Author Topic: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things  (Read 123304 times)

Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #200 on: March 20, 2013, 05:01:30 pm »

... If explore anything and find something fantasic I would wan't to share it with the world and would not want to limit the access to do this. I don't understand the mentality of restricting access, otherwise no point in finding the darn thing.


Do you think that the original discoverers of Easter Grotto necessarily agree with you?


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Offline braveduck

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #201 on: March 20, 2013, 05:41:36 pm »
About a year ago there was long thread on here about the CROW act.
There were several lines of text from the CROW posted.
One that interested  me was something about going UNDER walls.
No one else seemed to pick up on this and explain it.To be fair at this point
a lot of the posters were exhausted and the thread died!

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #202 on: March 20, 2013, 06:39:13 pm »

... If explore anything and find something fantasic I would wan't to share it with the world and would not want to limit the access to do this. I don't understand the mentality of restricting access, otherwise no point in finding the darn thing.


Do you think that the original discoverers of Easter Grotto necessarily agree with you?

Is that the Easter Grotto in the system that requires a permit?
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Offline graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #203 on: March 20, 2013, 06:41:23 pm »

... If explore anything and find something fantasic I would wan't to share it with the world and would not want to limit the access to do this. I don't understand the mentality of restricting access, otherwise no point in finding the darn thing.


Do you think that the original discoverers of Easter Grotto necessarily agree with you?


Is that the Easter Grotto in the system that requires a permit?


& isn't gated
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #204 on: March 20, 2013, 06:43:40 pm »

... If explore anything and find something fantasic I would wan't to share it with the world and would not want to limit the access to do this. I don't understand the mentality of restricting access, otherwise no point in finding the darn thing.


Do you think that the original discoverers of Easter Grotto necessarily agree with you?


Is that the Easter Grotto in the system that requires a permit?


& isn't gated

So we either limit access to all caves or make sure all cavers cave responsibly?
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
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Offline graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #205 on: March 20, 2013, 06:55:24 pm »

... or make sure all cavers cave responsibly?


That would be nice. How do you think it might be done?
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Offline LizW1985

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #206 on: March 20, 2013, 07:30:47 pm »
I think it would be a good idea if before anyone is given their bca red card they need to attend a one/two day course on cave conservation, caving safely, flooding etc if they love caving then I don't think paying a few extra quid would bother them (I wouldn't mind and then its a bit more cash for the bca).  Then when it comes to gated caves you should be able to show a warden your card and gain access instead of messing about with permits.  Also if everyone has to play by the same rules there wouldn't be any accusations of empire building etc
Definitely think educating people is the best way!

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #207 on: March 20, 2013, 07:42:40 pm »

... or make sure all cavers cave responsibly?


That would be nice. How do you think it might be done?

Not sure I'd go so far as Liz's suggestion but along similar lines, how about a BCA road-show doing the rounds of the clubs or caving areas. Or if that's too much to put together, a gathering of all the club conservation officers at a seminar/lecture/gathering for the purposes of getting the message to them so they can get it out to club members.

To be clear, some gated, locked, permit based, leader led systems and completely open access caves are having some parts of them destroyed maliciously or otherwise. None of these "systems" eradicate the problem. Educate isn't such a woolly and meaningless term if there is something to underpin it.

To be extra clear (again!) I'm not in the open all cave access lobby. My interest was piqued with the mention of CRoW. Though interestingly there are many fine caves in the Dales and Derbyshire (my stomping ground) that are open access and have still retained their majesty.
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
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Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #208 on: March 20, 2013, 09:20:45 pm »
Though interestingly there are many fine caves in the Dales and Derbyshire (my stomping ground) that are open access and have still retained their majesty.

I am not sure which ones you have in mind, but wherever they are it can`t last for ever.

The last-but-one time I went up into White River in Peak/Speedwell, after a gap of a couple of years, I saw how it had deteriorated. There was no vandalism that I could see, just the general grubbiness that comes with cavers edging past the Crystal Pools, trying their best not to dislodge any muck onto them but every now and then somebody failing. The thin layer of mud on the White River that is inevitable if people want to see it.
I realised that I was on my 6th or 8th visit so a couple of us decided to go once more to see the bits we had missed (mainly Nameless) and then not go again. So far I have kept to this, despite temptation.

I know it is easy for me to say - in 5 or 10 years I shall probably not be capable of getting up there anyway - but it is now a trade route with a few people I know having done it dozens of times and they are spoiling it for the future.

To be clear: I would not ban access to it, although it could easily be done. Every caver capable of getting there should see White River if they want to. But unless individual cavers start to think that a couple of visits is enough we are going to lose it sooner rather than later.

Offline LizW1985

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #209 on: March 20, 2013, 09:21:23 pm »
Sounds like a good idea.  I do think caving as a whole should be more accessible to newbies,  some people I know really enjoy caving but don't feel they can commit to being an active member of a club and also don't have the confidence to just meet up with a group and go caving, which means not having access to some of the caves.  Perhaps this is why there isn't as many people into caving as there is climbing and canoeing etc. 

Malicious vandalism is definitely a problem,  I was in a spectacular cave a few weeks ago, (which is gated and groups arent allowed, so to speak) but some mindless tosser had written their name in the mud!! The sad part of this is that it must have been a caver who did it as its not possible for public etc to get in!  The other thing is there is a log book at the cave entrance which requires the groups details name, club etc so im guessing the culprit forgot about that when writing in mud. Fool!

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #210 on: March 20, 2013, 09:23:58 pm »
But unless individual cavers start to think that a couple of visits is enough we are going to lose it sooner rather than later.

That is a brilliant and succinct message.
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #211 on: March 20, 2013, 09:25:09 pm »
Malicious vandalism is definitely a problem,  I was in a spectacular cave a few weeks ago, (which is gated and groups arent allowed, so to speak) but some mindless tosser had written their name in the mud!! The sad part of this is that it must have been a caver who did it as its not possible for public etc to get in!  The other thing is there is a log book at the cave entrance which requires the groups details name, club etc so im guessing the culprit forgot about that when writing in mud. Fool!

An example of limited access not working (sorry to bang on about it). If I was in this group and saw someone doing this I'd certainly vent my view.

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #212 on: March 20, 2013, 09:27:41 pm »
Something Chocolate fireguard said struck a chord (about trade routes); too often I see on trip reports a time stamp on how fast the cave was "done"!. I know one persons fast could be another persons slow but careful to me would mean economy of movement which would, for me any way, mean considered movement, and slow.
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Offline LizW1985

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #213 on: March 20, 2013, 09:28:53 pm »
Its ridiculous,  I couldn't believe it, its a really beautiful cave, why someone would do it is beyond me.   :chair:

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #214 on: March 20, 2013, 09:30:36 pm »
Maybe, just maybe, they didn't know any better.  :shrug: But yes, it's madness.
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To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
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Offline mikem

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #215 on: March 21, 2013, 06:21:20 pm »
Then, if it really isn't in the wording of the act, for those who want to cave freely on CROW land, surely the top priority is trying to find a way to clarify whether caving is covered by the legislation or not.

Does anyone else think this is worth trying and has any ideas about how to do so?
Unfortunately the easiest way to clarify is to test it in court - anyone volunteering? Trying to get the government to make a pronouncement is only likely to end in "no you can't"...

Mike

Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #216 on: March 21, 2013, 06:41:05 pm »
Unfortunately the easiest way to clarify is to test it in court - anyone volunteering? Trying to get the government to make a pronouncement is only likely to end in "no you can't"...

Mike

Not necessarily, a significant effect of the act is reduction in landowners liability. The courts would consider the case before them and government would be influenced by political pressure. Consider a couple of possible scenarios:

  • The insurance company of a fit and active caver who was killed falling down a pitch in an open non-permit cave on CRoW land sues the landowner to recover costs of a life insurance pay out. The landowner's defense is that the cave is a natural feature and the caver was exercising his CRoW rights
  • Two children are drowned by flooding in a gated cave on CRoW land where the gate had been left unlocked. The children's parents sue the landowner.  The landowner's defense is that the cave is a natural feature and the children were exercising their CRoW rights

Which of these case came first may affect the outcome of a decision.
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Offline graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #217 on: March 21, 2013, 06:50:31 pm »
  • The insurance company of a fit and active caver who was killed falling down a pitch in an open non-permit cave on CRoW land sues the landowner to recover costs of a life insurance pay out. The landowner's defense is that the cave is a natural feature and the caver was exercising his CRoW rights
  • Two children are drowned by flooding in a gated cave on CRoW land where the gate had been left unlocked. The children's parents sue the landowner.  The landowner's defense is that the cave is a natural feature and the children were exercising their CRoW rights

Which of these case came first may affect the outcome of a decision.

The problem is that you cannot prevent anybody taking a case to court. With this sort of scenario, whatever the outcome, the fact may be that the landowner has the hassle and expense of being sued, even if he wins in the end. Now, if a proper access agreement is in place and the landowner is aware of the scheme, he would have the security of knowing that his costs should be covered under the BCA scheme. Well-constituted access agreements can give this confidence.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #218 on: March 21, 2013, 06:55:25 pm »
CRoW= Countryside Right of Way

Question - is underground the countryside, is there a right of way?

Definitions is everything  :doubt:

P.S. I agree with Graham in his last post, and I know that doesn't happen very often!!
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Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #219 on: March 21, 2013, 06:57:50 pm »
I thought the landowner was exempt from prosecution if an accident were to befall someone exercising their rights on CROW land (natural features) ?

.... (That's a question)

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Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #220 on: March 21, 2013, 07:01:03 pm »
On CRoW land, not under it.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #221 on: March 21, 2013, 07:09:42 pm »
If someone falls down an open shaft and end up under it does that mean they are not except despite the top of the shaft being a surface feature. Basically the law is in-adequate as it does not answer these questions and it needs changing. (but that would need a conciseness, something that is never going to happen)

If it was changed to include caving one way or the other the land owner would be much more happy as they know where they stand and would less likely want a permit system.
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 graham

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #222 on: March 21, 2013, 07:30:45 pm »
I thought the landowner was exempt from prosecution if an accident were to befall someone exercising their rights on CROW land (natural features) ?

.... (That's a question)

Ian

Do you actually mean prosecution or do you mean being sued in the civil courts? There is a difference.

As an aside is a dug cave entrance necessarily regarded as a natural feature? I'm sure the, quite long, dug entrance to Carno wouldn't be, for example.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #223 on: March 21, 2013, 07:43:37 pm »
Neither would Titan or any other mine shaft, come to think of it, I don't think any entrances in the Peak District are on CRoW land.
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Offline droid

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #224 on: March 21, 2013, 07:50:37 pm »
*pedant mode ON*

Wasn't it Leviathon that was the mine shaft? I thought the main Titan pitch was natural.


*pedant mode OFF*
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

 

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