Author Topic: Mine access and the BCA constitution.  (Read 5127 times)

Offline royfellows

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2016, 02:19:01 pm »
and a lot of damage to good landowner relations.
Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2016, 02:59:13 pm »
This has happened in the Peak District where mineral collectors have gone after mines and also caves in search of specimens. 

It is not unknown to find a mine with lots of newspaper parcels strewn around the floor and, when these are unwrapped, they turn out to be unwanted mineral specimens - the collectors hacked out everything they thought might be worth something but then sorted through and discarded items thought to be of lesser value.  So all the damage had been done but they didn't actually want all that they had hacked off.

It also happened in Giants Hole a few years ago: a large curtain was smashed relatively close to the entrance but in a side passage which was not believed to well known or easily accessibly.  Some of us took the remaining broken pieces out of the cave with the thought that we might be able to repair the formation and replace it in situ (as was done with the Lancaster Columns) - but we then realised that most of the pieces were missing altogether; collectors had smashed it and taken the best and largest chunks and left the rest lying around.  Sadly the cave is the property of an "absentee landowner" who collects money from people who visit the cave but does not restrict entry to "cavers" - it's well known, close to the road and is known to be very easy going for several hundred meters so that it is visited by many non-cavers (stag party groups have been met there) and also by badly led and inappropriate "adventure groups". 
Giants can't be gated or protected in any way now as the difficult sections of the entrance series were blasted away by the then owner in 1967 in an ill-advised attempt to turn it into a show cave.  It was done without the knowledge of cavers while there was a foot-and-mouth epidemic on and cavers were obeying requests to stay away, there was no statutory protection we could have called on to protect the site and, in the event, the County Surveyor refused permission for the show cave on the grounds of poor access to any car park proposed.

So it's not just "cavers" who can be vandals - some cave owners can be responsible for encouraging damage by their actions and don't seem to care about the consequences.

I don't know how you get the conservation message across in this situation.

Offline royfellows

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2016, 03:14:05 pm »
I don't know how you get the conservation message across in this situation.

A Samurai sword could be part of that equation
 :lol:
Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk

Offline todcaver

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2016, 03:24:20 pm »
So a few arseholes have collected some minerals and some proper arseholes have damaged some caves ,,,,,  conclusion = close up all access to mines  ??
Correct me if I've got it wrong so far ? :shrug:

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2016, 03:46:10 pm »
I wasn't suggesting "close all access to mines" as a solution.  It's much more complicated than that!

The problem with mines is similar to that with caves: how do you maintain the best access for "good guys" with minimum of hassle while protecting those sites which are most at risk because of fragile artifacts or mineral exposures of special interest.

Educating cavers and mine explorers who are within the "system", whether members of clubs or not, is relatively easy - the tricky part is educating the general public and the type who think underground sites are for stag parties, mineral collecting and generally trashing 'cos it's fun.

I don't profess know the answer but I am sure that it is not just to slap a gate on anything and everything willy-nilly. 

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2016, 03:51:28 pm »
Mines, both active and abandoned, are legal entities. Caves are not. You cannot and should not compare them in regards to access. NAMHO guidelines have covered this well.

Offline Brains

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2016, 04:11:37 pm »
Browns Folly ine (actually a quarry) in Wiltshire crosses two landowners property. One gas taken the route of leaving access open, the other has gated everything. However, persons unknown have seen fit to mount a persistent and chronic attack on the gates, to the extent of complete removal. The underground areas are then fouled with everything from paint to poo. Artifacts are destroyed and aold garffitti by the miners deliberately painted over. Square well has been cracked open and now has a few inches of raw sewage, dead mice and tinned fish "swimming" at the bottom.
How could this situation be improved? I would suggest by a constant and ongoing censure of the vandals in public, naming and shaming when known, and supporting the efforts to tidy up the underground mess. Pulling down stacked deads is not "A good workout" as one idiot was quoted as saying.
Perhaps official access would allow more of the caring law abiding explorers to view the place and mount the pressure on the scum bags to go and use a toilet instead!

Offline JasonC

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2016, 04:14:36 pm »
I am a bit puzzled by this clause of the BCA constitution, and have been ever since it was quoted in the First Crow War.

Surely the access and mineral rights of tenants and landowners are what the law says (or what a court decides)?  The BCA has no power to alter those rights, so why does it need such a clause in its constitution?
If the original intention was simply to exhort members to obey the law and be considerate to landowners, well and good, but surely it's not a constitutional matter.  Rather perhaps, a candidate for a 'caving code' or something...

Would anything be lost by simply removing clause 4.6 ?    Just a thought...

Offline todcaver

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2016, 07:46:13 pm »
Would BCA insurance be enough to ensure entry to a gated / controlled mine or cave ?¿

Online Madness

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2016, 08:08:08 pm »
Does anyone think that the upturn in vandalism in mines and caves has anything to do with the increasing popularity of 'Urban Exploration?

Offline Brains

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2016, 08:12:52 pm »
Does anyone think that the upturn in vandalism in mines and caves has anything to do with the increasing popularity of 'Urban Exploration?
I believe so - the profusion of web based info and a love of derelict / trashed places to photo seems to be self feeding issue. Dont forget to "Tag" where you have been!

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2016, 09:02:31 pm »
I know a good amount of both cavers and Mine explorers.

Of the people I know, most are passionate about their interest and would act in the exact opposite of vandalism. The remainder are all respectful of their environment at the very least.

I don't believe that vandalism is caused by cavers or mine-explorers who are actively engaged in either activity.

Whether it is Urban Explorers or some other group(s) I wouldn't like to say.

Of all the arguing, postering and mud-slinging we have witnessed here and elsewhere, I think it is fair to say that we all share at least one quality - we care about our caves and mines.

....It's not "us" that is the cause.

 :)

Ian
A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction.

Offline AR

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2016, 09:10:32 pm »
Would BCA insurance be enough to ensure entry to a gated / controlled mine or cave ?¿

That entirely depends on the attitude of the landowner/mineral owner/controlling body to cavers and  the reason why there is a gate. Within a few miles of where I am now I can think of one gated mine where the entry requirement is current BCA cover and a Derbyshire key, and another where BCA cover is not required but you have to sign a waiver form, make a donation and go in with an approved leader, so in that case, just posessing a current card won't get you in.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Online droid

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Re: Mine access and the BCA constitution.
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2016, 04:31:00 am »

Of all the arguing, postering and mud-slinging we have witnessed here and elsewhere, I think it is fair to say that we all share at least one quality - we care about our caves and mines.



Ian

Absolutely agree.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'