Author Topic: Premature action on CRoW?  (Read 35657 times)

Offline martinr

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #225 on: January 06, 2016, 05:40:25 pm »
.....CRoW is a big plus for landowners when it comes to liability.........

That's a very good point. When/if CROW is extended to cover caving, where would that leave the BCA insurance scheme? Presumably many cavers will no longer need PLI insurance (good) but if they leave the scheme those who remain will see their share of the cost  rise (bad). Might we end up with just the organisations (club committees, regional bodies etc) left to pick up the tab?

For clarification, I'm not asking this in order to derail CROW campaign, it's a genuine question

Online Cookie

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #226 on: January 06, 2016, 05:54:29 pm »
On the poll was a list of things the BCA would need to do if there was a yes vote. One of the items was "seek to change Section 4.6 of our Constitution".  That was because it was felt that "campaigning" would be against the Constitution and it would have to be changed first.

That view was upheld when BCA passed the following motion at the 2015 AGM with virtually everybody voting in favour.

"This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving."

Hence the belief BCA was constrained by the Constitution and the AGM motion to only clarify rather than campaign. However it would seem BCA has changed its mind.

This was all debated over a year's worth of BCA meetings and is fully recorded in the minutes.  You can pick out bits of the constitution and bend them to support almost any position but the will of the BCA membership was made clear in the poll.  No where in the constitution does it say that you cannot campaign for better or legal rights of access to caves and common sense would suggest that the British Caving Association is there to represent the will of it's membership and cavers in general rather than trying to subvert the constitution to support a few landowners who might not want cavers on their land.  Many landowners support the CRoW rights applying to caving as it makes legal and liability issues clear for them.   The BCA came to a sensible compromise to pursue the campaign of clarification (or however you wish to term it) within the existing law.  The consequences of the BCA continuing to do nothing or just tinkering at the edges will not fool the membership.  If the BCA don't take the action, then groups of individuals will, and that could lead to more situations like we see at Drws Cefn - and one of them is more than enough for everybody.

I will continue to work within my remit, keeping BCA closely informed of my actions on their behalf, until I am told otherwise.  In the course of my duties I don't intend to disrespect any landowner or anyone else for that matter, so I don't expect there to be any real cause for complaint.  I am a landowner myself, but I am also well aware of the general political mood on the outdoors, where the importance of outdoor recreation and wildlife protection has already been given legal rights over individuals and the future is set for that trend to continue in the same direction, BCA constitution or not.

It is possible to change a Constitution. So rather than ignore the Constitution, why not change it? Then there can be no criticism.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #227 on: January 06, 2016, 05:59:14 pm »
I have much sympathy for the attractive notion of just rocking up to a cave and going down it without any faff.

No CNCC, bollocking around with 'permits' etc etc.....nirvana.

My only concern is, as it has always been, that alienating the landowners is a bad move. Cavers are generally there for the weekends. Landowners all the time.

Now this point has been raised before. We have been assured it will be fine. o adverse consequences. Those that gainsay that rosy notion are vilified. I would say 'bullied' but the very idea of being 'bullied' by some hero behind a keyboard is laughable.

I hope the optimists are right, and the gainsayers (most of whom have buggered off) are wrong.
I would bet a round of drinks that if it does all go pear-shaped, those that were advocating CRow for caves will quietly try to distance themselves.

It's all very amusing..... :lol: :lol:
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Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #228 on: January 06, 2016, 06:12:48 pm »
But CRoW has been applicable to climbing for years now...and no-one has been able to come up with a single instance of a crag that's been closed off because the landowner didn't like climbing being consider an allowed activity under CRoW...
I'd have more sympathy for the gainsayers if they didn't continually ignore this...

Online droid

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #229 on: January 06, 2016, 06:14:38 pm »
it's a lot easier to sabotage entry to a cave than stop people getting to a crag.

I'd have more sympathy if proCRoWs didn't continually ignore this.....
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Online Wayland Smith

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #230 on: January 06, 2016, 06:26:18 pm »
But CRoW has been applicable to climbing for years now...and no-one has been able to come up with a single instance of a crag that's been closed off because the landowner didn't like climbing being consider an allowed activity under CRoW...
I'd have more sympathy for the gainsayers if they didn't continually ignore this...
You are missing a vital point!
A crag suitable for climbing is worthless to a farmer /  landowner!
You can not grow anything or raise sheep or shoot grouse! So not worth arguing over, unlike shooting grounds and Trout / Salmon streams.

Offline Alex

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #231 on: January 06, 2016, 06:29:08 pm »
Quote
That's a very good point. When/if CROW is extended to cover caving, where would that leave the BCA insurance scheme? Presumably many cavers will no longer need PLI insurance (good) but if they leave the scheme those who remain will see their share of the cost  rise (bad). Might we end up with just the organisations (club committees, regional bodies etc) left to pick up the tab?

But people will still need insurance for those caves on non-CRoW land, so I doubt many would decide to get rid of their insurance.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Online droid

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #232 on: January 06, 2016, 06:39:20 pm »
Whatever....it'll be a big change with possibly unforeseen consequences, possibly bad ones

Will those advocating the change be so vociferous then?

I think we all know the answer to that one.... :lol:
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Offline Alex

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #233 on: January 06, 2016, 06:43:56 pm »
Quote
You are missing a vital point!
A crag suitable for climbing is worthless to a farmer /  landowner!
You can not grow anything or raise sheep or shoot grouse! So not worth arguing over, unlike shooting grounds and Trout / Salmon streams.

You can't grow much on a cave entrance either being blank space! Like to see someone farm gaping gill lol.

Plus people have to walk to crags just like caves so as far as landowners are concerned I think crags are pretty much the same thing.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #234 on: January 06, 2016, 09:18:20 pm »
Quote
That's a very good point. When/if CROW is extended to cover caving, where would that leave the BCA insurance scheme? Presumably many cavers will no longer need PLI insurance (good) but if they leave the scheme those who remain will see their share of the cost  rise (bad). Might we end up with just the organisations (club committees, regional bodies etc) left to pick up the tab?

But people will still need insurance for those caves on non-CRoW land, so I doubt many would decide to get rid of their insurance.

Why would people not want PL insurance for CROW caves? I don't think the landowner has any liability anyway as caving is a risky activity freely entered into, volenti non fit iniuria or whatever it is. But just because the landowner has an extra easy legal defence to rely on doesn't mean that if you don't want PL insurance anyway for if you damage something or cause someone to be injured and they try and sue you. There are all sorts of hazards you could be held responsible for: a dig that caused a collapse, injuring someone or damaging surface land; leading a novice who got themselves injured; using explosives and failing to adequately warn people...

I don't know how extensive the BCA insurance is. The equivalent for climbing (I assume it is similar for caving?) includes pretty much everything, including all non-commercial teaching (whether by qualified instructors or not). Obviously in climbing you always have the risk of knocking a rock onto a passerby's head or car while in caving you are usually kept away from the general public... :)

The BMC are big on the 'climbing is never the liability of the landowner' (except in the case of negligence/bear traps of course); I've never heard this related to whether it is on CROW land or not.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #235 on: January 06, 2016, 11:12:20 pm »
But CRoW has been applicable to climbing for years now...and no-one has been able to come up with a single instance of a crag that's been closed off because the landowner didn't like climbing being consider an allowed activity under CRoW...
I'd have more sympathy for the gainsayers if they didn't continually ignore this...
You are missing a vital point!
A crag suitable for climbing is worthless to a farmer /  landowner!
You can not grow anything or raise sheep or shoot grouse! So not worth arguing over, unlike shooting grounds and Trout / Salmon streams.

You've obviously been to different parts of England and Wales I have...
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #236 on: January 07, 2016, 11:06:26 am »

...it'll be a big change ...


Nobody will notice anything different to the present.

Many fells are already open access for caving and on those that aren't officially open access there is de facto open access partly due to the dwindling number of cavers but mainly because of CRoW. Landowners can't distinguish between walkers and cavers; they know that, we know that and they don't seem to be the least bit bothered.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #237 on: January 07, 2016, 11:22:51 am »
Simon, would you care to elaborate in what context you state:
Quote
Landowners can't distinguish between walkers and cavers;
?

Surely most cavers get changed at the roadside and walk to the cave, obviously dressed as cavers (though I have been known on the odd occasion to dress as a walker with a big heavy rucksack full of caving gear, walk to a cave and get changed there to avoid 'looking like a caver').

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #238 on: January 07, 2016, 11:44:22 am »
Simon, would you care to elaborate in what context you state:
Quote
Landowners can't distinguish between walkers and cavers;
?

Surely most cavers get changed at the roadside and walk to the cave, obviously dressed as cavers (though I have been known on the odd occasion to dress as a walker with a big heavy rucksack full of caving gear, walk to a cave and get changed there to avoid 'looking like a caver').

If you aren't wearing a helmet and light most people would not know the difference. If one in a thousand people walking up the track is heading for a cave, the farmer doesn't know where they're going and really isn't bothered.

Offline Alex

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #239 on: January 07, 2016, 11:48:19 am »
In the past where access is sensitive subject (No official access), I have taken the approach of going in walking gear which works well, it don't pee anybody off don't jeopardise access to anywhere. Just don't pick the wrong date like I did once and end with an audience. My attempt at hiding in the grass don't work. Thankfully nobody was bothered.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Online droid

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #240 on: January 07, 2016, 06:03:54 pm »
If you aren't wearing a helmet and light most people would not know the difference. If one in a thousand people walking up the track is heading for a cave, the farmer doesn't know where they're going and really isn't bothered.

CNCC is largely redundant then  :lol:
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Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #241 on: January 07, 2016, 06:12:10 pm »
If you aren't wearing a helmet and light most people would not know the difference. If one in a thousand people walking up the track is heading for a cave, the farmer doesn't know where they're going and really isn't bothered.

CNCC is largely redundant then  :lol:

 always has been for local boys with local knowledge . and diggers

Online droid

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Re: Premature action on CRoW?
« Reply #242 on: January 07, 2016, 06:24:26 pm »
always has been for local boys with local knowledge . and diggers

Nowt much changed in 30 years then..... :lol:
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