety but because of the other permitted reason, livestock.  Take the case of a farmer who decides to fence off a parcel of Access Land for deer.  They have high fences you can't get over.  And he also locks the high gate which you can't climb over.  In such a case it effectively is stopping access.  Extrapolate that to a farmer who just fits similar 'high' gates so you can't climb over them and provides no styles over walls.  That is why I think it drives a coach and horses through the intent of the act.  But I think this is off topic and I have no wish to put ideas into land owners' minds.

I would have thought it all comes down to the assessment of risk to public safety for each individual site. For some (mainly Mendip) sites such as Coral Cave, the entrance has already been deemed sufficiently risky to public safety that a gate has been installed. In the eyes of a competent H&S lawyer, I would have thought that the only way that the gate can now be safely removed is by demonstrating that the risk to public safety has been reduced through other means so that the gate is no longer required. I'm fairly sure that if the gate has been removed simply to allow the general public to wander around to their hearts content, if there were to be an accident then the person who had removed the gate would be facing some difficult questions from a highly paid legal team. I wouldnt want to be the person who had sanctioned the removal of the gate in those circumstances.
I have no recollection of seeing Coral Cave so I can't comment on the specific.  But to me the key point is whether a locked gate is required as opposed to a gate held shut by a nut and bolt or a gate held shut by a simple catch.  A risk assessment is required which should take into account factors such as the potential for unaccompanied children of young age coming by who can't reasonably be expected to recognise the hazards.  That risk assessment would identify what as the appropriate 'least restrictive option'.

And just in case it is not clear; I don't wish to remove access restrictions to all caves on Access Land, just to those caves on Access Land where the restrictions were never put in place for conservation reasons.  I am quite happy for access controlling bodies and regional councils to apply for Directions to formalise restrictions where a case can be made to justify them.

Public safety could be seen as an issue with open shafts. A sensible sign would do the trick; here's one :- (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6e/Sensible_Sign_-_geograph.org.uk_-_222285.jpg/440px-Sensible_Sign_-_geograph.org.uk_-_222285.jpg)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 31, 2014, 12:59:21 pm
I remain utterly astounded at Bob’s continued and detailed efforts to provide comprehensive answers to (inflammatory) questions only to be repeatedly slapped down with perpetual forms of childish inflammatory remarks. I take my hat off to him for his undying patience and fortitude in his excellent attempts to provide hard facts.

I further remain utterly flabbergasted at certain peoples continued attempts to de-rail the referendum and seemingly ignore the rather obvious position that even if the BCA referendum goes in favour of the “no’s” and the BCA are mandated not to press for better access under CRoW, that the law will remain the law regardless and (some) cavers will choose to exercise their apparent right in law to visit certain caves in any event.

I am yet even further flabbergasted that certain parties have continually alluded to CRoW being used as a “weapon” (my word) to solve problems in “other areas” and to leave the complainees area (The Mendips for instance) out of the argument. And, yet, those same people argue that CRoW will affect caves outside of their area – the very point they are arguing against.

…. You’d think the world was about to end ….

Ian
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 01:02:01 pm
You may gast your flabber as much as you like, Ian, it makes no difference in the overall scheme of things. Those with the courage to do so will continue to point out to those who are sufficiently open-minded to follow a train of thought, any relevant point that requires comment.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 01:04:47 pm
I think it also needs to be said, that regardless of the eventual outcome, all the concerns raised on both sides must be addressed. This was perhaps the main outcome of the Scottish Independence referendum. So expressing concerns should continue, both now and well into the future so that we can all say we have the best solution we can collectively manage, even if for some it won't be the preferred solution.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Ian Adams on October 31, 2014, 01:11:24 pm
Good grace applies to both "winners" and "losers". Please remember that.


Hum ?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 31, 2014, 01:11:52 pm
Ian I think you should be nominated for post of the year.  I agree whole heartedly.

None of Ian's points were a reflection of pro or anti views. Merely the direction of myriads on threads about the issue.

Peter, Ian's post pointed out that in fact many of the "anti-CRoW lobby" cannot seemingly follow a train of thought (point one). So the fact you replied with what you did I found rather funny. Though you yourself don't do this too often and neither does Bottlebank as I said on PM to him yesterday. For the most parts your posts are very helpful and appreciated.

Since I know both your names, I'm Ash.


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Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 31, 2014, 01:13:20 pm

Good grace applies to both "winners" and "losers". Please remember that.


Hum ?

I'd be very disappointed if the referendum returned a resounding yes, and suddenly threads started to appear berating the people who have openly expressed anti-CRoW views.


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Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 01:17:45 pm
A misunderstanding somewhere on the meaning of good grace. I expect concerns expressed by the "losing" side not to be ignored in the longer term. Otherwise at some time in the future, the differences of opinion will manifest themselves in a new area of dissatisfaction.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 31, 2014, 01:20:35 pm
A misunderstanding somewhere on the meaning of good grace. I expect concerns expressed by the "losing" side not to be ignored in the longer term. Otherwise at some time in the future, the differences of opinion will manifest themselves in a new area of dissatisfaction.

A bit like caving not being (thoroughly) lobbied to be included in CRoW in the first place and the situation we have now?

But fair play. Caving politics at that level are beyond me currently. I'm just getting rather involved in CRoW as I actually have a say and want to be as thoroughly informed as possible.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 01:23:12 pm
Ian I think you should be nominated for post of the year.  I agree whole heartedly.

None of Ian's points were a reflection of pro or anti views. Merely the direction of myriads on threads about the issue.

Peter, Ian's post pointed out that in fact many of the "anti-CRoW lobby" cannot seemingly follow a train of thought (point one). So the fact you replied with what you did I found rather funny. Though you yourself don't do this too often and neither does Bottlebank as I said on PM to him yesterday. For the most parts your posts are very helpful and appreciated.

Since I know both your names, I'm Ash.


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Ash - thanks for that. I am quite capable of following a train of thought, and do so. However, if there are points to be clarified, these need highlighting, and if following a train of thought ends up on the wrong track (in the opinion of some), it should not be a problem for that to be mentioned, in my opinion!
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 31, 2014, 01:57:58 pm
I disagree with how a few anti-CRoW cavers debate their point. I think they ignore facts provided and focus on ifs, rather than acknowledging facts and mentioning ifs.

However, the general level of name calling and insulting comments is very high, and almost entirely from the pro-side. Myself at a few points included. Whilst almost everyone on the anti-side has nearly completely refrained from it.

A perfect example would be how many ask the anti-side how much caving they do and what type of caving and how recently. Whereas nobody has turned round to me and said "Well, what do you know about caving politics?"

On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 31, 2014, 02:01:00 pm
I disagree with how a few anti-CRoW cavers debate their point. I think they ignore facts provided and focus on ifs, rather than acknowledging facts and mentioning ifs.

However, the general level of name calling and insulting comments is very high, and almost entirely from the pro-side. Myself at a few points included. Whilst almost everyone on the anti-side has nearly completely refrained from it.

A perfect example would be how many ask the anti-side how much caving they do and what type of caving and how recently. Whereas nobody has turned round to me and said "Well, what do you know about caving politics?"

On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.

I don't mind answering. I probably dig around once a week on average and do a few sport trips each year.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 02:02:53 pm
Happy to answer as well. Digging (mines) once a week, and caving weekends away, mostly to Wales, up to 8 times a year?
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: ah147 on October 31, 2014, 02:04:41 pm
I disagree with how a few anti-CRoW cavers debate their point. I think they ignore facts provided and focus on ifs, rather than acknowledging facts and mentioning ifs.

However, the general level of name calling and insulting comments is very high, and almost entirely from the pro-side. Myself at a few points included. Whilst almost everyone on the anti-side has nearly completely refrained from it.

A perfect example would be how many ask the anti-side how much caving they do and what type of caving and how recently. Whereas nobody has turned round to me and said "Well, what do you know about caving politics?"

On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.

I don't mind answering. I probably dig around once a week on average and do a few sport trips each year.

My point being, in this particular aspect, its largely irrelevant. Just because a person doesn't cave much any more doesn't mean they don't have the caves best interests at heart, it also doesn't mean that they do.

Just because I don't know much about caving politics doesn't mean I'm not an intelligent person who can come to logical conclusions based upon facts and opinions provided, it also doesn't mean I am  :tease:
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Bottlebank on October 31, 2014, 02:09:00 pm
I disagree with how a few anti-CRoW cavers debate their point. I think they ignore facts provided and focus on ifs, rather than acknowledging facts and mentioning ifs.

However, the general level of name calling and insulting comments is very high, and almost entirely from the pro-side. Myself at a few points included. Whilst almost everyone on the anti-side has nearly completely refrained from it.

A perfect example would be how many ask the anti-side how much caving they do and what type of caving and how recently. Whereas nobody has turned round to me and said "Well, what do you know about caving politics?"

On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.

I don't mind answering. I probably dig around once a week on average and do a few sport trips each year.

My point being, in this particular aspect, its largely irrelevant. Just because a person doesn't cave much any more doesn't mean they don't have the caves best interests at heart, it also doesn't mean that they do.

Just because I don't know much about caving politics doesn't mean I'm not an intelligent person who can come to logical conclusions based upon facts and opinions provided, it also doesn't mean I am  :tease:

On your first point I happen to agree, anyone with an interest in caving deserves to have their view considered. But you did ask the question  :tease:

On your second point I'll take your word for it, it seems reasonable  :-\


Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: Peter Burgess on October 31, 2014, 02:09:26 pm
Yes, it is irrelevant. In fact, I think that if someone becomes unable to do active caving through ill health, or for whatever reason, they should be encouraged to stay involved in a non-active capacity, if caves are their passion, as it maintains their links with the sport and gives them continued purpose. There are precious few cavers prepared to run and organise things as it is.
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: graham on October 31, 2014, 02:25:23 pm
On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.

Not needed, but accepted in the spirit in which it was given.

Thank you.   :)
Title: Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
Post by: droid on October 31, 2014, 06:05:16 pm
I disagree with how a few anti-CRoW cavers debate their point. I think they ignore facts provided and focus on ifs, rather than acknowledging facts and mentioning ifs.

However, the general level of name calling and insulting comments is very high, and almost entirely from the pro-side. Myself at a few points included. Whilst almost everyone on the anti-side has nearly completely refrained from it.

A perfect example would be how many ask the anti-side how much caving they do and what type of caving and how recently. Whereas nobody has turned round to me and said "Well, what do you know about caving politics?"

On the end of this post, I'd like to add a public apology to Graham. At no point have you been derogatory to me and at points I have to you.

Good post, and at least you've avoided the inflammatory drama queen rhetoric of sone of the 'pros'.... :bow: