UK Caving

NEWS, NOTICES & THE FORUM => Caving Chat => Topic started by: Scrappycaver on December 18, 2018, 09:21:01 pm

Title: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 18, 2018, 09:21:01 pm
More threats ..haven't we heard all this before ?

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 18, 2018, 09:46:57 pm
Don't recall any threat(s) regarding this cave; read an article which seemed factual though.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 19, 2018, 12:05:17 am
I assume this relates to the recent article on Dankness Darkness Below.

https://darknessbelow.co.uk/access-to-dan-yr-ogof-in-jeopardy/ (https://darknessbelow.co.uk/access-to-dan-yr-ogof-in-jeopardy/)

I wonder what Wookey Hole do for insurance as they have a very similar situation. Show cave, with well preserved "wild cave" beyond. Accessible to cavers either through the show cave or by diving through the ungated resurgence.
I know there has been at least one other entrance (now blocked?) and I believe there is also an access through the cliff face. Are there others?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 19, 2018, 06:50:39 am
The site is very well known for it's scaremongering and propaganda.

So, it's a rumor that someone has restarted a dig. Has anyone bothered to actually go and check this? Is someone actually digging again, or is it still abandoned? The more cynical minded people amongst us may wonder if the rumor was started by those having an interest in a highly controlled access in general.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 19, 2018, 08:34:28 am
Has anyone bothered to actually go and check this? Is someone actually digging again, or is it still abandoned?

If you go to check, you'll doubtless get accused of restarting the dig!
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 19, 2018, 08:42:47 am
Has anyone bothered to actually go and check this? Is someone actually digging again, or is it still abandoned?

If you go to check, you'll doubtless get accused of restarting the dig!

Knowing the lot behind that site, aye, they like doing things to try to shut me up. Some nasty tricks have been pulled, and no doubt more will be forthcoming.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: alastairgott on December 19, 2018, 12:21:26 pm
Peak cavern works well with a locked entrance to the rest of the cave. but then I think that the lock is more to keep unsuspecting people from entering the cave, the main big gate stops people from getting in and out. The smaller door inside stops people from going further in.

To me this system seems to work, I think there is a great fear of the unknown from this one. If the dig is so close to getting in, then a bad winter might see it happen, whether cavers are involved or not. I would say that obtaining the relevant permissions to dig a SSSI, conversing with the showcave owner to alleviate any misgivings and inform the wider caving community that money will be needed to secure both entrances. Derbyshire key on the top entrance and a lock on the bottom.

The sooner you prepare, the less hassle it will be. Doing work for the showcave owner will only put you in the good books.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 19, 2018, 12:32:36 pm
Peak cavern works well with a locked entrance to the rest of the cave. but then I think that the lock is more to keep unsuspecting people from entering the cave, the main big gate stops people from getting in and out. The smaller door inside stops people from going further in.

To me this system seems to work, I think there is a great fear of the unknown from this one. If the dig is so close to getting in, then a bad winter might see it happen, whether cavers are involved or not. I would say that obtaining the relevant permissions to dig a SSSI, conversing with the showcave owner to alleviate any misgivings and inform the wider caving community that money will be needed to secure both entrances. Derbyshire key on the top entrance and a lock on the bottom.

The sooner you prepare, the less hassle it will be. Doing work for the showcave owner will only put you in the good books.
It would be nice to see a copy of the insurance as the second showcave has two entrances and obviously doesn't invalidate the policy . Surely wardens can have a key based on trust.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Alex on December 19, 2018, 01:28:50 pm
From the article:

Quote
This grill would be permanently locked with access allowed only to cave rescue should a second entrance be made into the system


So reading that, we would loose access via the show cave but they won't be doing anything about the new entrance so access would not be lost, otherwise why do they need to allow access for cave rescue. This sounds like access will be allowed/out of their control for the new entrance.

So this is good for access, depending on how the new entrance is handled cavers may no longer have to have green cards etc as it sounds like the showcave owners want nothing to do with the rest of the cave by the sounds of it. Good for access, good for exploration, potentially bad for conservation, but not a complete disaster if it happens and depends how people want to manage the new entrance. I imagine the walk in would be a bit further though, it will still be a single entrance, just somewhere else.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Martin Laverty on December 19, 2018, 02:56:23 pm
Scrappycaver makes a good point about the fragility of the insurance argument for DYO, when it doesn't get invoked for Tunnel Cave, and is resoundingly backed up by alastairgott's reference to the Peak Cavern showcave which connects to Speedwell (another showcave), as well as the JH and Titan entrances.

I wonder who the anonymous Administrator at darknessbelow is?,
and why has it been deemed useful to expand a rumour ('At a recent meeting of the Dan yr Ogof Conservation Panel, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) revealed that a dig thought to be above the Mazeways area of the cave may have been restarted.') into another homage to the wisdom of access committees/ cave management groups / conservation advisory panels?

In S Wales we now have four of these groups, none of which now report on their meetings, and few of which reveal the identity of any of their members. The PDCMG used to be quite democratic (albeit jerrymandered) but has ceased to publish details of its meetings or show any interest in maintaining its website; the MLCMAC has a more attractive website, but says virtually nothing about  its composition or meetings - we just get to see who the secretary is because it is part of his website [http://mlcmac.org]; the OFDCMG [http://ofdcmc.org.uk/] has an attractive website, but only names its secretary; while the DYOCAP has an excellent website [http://www.dyo.org.uk], but reveals the identities of none of its officials, nor of when the meeting which started this thread took place.

I suppose we must trust that these shady operations really do aim to help all cavers get into dark places rather than just keep them in the dark about what is really behind all this. But S Wales does seem to be like a black hole into which caving news disappears with only faint echos of any activity emerging.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 19, 2018, 03:18:20 pm
Scrappycaver makes a good point about the fragility of the insurance argument for DYO, when it doesn't get invoked for Tunnel Cave, and is resoundingly backed up by alastairgott's reference to the Peak Cavern showcave which connects to Speedwell (another showcave), as well as the JH and Titan entrances.

I wonder who the anonymous Administrator at darknessbelow is?,
and why has it been deemed useful to expand a rumour ('At a recent meeting of the Dan yr Ogof Conservation Panel, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) revealed that a dig thought to be above the Mazeways area of the cave may have been restarted.') into another homage to the wisdom of access committees/ cave management groups / conservation advisory panels?

In S Wales we now have four of these groups, none of which now report on their meetings, and few of which reveal the identity of any of their members. The PDCMG used to be quite democratic (albeit jerrymandered) but has ceased to publish details of its meetings or show any interest in maintaining its website; the MLCMAC has a more attractive website, but says virtually nothing about  its composition or meetings - we just get to see who the secretary is because it is part of his website [http://mlcmac.org]; the OFDCMG [http://ofdcmc.org.uk/] has an attractive website, but only names its secretary; while the DYOCAP has an excellent website [http://www.dyo.org.uk], but reveals the identities of none of its officials, nor of when the meeting which started this thread took place.

I suppose we must trust that these shady operations really do aim to help all cavers get into dark places rather than just keep them in the dark about what is really behind all this. But S Wales does seem to be like a black hole into which caving news disappears with only faint echos of any activity emerging.
The DYOCAP were not aware of the showcave owners statement nor from my recent conversations were the NRW present. The gate was also installed 4 years ago drilling and bolting in a SSSI ,which in the dyo digging policy states no bolting !

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 19, 2018, 03:22:11 pm
Scrappycaver makes a good point about the fragility of the insurance argument for DYO, when it doesn't get invoked for Tunnel Cave, and is resoundingly backed up by alastairgott's reference to the Peak Cavern showcave which connects to Speedwell (another showcave), as well as the JH and Titan entrances.

I wonder who the anonymous Administrator at darknessbelow is?,
and why has it been deemed useful to expand a rumour ('At a recent meeting of the Dan yr Ogof Conservation Panel, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) revealed that a dig thought to be above the Mazeways area of the cave may have been restarted.') into another homage to the wisdom of access committees/ cave management groups / conservation advisory panels?

In S Wales we now have four of these groups, none of which now report on their meetings, and few of which reveal the identity of any of their members. The PDCMG used to be quite democratic (albeit jerrymandered) but has ceased to publish details of its meetings or show any interest in maintaining its website; the MLCMAC has a more attractive website, but says virtually nothing about  its composition or meetings - we just get to see who the secretary is because it is part of his website [http://mlcmac.org]; the OFDCMG [http://ofdcmc.org.uk/] has an attractive website, but only names its secretary; while the DYOCAP has an excellent website [http://www.dyo.org.uk], but reveals the identities of none of its officials, nor of when the meeting which started this thread took place.

I suppose we must trust that these shady operations really do aim to help all cavers get into dark places rather than just keep them in the dark about what is really behind all this. But S Wales does seem to be like a black hole into which caving news disappears with only faint echos of any activity emerging.
The DYOCAP were not aware of the showcave owners statement nor from my recent conversations were the NRW present. The gate was also installed 4 years ago drilling and bolting in a SSSI ,which in the dyo digging policy states no bolting !

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As shown here(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181219/c8893e1e5988be5ab281617767c1bff4.jpg)

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Alex on December 19, 2018, 07:27:38 pm
I am being told the other entrance may be beyond sumps, if so then that is a total loss of access to most of the cave unless you are diver. Does anyone know one way or the other?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Simon Beck on December 19, 2018, 07:45:55 pm
No permission required but all trips must be warden-led? Kind of a contradiction if you ask me. Non of my business to comment, I don't cave in that region, but sounds like a bloody monopoly to me. 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: maxf on December 19, 2018, 08:19:46 pm
I am being told the other entrance may be beyond sumps, if so then that is a total loss of access to most of the cave unless you are diver. Does anyone know one way or the other?

If it enters Mazwways 3 then yes it's beyond a sump, two sumps in wets condition..
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 19, 2018, 08:35:54 pm
I am being told the other entrance may be beyond sumps, if so then that is a total loss of access to most of the cave unless you are diver. Does anyone know one way or the other?

If it enters Mazwways 3 then yes it's beyond a sump, two sumps in wets condition..

That being the case, there is far less chance of anyone getting into the show cave via this entrance than from the ungated resurgence!

If the insurers are happy with the ungated, sumped entrance from the resurgence, they shouldn't be worried by another ungated sumped entrance elsewhere.

Case closed. :smartass:

Unless of course there is another motivation to this debate, but I'm sure if there had been, it would have been reported by the wholey unbiassed and ballanced new site that has been covering the story :halo:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 20, 2018, 01:18:41 am
Don't worry Pete, it seems it's already been covered by other news organisations
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 20, 2018, 09:27:40 am
Don't worry Pete, it seems it's already been covered by other news organisations
It's covered on "dankness below" which can be googled. A hilarious read !(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181220/033659bd2906ba3afcfe16a9751ab94a.jpg)

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 11:42:43 am
I am the current Wardens' Sec for the DYO Conservation Advisory Panel. It's time for a bit a calm and reason on this thread, please. There's so much misinformation and misrepresentation in all the above, so here is the situation:

The article in Darkness Below was initiated by the showcave management. One of the cavers who sits on the CAP was invited to review the original draft, and it seems as though his suggestions were largely ignored. He has since received something by way of apology.

Nothing in the article is news to anyone who has been into DYO in the last couple of years; the metal grille that has been installed at the end of showcave has beside it a notice making it clear that if a second entrance is opened then cavers will lose access through the showcave. End of story. It matters not whether any potential second entrance is beyond sumps or wherever - the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover. Will the second entrance provide 'better' access? Well if you do have to dive the Mazeways sumps to get into the rest of the cave then I doubt it, but in any case a dig shored with - as is common - bread crates could hardly be said to provide 'better access' than that currently available. 

The situation with Tunnel (Cathedral) Cave is different. There has always been a locked gate at the end of Cathedral Cave that prevents unauthorised access from the wild cave and in order to achieve a through-trip one needed a key to this and permission from the showcave. Although through-trips are still technically possible they rarely happen.

Let's be clear about the situation with the unauthorised dig that has caused all this. It was an illegal dig on an SSSI, that was a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) for which no permission was sought or given. The person held responsible was the landowner - that's the law. She narrowly avoided prosecution. Just stop and consider that for a minute: a rural landowner prosecuted for the actions of cavers. Imagine the harm that might have caused, nationwide, to landowner relations and cave access.

On the Facebook page on which the Darkness Below article was shared, some have questioned why this dig was a problem when digs on the Black Mountain, at the numerous DYO sinks, are not. Several reasons: first, as described above, this was an illegal operation on an SSSI. Second, the sinks are so far beyond the end of the known cave that it would need a breakthrough of unimaginable good fortune for any of the associated digs to get anywhere near the existing cave passage. It's not going to happen. And third, the SSSI dig was directly above the known cave, and was a declared intention to create a personal 'back door' to DYO by an aggrieved caver whose permit for the cave had been withdrawn.

Much of the land above DYO and beyond is owned by Welsh Water and administered on their behalf by the Brecon Beacons NPA. They are amenable to digging activity if permission is sought; a group of us are currently working on a dig on the Black Mountain which was granted permission; we submitted a reasonable proposal and agreed to perfectly fair terms and conditions. The actions of irresponsible diggers - 'freedom fighters' to some of you - jeopardise the long and harmonious relationship that has long existed between cavers/diggers and the BBNPA and NRW as well, of course, as the continued access to DYO granted by the showcave.     

The management of the showcave have always been supportive of the efforts of diggers, both inside and outside DYO. Sensible projects within the cave have been given permission, even some very close to the showcave itself. Those of us that dig on the mountain above DYO are allowed to use the car park, free of charge, a privilege which is not extended to walkers. In the past the showcave funded the purchase of timber for a dig on the mountain, and the owner has always been genuinely interested in, and supportive of, digging work that might find the missing miles that must exist between the known cave and the various sinks. What he won't put up with is sustained attempts to create personal access to the cave by an irresponsible minority.

As the Darkness Below article makes clear, cavers have long enjoyed access to DYO, which is one of the finest and best-preserved cave systems in Europe. The Warden system exists for the peace of mind of the showcave owners and has long served to protect the cave. Access is readily available to anyone that wants it (with one or two notable exceptions) and by far the most restrictive aspect of entry to the cave is the Welsh weather.

Just be careful what you wish for.       



             
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 11:48:21 am
No permission required but all trips must be warden-led? Kind of a contradiction if you ask me. Non of my business to comment, I don't cave in that region, but sounds like a bloody monopoly to me.

Clearly you don't cave in this part of the world or you'd understand what this means. 'No permission required' means that you don't need to arrange trips in advance with the showcave (unlike some others). A Warden can arrange to take a party according to his/her and their availability and just turn up and wave their permit (or collect a key, if the showcave is closed.) Hope this clarifies the meaning.   
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 20, 2018, 11:52:00 am
Care to share which parts of the draft were ignored by DB? Seems a bit of an accusation... Have DB corrected them?

Finest and best preserved in Europe is a bit of a stretch given the place is full of fibreglass models and drilled holes for Christmas lights, but I guess you're obliged to say that...!
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 20, 2018, 12:18:50 pm
I am the current Wardens' Sec for the DYO Conservation Advisory Panel. It's time for a bit a calm and reason on this thread, please. There's so much misinformation and misrepresentation in all the above, so here is the situation:

The article in Darkness Below was initiated by the showcave management. One of the cavers who sits on the CAP was invited to review the original draft, and it seems as though his suggestions were largely ignored. He has since received something by way of apology.

Nothing in the article is news to anyone who has been into DYO in the last couple of years; the metal grille that has been installed at the end of showcave has beside it a notice making it clear that if a second entrance is opened then cavers will lose access through the showcave. End of story. It matters not whether any potential second entrance is beyond sumps or wherever - the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover. Will the second entrance provide 'better' access? Well if you do have to dive the Mazeways sumps to get into the rest of the cave then I doubt it, but in any case a dig shored with - as is common - bread crates could hardly be said to provide 'better access' than that currently available. 

The situation with Tunnel (Cathedral) Cave is different. There has always been a locked gate at the end of Cathedral Cave that prevents unauthorised access from the wild cave and in order to achieve a through-trip one needed a key to this and permission from the showcave. Although through-trips are still technically possible they rarely happen.

Let's be clear about the situation with the unauthorised dig that has caused all this. It was an illegal dig on an SSSI, that was a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) for which no permission was sought or given. The person held responsible was the landowner - that's the law. She narrowly avoided prosecution. Just stop and consider that for a minute: a rural landowner prosecuted for the actions of cavers. Imagine the harm that might have caused, nationwide, to landowner relations and cave access.

On the Facebook page on which the Darkness Below article was shared, some have questioned why this dig was a problem when digs on the Black Mountain, at the numerous DYO sinks, are not. Several reasons: first, as described above, this was an illegal operation on an SSSI. Second, the sinks are so far beyond the end of the known cave that it would need a breakthrough of unimaginable good fortune for any of the associated digs to get anywhere near the existing cave passage. It's not going to happen. And third, the SSSI dig was directly above the known cave, and was a declared intention to create a personal 'back door' to DYO by an aggrieved caver whose permit for the cave had been withdrawn.

Much of the land above DYO and beyond is owned by Welsh Water and administered on their behalf by the Brecon Beacons NPA. They are amenable to digging activity if permission is sought; a group of us are currently working on a dig on the Black Mountain which was granted permission; we submitted a reasonable proposal and agreed to perfectly fair terms and conditions. The actions of irresponsible diggers - 'freedom fighters' to some of you - jeopardise the long and harmonious relationship that has long existed between cavers/diggers and the BBNPA and NRW as well, of course, as the continued access to DYO granted by the showcave.     

The management of the showcave have always been supportive of the efforts of diggers, both inside and outside DYO. Sensible projects within the cave have been given permission, even some very close to the showcave itself. Those of us that dig on the mountain above DYO are allowed to use the car park, free of charge, a privilege which is not extended to walkers. In the past the showcave funded the purchase of timber for a dig on the mountain, and the owner has always been genuinely interested in, and supportive of, digging work that might find the missing miles that must exist between the known cave and the various sinks. What he won't put up with is sustained attempts to create personal access to the cave by an irresponsible minority.

As the Darkness Below article makes clear, cavers have long enjoyed access to DYO, which is one of the finest and best-preserved cave systems in Europe. The Warden system exists for the peace of mind of the showcave owners and has long served to protect the cave. Access is readily available to anyone that wants it (with one or two notable exceptions) and by far the most restrictive aspect of entry to the cave is the Welsh weather.

Just be careful what you wish for.       



             
I think you will find that DYO gave permission then called the police. The NRW did not get involved and no charges or reccomendations were made to any party, In fact the showcave had some explaining to do by not disclosing the concent letter. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181220/9c499b87d1857cab5be85daface60f09.jpg)

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 12:25:20 pm
Well this just got interesting...
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 20, 2018, 12:26:06 pm
I am the current Wardens' Sec for the DYO Conservation Advisory Panel. It's time for a bit a calm and reason on this thread, please. There's so much misinformation and misrepresentation in all the above, so here is the situation:

The article in Darkness Below was initiated by the showcave management. One of the cavers who sits on the CAP was invited to review the original draft, and it seems as though his suggestions were largely ignored. He has since received something by way of apology.

Nothing in the article is news to anyone who has been into DYO in the last couple of years; the metal grille that has been installed at the end of showcave has beside it a notice making it clear that if a second entrance is opened then cavers will lose access through the showcave. End of story. It matters not whether any potential second entrance is beyond sumps or wherever - the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover. Will the second entrance provide 'better' access? Well if you do have to dive the Mazeways sumps to get into the rest of the cave then I doubt it, but in any case a dig shored with - as is common - bread crates could hardly be said to provide 'better access' than that currently available. 

The situation with Tunnel (Cathedral) Cave is different. There has always been a locked gate at the end of Cathedral Cave that prevents unauthorised access from the wild cave and in order to achieve a through-trip one needed a key to this and permission from the showcave. Although through-trips are still technically possible they rarely happen.

Let's be clear about the situation with the unauthorised dig that has caused all this. It was an illegal dig on an SSSI, that was a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) for which no permission was sought or given. The person held responsible was the landowner - that's the law. She narrowly avoided prosecution. Just stop and consider that for a minute: a rural landowner prosecuted for the actions of cavers. Imagine the harm that might have caused, nationwide, to landowner relations and cave access.

On the Facebook page on which the Darkness Below article was shared, some have questioned why this dig was a problem when digs on the Black Mountain, at the numerous DYO sinks, are not. Several reasons: first, as described above, this was an illegal operation on an SSSI. Second, the sinks are so far beyond the end of the known cave that it would need a breakthrough of unimaginable good fortune for any of the associated digs to get anywhere near the existing cave passage. It's not going to happen. And third, the SSSI dig was directly above the known cave, and was a declared intention to create a personal 'back door' to DYO by an aggrieved caver whose permit for the cave had been withdrawn.

Much of the land above DYO and beyond is owned by Welsh Water and administered on their behalf by the Brecon Beacons NPA. They are amenable to digging activity if permission is sought; a group of us are currently working on a dig on the Black Mountain which was granted permission; we submitted a reasonable proposal and agreed to perfectly fair terms and conditions. The actions of irresponsible diggers - 'freedom fighters' to some of you - jeopardise the long and harmonious relationship that has long existed between cavers/diggers and the BBNPA and NRW as well, of course, as the continued access to DYO granted by the showcave.     

The management of the showcave have always been supportive of the efforts of diggers, both inside and outside DYO. Sensible projects within the cave have been given permission, even some very close to the showcave itself. Those of us that dig on the mountain above DYO are allowed to use the car park, free of charge, a privilege which is not extended to walkers. In the past the showcave funded the purchase of timber for a dig on the mountain, and the owner has always been genuinely interested in, and supportive of, digging work that might find the missing miles that must exist between the known cave and the various sinks. What he won't put up with is sustained attempts to create personal access to the cave by an irresponsible minority.

As the Darkness Below article makes clear, cavers have long enjoyed access to DYO, which is one of the finest and best-preserved cave systems in Europe. The Warden system exists for the peace of mind of the showcave owners and has long served to protect the cave. Access is readily available to anyone that wants it (with one or two notable exceptions) and by far the most restrictive aspect of entry to the cave is the Welsh weather.

Just be careful what you wish for.       



             
I think you will find that DYO gave permission then called the police. The NRW did not get involved and no charges or reccomendations were made to any party, In fact the showcave had some explaining to do by not disclosing the concent letter. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181220/9c499b87d1857cab5be85daface60f09.jpg)

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All this is water under the bridge .
The catchment in question was in grit so we cave elsewhere but because we cave above dyo we get accused of digging 2nd entrances. The limestone outcrops up there only sit 3-400 ft above known passages so like you say..to penetrate dyo is nearly impossible.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 20, 2018, 12:31:31 pm
It sounds like the accusatory tone DB and Tony are taking over any "illegal" dig neglects to mention that the owners and the DYOCAP would be complicit in such illegality, if that letter is anything to go by.

I trust the owners and DYOCAP have learnt from this episode and now have the proper consents in place for all modifications to the cave?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 20, 2018, 02:04:18 pm
the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover.

Appreciate you may not know the answer, but I'd be very interested to hear why the insurers view the resurgence in any different way, also providing an ungated access to the show cave, for divers.

If I am not mistaken, opening another entrance beyond a sump would be exactly the same scenario...
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 20, 2018, 02:14:49 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 02:31:06 pm
the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover.

Appreciate you may not know the answer, but I'd be very interested to hear why the insurers view the resurgence in any different way, also providing an ungated access to the show cave, for divers.

If I am not mistaken, opening another entrance beyond a sump would be exactly the same scenario...

Also, I'm not sure what happens at other showcaves in the UK but some do have second entrances, and allow through trips in and out of the show cave, without their insurers throwing a wobbly. Surely any second entrance to DYO could be gated in the same way that Tunnel Top, JH etc is, with keys available for through trips one way or another? Just curious.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: David Rose on December 20, 2018, 03:24:55 pm
Well I must say another bitter row over how many entrances there should be to a large system in Wales was exactly what the caving world really needed. Happy holidays, one and all. 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Alex on December 20, 2018, 04:02:28 pm
Quote
Also, I'm not sure what happens at other showcaves in the UK but some do have second entrances, and allow through trips in and out of the show cave, without their insurers throwing a wobbly. Surely any second entrance to DYO could be gated in the same way that Tunnel Top, JH etc is, with keys available for through trips one way or another? Just curious

Yeh Peak cavern is one as mentioned above. Maybe they need better insurers and simply go with the insurers who insure Peak cavern?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: RobinGriffiths on December 20, 2018, 04:06:03 pm
Maybe they're happy with the current access situation and insurers are a convenient fig leaf.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Alex on December 20, 2018, 04:09:25 pm
Quote
Well I must say another bitter row over how many entrances there should be to a large system in Wales was exactly what the caving world really needed. Happy holidays, one and all.

We got to have something to distract us from Brexit!
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 04:58:26 pm
Let's be clear about the situation with the unauthorised dig that has caused all this. It was an illegal dig on an SSSI, that was a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) for which no permission was sought or given.               

My mistake. The sentence above should have said: "for which no permission was sought or given from CCW" [CCW is now NRW]

Neither the landowner or DYO Caves were in a position to give permission to dig up an SSSI. Unfortunately the landowner didn't realise exactly where the proposed dig was, or the implications of it being on the SSSI, when she gave permission. Likewise DYO's response was based upon information received from the landowner and neither the showcave management, nor the rep from the [then] DYO CAC who was consulted, picked up that the dig site was on the SSSI.

If Scrappycaver can confirm that he received permission to carry out a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) on the SSSI, from the CCW [NRW], then I will give him a full and honest apology. Otherwise everything in my post from earlier today stands.             
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 20, 2018, 05:15:52 pm
You can say everything technically correct, but still sound unreasonable in your positions if you present them in a dishonest way, which is what it appears the article has done.

From what we've seen here, it looks like the title of the article should be:

"Landowner, access group and digger made mistake regarding dig and the landowner will close the cave if that mistake is repeated"

Rather than this biased "news" piece that ultimately appears to be the anonymous ranting of someone who has a clear agenda.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 05:21:41 pm
Hypothetically, had this digger had permission from NRW, where would we now be? Probably in the very similar place.

I don't see the end result being any different from the perspective of Dan yr Ogof's insurers or Ashford, even if Ashford (and everyone else relevant) had given permission. Would a certain caver be banned from the cave? Who knows...

If it had all been done permissibly, and had actually broken into the cave system (according to Darkness Below it was seemingly only stopped due to the lack of NRW permission - it already had Ashford's and the landowner's) would Ashford have locked his gate (assuming he ever installed one)? Would the digger still be viewed in a bad light?

Essentially, the position Ashford's insurers are currently taking prevents any caver from attempting to ever connect Dan Yr Ogof to a surface entrance (whether it be the sole intention or not), whether through digging directly down, or by connecting another cave system into it. Yes, these things at present look unlikely and farfetched, but no-one knew OFD 2 was there until the divers broke through... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI, but any caver who's worked and pushed in there would have been in DyO in a heartbeat given half the chance.

If insurance is the biggest problem he's facing, and he really doesn't want to stop cavers entering (he has been and is very supportive of cavers, as you say), then perhaps the caving community could help him with that and work with him on this issue, given that we know that there are insurers that exist who will cover a multi-entrance show cave - there would then be no need for any of these problems and might allow him to relax.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Martin Laverty on December 20, 2018, 05:48:49 pm
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 07:38:10 pm
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).

Thanks for clarifying.

Page 3 paragraph 6 onwards in this CCC newsletter has some interesting comments:

http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/pdf/newsletters/44_Feb2015.pdf

Namely, the landowner is responsible for notifying NRW and requesting permission for any PDO's on their land, not the visitor, and that legal action against a certain caver doing a certain dig was perhaps a bit heavy handed.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 07:50:17 pm
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).

Martin is quite correct. I've dug at sites on the SSSI in blissful ignorance. The simple fact is that cavers and diggers had pretty much free rein over that mountain until the fuss over the dig in question happened, since when NRW and BBNPA have had to take a direct interest.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 07:56:33 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us? 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 20, 2018, 07:58:24 pm
This is fun. More of this please!

(https://i.imgur.com/0hQyd5L.gif)
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 08:04:44 pm
I'm grateful to Scrappycaver for the diligence of his record-keeping, which has allowed him to share with us the letter he received from the showcave management on the subject of the Nant y Gwared dig. In the interests of open and honest disclosure, perhaps he would care to share with the forum the full extent of his communications with Dan-yr-Ogof Caves on the subject of that dig? There were, as I recall, a number of emails and text messages exchanged and these would fully inform the discussion on here.

Also useful would be for him to share with us the emails he sent to DYO Caves and to other members of the [then] DYO CAC, the tone and nature of which went some way towards the eventual suspension of his DYO Warden Permit by the showcave management. Open and honest disclosure can only be a good thing in controversial debates like this, no?   
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 08:07:01 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.

Also, it would be interesting to know who it was that brought the dig to the attention of NRW after permission had been given by the landowner and Ashford? If digging and caving had previously enjoyed their blissful ignorance, perhaps this wasn't necessarily the right way to go about it.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 09:08:49 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.


The dig went to 40m deep and with some interesting passage but sadly - and frustratingly - petered out. It never found any proper horizontal passage and to be perfectly honest the idea that it would end up anywhere near the known extent of DYO never even occurred to any of us. It's a long way from the known cave and even if it had 'gone' big-time it would have ended up on the other side of the Far North Choke. Have you ever been to the Far North? Go and have a look and your question is answered. Ever since the choke was first found in 1968 cavers have been trying to find a way through it. That's fifty years.   
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 09:15:15 pm
Also, it would be interesting to know who it was that brought the dig to the attention of NRW after permission had been given by the landowner and Ashford? If digging and caving had previously enjoyed their blissful ignorance, perhaps this wasn't necessarily the right way to go about it.

I'm not going to go into this on a public forum. Those involved, on both sides, know the exact sequence of events and the reasons why. I have requested open and honest disclosure of the communications (see earlier post) that went on and if these are published all would be transparent.     
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 20, 2018, 09:25:28 pm

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?
The dig went to 40m deep and...

You appear to have side-stepped the question Tony.

Given the nature of the current discussion, understanding your by-the-book approach, agreed with all parties, could really help with a way forward.

I am also still unsure how another entrance beyond a sump is any different to the resurgence entrance, from an insurance perspective. Both provide ungated access to cave divers, however it would be a lot easier to gate a new dig than the resurgence. I am totally bemused by this.   :shrug:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Rhys on December 20, 2018, 09:42:16 pm
I'd just like to suggest that expecting logical, sensible and consistent advice about caves from an insurance company might be expecting a bit too much!
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 10:05:11 pm

You appear to have side-stepped the question Tony.

Given the nature of the current discussion, understanding your by-the-book approach, agreed with all parties, could really help with a way forward.

I am also still unsure how another entrance beyond a sump is any different to the resurgence entrance, from an insurance perspective. Both provide ungated access to cave divers, however it would be a lot easier to gate a new dig than the resurgence. I am totally bemused by this.   :shrug:

I've not side-stepped the question. I've been digging on that mountain for thirty years and the intention has always been to find the miles of cave between the sinks and the known cave. A through-trip is an issue that only arises if and when you get anywhere near the known cave. Nothing that I or anyone else have found has 'gone' more than a couple of hundred metres in total, so a few dozen metres at best actually towards DYO.

As I have made clear, the dig at Nant y Gwared was started as, and declared to be, a means of providing an aggrieved caver with his own access to the cave.

As I have also made clear, it makes no difference to the insurance issue whether a potential second entrance is beyond a sump or wherever; if it is opened, insurance cover will be withdrawn until the grille at the end of showcave is locked.     
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 20, 2018, 10:19:52 pm

Finest and best preserved in Europe is a bit of a stretch given the place is full of fibreglass models and drilled holes for Christmas lights, but I guess you're obliged to say that...!

You clearly have never been beyond the showcave. 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 20, 2018, 10:28:16 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.


The dig went to 40m deep and with some interesting passage but sadly - and frustratingly - petered out. It never found any proper horizontal passage and to be perfectly honest the idea that it would end up anywhere near the known extent of DYO never even occurred to any of us. It's a long way from the known cave and even if it had 'gone' big-time it would have ended up on the other side of the Far North Choke. Have you ever been to the Far North? Go and have a look and your question is answered. Ever since the choke was first found in 1968 cavers have been trying to find a way through it. That's fifty years.
Sorry for the late reply, I've been out caving and night time seems the best for me under these circumstances! I have only glanced through your chert reply and Josh and Martin have added all the valid points.
To say you didn't know your 40mt shaft would come out between the choke and a main sink....REALLY LOL.
In 50years the choke has barely been touched. Perhaps with my 5year ban ending I can apply for my permit and ask permission  to the panel to dig the choke !
I'm not a yes man nor do I bend down to pick up the soap for anyone so no longer being on an advisory panel dictated by one wasn't for me.
Merry Christmas

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: DYO
Post by: alastairgott on December 20, 2018, 10:32:24 pm
I'm perverse, so I'd say ensure the cavers get that grill locked now, then change the name of the wardens to "Keyholders".

But I've already expressed that opinion, so I'll quietly slink off...
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 20, 2018, 11:25:48 pm
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.


The dig went to 40m deep and with some interesting passage but sadly - and frustratingly - petered out. It never found any proper horizontal passage and to be perfectly honest the idea that it would end up anywhere near the known extent of DYO never even occurred to any of us. It's a long way from the known cave and even if it had 'gone' big-time it would have ended up on the other side of the Far North Choke. Have you ever been to the Far North? Go and have a look and your question is answered. Ever since the choke was first found in 1968 cavers have been trying to find a way through it. That's fifty years.

I've certainly been to the choke many times, bigger chokes have been passed, especially when both ends can be reached. That's not relevant to my point anyway.

The point I was trying to make was, had your dig gone big time and you'd have been fortunate enough to have broken into the showcave through some magical aven and bypassing the choke, do you think that we would be in the same position as now? Where your dig becomes the only entrance and all recreational access through DYO main entrance stops...

Would that be OK? How would you have dealt with that?

Regardless of the outcome, the difference on the face of things is little. Neither dig had NRW permission, just your one wasnt the one that got close enough to the main cave. No matter the intentions, both technically *could* have and I'm sure neither of you would have stopped short of the main cave had you reached it.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 07:40:34 am
The point I was trying to make was, had your dig gone big time and you'd have been fortunate enough to have broken into the showcave through some magical aven and bypassing the choke, do you think that we would be in the same position as now? Where your dig becomes the only entrance and all recreational access through DYO main entrance stops...

Would that be OK? How would you have dealt with that?

Regardless of the outcome, the difference on the face of things is little. Neither dig had NRW permission, just your one wasnt the one that got close enough to the main cave. No matter the intentions, both technically *could* have and I'm sure neither of you would have stopped short of the main cave had you reached it.

In short, the answer is that at the time we were digging in the dry valley there were none of the tensions that currently exist. The situation now is very different to how it was then.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 08:43:36 am

In S Wales we now have four of these groups, none of which now report on their meetings, and few of which reveal the identity of any of their members. The PDCMG used to be quite democratic (albeit jerrymandered) but has ceased to publish details of its meetings or show any interest in maintaining its website; the MLCMAC has a more attractive website, but says virtually nothing about  its composition or meetings - we just get to see who the secretary is because it is part of his website [http://mlcmac.org]; the OFDCMG [http://ofdcmc.org.uk/] has an attractive website, but only names its secretary; while the DYOCAP has an excellent website [http://www.dyo.org.uk], but reveals the identities of none of its officials, nor of when the meeting which started this thread took place.

I suppose we must trust that these shady operations really do aim to help all cavers get into dark places rather than just keep them in the dark about what is really behind all this. But S Wales does seem to be like a black hole into which caving news disappears with only faint echos of any activity emerging.

I didn't get the chance yesterday to respond to Martin's point, and as a long-term member of the DYO CAC (now CAP) I will attempt to answer the questions raised by his post.

First, a history lesson: for many years access beyond the showcave in DYO was managed by SWCC. The club ran a leader system under which caving clubs were allowed a number of guest leaders, who could apply for this status once they were able to demonstrate knowledge of the cave. This was seen as being somewhat inequitable, and an attempt to change the rules was rather badly handled. The showcave management took back control and created the DYO Cave Advisory Committee (CAC). It was formed of (mostly local) cavers and representatives from the showcave, the BBNPA and the CCW, the precursor to today's NRW. Elsie Little was the Secretary of this and wardens will recall applying to her for permits. The position of Chairman was always held by a caver, the cavers on the committee were elected at wardens' meetings, and while this was ostensibly democratic the meetings consisted of a very small pool from which to elect committee members. In effect, those with a desire to look after their own interests in relation to DYO access were able to gain a seat on the CAC, and the body was viewed with some degree of suspicion by cavers from outside the Swansea valley. In 2005 I was invited to stand for election to the CAC and despite some concerns about committing to this (I was dad to a newborn) I was duly elected.

For some while I was a thorn in the side of other cavers then on the committee. There were differences of opinion on a number of issues and I did my best to represent what I thought were the views of the active caving community, particularly with regard to matters like the provision of fixed aids within DYO. A significant cave rescue in 2008 caused some waves; Elsie Little was dismissed as Wardens' Sec and I was asked to take on the role. With a brief interlude, I have held that position ever since.

Unfortunately matters became increasingly difficult. There were a number of breaches of the cave's conservation rules and despite our best efforts the showcave owner felt that the cavers on the panel were toothless in dealing with this. In addition, members of the committee were on the receiving end of abusive emails regarding conservation matters and in the end the showcave scrapped the CAC and reformed the body as the CAP. The essential difference is that while previously cavers were elected on to the committee by wardens, cavers on the CAP are appointed. In reality there is very little difference; the members come from the same small pool of those with an interest in the cave.

There is no great secrecy about who sits on the CAP. I am happy to be the public face of this to cavers, but it would be remiss of me to mention the other cavers involved without their permission - as mentioned above, panel members have in the past been on the receiving end of unwarranted and unacceptable abuse. The minutes of meetings are not published because matters are discussed that are potentially commercially sensitive, from the showcave's point-of-view, but if anyone wants information about issues pertaining to caving in DYO then please feel free to get in touch. There is no intention to be in any way secretive and indeed my view is that cavers should be more involved in the decision-making process; as mentioned above, there have been times in the past when the cavers on the CAC/CAP were seriously out-of-touch with the views of active cavers.

With regard to access to the cave; visiting clubs can request a trip and I will do my best to find a volunteer Warden to take them. BCA insurance is a prerequisite. Anyone who wants a Warden permit can apply for one but will need a recommendation from a Warden who has accompanied them into the cave. It's important that anyone leading trips into the cave understands the flood risks and the conservation issues, and the showcave want the reassurance that only responsible cavers have access to their property. Such applications are rarely refused: I can't remember anyone being declined, although two cavers have had permits withdrawn for serious breaches of the cave rules. Despite the complaints of some the system is not onerous; the showcave have every right to protect their business and their property and cavers should consider themselves extremely fortunate that caving access is as readily available as it is. In reality, the biggest restriction on access to DYO is the Welsh weather - between October and April you need a sustained dry spell for safe access to be possible and even in the summer months access is by no means guaranteed. If anyone wants more information, please get in touch.             

     
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 21, 2018, 10:05:59 am

Given your commitment to non-secrecy, any chance of sharing who wrote this article, and what their purpose was in writing it?

All it seems to have done is to generate negative publicity for the showcave and cast the management group in somewhat of a bad (hypocritical) light.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 11:01:17 am

Given your commitment to non-secrecy, any chance of sharing who wrote this article, and what their purpose was in writing it?

All it seems to have done is to generate negative publicity for the showcave and cast the management group in somewhat of a bad (hypocritical) light.

I don't know who wrote it. Best ask Darkness Below, who credited it to an 'Administrator'. My understanding is that the information was provided by the showcave, but I reiterate that there is nothing new in any of it. Those of us who have been into the cave in the last two or three years have seen the metal grille and the explanatory notice. As far as I am aware none of the cavers on the CAP contributed; the one who was contacted made suggestions which were largely ignored.

The allegation of hypocrisy towards the DYO CAP can only be levelled by those not in possession of the full facts. I'm not going to fuel the flames any more but I say again that there are a unique set of circumstances around the dig at Nant y Gwared that do not apply to other projects in the DYO catchment and beyond.     
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 11:54:07 am

So, it's a rumor that someone has restarted a dig. Has anyone bothered to actually go and check this? Is someone actually digging again, or is it still abandoned?

In the interests of honesty and full disclosure: at the meeting of the DYO CAP on 4th Nov this year it was suggested that the dig at Nant y Gwared had been surreptitiously restarted. There is - as far as I can tell - no direct, reliable evidence of this. However the Swansea valley is not a large area and people see things. Sometimes they put 2 and 2 together and make 5. Or even 6.

The cavers on the CAP who dig (most of us) made the point that if the dig had been restarted then it would be obvious. The NRW and BBNPA are very sensitive to this issue, as of course is the landowner who came close to prosecution, and my personal view is that I think it unlikely that anyone would chance their arm re-opening this project, given the history and the potential consequences.   
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: MarkS on December 21, 2018, 12:11:50 pm
As an essentially impartial observer (I've visited DYO once and don't regularly cave in the region), there do seem to be two aspects that have been raised here but not responded to, answers to which would seem to go a long way to simplifying the issues.

PeteHall has repeatedly asked why the current un-gated second entrance (the resurgence) is not a problem insurance-wise, but why a second un-gated entrance would be. If the resurgence is a problem, it would seem alternative insurance is required now (which could then cover any other entrances), and if it is not a problem then presumably an additional entrance would also not be a problem insurance-wise.

alastairgott has also repeatedly asked why the gate that has been installed at the end of the showcave can't just be locked. Wardens with keys are required to access the show-cave as things stand, so carrying 1 extra key would not seem too much of a hassle, and would seem to pre-emptively solve the issue of any potential additional entrances.

I'm not suggesting an additional entrance would be a good thing. It just seems these are two straightforward questions, answers to which would enable the insurance problem (seemingly the focus of the darkness below article) to be separated from the more complex issues of the ins and outs of the merits of single or multiple entrances, or working out exactly whose digs have what permissions. :shrug:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Rhys on December 21, 2018, 12:36:37 pm
The resurgence entrance is not the same as an entrance elsewhere on the mountain. The resurgence lies within the showcave complex and is easily monitored by CCTV etc. Perhaps the insurers (if they even know about it) might consider it less of a risk.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Rhys on December 21, 2018, 12:48:17 pm
The insurance "issue" is probably a red herring, in any case. If the showcave owners want to deny caver access, for whatever reason, they can and they will. It wouldn't be the first time.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Simon Beck on December 21, 2018, 01:59:31 pm
No permission required but all trips must be warden-led? Kind of a contradiction if you ask me. Non of my business to comment, I don't cave in that region, but sounds like a bloody monopoly to me.

Clearly you don't cave in this part of the world or you'd understand what this means. 'No permission required' means that you don't need to arrange trips in advance with the showcave (unlike some others). A Warden can arrange to take a party according to his/her and their availability and just turn up and wave their permit (or collect a key, if the showcave is closed.) Hope this clarifies the meaning.

Thanks for spelling it out to me, albeit there really wasn't any need. But like you say, as a northern caver the two pretty much mean the same thing
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 21, 2018, 02:00:56 pm
PeteHall has repeatedly asked why the current un-gated second entrance (the resurgence) is not a problem insurance-wise, but why a second un-gated entrance would be.

Wild guess: cave divers are a different breed from random members of the public (aka cavers) as they are highly trained and capable technicians whereas the latter can be a danger to themselves.

If the showcave owners want to deny caver access, for whatever reason, they can and they will. It wouldn't be the first time.

Presumably not easily done with regard to divers though. Your turn.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: MarkS on December 21, 2018, 02:13:00 pm
PeteHall has repeatedly asked why the current un-gated second entrance (the resurgence) is not a problem insurance-wise, but why a second un-gated entrance would be.

Wild guess: cave divers are a different breed from random members of the public (aka cavers) as they are highly trained and capable technicians whereas the latter can be a danger to themselves.

See reply #46, hence my question:

...it makes no difference to the insurance issue whether a potential second entrance is beyond a sump or wherever; if it is opened, insurance cover will be withdrawn until the grille at the end of showcave is locked.

Although Rhys has provided a possible reason.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Alex on December 21, 2018, 02:13:29 pm
Quote
Quote from: Cap'n Chris on Today at 02:00:56 pm
Quote from: MarkS on Today at 12:11:50 pm
PeteHall has repeatedly asked why the current un-gated second entrance (the resurgence) is not a problem insurance-wise, but why a second un-gated entrance would be.

Wild guess: cave divers are a different breed from random members of the public (aka cavers) as they are highly trained and capable technicians whereas the latter can be a danger to themselves.

See reply #46, hence my question.

Quote from: Tony_B on Yesterday at 10:05:11 pm
...it makes no difference to the insurance issue whether a potential second entrance is beyond a sump or wherever; if it is opened, insurance cover will be withdrawn until the grille at the end of showcave is locked.

Although Rhys has provided a possible reason.

Then why is a second entrance beyond a sump such a problem? Unless as others say it's not an insurance thing after-all and as usual with Wales the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

A second dry entrance would solve the Welsh weather issue, if it was not beyond a sump and then it would not matter if the Showcave locked their entrance.

However, I will say the diggers should still get the SSSI permission and the surface landowners (which it appears they had originally??) to avoid breaking the law.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 03:25:53 pm
Since I went out this morning several others have stepped in with sensible responses. Particular thanks to Rhys for his two posts that have saved me answering those correspondents.

Look, I could spell things out on here more than I have, but it would only be pouring petrol on to flames where some of you are concerned. Read back through my previous contributions. I reiterate once more: there are issues surrounding the dig at Nant y Gwared that do not apply to digs elsewhere, or, for that matter, to the sump in the resurgence.

The insurance issue has been highlighted by the article in Darkness Below, but the DYO management have been clear on this for a long time, so it's not news. But you can be sure that it is not the only aspect of this whole sorry episode that troubles the showcave owner.

One more thing that I ask contributors to be aware of: the management at DYO are all too aware that this thread exists and have seen everything that is written. Whatever your views, please respect the fact that most of the caving community quite like having access to a cave as wonderful as DYO, and would be very unhappy were that access to be lost. Trust me that we have come very close to the edge on this before. Before you click 'post' on your next words of wisdom, just reflect on that. Thanks.     
 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: ogofmole on December 21, 2018, 03:46:19 pm
Quote
Whatever your views, please respect the fact that most of the caving community quite like having access to a cave as wonderful as DYO, and would be very unhappy were that access to be lost. Trust me that we have come very close to the edge on this before. Before you click 'post' on your next words of wisdom, just reflect on that. Thanks.     
 

Very well put, Ashford has allowed easy access to us cavers who just enjoy caving.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 21, 2018, 04:02:43 pm
I think the real issue here causing the heated discussions has nothing to do with access to DYO. It is the blatantly biased reporting on darknessbelow.

The article has deliberately stirred up a non-current issue, claiming access is likely to be lost due to insurance restrictions.

Credible arguments have been made to address the insurance issues and have gone unanswered, adding to the speculation that this is not the real issue for access. Rhys has since confirmed that insurance is a red herring.

In summary, DYO management have their own reasons to oppose a particular dig that may enter their business premises, which seems fair enough. The unnamed administrator at darknessbelow has taken the opportunity to scare-monger and stir trouble, likely to cause people to say/do things they regret.

The real jeopardy for access at DYO is the inaccurate and irresponsible reporting of an apparent non-issue by darknessbelow.

The anti-access brigade seem hell bent on creating access problems, presumably so that they can say 'I told you so'  :wall:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Damo on December 21, 2018, 04:04:10 pm
Quote
Whatever your views, please respect the fact that most of the caving community quite like having access to a cave as wonderful as DYO, and would be very unhappy were that access to be lost. Trust me that we have come very close to the edge on this before. Before you click 'post' on your next words of wisdom, just reflect on that. Thanks.     
 

Very well put, Ashford has allowed easy access to us cavers who just enjoy caving.

I completely agree with this. I personally have never had any issues with the access arrangements in place and the showcaves staff have always been very welcoming and helpful. To lose this access would be very sad indeed.


Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Rhys on December 21, 2018, 04:12:04 pm
Rhys has since confirmed that insurance is a red herring.



I haven't actually confirmed anything. I said "probably". And it' s just my opinion. I'm not in a position to confirm anything. I'm not involved in any way.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: PeteHall on December 21, 2018, 04:18:31 pm
Rhys has since confirmed that insurance is a red herring.



I haven't actually confirmed anything. I said "probably". And it' s just my opinion. I'm not in a position to confirm anything. I'm not involved in any way.

Sorry Rhys, my mistake. You suggested insurance was probably a red herring.

Tony's later post suggests that this is correct (and I assume he knows), however there is no specific confirmation either way.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: alastairgott on December 21, 2018, 04:24:21 pm
If you don't want to lock it, then the Derbyshire Key is always an option?

Have a section of Bar which can slide till it reaches a thread, use this as a bolt. When the bolt is shut you can then tighten it up, if there's a square in the grill cut out to allow use on either side it'll work quite nicely. Welsh cavers don't typically carry a spanner, so you've got a key that works most of the time. (just make sure it's not the same size as a scaffold spanner! will ensure maximal annoyance...).
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Joel Corrigan on December 21, 2018, 06:40:34 pm
I don't want to get involved with this thread as my own experiences with the committee & the person who gave the orders is somewhat more negative than most but I did have a message earlier from Ethel.Bangrod who has posted twice on the site & is apparently the editor-in-chief of Dankness Below. This read:

"Hi Joel, What's the deal with Richard Frost being banned?"

I refused to give any explanation to anyone I didn't know & I can barely remember the details anyway but worth being aware of this.  No idea who Ethel is but he/she knew enough about caving in the area to ask me for information...
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: droid on December 21, 2018, 07:07:17 pm
I think the real issue here causing the heated discussions has nothing to do with access to DYO. It is the blatantly biased reporting on darknessbelow.



The 'stirring up' has taken place on here, not Darkness Below which *isn't* a discussion forum.

As usual, people have adopted entrenched positions and refuse to see any merit in the 'opposition' argument.


Deja vu.....all over again. CRoW, Draenen et al.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 21, 2018, 07:36:23 pm
I don't want to get involved with this thread as my own experiences with the committee & the person who gave the orders is somewhat more negative than most but I did have a message earlier from Ethel.Bangrod who has posted twice on the site & is apparently the editor-in-chief of Dankness Below. This read:

"Hi Joel, What's the deal with Richard Frost being banned?"

I refused to give any explanation to anyone I didn't know & I can barely remember the details anyway but worth being aware of this.  No idea who Ethel is but he/she knew enough about caving in the area to ask me for information...

If Ethel.Bangrod would care to contact me I will be happy to give some details, providing I can see a constructive point in doing so. I was on the CAP at the time that he was banned, but I hasten to point out that this was a unilateral decision by the showcave management and not one that was discussed in a panel meeting, although I think we all knew it was coming. It would in any case be interesting to talk to someone from Dankness Below, because I don't believe the spoof news article has done anyone any favours here. It wasn't even funny. Maybe a subscription to Private Eye might help them understand satire.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Badlad on December 21, 2018, 07:54:55 pm
Dankness and Darkness Below aside I was just thinking what a well behaved discussion this has been in the main.  Contributors have made valid points and they have been answered in a patient and courteous manner.  Many thanks to Tony B for persevering with the many questions those with genuine interest have posed.  In the past, threads of this nature have gone sour, often fuelled by the same few individuals.  This thread goes to show that sensible discussions can be had on quite emotive topics if people try to be civil to one another.  Long may it live.

Believe it or not I was a leader for DYO myself in the 1980's and had many many trips down there.  Even found some new stuff once.  Great cave and i'm sure that one day someone will find a whole lot more.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 21, 2018, 07:59:58 pm
Dankness and Darkness Below aside I was just thinking what a well behaved discussion this has been in the main.  Contributors have made valid points and they have been answered in a patient and courteous manner.  Many thanks to Tony B for persevering with the many questions those with genuine interest have posed.  In the past, threads of this nature have gone sour, often fuelled by the same few individuals.  This thread goes to show that sensible discussions can be had on quite emotive topics if people try to be civil to one another.  Long may it live.

Believe it or not I was a leader for DYO myself in the 1980's and had many many trips down there.  Even found some new stuff once.  Great cave and i'm sure that one day someone will find a whole lot more.
If we're allowed !
I was banned after electing a friend as conservation officer..He then said he could no longer do this post while I was still caving in dyo. ..!! Some friend. Shortly after 3 others left over I'll feelings. I was banned for 5years which  has passed.


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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Rhys on December 21, 2018, 08:36:48 pm
So Scrappycaver is Richard Frost?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 21, 2018, 08:54:52 pm
So Scrappycaver is Richard Frost?
Yes..it seems be about my life story this evening. I don't think anymore needs to be said regarding the 5year ban but rather the info came from me . Tony seems to have taken the dyo subject on and explained it all v well and dragging up the past won't change matters. Like Tony said , the panel didn't have a say in it and it was Ashfords decision which I accept.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Ogof anghenfil on December 21, 2018, 09:06:08 pm
So 'Scrappycaver', you said you had a five year ban fron Dan Yr Ogof, does that mean you are allowed back in?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 21, 2018, 09:20:44 pm
So 'Scrappycaver', you said you had a five year ban fron Dan Yr Ogof, does that mean you are allowed back in?
Depends on whether Santa thinks I've been a good boy this year !

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 21, 2018, 09:36:17 pm
:-) Who started this thread, remind me ;-)
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 21, 2018, 10:37:43 pm
Talking of Dankness Below...

"We don't want any of your fucking about", they continued, "we will fill the fucking thing with plastic fucking dinosaurs"

Whoever writes it needs to take a bow. It's lovely.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: mudman on December 22, 2018, 01:11:30 am
Talking of Dankness Below...

"We don't want any of your fucking about", they continued, "we will fill the fucking thing with plastic fucking dinosaurs"

Whoever writes it needs to take a bow. It's lovely.
That was about the only humorous bit in that article. Not a regular contributor methinks.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 25, 2018, 05:21:21 pm
Can I just clarify that the landowner DID NOT come close to prosecution ,this is false information.  Short of the nrw gaining access from the farm no other contact was ever made. It was left to Mark Wilding to follow. APSOLUTLY no warnings or even advice were given to anyone !
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
Merry Christmas

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Stuart France on December 26, 2018, 03:30:47 pm
Martin Laverty has already provided specific links to the SSSI documents for the Dan-yr-Ogof catchment area.  Seems to me that some clarity on how SSSIs operate generally would help.  First, the national background:

The concept of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) appears in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 as amended by the Countryside Act 1968 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  This national level law is still in force notwithstanding contemporary EU conformity trends.  So second, European Union:

The EU Habitats Directive 1992 aims to harmonize conservation legislation.  Thus the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 repeats the 1981 Act almost word for word but applies it to ‘European’ sites.  The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 is a further step along the EU road, introducing the concept of “Sites of Community Importance” (SCIs) along with scheduling categories of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protected Areas (SPAs).  Practically nobody understands anything any more:  a fruit cake baked with mixed standards.

For anyone on SSSI land, it is a UK offence to intentionally or recklessly damage, disturb or destroy land known to be an SSSI, or intentionally or recklessly disturb the wildlife.  As to cavers’ digs in the DYO Dry Valley, whether any conservation offence occurred or not depends on whether any actual damage to the cited conserved interests could be proven.  The conserved interests are listed in the site’s SSSI Citation document to which I will return later.

For the landowner only, it is also a UK offence to carry out or allow to be carried out any activity that may likely damage the SSSI without consent from the relevant conservation agency.  These Potentially Damaging Operations are listed in the SSSI PDO document.  This is where the legal edifice above begins to fall apart.

Take the PDO document covering the DYO catchment.  The first thing it says in bold type, is “The list of operations is not a prohibited list”.  The last thing it says, in red italics, is that the published version of the document “is not a definitive legal version” and to contact NRW for the latter.  What this means is effect is that NRW can make the law up as it goes along by replacing its published documents whenever it wants to and without telling anyone.

Most of the PDOs concern farming and upland management.  But a few relate to caves, generally to avoid farmers blocking up or altering cave entrances, or permitting recreational activities “within the control of owner” likely to damage cave systems.  As the PDO list restricts the landowner, a caving project ought to join with the landowner to consult NRW (or equivalent body) to agree on a set of methods that will not harm the stated scientific interest.  NRW says that it simply wants to be consulted and is not looking for ways to veto responsibly conducted projects.

Returning now to the Citation document, this too provides infinite wriggle room by denying the published version has any legal status.  Clearly someone, myself perhaps, needs to force NRW into putting documents that do have legal status into the public domain, for example as public answers to Freedom of Information inquiries.  The published SSSI documents were prepared in 2009, according to hidden dates within them.  So NRW would have a hard time now if they happened to release revised documents during the currency of an investigation a decade later that had the effect of entrapping someone by rules changing dynamically.

As to the specifics of this citation, it begins with 300 words on botany and bird life.  Over the page it ends with the geology part about Dan-yr-Ogof and Tunnel Cave in under 100 words:

“The caves are excellent examples of phreatic systems, rejuvenated, and modified by vadose erosion, and contain many textbook examples of underground geomorphic features. They also demonstrate a close response to geological structure with the main drainage oriented in a synclinal axis. Extensive calcite and clastic deposits combine with the morphological features to produce a very complete record of cave development in sympathy with the progressive Pleistocene excavation of the Tawe valley.”

Translating that into plain English as best I can:  “These are typical examples of limestone caves formed in stages by water, like most caves, and stalactites formed.  Cave water flows downhill, like water generally does, and bedrock with a gutter shape makes a good water conduit.  Bits of worn off rock from ages ago have settled in the valley below.”

Given that this, wriggle room apart, is NRW’s full statement of the geological scientific interest here, it is hard to imagine, myself anyway, how any caving activities by that measure are harmful.

Apologies for the length of this, but hopefully useful to some.

Stuart France
Cambrian Caving Council

Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 12:39:32 pm
Can I just clarify that the landowner DID NOT come close to prosecution ,this is false information.  Short of the nrw gaining access from the farm no other contact was ever made. It was left to Mark Wilding to follow. APSOLUTLY no warnings or even advice were given to anyone!

In which case, the information given by representatives of the NRW to the DYO CAP is incorrect.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 12:43:27 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well. 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: thomasr on December 27, 2018, 04:09:15 pm
All very interesting reading  and much respect for all the research done I feel though a  dictionary of all these abrieveated bodies and terms would be of use to the lazy amongst us :confused:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 27, 2018, 04:40:34 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 27, 2018, 04:45:12 pm
Can I just clarify that the landowner DID NOT come close to prosecution ,this is false information.  Short of the nrw gaining access from the farm no other contact was ever made. It was left to Mark Wilding to follow. APSOLUTLY no warnings or even advice were given to anyone!

In which case, the information given by representatives of the NRW to the DYO CAP is incorrect.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 27, 2018, 06:05:00 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Tony..thanks for the information . Is it best to get permission prior to digging as I believe unless I'm mistaken you had already illegally been digging it...obviously 'blissfully ignorant'  AGAIN after such a unique case nearby. And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news . It may not be in a SSSI but it was PRIVATE land.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 06:33:51 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Tony..thanks for the information . Is it best to get permission prior to digging as I believe unless I'm mistaken you had already illegally been digging it...obviously 'blissfully ignorant'  AGAIN after such a unique case nearby. And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news . It may not be in a SSSI but it was PRIVATE land.

No, it was not dug illegally. It was dug, the same as everything else up there always has been, in the knowledge that cavers have always poked at stuff on that hill and no-one was ever bothered. Until the unfortunate events detailed above, which completely changed everything. The BBNPA and NRW suddenly started taking notice and the matter was highlighted in a Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter, in a piece co-authored by a BBNPA rep and Stuart France. We then obtained verbal permission to 'have a look' with a view to ascertaining whether a formal proposal for permission was worthwhile. Once the site looked interesting we held off, submitted the proposal and were given the go-ahead.

If you are going to sling mud on here, and start accusing me of illegal digging, perhaps you ought to make it clear what permissions are in place for the project/s you are currently working on?     
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 06:40:37 pm
All very interesting reading  and much respect for all the research done I feel though a  dictionary of all these abrieveated bodies and terms would be of use to the lazy amongst us :confused:

All these have been written out in full in earlier posts, but...BBNPA is the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, NRW is Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales, or CCW), the DYO CAP is the Dan-yr-Ogof Conservation Advisory Panel, the body which manages caver access to DYO on behalf of, and in liaison with, the showcave management.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 06:45:03 pm
.And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news.


The National Park put grilles over lots of digs, including ours, after concerns about the safety of open entrances on the hillside. They did not remove the scaffolding; a thief did.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 27, 2018, 06:51:23 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Tony..thanks for the information . Is it best to get permission prior to digging as I believe unless I'm mistaken you had already illegally been digging it...obviously 'blissfully ignorant'  AGAIN after such a unique case nearby. And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news . It may not be in a SSSI but it was PRIVATE land.

No, it was not dug illegally. It was dug, the same as everything else up there always has been, in the knowledge that cavers have always poked at stuff on that hill and no-one was ever bothered. Until the unfortunate events detailed above, which completely changed everything. The BBNPA and NRW suddenly started taking notice and the matter was highlighted in a Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter, in a piece co-authored by a BBNPA rep and Stuart France. We then obtained verbal permission to 'have a look' with a view to ascertaining whether a formal proposal for permission was worthwhile. Once the site looked interesting we held off, submitted the proposal and were given the go-ahead.

If you are going to sling mud on here, and start accusing me of illegal digging, perhaps you ought to make it clear what permissions are in place for the project/s you are currently working on?   
I'm only caving Tony.. you're the digger. I was just highlighting that you had already dug /scaffolded another shaft without seeking the concent of the national parks and Welsh water.

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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 09:13:41 pm
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Tony..thanks for the information . Is it best to get permission prior to digging as I believe unless I'm mistaken you had already illegally been digging it...obviously 'blissfully ignorant'  AGAIN after such a unique case nearby. And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news . It may not be in a SSSI but it was PRIVATE land.

No, it was not dug illegally. It was dug, the same as everything else up there always has been, in the knowledge that cavers have always poked at stuff on that hill and no-one was ever bothered. Until the unfortunate events detailed above, which completely changed everything. The BBNPA and NRW suddenly started taking notice and the matter was highlighted in a Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter, in a piece co-authored by a BBNPA rep and Stuart France. We then obtained verbal permission to 'have a look' with a view to ascertaining whether a formal proposal for permission was worthwhile. Once the site looked interesting we held off, submitted the proposal and were given the go-ahead.

If you are going to sling mud on here, and start accusing me of illegal digging, perhaps you ought to make it clear what permissions are in place for the project/s you are currently working on?   
I'm only caving Tony.. you're the digger. I was just highlighting that you had already dug /scaffolded another shaft without seeking the concent of the national parks and Welsh water.


You haven't answered my question. What permissions are in place for your project/s? We didn't dig anything without consent. As outlined above.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Badlad on December 27, 2018, 09:29:41 pm
Administrator Comment Guys, please. What is going on with Welsh caving. No more open warfare. Let's see more level heads and less stirring please
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Tony_B on December 27, 2018, 09:48:32 pm
Guys, please.  What is going on with Welsh caving.  No more open warfare.  Let's see more level heads and less stirring please

I've been accused of illegal digging. An unfounded accusation, from someone whose illegal dig has caused no end of problems. I'm entitled to react. 
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: 2xw on December 27, 2018, 11:02:43 pm
The real problem here is not Richard, or Tony, nor the landowner, nor the DYO, but the shoddy "journalism" that was clearly designed to stoke resentment between various factions, for god knows what purpose.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Ogof anghenfil on December 27, 2018, 11:21:00 pm
At last we have a sensible post.  :clap2:
Who are these 'reporters' at Darkness Below who are trying to stir up trouble?  :shrug:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Bratchley on December 28, 2018, 02:02:03 am
Guys, please.  What is going on with Welsh caving.  No more open warfare.  Let's see more level heads and less stirring please

Must be the damp air.  :furious:  :bounce:
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: maxf on December 28, 2018, 06:37:30 am
At last we have a sensible post.  :clap2:
Who are these 'reporters' at Darkness Below who are trying to stir up trouble?  :shrug:

It's quite telling that they are banned from here are they not ?
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 28, 2018, 07:34:39 am
It's quite telling that they had to start their own propaganda machine to try to keep the status quo. As said, that site is well known for shenanigans, as are some of the people behind it.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: mikem on December 28, 2018, 08:15:52 am
You don't know who pointed them in the direction of the story - it seems to be more than coincidence that it's come to fore just when a 5 year ban is coming to it's end... However, this thread has done far more to bring it to people's attention than the original report!
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Scrappycaver on December 28, 2018, 08:32:48 am
Following the positive response on this thread I've been asked if Tony will kindly pass on the relevant phone numbers/ address to make requests for future digs.
 

Our request was sent to, and approved by, the Brecon Beacons NPA - I will find out the exact contact details. However please note that our dig is not on the SSSI and therefore not subject to the NRW restrictions outlined by Stuart above. The BBNPA act as agents for the landowner, Welsh Water, and consulted WW as well.
YES. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. DYOCAP are not in any position to answer for the landowner or myself.

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Tony..thanks for the information . Is it best to get permission prior to digging as I believe unless I'm mistaken you had already illegally been digging it...obviously 'blissfully ignorant'  AGAIN after such a unique case nearby. And did not the national parks grill it and remove scaffolding for public safety?? I'm pretty sure it was in the cambrian caving news . It may not be in a SSSI but it was PRIVATE land.

No, it was not dug illegally. It was dug, the same as everything else up there always has been, in the knowledge that cavers have always poked at stuff on that hill and no-one was ever bothered. Until the unfortunate events detailed above, which completely changed everything. The BBNPA and NRW suddenly started taking notice and the matter was highlighted in a Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter, in a piece co-authored by a BBNPA rep and Stuart France. We then obtained verbal permission to 'have a look' with a view to ascertaining whether a formal proposal for permission was worthwhile. Once the site looked interesting we held off, submitted the proposal and were given the go-ahead.

If you are going to sling mud on here, and start accusing me of illegal digging, perhaps you ought to make it clear what permissions are in place for the project/s you are currently working on?   
I'm only caving Tony.. you're the digger. I was just highlighting that you had already dug /scaffolded another shaft without seeking the concent of the national parks and Welsh water.


You haven't answered my question. What permissions are in place for your project/s? We didn't dig anything without consent. As outlined above.
To answer your question, you had already dug it in 2017 using scaffolding to drive a shaft down. This was a year before you got verbal permission to visually look !
It's like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted ...
My point being is that after the illegal dig in 2014 where permission was granted lessons haven't been learnt by leading role models.


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Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Cap'n Chris on December 28, 2018, 01:35:49 pm
It's quite telling that they had to start their own propaganda machine to try to keep the status quo. As said, that site is well known for shenanigans, as are some of the people behind it.

Is this referring to UKC or DB? the
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: NewStuff on December 28, 2018, 05:29:09 pm
It's quite telling that they had to start their own propaganda machine to try to keep the status quo. As said, that site is well known for shenanigans, as are some of the people behind it.

Is this referring to UKC or DB? the

I genuinely can't tell if you're retarded, drunk, or just trolling, again, at this point.
Title: Re: DYO
Post by: Badlad on December 28, 2018, 05:48:55 pm
Administrator Comment locking topic for a bit as it's descending fast.