Author Topic: A balanced view?  (Read 14032 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2016, 08:25:22 am »

Of course, you could find the outcome is one which none of you had actually considered........

Very true.

And it may well be totally out of the control of any caving organisation....
Would that be same way that climbing is out of control of the BMC? What additional controls do you think BCA needs over holes on access land, after all, sites of particular merit can be gated and access controlled under CRoW legislation

Here in the Dales I think you'll find that (except for very special circumstances) the concept of gating caves is not very popular.

Or practical for that matter - would love to see someone design a gate to go over Hull Pot, for example.

I thought one of the key things which those who think the CRoW job is a good idea was to improve access. Am finding it difficult to see how shoving gates on caves can be reconciled with such a laudable intention.

Offline Brains

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2016, 11:35:56 am »
My starting point is open access for all, however I realise (and there is allowance for this in the CRoW act), that certain areas should be of limited access or off limits for various reasons. This could be delicate flora or fauna, or geophysical features. I would imagine that these would be relatively small features within the landscape, or that whole area would not be designated open access land. As far as gates on caves go, they should be the last resort after other avenues have been tried.
For example, if you are heading for a cave on the fells, you will probably have a fair amount of info before you go; location, rigging guide, survey etc If in the same places it was stated that such a site is to be avoided because of cave life, delicate mud or stalls, being a water supply, etc I would hope as a responsible caver the trip would be rescheduled. There is provision for scientific endeavour to ensure the reasons are still valid, or for other reasons. Only if a location is being damaged should a gate be considered as a last resort.
I am aware of a nationally important bat roost, also being historically significant, that has several gated entrances, and a couple of open ones as well. Sad to say certain groups feel it acceptable to have midwinter rave parties with fireworks, fire breathing, music, lighting, large crowds, cooking and sleeping over. The waste (of all sorts) is never removed and much vandalism such as spray painting and pulling down of stacks of rocks, even historical features, seems de rigeur. The bats of course are not happy and the history is degraded. Attempts to rectify this are often sneered at and actively discouraged

Offline andrewmc

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2016, 12:07:32 pm »
My starting point is open access for all, however I realise (and there is allowance for this in the CRoW act), that certain areas should be of limited access or off limits for various reasons. This could be delicate flora or fauna, or geophysical features. I would imagine that these would be relatively small features within the landscape, or that whole area would not be designated open access land. As far as gates on caves go, they should be the last resort after other avenues have been tried.

(I will stop making comparisons with climbing at some point!)
Many climbing crags have 'access restrictions' for various reasons. In a (very small) number of cases the landowners (on non-access land) do not wish climbing to take place (and make this known, e.g. Vixen Tor); often the BMC (who deliberately do not act as an access body) will strongly suggest that a crag is avoided, at least until they have attempted to talk to the landowners (which often calms things down). Many crags have 'bird bans' at certain times of the year; while disturbing a Schedule 1 bird during nesting is a criminal offence (so breaching a ban might lead to criminal behaviour) the bans themselves are voluntary. Some crags have restrictions for other reasons, or restrictions in how to access the crag or descent routes (i.e. if there is an easy walk-off this is often less damaging than abseiling off trees). Some sites have 'informal' access (e.g N Wales Slate quarries where climbing is explicitly banned but tolerated) and may not be suitable for group use or certain more obvious areas (Dali's Hole right by the footpath in the quarries) may be best avoided... An _extremely_ small number of crags require you to ask for permission in advance (Tintagel Head is the only one I can think of) but this is far from the norm.

All of these restrictions are, in general, a) voluntary and b) very-well abided by without a need for access control. Crucially, you (almost) never have to plan in advance, which is kind of important for climbing to avoid the weather!

What 'enforcement' of these restrictions is carried out by climbers. For example Cheddar Gorge has a negotiated access agreement where certain parts are off-limits in the summer because of the danger to visitors below (one of the few restrictions which I guess has 'legal' weight behind it). If climbers are seen breaching that agreement, other climbers will usually let them know very quickly (possibly not too politely!).

I am aware of a nationally important bat roost, also being historically significant, that has several gated entrances, and a couple of open ones as well. Sad to say certain groups feel it acceptable to have midwinter rave parties with fireworks, fire breathing, music, lighting, large crowds, cooking and sleeping over. The waste (of all sorts) is never removed and much vandalism such as spray painting and pulling down of stacks of rocks, even historical features, seems de rigeur. The bats of course are not happy and the history is degraded. Attempts to rectify this are often sneered at and actively discouraged

Are these cavers?

Offline Brains

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2016, 12:48:09 pm »
Those responsible consider themselves to be Urbex, a pastime that usually entails illegal access to buildings and sites that are often in a state of decay. Sadly graff tagging seems to be essential, as do pictures of burning wire wool being swung around and people in gas masks for some reason. If pushed they may admit to being mine explorers, but tend to look on being a caver as an insult!

Offline Alex

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2016, 12:52:10 pm »
Quote
All of these restrictions are, in general, a) voluntary and b) very-well abided by without a need for access control. Crucially, you (almost) never have to plan in advance, which is kind of important for climbing to avoid the weather!

Just like caving which is my main issue with permits.
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 Wayland Smith

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2016, 02:01:57 pm »
Saw one urbex report recently where he was proud about breaking into a site that with one phone call or E-mail
He could have had a guided tour with an expert!

Offline Roger W

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2016, 03:54:47 pm »
But isn't the whole point of such activity simply getting to where you are not supposed to be and have no right to be?  Nothing to do with the history or beauty of the place...?
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline braveduck

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2016, 04:12:32 pm »
Somebody on here mentioned that crags were never banned to climbers.In the late
60s some crags near Barnsley were discover by the climbers as a good spot to go.
The landowner soon put a stop to this by covering the holds with  Axel Grease and
as far as I know they still remain unclimbable  !

Offline pwhole

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2016, 07:10:07 pm »
The landowner must have been an amazing climber if he could apply axle grease to the holds too  ;D

Offline droid

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2016, 07:11:31 pm »
There may well be similarities in access issues between caves and crags, but there are also differences.

One being the result of any accident taking place. Recovery from crags is usually a lot more straightforward and less labour intensive/time consuming than recovery of a casualty from a cave.

This issue has caused access problems in the past. It may well do again.
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Online AR

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2016, 08:20:30 am »
But isn't the whole point of such activity simply getting to where you are not supposed to be and have no right to be?  Nothing to do with the history or beauty of the place...?
[/quote

Since this thread is about a balanced view, urbexers fall onto a sliding scale in my experience - at one end, there are those interested in documenting the state of abandoned sites who take a genuine interest in the history of those places, while at the other end, there are the mindless willy-wavers who think online bragging about breaking into places is what it's about.
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Offline Alex

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2016, 09:24:24 am »
Quote
There may well be similarities in access issues between caves and crags, but there are also differences.

One being the result of any accident taking place. Recovery from crags is usually a lot more straightforward and less labour intensive/time consuming than recovery of a casualty from a cave.

This issue has caused access problems in the past. It may well do again.

Why does that matter? Its all volunteers so no cost to public purse except for a maybe police man to stand around.
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 braveduck

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2016, 04:43:16 pm »
Bit more to it that Alex .The Police provide Insurance cover to all volunteer
rescue organisations ,

Offline bograt

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2016, 07:09:39 pm »
Even more, when volunteers are involved in an official rescue callout (999) they are assisting the Police in their duty of 'Protection of the people' and the Home Office foots the bill (or used to, Dave the Tory may have changed the rules)
 I recall many years ago it was suggested that rescuers submit a claim form for expenses to help swell cave rescue coffers.
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Offline droid

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2016, 07:23:33 pm »
Quote
There may well be similarities in access issues between caves and crags, but there are also differences.

One being the result of any accident taking place. Recovery from crags is usually a lot more straightforward and less labour intensive/time consuming than recovery of a casualty from a cave.

This issue has caused access problems in the past. It may well do again.

Why does that matter? Its all volunteers so no cost to public purse except for a maybe police man to stand around.

It matters because the necessary volumes of helpers/rescuers, vehicles and general fuss can sometimes annoy the landowners. To the point where entrances may be closed.
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Offline bograt

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2016, 07:51:46 pm »
Quote
There may well be similarities in access issues between caves and crags, but there are also differences.

One being the result of any accident taking place. Recovery from crags is usually a lot more straightforward and less labour intensive/time consuming than recovery of a casualty from a cave.

This issue has caused access problems in the past. It may well do again.

Why does that matter? Its all volunteers so no cost to public purse except for a maybe police man to stand around.


It matters because the necessary volumes of helpers/rescuers, vehicles and general fuss can sometimes annoy the landowners. To the point where entrances may be closed.


I was trying to put that into words, well said Droid  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline Brains

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2016, 08:23:00 pm »
This is of course an issue for all caves, but perhaps less so on access land if caving is indeed permitted under CRoW - access would be enshrined in law

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2016, 08:47:31 am »
This is of course an issue for all caves, but perhaps less so on access land if caving is indeed permitted under CRoW - access would be enshrined in law

Folk seem to have forgotten the concerns about when we want to ask permission for digging.

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2016, 11:05:13 am »
Presumably it will be the same as it is now...
Landowners with good caver relations will say yes to digging...Landowners that don't like Cavers will say no...
Its pretty difficult to imagine a situation where currently the Landowner allows digging and access to caves on his Land and also has walkers etc on his land via CRoW, but upon cavers being recognised as having the same rights as walkers decides he no longer wants the digging he previously allowed...

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2016, 11:17:11 am »
Precisely - "good caver relations". It's a very fragile thing and all I would ask is that those with strong views in any direction keep that firmly in mind.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2016, 11:19:08 am »
Quite right Jasonbirder. Nobody could forget the issue of permission for digging. The anti CRoW people go on and on about at every opportunity. It's a contrived argument and I suppose you can just about imagine that there is a very remote possibilty that could happen but in reality it's nonsense. The most difficult part about getting permission for digging on access land is almost always because they are SSSIs and that's nothing to do with the landowner.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2016, 11:21:02 am »
Precisely - "good caver relations". It's a very fragile thing and all I would ask is that those with strong views in any direction keep that firmly in mind.

That is so so obvious to everybody and it so much doesn't need saying.

Online tony from suffolk

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2016, 11:21:43 am »
Apparently, by allowing cavers to cave under CRoW, all formations will be trashed, landowners will be frantically concreting in any entrances on their land, and not forgetting dark mumblings of some unmentionable terrors lurking just beyond the descriptive powers of  the anti-CRow- ers. Heaven help us all...
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2016, 11:55:42 am »
Quite right Jasonbirder. Nobody could forget the issue of permission for digging. The anti CRoW people go on and on about at every opportunity. It's a contrived argument and I suppose you can just about imagine that there is a very remote possibilty that could happen but in reality it's nonsense. The most difficult part about getting permission for digging on access land is almost always because they are SSSIs and that's nothing to do with the landowner.

Er -actually it starts with the land owner. Fail to get their co-operation and goodwill and you can forget even asking NE.

Simon - could you be a little more accommodating about other people's legitimate concerns?  In case your "going an and on" comment above was aimed at me, I've not actually mentioned this on here for many months. I'm actually keeping an open mind on this issue generally and listening to (evidence based) argument.

These concerns about digging permission are real and they haven't gone away. Just dismissing it as "nonsense" isn't the best way to win anyone over to your way of thinking. It doesn't necessarily have to detract from what you're trying to achieve. I really have no wish to fall out with anybody; all I ask is that those who are pushing in any particular direction just bear these concerns very much in mind. Surely that's not too much to ask of someone who is representing all cavers?

Oh - by the way; happy new year!


Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: A balanced view?
« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2016, 12:12:12 pm »
I wish that I could find or remember where I saw a posting.
It was from France I think and was from a cave discoverer who was explaining that they found beautiful, well decorated caves.
To protect them they did not publish any details then gated, disguised and hid the entrances.
I suppose France is a much bigger country with more caves, but it seemed an extreme view to me.