Author Topic: Another pinion...  (Read 3324 times)

Offline droid

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No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 05:58:30 pm »
I can feel myself losing the will to live.
Again.

Offline Alex

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 06:44:12 pm »
I thought we were past all this... unfortunately I don't have several hours to read all that at the moment. I am sick of going over old ground and will continue to cave irregardless of what is said, unless it becomes a criminal offence to go caving!
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 JasonC

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 07:35:56 pm »
Quote
Just to be clear here from the outset, I have absolutely no training in Law.

- whereas Dinah Rose is a QC.  Just saying....

Offline martinr

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 07:50:18 pm »
Let me fix that for you

Quote
Just to be clear here from the outset, I have absolutely no training in Law.  I practice as an expert witness in the field of surveying and the interpretation of maps. 

- whereas Dinah Rose is a QC.  Just saying....

Online royfellows

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 07:52:44 pm »
Dont worry about it, I can shoot holes in it right of the top of my head. What lies under land (from the arguments in that particular paper) are as irrelevant as what lies above. Land ownership was once regarded as all the way to heaven and all the way to the centre of the earth. Obviously this has been overturned in recent years due to aviation acts which allow ownership to extend all the way up sufficient for quiet enjoyment only, otherwise overflying aircraft would be trespassing. Likewise we now know that the centre of the earth is a liquid state.

The very idea of every metre of cave space being shown on 'Definitive Maps' if CROW were intended to extend to them is ridiculous anyway.

I have an 'opinion' which I keep to myself, and yes it is based on current legislation, and angle everyone else has missed. But, the expression "collateral damage" comes to mind, also "can of worms". No, it stays in my head, for good.

Please, no PMs on this, the answer is "no".
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Offline Graigwen

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 08:00:15 pm »
Dont worry about it, I can shoot holes in it right of the top of my head. .... Likewise we now know that the centre of the earth is a liquid state.

Geophysical evidence indicates that the Earth's inner core is solid, although surrounded by a liquid outer core.


(Nothing like a silly bit of pedantry to draw attention to Roy's sensible comments.)

Online royfellows

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 08:03:06 pm »
Dont worry about it, I can shoot holes in it right of the top of my head. .... Likewise we now know that the centre of the earth is a liquid state.

Geophysical evidence indicates that the Earth's inner core is solid, although surrounded by a liquid outer core.


(Nothing like a silly bit of pedantry to draw attention to Roy's sensible comments.)

Your OK on this. All this was addressed in the arguments considered in Bocardo V Star Energy
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Offline Dave Tyson

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 08:25:15 pm »
I am sure the Dankness Below website will soon provide a robust counter view  :clap2:

Dave

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 08:48:15 pm »
There exist two possibilities (the first one is correct, but the second amuses me):

1) Caves are not 'land', they are land features. Not all land features (e.g. a boulder or a bridge) are shown on the CROW map but that doesn't mean that those aren't covered by CROW. See the aforementioned Bocardo V Star Energy.

2) Caves are land, somehow magically separate from surface land. In which case local authorities have not yet completed their definitive maps, and need to start mapping out all the cave-land in the country! And then decide whether or not it is CROW land (I would argue that if caves were a surface feature, their terrain would naturally be designated as CROW land as it is unimproved wild land).
Also who owns all this magical cave land - perhaps it is terra nullius? Perhaps the Queen owns it all? Perhaps we should be asking her for permission? :P
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:58:17 pm by andrewmc »

Online royfellows

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2018, 09:01:52 pm »
Good points Andrew
 :thumbsup:
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Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2018, 09:09:51 pm »
At least the editor didn't have to look for any other articles for the April edition.
Renegade!

Online Badlad

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2018, 09:19:39 pm »
I had a quick skim of this when it appeared in the South Wales caving club publication.

For someone who is an 'expert witness in surveying and interpretation of maps' he makes no comment on some significant points which have been made a number of times before.   The CRoW Act does not constrain the existing definition of land.  Its maps of access land are a 2D representation similar to many other official mapping.  It is not usual to mark up on maps any third dimension of property etc.  Footpaths are not marked where they run under roads or railways for example.  Most notably the Great Orme Copper Mines or the Alt nan Uamh Bone Caves, both ancient scheduled monuments are depicted on official maps as a 2D representation of the underground features.  The same goes for SSSI designation where the SSSI includes underground caves.

So official maps use a 2D representation of the land to define a 3D parcel of land which is designated as open country.   Thus you have a 3D space in which one can carry out open air recreation of any type be it caving underneath or kite flying above or snowboarding on the snow that falls on the land or even walking on its surface.

Furthermore a definitive footpath map has the purpose of defining where the footpath runs.  The map of open country does not seek to define what open air activities can be done within that 3D space, locations where one can walk, sightsee, bird-watch, climb, run, ski or snowboard etc.  Rather it just provides a boundary within which you can carry any of them out.

The author makes much of Marble Steps Pot and Eldon Hole both of which are not included in the designated access land which surrounds them.  Both are small walled enclosures with trees and vegetation obscuring the hole.  Without checking I'm sure Dinah Rose dealt with this but anyway what about Hull Pot!  This is a much larger hole and yet it is included in the access land designation as are many other large cave features.

Perhaps the SWCC will allow an 'alternative view' to be printed in the next publication.  If they do I wonder if the Darkness will be so keen to publish it on their site.

Cheers all

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 06:35:33 am »
My opinion, which is about as valid as his as I have naff all legal training either, is that he has a connection to a purveyor of exceedingly good hallucinogenics, and it was under the influence of these it was written.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2018, 07:24:34 am »
The opinion of the BCA Chair is that access rights are under the auspices of the regional councils and BCA exists to help and advise, but not control, the regional councils; the opinion of the CSCC is it does not have to support the BCA democracy.

None of this is my opinion, it is verbatim quotation from respective BCA January 2018 Minutes and CSCC February 2018 minutes.

Offline tony from suffolk

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2018, 08:12:06 am »
Sorry, none of your opinions count for sh*t. According to our mapping chum, you're all drunken reprobates who only decided to push for this silly access under CRoW stuff whilst in your cups.
"Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment"

Online MarkS

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 09:24:37 am »
Opinion of a QC:
"Cave systems that are situated in an area [...] identified as “open country” on a map produced by the appropriate authority are properly to be regarded as forming part of that open country, to which the right of access under CROW applies;"

Opinion of expert witness in the field of surveying and the interpretation of maps:
"Is there a right of access to cave passage under CRoW in its current configuration?  Most definitely not.  Cave passage cannot credibly be described or thought of as ‘Open Country’. "


Opinion of a QC:
"... the better view is that caving is a form of “open-air recreation” for the purposes of CROW..."

Opinion of expert witness in the field of surveying and the interpretation of maps:
"I consider that it is most probable that a court would find caving not to be an ‘open air recreation’"


I know neither of these people, but I know which opinion I would feel carries more weight in this context.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2018, 10:29:09 am »
Formerly, I had quite strong views on the CRoW initiative. Now I've much more of an open mind. But whatever side of the discussion folk are on, I think the last sentence in that article is something we should all remain sensitive to.

Offline BradW

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2018, 10:31:20 am »
I know neither of these people, but I know which opinion I would feel carries more weight in this context.

Unlike Mark, I am acquainted with Gary. I don't think his article deserves to be slated by people here, even though his opinion might differ from many. It is well-presented, and coherent, but it remains to be seen whether it is credible. As they say, the jury is out. At least Badlad has analysed Gary's article and has responded with a degree of respect.

Online alastairgott

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2018, 10:51:33 am »
Gary Vaughan is clearly a lover of the slippery slope argument.

Let's cut him off right at the beginning!

Eldon hole not included under Access land. Eldon hole is predominated by long standing and historic Exploration. There has never been any fees taken for access to this land, perhaps other than Highwayman back in the day.

Gary also goes on to measure the weakness of arguments "That the position taken by Natural England that cave systems might not properly be regarded as mountain, moor, heath, down or registered Common (MMHDC) is a weak argument on the basis that CRoW is driven by whether a particular piece of land is shown as open country on the map in conclusive form."
 It seems to me that this the definition of "mountain, Moor, Heath, Down or RC" is a list which is trying to catch all definitions which could possibly exist. Therefore the exclusion of Cave in that list is probably an oversight and can be attributed to the likeness of Mountains to caves.
 Specifically with respect to Eldon hole, the use of mountaineers equipment alone would allow a "casual" visitor a visit to the bottom.

However, I do agree with his concluding statement, and the sentiments contained within it. There is much work to do.

"I have set out above that in my view CRoW does not provide access for cavers to go caving but that it does provide a right for a caver dressed in furry suit and oversuit and laden down with technical equipment to cross access land for the purpose of visiting a cave.  In my view it is open to the landowner to choose what happens at the entrance of the cave.  The landowner may take the view that he has no objection to cavers entering the cave and exploring the subterranean passages and there are numerous examples of such landowners.  Conversely the landowner may lock the cave and keep it secure against the general public.  In my view the landowner would be fully entitled to take such a stance as he would not be preventing access to any access land which appears on the map in conclusive from.  My concerns in these current times is that speculation and over optimistic points of view have suggested to certain groups of cavers that landowners do not have a right to refuse access to caves located on access land.  I am concerned that such views potentially place in jeopardy the hard work of others to secure well-grounded working agreements with landowners."

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2018, 10:58:22 am »
Formerly, I had quite strong views on the CRoW initiative. Now I've much more of an open mind. But whatever side of the discussion folk are on, I think the last sentence in that article is something we should all remain sensitive to.

Absolutely right. Through all this I have never heard anybody suggest that we should do anything other than maintain and enhance our good relations. There are many reasons why CRoW helps us all as we keep pointing out. Relationships and access are both continuing to get better and the CRoW Act is all part of it.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the CRoW Act gives us the right to enter caves. The only part where DEFRA appears to partly disagree with us is about how far into a cave we can go and they are refusing to say exactly how far that is.

We need to keep reminding people that cavers as a whole believe we have the right to go anywhere on Access Land which includes anywhere in a cave on that land. We also need to keep reminding people that we are acting on that and that it is in landowners' interest to accept it as I think many of them already have.

Online MarkS

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2018, 11:03:50 am »
I know neither of these people, but I know which opinion I would feel carries more weight in this context.

Unlike Mark, I am acquainted with Gary. I don't think his article deserves to be slated by people here, even though his opinion might differ from many. It is well-presented, and coherent, but it remains to be seen whether it is credible. As they say, the jury is out. At least Badlad has analysed Gary's article and has responded with a degree of respect.

I'm not slating the article, or wanting to make any comment on him as a person. I have read the article and think that it is well written, if somewhat long-winded, and raises some potentially interesting questions. My point was simply that in the context of seeking a legal opinion in this context, I know which of these two opinions I personally feel carries more weight.

I would also add that it seems bold (to say the least) for someone who states "I have absolutely no training in Law" to go on to say that there is "no credible possibility" that a court's decision would be along the same lines as the published opinion of an eminent lawyer.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2018, 11:09:05 am »
I wonder if Bottlebank intended to put it on Danknessbelow but hit the wrong button and put it on Darknessbelow by mistake.

Offline BradW

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2018, 11:12:43 am »
I know neither of these people, but I know which opinion I would feel carries more weight in this context.

Unlike Mark, I am acquainted with Gary. I don't think his article deserves to be slated by people here, even though his opinion might differ from many. It is well-presented, and coherent, but it remains to be seen whether it is credible. As they say, the jury is out. At least Badlad has analysed Gary's article and has responded with a degree of respect.

I'm not slating the article, or wanting to make any comment on him as a person.

Yes I realise. That's why I wrote "slated by people here", rather than "slated by you" or "slated by everyone here".

Online Badlad

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Re: Another pinion...
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2018, 01:16:32 pm »
Further to my point above I just came across this photo of Hull Pot which is not excluded on the access land mapping.  Neither are other large caves such as Gavel, GG, Cow, Rowten etc etc.  There is no explanation given why Eldon Hole and Marble Steps are excluded when other larger caves are not.  Common sense would suggest that it has something to do with both being within small walled enclosures.  With the mapping as it stands there would be no legal right of access to these caves but that does not follow for others such as Hull Pot which are clearly part of open access.

What does strike me as odd is the fact that many of these large and deep potholes are unfenced even when public footpaths run so close to them.  Visiting Hull Pot on a sunny day usually finds large groups of people picnicing and playing around close to the entrance.  Same at GG and Rowten right next to a road/pathway.  This seems acceptable and no landowners seem worried about their liabilities here.  Contrast that with caves in other areas which are locked or sealed up because they are close to public footpaths.  Doesn't make sense.