Author Topic: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things  (Read 118421 times)

Offline NigR

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 11:59:23 am »
Even Ian's comments comparing access controllers to the Nazis have not been deleted or moved!

Perhaps it is time for moderators to start moderating other moderators?

Not complaining or arguing with the decision to edit my previous post (to do so in public would be to risk a ban), just pointing out that the the major part of the offending sentence was taken verbatim from the above-quoted comment by Rhys! It was a throwaway remark on my part, intended to lighten the mood rather than inflame it.

As a result, I was subjected to a nasty and vicious personal attack from another forum
member. This used foul and abusive language which upset my wife when she read it. Rather than reply in kind, I posted a perfectly reasonable response which clearly exposed the mindset of the person responsible. Both posts, along with a further observation from somebody else, have since been taken down.

The forum guidelines, as pointed out by Rhys to Ian the other day, clearly state that personal insults/attacks are a bannable offence. So, having been the victim of such myself, I would like to know if this ultimate sanction will now be invoked?

« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 12:11:33 pm by NigR »

Offline Rhys

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 12:54:39 pm »
Nig

Your questions and comments on moderation will not be addressed on a public board any further. Please send me and/or Chris a personal message.

Feel free to continue using this thread for discussing "Loss of cave access, CROW and other (related) things".

Rhys

Offline NigR

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2013, 01:03:08 pm »
Rhys,

Fine. PM sent.

Nig

Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2013, 02:49:42 pm »
I am also a little miffed that my comment was removed, as it did not breach any policy.  It was highlighting an observation by Jackalpup and an opinion regarding the CCC  :weep:

Global Moderator Comment I have now restored an edited form of your original post
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:26:51 pm by Rhys »
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Offline Rhys

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013, 04:34:54 pm »
Not wishing to be accused of stifling the access debate, here's some issues that I've been pondering...
 
In principle I was thinking that it would be nice if we did in fact have an unambiguous "right to cave" established on all CROW (open access) land.

I don't really accept the argument that agreement to dig would never be granted if it automatically would lead to a right to cave. After all, the land owner only really sees people walking across the surface when they go caving. The effect on the surface would be minimal compared to digging and if the cavers have third party insurance through BCA membership, surely the landowner does not have any justified legal fears - the right-to-cave legislation could clarify any such legal worries in any case.

Then I started to think "What happens to existing gated caves on such land?" Off the top of my head I can think of OFD top entrance, Tunnel Cave top entrance, Agen Allwedd, Ogof Cnwc (Darren) which all fall into this category. When the right to cave comes in, do all those gates have to be removed? What happens to the rules that are in place relating to these caves? Could commercial caving take place? Could cavers use carbide? Could cavers enter with unlimited group sizes?
 
Perhaps exceptions might have to be made where the cave is an SSSI or a significant bat roost or has a dangerous pitch just inside the entrance. Might some local bye-laws need to be enacted to protect individual caves?
 
Perhaps the right could be limited to BCA members only rather than applying to the general public at large.
 
Of course, without a gate, there isn't really any practical control on access. The situation with cavers pirating permit-only caves in the Dales last year sort of demonstrates that.
 
How would all this work in practice? I'm not sure a blanket right to cave would be any simpler or more satisfactory than the patch-work arrangement we have now, but I'd like to be proved otherwise...
 
Any thoughts?

Rhys

Offline graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2013, 05:12:41 pm »
In principle I was thinking that it would be nice if we did in fact have an unambiguous "right to cave" established on all CROW (open access) land.

I don't really accept the argument that agreement to dig would never be granted if it automatically would lead to a right to cave. After all, the land owner only really sees people walking across the surface when they go caving.

Let us say that you own a piece of land that at present no-one has any such rights over. You allow a dig. Which goes. Now thousands of strangers have a potential right to access your property. How do you think such a move would affect the value of the land should you decide to sell it?

The effect on the surface would be minimal compared to digging and if the cavers have third party insurance through BCA membership, surely the landowner does not have any justified legal fears - the right-to-cave legislation could clarify any such legal worries in any case.

It's not so much the legal fears, though they do exist, as the financial ones as outlined above.


Then I started to think "What happens to existing gated caves on such land?" Off the top of my head I can think of OFD top entrance, Tunnel Cave top entrance, Agen Allwedd, Ogof Cnwc (Darren) which all fall into this category. When the right to cave comes in, do all those gates have to be removed?

If an absolute right of entry exists then yes, they would.


What happens to the rules that are in place relating to these caves?

Most, if not all of them become null.


Could commercial caving take place?

Potentially that could be prevented by legislation, but it is virtually impossible to police if there is no other oversight of the access.

Could cavers use carbide?

What would stop them?

Could cavers enter with unlimited group sizes?

Yes, as each person in a party would have the right to enter the cave.
 
Perhaps exceptions might have to be made where the cave is an SSSI or a significant bat roost or has a dangerous pitch just inside the entrance. Might some local bye-laws need to be enacted to protect individual caves?

Ah but who decides which caves need such protection - and why? The nazis?
 
Perhaps the right could be limited to BCA members only rather than applying to the general public at large.

I'd just love to see someone try to get the BCAs membership enshrined and defined in statute!
 
Of course, without a gate, there isn't really any practical control on access. The situation with cavers pirating permit-only caves in the Dales last year sort of demonstrates that.

Quite correct.
 
How would all this work in practice?

Badly. Especially from the point of view of cave conservation.

I'm not sure a blanket right to cave would be any simpler or more satisfactory than the patch-work arrangement we have now, but I'd like to be proved otherwise...

Why? What is actually wrong with the current arrangements? OK, not all of them work perfectly all the time, but a great many cavers up and down the land work hard to negotiate and administer them - all volunteers - only to be criticised and insulted.
 
Any thoughts?

Some ;) but I'll not debate further if the nasty insults return.

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Offline Rhys

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 05:18:47 pm »
I don't really accept the argument that agreement to dig would never be granted if it automatically would lead to a right to cave. After all, the land owner only really sees people walking across the surface when they go caving.

Let us say that you own a piece of land that at present no-one has any such rights over. You allow a dig. Which goes. Now thousands of strangers have a potential right to access your property. How do you think such a move would affect the value of the land should you decide to sell it?
But, if we're talking about open access land, the great unwashed already have the right to ramble across it whenever they like. They can look at the entrance, why not go in? What's the difference?

Offline Rhys

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 05:21:41 pm »
I'm not sure a blanket right to cave would be any simpler or more satisfactory than the patch-work arrangement we have now, but I'd like to be proved otherwise...

Why? What is actually wrong with the current arrangements?

It just seems like a nice simple ideal? Dunnit?

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 05:40:09 pm »
Prior to CROW no one had the “right” to simply use land without the owners consent. Even with CROW, there are limitations that anyone taking advantage of the act must adhere to. How can landowners “police” the people who use their land under the CROW act ?  In short, the legislation dictates what some one can or cannot do and we have a court system to deal with people who break the law.

The question of how the caves would be policed if they fell within CROW has been asked; I think there is already a basic framework in place which would certainly starting point if all gates were removed and rules/conditions set by the controlling access bodies were lifted, that being;

The “law” still applies, CROW rules still apply. SSSI rules still apply. CCW and NE still have their mandate in respect of conservation.

I appreciate there are a lot of volunteers who help organise “access”  - would they not see an extension to CROW as being extremely helpful to them in that they would not need to spend nearly as much “volunteer” time ?

Sometimes, when something is changing, it may be better to re-build from the base upwards. Why not start with “baby steps” and just look at CROW first and leave the issue of digging and access to non-CROW land until later (since it may never come to fruition in any event).

Ian
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Offline mikem

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 06:08:39 pm »
Just as well cavers are creating access to more systems than we are losing then!

To bring things back to the Clydach Gorge, Ogof Nant Rhin was originally accessed by 3 tight squeezes and had some stunning formations, it's now, 10 years later, an (admittedly awkward) through trip with a much larger lower entrance and a lot of the formations have been trashed and this definitely wasn't done by commercial groups or the public...

Mike

Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2013, 07:08:25 pm »

I'm not sure a blanket right to cave would be any simpler or more satisfactory than the patch-work arrangement we have now, but I'd like to be proved otherwise...

Why? What is actually wrong with the current arrangements? OK, not all of them work perfectly all the time, but a great many cavers up and down the land work hard to negotiate and administer them - all volunteers - only to be criticised and insulted.
 

If applied and administered correctly, I'm sure it would be simpler and more satisfactory than the current system.  If I owned land upon which a cave or mine was situated, I would feel more comfortable negotiating access with a recognised body (BCA / CCC etc.) who acted for all cavers in the region rather than one person within a caving club.  I think being approached by a spokesperson from each of the possible numerous clubs which may be in the area would be enough for me to say "right, I don't want anyone going in"

I appreciate the many hours that cavers put in negotiating access with landowners, which is great if access is open to all local caving clubs and also accommodates requests from clubs further afield.  But many cavers / clubs are negotiating access and being obstructive when approached by other cavers / clubs who may also want to see what's inside.
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Online droid

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2013, 07:18:07 pm »
Name them.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2013, 07:20:38 pm »
If I owned land upon which a cave or mine was situated, I would feel more comfortable negotiating access with a recognised body (BCA / CCC etc.) who acted for all cavers in the region rather than one person within a caving club.

I wouldn't.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2013, 07:31:43 pm »
In principle I was thinking that it would be nice if we did in fact have an unambiguous "right to cave" established on all CROW (open access) land.

I don't really accept the argument that agreement to dig would never be granted if it automatically would lead to a right to cave. After all, the land owner only really sees people walking across the surface when they go caving.

Let us say that you own a piece of land that at present no-one has any such rights over. You allow a dig. Which goes. Now thousands of strangers have a potential right to access your property. How do you think such a move would affect the value of the land should you decide to sell it?

If it's access land (as I assume that's what we're talking about), why would it affect the value any more or any less? You could still have thousands of people walking across it anyway.  :shrug:

This was one of the tenets the anti-CRoW lobby tried to use in the original discussions. Conservation and erosional problems were also mentioned within the same breath. The World didn't seem to fall off its axis once CRoW was enacted.


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Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2013, 07:37:40 pm »
If I owned land upon which a cave or mine was situated, I would feel more comfortable negotiating access with a recognised body (BCA / CCC etc.) who acted for all cavers in the region rather than one person within a caving club.

I wouldn't.

If you extended your quote of me to include the next line instead of quoting me out of context, you would read that this often leads to many people from various clubs arguing over who 'holds the key'
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Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2013, 07:41:06 pm »
Name them.

Naming them is only going to cause more arguments and would not be beneficial to this topic but I'm sure it's a national problem (where there is more than 1 caving club in the area) and not just a regional thing
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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2013, 07:42:30 pm »
RE your penultimate post:
If it's a dig then the club doing the dig usually negotiates access, so I don't see this.
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Online droid

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2013, 07:44:26 pm »
Name them.

Naming them is only going to cause more arguments and would not be beneficial to this topic but I'm sure it's a national problem (where there is more than 1 caving club in the area) and not just a regional thing

OK.

Name the caves. Say, 3 each in 3 different areas.
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Offline mikem

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2013, 07:48:32 pm »
If you extended your quote of me to include the next line instead of quoting me out of context, you would read that this often leads to many people from various clubs arguing over who 'holds the key'
Doubt that interclub arguments would affect someones decision about whether they would rather negotiate with an individual instead of an organisation.

Mike

Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2013, 07:51:40 pm »
Name them.

Naming them is only going to cause more arguments and would not be beneficial to this topic but I'm sure it's a national problem (where there is more than 1 caving club in the area) and not just a regional thing

OK.

Name the caves. Say, 3 each in 3 different areas.

If I named the caves, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would be able to work out the clubs I'm referring to.  Stop trying to provoke an argument.
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Offline notdavidgilmour

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2013, 07:54:16 pm »
If you extended your quote of me to include the next line instead of quoting me out of context, you would read that this often leads to many people from various clubs arguing over who 'holds the key'
Doubt that interclub arguments would affect someones decision about whether they would rather negotiate with an individual instead of an organisation.

Mike

Possibly not Mike, that's just my opinion and not necessarily the correct one.  It may however put them off the idea of anyone going underground on their land.
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Offline mikem

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2013, 07:58:31 pm »
We are stuck with much the same problems in the canoeing world, but have managed to get ourselves specifically excluded from CRoW (despite being included in the Scottish Access legislation) and being in the far worse situation of having to negotiate with numerous landowners alongside rivers, rather than just the one where we access the river...

Mike

Offline graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2013, 07:59:18 pm »

If I owned land upon which a cave or mine was situated, I would feel more comfortable negotiating access with a recognised body (BCA / CCC etc.) who acted for all cavers in the region rather than one person within a caving club.


And that, of course is your prerogative, however, there are many landowners, both individual and personal, who prefer to negotiate with someone they have built a relationship with rather than with a body whose access officer may change at any time.
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Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2013, 08:04:29 pm »
No doubt that is true of the here and now.  The original suggestion was of a much simpler model of extending CROW to cover entering caves – not overlording private land arrangements which seems to be at the far end of the spectrum.

I also agree with NotDavidGilmour that naming clubs and caves would be inflammatory. I am quite sure we can all think of a number of contentious access problems regardless of which side of the fence we are sat on.

Ian
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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2013, 08:07:25 pm »

  Stop trying to provoke an argument.

I'm not trying to provoke an argument, I'm trying to get you to provide some evidence for your assertion: 'But many cavers / clubs are negotiating access and being obstructive when approached by other cavers / clubs who may also want to see what's inside.'
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