Author Topic: Guardian article  (Read 14069 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2016, 05:48:44 pm »
 :lol:

Lovely that Gollum. Nowt like a bit of humour to keep things in perspective.

Nice one!

 :lol:

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2016, 07:39:21 pm »
The reason I raised the matter of exit strategy is simply that at some point someone may have to decide whether to use BCA's limited resource (of volunteers' time, and perhaps money) on something more pressing, if the "campaign" doesn't get anywhere after a long period of banging heads on walls.

Offline droid

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2016, 07:55:03 pm »
[quote author=Pitlamp link=topic=20087.msg257876#msg257876 Whenever the CRoW topic crops up on this forum there's strong opinion expressed from all directions. I hope the volunteers on BCA Council (whom we're all grateful to - and whom I don't envy at the moment) will make balanced decisions reflecting the fact that this campaign isn't universally supported.

[/quote]

It is the feeling that at least some of them do not that is the source of dissatisfaction and possibly resentment.

It needs more balanced mature attitudes like that espoused by Pitlamp if this 'debate' is to proceed in a civilised manner.
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Online badger

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2016, 08:11:17 pm »
bca crow liason officer is I believe a cave digger, and I am sure he must have before starting this action spoke to many people including landowners,

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2016, 08:19:10 pm »
"must have" is an unfortunate pair of words, and always sets alarm bells ringing for me when I read them. You may well be right, but I would never assume so. I am sure he would be happy to confirm that you are correct, however.

Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2016, 08:35:49 pm »
It rather sounds like half the people think that the BCA has gone too far and that the committee should resign.

The other half think that the BCA have not done what was asked and that the committee should resign.

Very interesting.  :beer2:

Offline bograt

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2016, 08:42:01 pm »
It rather sounds like half the people think that the BCA has gone too far and that the committee should resign.

The other half think that the BCA have not done what was asked and that the committee should resign.

Very interesting.  :beer2:

Democracy in action  ::) ::) :thumbsup:
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Online Badlad

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2016, 09:28:23 pm »
A couple of points to answer some posts above.

I'd hope we can all agree that a legal right given by act of parliament overrides the BCA constitution however members wish to interpret that constitution.  Whether that legal right applies to caving is what this is all about.

I have indeed spoken to a number of landowners.

The CRoW Act is about recreational caving not digging.  There will be no right to dig without landowner/SSSI permission CRoW or no CRoW.

... the damage caused to caver / landowner relations. This is already considerable. 
Can you justify that statement?

Sadly in my recent experience it is diggers who have been of greater concern to landowners NOT recreational cavers.  Pitlamp will know of the problems on Ingleborough.  Volunteers have had to clear up and make safe old surface digs.  Some digs without permission have been left in such a mess they have been subject to complaints to the authorities.  Even those with permission have been left an eyesore and there have been complaints.  The landowner and local business people are not happy and this reflects badly on all cavers.

In the Brecon Beacons landowners have complained to the BBNP about old digs being in an unsafe conditions with concerns voiced over their safety for the public.  It looks like the NP Authority may have to clear these up and make them safe.  A dig into the back of Dan Yr Ogof, with landowner permission but without SSSI consent, led to threats of legal action from the authority and a very unhappy show cave owner.

Perhaps it is diggers who need to get there house in order and stop trying to pass the blame onto those who support CRoW.

At Draenen, the original entrance was dug without landowner consent, in fact the diggers were told they would not be granted permission, but they continued anyway.  The landowner changed and permission was granted for access, but when another team dug a second and third entrance without permission we have ended up with the sorry state of affairs we have today.  If the landowner changes again who knows what the access situation will be.  That is exactly why a legal right of access for recreational caving is so important for the future of our sport.

Many landowners allow unfettered access to the caves on their land.  Others have concerns over their legal liabilities and duty of care to those they invite onto their land.  They require cavers to be insured to protect them against any liability.  A big advantage of the CRoW Act for landowners is that it reduces that liability to the lowest possible in law and landowners are generally happy with that.

Some cavers support voluntary agreements with landowners as the best way forward rather than the broad sweep of the right to roam.  These voluntary agreements have at their heart insurance cover and this is not guaranteed to stay cheap or as easy to source and maintain.  There may be trouble brewing in the insurance market where the due diligence of those controlling access is not up to the standard expected.  If this becomes onerous to maintain how attractive then is a legal right of access which does away with the need for insurance cover.

Of course a large number of caves remain on non CRoW land so we will always need voluntary arrangements and insurance for those but the fewer they are the better in my opinion.

Offline bograt

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2016, 09:50:12 pm »
Many thanks for that clarification Badlad, maybe BCA should be looking into advice and 'best practice' for diggers ?. (I can just imagine what response this will get from Mendip !!!)

Landowners and cavers should be strongly made aware that CRoW does NOT apply to surface diggers and landowners rights and existing arrangements remain in force in that respect.
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Online Cookie

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2016, 10:04:53 pm »
Ah so it is all the diggers fault. Silly me  :unsure:

Of course a large number of caves remain on non CRoW land so we will always need voluntary arrangements and insurance for those but the fewer they are the better in my opinion.

Surely this blows your carrot and stick insurance argument out of the water.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2016, 10:10:23 pm »
Ah so it is all the diggers fault. Silly me  :unsure:

Of course a large number of caves remain on non CRoW land so we will always need voluntary arrangements and insurance for those but the fewer they are the better in my opinion.

Surely this blows your carrot and stick insurance argument out of the water.

 :lol: :lol: :lol: - First response from Mendip  :lol: :lol: 'Scraping the bottom of the barrel' springs to mind.

Keep up the good work Badlad  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline Clive G

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2016, 12:30:06 am »
. . .

At Draenen, the original entrance was dug without landowner consent, in fact the diggers were told they would not be granted permission, but they continued anyway.  The landowner changed and permission was granted for access, but when another team dug a second and third entrance without permission we have ended up with the sorry state of affairs we have today.  If the landowner changes again who knows what the access situation will be.  That is exactly why a legal right of access for recreational caving is so important for the future of our sport.

. . .

The first and original entrance to Ogof Draenen was dug with the permission and blessing of the nearest occupier of the land.

Following a number of visits to the area during the 1980s, I visited Pwll Du on 17th June 1988 in order to look for the site of the Garnddyrys-branch entrance to the Pwll Du Tram Tunnel. I'm pretty certain that it was on this day I went into the Lamb & Fox Inn at Pwll Du and met Brian Lewis for the first time.

I had a drink in the pub and I bought Brian a drink, describing to him what caving is about and my interest in the Pwll Du Tram Tunnel. Brian was in quite an isolated spot up there at the time with his pub and said to me that he would be very pleased if cavers could find a tunnel near the pub. He thought that it would be good for business and also for general interest in the area – which otherwise seemed largely forgotten at the time. Whether 'tunnel' or cave, Brian was quite happy for cavers to go hunting for underground passages on the land he occupied.

Later, between Christmas 1989 and New Year 1990, I took Hugh Penney up to the entrance of 'Ogof Draener' (as it was then known) to show him the site with its powerful draught as a potential dig. Hugh took a picture of me and I took a picture of him. I had been based in Cardiff between 1987–9, living at Galston Street where Peter Bolt was also based and Lou Maurice later resided. I joined Morgannwg Caving Club at the time. I seem to recall Hugh Penney was also a Morgannwg member but have no idea as to whether he passed on the details of the Ogof Draenen dig to other Morgannwg members such as Peter Bolt, etc.? However, the connection is there.

After the cave went in October 1994 the absent freeholder of the land - there were no fences or notices relating to land ownership or access at Pwll Du between the road and the cave entrance at the time, simply open moorland - The Coal Authority - was approached with a view to formal access permission being granted in writing, except The Coal Authority preferred, at first, for the status quo to be maintained: provided they weren't formally informed about the cave then they would not object to cavers continuing to access the cave.

After a while The Coal Authority decided that they wanted to sell the land, so changed their mind and the verbal 'arrangement' with the cave explorers was converted into a formal written agreement.

The land including the cave entrance was then offered for sale, upon which news the explorers were interested in buying the land around the entrance, to ensure future access. Thus, those who were exploring Ogof Draenen commenced fund raising measures to enable the purchase of the land, until it was discovered that they would be bidding against Brian Lewis and his other (unknown) local associate(s) and so the idea to bid for the land was dropped in deference to the current occupier(s).

Once the transfer of ownership had taken place, the new landowner(s) were happy to adopt the existing access agreement, with some modifications.

One significant part of the agreement is that no further 'entrances' are dug into the same cave - which leaves us where we are today.

However, an 'emergency exit', if agreed upon reasonably by all parties concerned, does not seem to be ruled out by the landowner(s).

Clive Gardener

« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 12:40:19 am by Clive G »

Offline Clive G

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2016, 01:00:28 am »
. . .

Thus, those who were exploring Ogof Draenen commenced fund raising measures to enable the purchase of the land, until it was discovered that they would be bidding against Brian Lewis and his other (unknown) local associate(s) and so the idea to bid for the land was dropped in deference to the current occupier(s).

. . .
Clive Gardener

I have heard it said that although those who discovered and were exploring Ogof Draenen dropped the idea of bidding for the land, someone else still went ahead with trying to gain personal ownership of the land around the cave entrance by bidding against those who occupied the land and wished to make the purchase jointly between themselves.

Perhaps the person concerned would like to explain why they did this?

Offline Brains

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2016, 02:22:04 pm »
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/30/caving-and-the-right-to-roam-above-and-below-ground

Some replies to the article, throwing an outsiders view into the mix...

Offline David Rose

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2016, 04:09:58 pm »
I've got a strong feeling that a person who has commented multiple time son that article is a certain southwest caver who used to post a lot on here, and was sometimes very offensive. But I could of course be wrong. How I wish everyone would use their own, real names when commenting either here or on national newspaper sites. What is there to hide?

Offline droid

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2016, 04:33:59 pm »
Quite agree.

However, if you're reasonably active on the internet there's ways.....
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2016, 05:35:22 pm »
I've got a strong feeling that a person who has commented multiple time son that article is a certain southwest caver who used to post a lot on here, and was sometimes very offensive. But I could of course be wrong. How I wish everyone would use their own, real names when commenting either here or on national newspaper sites. What is there to hide?

Some people just can't. My work means I can't use my real name on Forum's, social media etc, which is why I get really pissed off with people deliberately using it on here*. I don't give 2 hoots if someone knows it, but my employer does, and sadly I'm not rich and therefore need a job.

While it would be nice, some people do have genuine reasons.

*Yes, Droid, I'm looking at you, it's not big or clever.
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Offline Brains

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2016, 08:27:51 pm »
Just spent a very disapointing while reading the comments on the article.
Seems somebody is very unhappy with the referendum result and has moved on to a new soapbox.
All the usual red herrings and misinformation, but to a new audience

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2016, 08:38:20 pm »
Balance, dear boy. Some places are better at it than others.

Offline Brains

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2016, 09:22:42 pm »
Yea that is required, a disproportionate amount of bleating about keeping the landed gentry in control, when a referendum has clearly shown a desire to open up access.

I am male, but neither your dear or young enough to be a boy. Just makes you look patronising, please dont do it

Offline paul

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2016, 09:27:35 pm »
Global Moderator Comment Please don't let this discussion descend into personal bickering.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline droid

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2016, 04:20:05 pm »
*Yes, Droid, I'm looking at you, it's not big or clever.

Now you've publically explained your apparent contradictory attitude, I'll happily change my sig.

It's good to talk.....lol
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Offline Huge

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2016, 09:02:45 pm »
At Draenen, the original entrance was dug without landowner consent, in fact the diggers were told they would not be granted permission, but they continued anyway.

I know Clive has already commented on this but I feel that I also, being one of the Draenen diggers, have to point out that this statement is incorrect.

The then landowner, did not tell us or anyone else for that matter, that permission to dig would not be granted if asked for. So we did not 'continue anyway' with the dig, in the knowledge that the landowner would not grant permission.

As far as I am aware, no cavers ever asked permission to dig on the Pwll Du hillside. Before we started digging at Draenen, a few sites had already been opened up by cavers. Sites such as Tumble East Resurgence, Ogof Cadno Gwal (only a few metres from the Draenen entrance) and Draenen itself, which had been opened up from the surface and dug to a length of a few metres by members of two other clubs, neither of whom, as far as I know, asked permission to dig.

Following a digging session, we would call into the Lamb and Fox for a pint. Brian, the landlord, was obviously curious as to why a group of muddy people were turning up at his pub, late on a Thursday night. When we told him what we were doing, his response was 'Oh, you're alright going there'.

AFTER the breakthrough, when there were suddenly lots and lots of cavers crossing the land and going into Draenen, an individual at the Coal Authority (the landowners) was approached unofficially and sounded out about the situation. His response was, as Clive said, 'If you ask officially for permission to cross the land, you will be denied. If things are left as they are, we can deny any knowledge of you, if there was to be any problem'. He also added 'Don't go digging any more holes on our land'. And no, he wasn't prompted to say that by 'empire building cavers'. In fact, another hole was dug. This was spotted by one of the current landowners, who ran sheep on the Coal Authority's land at that time. He was not happy and said that if any more holes were dug, he would inform the Coal Authority and make sure they banned cavers from the land. He also was not prompted to say that by 'empire building cavers'. When the ownership changed hands and the new access agreement was drawn up, one of the conditions was that no more entrances would be dug into Draenen.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2016, 09:30:20 pm »
That's the most credible account I have read for a very long time about this place. It's exactly what happens in the real world. Thanks for posting it.

Offline droid

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Re: Guardian article
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2016, 08:11:58 pm »
You mean the 'real world' that is a sort of pragmatic 'shade of grey' rather than 'black and white'?
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