Author Topic: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things  (Read 118423 times)

Offline Badlad

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #475 on: March 28, 2013, 11:45:55 am »
Can I bring up the subject of the Leck Fell closed season.  Why, for three months of the year, is there no access to the caves of Leck Fell under the CNCC permit system?

There are no access restrictions to anyone else during this time.  Those permitted access under CRoW can wander around anywhere they like all year round, but cavers are only allowed on the fell for nine months of the year.

I presume the original restriction was to protect the breeding grouse for shooting but I have not seen any organised shooting on Leck for a decade or more.  Since CRoW, the access permitted for all seems to undermine this restriction anyway.  Even if grouse are the reason many would dispute that cavers disturb the breeding grouse when they mostly stick to well trod routes to the caves.  Certainly that is no reason to restrict access to Notts 2 and Lost Johns' which are right next to the public highway.

Last year I watched with interest the estate contractors erecting the new fences around Lost Pot and Lower Ease Gill.  They drove their tractors and 4x4's wilfully all over the heather.  They were there for a week or more slap bang in the middle of the breeding season.

I guess that if a restrictive access system is to receive wide support from cavers then it needs to be seen to be fair and justified.  Many people are just not seeing it.



Offline langcliffe

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #476 on: March 28, 2013, 11:46:21 am »
Quote
there are plenty of more experienced folk who would happily help guide them, if help was sought.
Who you need to know if they're going to help you... an access system which requires individuals to be in the know in order to be able to access the permit system has got to be fundamentally flawed.

It doesn't take a brain the size of a planet to establish the access requirements for a particular hole in the Dales using the CNCC website.

How many people have ever applied for a midweek casterton fell permit?

We do - four times so far this year, and 3 times for Leck Fell including yesterday,

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #477 on: March 28, 2013, 11:50:52 am »
Point taken Badlad - it does seem a bit strange.

Why not go to a CNCC meeting and ask the question directly?

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #478 on: March 28, 2013, 11:57:42 am »
Pitlamp, at this risk of repeating myself, how do you know that CROW doesn't give cavers access to caves on CROW land? Is it because it isn't explicitly included in the list in the legislation? Or because the legal correspondent for BCA believes that it isn't?

I ask because if you have a reason other than these why it doesn't give access, then it would be very interesting to hear.

So far, after all these pages, it still seems that it hasn't been conclusively decided that caving isn't covered by CROW.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #479 on: March 28, 2013, 11:58:34 am »
If you can get the backing and support of the caving "establishment" this would give access to all sorts of people with special expertise and contacts, probably making a good outcome for all concerned more likely.

There in lies the problem as far as I see it. The BMC and even the dreaded BCU have access aims which are to promote and improve access. The BCA and CNCC stance is conservative (again I repeat myself - I'm talking CRoW, so the Dales specifically). They may indeed have the best interest of cavers in mind but I suspect that since the status quo suits their (personal?) stance then they won't move to change and I don't see BCA ever putting it to the membership.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 12:18:22 pm by stu »
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #480 on: March 28, 2013, 12:02:16 pm »
So far, after all these pages, it still seems that it hasn't been conclusively decided that caving isn't covered by CROW.

In spite of what some people would have us believe, that pretty much sums it up. It'd need testing. Though I suspect in these enlightened times rather than a Suffragette/mass trespass type protest, in roads with the LAF would be a very good first approach.

With my last post in mind I suspect this would have to be done outwith the BCA and in the case of the Dales, the CNCC. Pity.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #481 on: March 28, 2013, 12:16:44 pm »
Pitlamp, at this risk of repeating myself, how do you know that CROW doesn't give cavers access to caves on CROW land? Is it because it isn't explicitly included in the list in the legislation? Or because the legal correspondent for BCA believes that it isn't?

I ask because if you have a reason other than these why it doesn't give access, then it would be very interesting to hear.

So far, after all these pages, it still seems that it hasn't been conclusively decided that caving isn't covered by CROW.

I'm afraid I have to confess not to know enough to answer that question definitively blackholesun. I just understood that CRoW doesn't grant automatic access from what I learned from people who were involved at the time it was all happening. I certainly can't categorically state that it's the case.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #482 on: March 28, 2013, 12:19:56 pm »
I agree that this would be a good start and that it doesn't seem like those organisations would be behind any motion like this.

However, I'd also wager that there will be significant number of people who will read your post (Stu) and would be very tempted by the idea of a mass trespass up, say, GG.

(Tempted by a publicized trespass that is, otherwise it'd just be like any other trip down Bar pot.)

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #483 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:45 pm »
(Tempted by a publicized trespass that is, otherwise it'd just be like any other trip down Bar pot.)

 :clap2:
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Offline Les W

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #484 on: March 28, 2013, 12:23:01 pm »
I will point out that BCA and CNCC are run by cavers and are democratic organisations. If you are unhappy about any aspect of what "they" do in your name then you should lobby them to change their attitudes or even stand for office yourself and change them from the inside.

Just saying...
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Offline mikem

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #485 on: March 28, 2013, 12:26:03 pm »
Finding out the attitude of Local Access Forums is definitely the way to go as they advise on what is / isn't acceptable...
Many canoeists are now taking the view that there is nothing in the legislation that prevents canoeing on inland rivers apart from the interpretation of previous generations.........

So is canoeing like caving in so much as it is neither mentioned as being an allowable activity nor is it specifically excluded? If so, what is the attitude of the national body (BCU?) to this? What was the attitude of the national body prior to and during the drafting of the legislation? I would assume that most canoeists would have wanted their activity to have been included. What was their reaction when this was not the case?
Caving is in the grey area of not being mentioned, whilst Canoeing's push for access to inland waterways got them specifically EXCLUDED by the CRoW Act (whereas canoeing is specifically allowed under the Scottish  legislation)...

Mike

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #486 on: March 28, 2013, 12:27:45 pm »
If you can get the backing and support of the caving "establishment" this would give access to all sorts of people with special expertise and contacts, probably making a good outcome for all concerned more likely.

There in lies the problem as far as I see it. The BMC and even the dreaded BCU have access aims which are to promote and improve access. The BCA and CNCC stance is conservative (again I repeat myself - I'm talking specificall CRoW, so the Dales specifically). They may indeed have the best interest of cavers in mind but I suspect that since the status quo suits their (personal?) stance then they won't move to change and I don't see BCA ever putting it to the membership.

Stu - with the greatest respect, I wonder if your post above actually reveals at least part of the problem (from the terminology you chose)? The BCA and CNCC are very much your representatives. You wrote "their (personal?) stance". This is NOT any criticism of you but it's helped me start to get a grasp of what's really going on here.

Putting aside the technicalites of CRoW for a moment, certain landowners only recognise CNCC as cavers' representatives. Whatever one's opinion of that fact, it's still a fact. So why not make use of the existence of CNCC to thrash this one out properly. Remember, it's the Council of Northern Caving Clubs. And any group of mates can call themselves a club to get permits via CNCC - or influence the direction CNCC takes for the benefit of cavers, whether or not they favour the idea of fancy constitutions and the like.

It seems to me there's a real lack of understanding about what CNCC's actually about. It's not a case of "us and them" - we're all in this together (as our current political leader likes to say).

By the way, I should point out that I've never been a CNCC officer myself.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #487 on: March 28, 2013, 12:34:39 pm »

I'm afraid I have to confess not to know enough to answer that question definitively blackholesun. I just understood that CRoW doesn't grant automatic access from what I learned from people who were involved at the time it was all happening. I certainly can't categorically state that it's the case.
[/quote]

Ok, thanks for that. (It's also so reassuring to see people giving a viewpoint but stating that they are not completely certain on this thread.)

Talking to the people involved certainly seems like a reasonable source for why you think that caving is not covered. It may well not be covered. However, there are many other niche activities things that you can do under CROW that aren't explicitly in the legislation, so I'm trying to find out if anyone knows for certain and can provide a reason that would convince others beyond doubt why it is not covered.

I suspect, but am happy to accept evidence to the contrary, that no one knows as it has never been tested in court. How it could be tested without a some disaster between landowners and caver, is something that I think many would be interested in.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #488 on: March 28, 2013, 12:37:22 pm »
That's a very reasonable view blackholesun.

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #489 on: March 28, 2013, 12:41:41 pm »
I will point out that BCA and CNCC are run by cavers and are democratic organisations.

With regards to CNCC, is that "true" ?   Could a non-northern caving club join ?   Can an individual join ?  Is there a pre-requiste (like there is with the PDCMG) before you can join ?

In any event, why is there even any resistence to the suggestion of CRoW being a mechanism for cavers to access caves in the Dales ?   Wouldn't it make life easier for the CNCC and their volunteers ?     Doesn't it (CRoW) provide automatic liability cover for landowners ?    Isn't it a Win/
Win scenario ?

And ... why should some HAVE TO BE a BCA member to enter a cave in the Dales ?  That isn't just (prima facie) elitist but it is also "unknown" to a new adventurer beginning their life of underworld exploration ....

Ian
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #490 on: March 28, 2013, 12:46:22 pm »
I'm not sure of my facts Jackalpup - but couldn't your first question at least be answered from a quick glance at CNCC's constitution?

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #491 on: March 28, 2013, 12:48:53 pm »
I will point out that BCA and CNCC are run by cavers and are democratic organisations. If you are unhappy about any aspect of what "they" do in your name then you should lobby them to change their attitudes or even stand for office yourself and change them from the inside.

Just saying...

That option hasn't escaped me Les.
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

Online droid

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #492 on: March 28, 2013, 12:49:57 pm »
There are plenty of caves in the Dales that you can just rock up and 'do'. Most of them are the easier caves that a beginner is likely to choose.

And a 'new adventurer' would be best off being under the guidance of a club.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #493 on: March 28, 2013, 12:50:39 pm »
I will point out that BCA and CNCC are run by cavers and are democratic organisations. If you are unhappy about any aspect of what "they" do in your name then you should lobby them to change their attitudes or even stand for office yourself and change them from the inside.

Just saying...

That option hasn't escaped me Les.

Now you're talking . . . .  :thumbsup:

Signing off now - snap time.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #494 on: March 28, 2013, 12:52:58 pm »
Oh, how I sometimes wish this thread was split.
We could have:
Problems with current permit systems for people not part of a club etc
Whether people want caving to be covered by CROW
Whether caving is covered by CROW
Wild accusations about North Wales

So, how does one go about contacting the Yorkshire Dales LAF, with an aim to clarifying CROW with respect to caving? (Not about lobbying for a change in the legislation, just asking for advice).

They have an email address, and you can attend meetings. However, I don't think it's great if loads of people just email the first address on their page, who probably isn't the person who would know anyway. The meetings are tri-annual, but you can't ask questions. So does anyone have any ideas?

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #495 on: March 28, 2013, 01:00:08 pm »
Stu - with the greatest respect, I wonder if your post above actually reveals at least part of the problem (from the terminology you chose)? The BCA and CNCC are very much your representatives. You wrote "their (personal?) stance". This is NOT any criticism of you but it's helped me start to get a grasp of what's really going on here.

Putting aside the technicalites of CRoW for a moment, certain landowners only recognise CNCC as cavers' representatives. Whatever one's opinion of that fact, it's still a fact.

This is without a doubt an absolute truth Pitlamp, though from my viewpoint this link between the landowners and CNCC in the very specific case of CRoW (technicalities aside), is possibly vestigial in that the link might not be needed. In which case maybe it's CNCC that are maintaining the status quo, and on this point I really don't know. So are they realistically representing cavers' views? It's a best guess assumption and is not intended to offend or disrespect any work done or those involved. This is (finally) turning out to be an adult discussion, as hard as some of the themes might be to discuss.

My edit: re: BCA in light of their statement about CRoW, it's exclusion and their stance on cavers pirating it would seem that organisation has (at least publicly) a stance which is at odds with mine. Which is, in a grown up world, fair. However BCA couldn't really be said to be at the vanguard of pushing for CRoW access in the way BMC did/does.

Quote
So why not make use of the existence of CNCC to thrash this one out properly. Remember, it's the Council of Northern Caving Clubs. And any group of mates can call themselves a club to get permits via CNCC - or influence the direction CNCC takes for the benefit of cavers, whether or not they favour the idea of fancy constitutions and the like.
 

I suspect this might be the way forward, if we can get a groundswell.



Quote
It seems to me there's a real lack of understanding about what CNCC's actually about. It's not a case of "us and them" - we're all in this together (as our current political leader likes to say).

By the way, I should point out that I've never been a CNCC officer myself.

Fair points all.
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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 #496 on: March 28, 2013, 01:03:07 pm »
Oh, how I sometimes wish this thread was split.
We could have:
Problems with current permit systems for people not part of a club etc
Whether people want caving to be covered by CROW
Whether caving is covered by CROW
Wild accusations about North Wales

So, how does one go about contacting the Yorkshire Dales LAF, with an aim to clarifying CROW with respect to caving? (Not about lobbying for a change in the legislation, just asking for advice).

They have an email address, and you can attend meetings. However, I don't think it's great if loads of people just email the first address on their page, who probably isn't the person who would know anyway. The meetings are tri-annual, but you can't ask questions. So does anyone have any ideas?

You can submit questions (if memory serves) five days in advance. Attending might be useful in as much as getting a feel for the "vibe". Though the detail for forthcoming meetings is blank.
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 Badlad

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #497 on: March 28, 2013, 01:04:14 pm »
Point taken Badlad - it does seem a bit strange.

Why not go to a CNCC meeting and ask the question directly?

Yes, I could go to a meeting and ask that question, but then the CNCC could just reply on this forum then everyone would get to know the answer.  I'm sure they will be reading this thread even though they choose not to post.

I'd like to take this opportunity to address a related point.  That is a critism which is often leveled at those who promote a view for change, "why don't you get involved to change things yourself".  This is my answer;

There are many people who give up vast amounts of their time for British caving.  I know several officers of BCA and have seen first hand the amount of effort and sometimes personal money that they invest in our sport.  I don't doubt that officers of the CNCC put in a considerable amount of time and effort too, but that is their choice and that is how they have chosen to help British caving.  Just because I, and many others, are not involved with BCA or CNCC that does not mean we do not put in a lot of effort to support British caving in other ways.  What about people who introduce young people to caving, dedicate themselves to cave rescue, run clubs, organise local area projects, organise expeditions and projects abroad, write cave guidebooks, resurvey cave systems, set up cave archives, maintain libraries, write articles, promote caving in the media, develop equipment, etc etc.  All of these things can be of as much benefit to British caving as can the work of any local or national officer.

Just because you criticise the status quo should not mean that you necessarily have to try and change it yourself.

Offline ian.p

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #498 on: March 28, 2013, 01:13:18 pm »
i took up the sugestion of going to a BCA council meeting once to argue a point re the way BCRA membership is organised and to argue for free or vastly reduced insurance for under 16s on the basis of their negligable liabilty risk. jesus christ what a minefeild caving politics turns out to be there are more personal agendas in british caving than you can shake a stick at i rememer my overwhelming impression of the event being f@ck this for a laugh no wonder hardly anyone wants to get involved its not a particulalry pleasent or productive experiance and who on earth cares if IT is maniged by a working party or a sub commitee though this seemed to be the bigest issue in british caving at the time.

whilst im sure ill be told its a wild conspiracy theory i realy dont think from what ive seen of caving politics that it is at all unlikley that the main reason for activly maintaining regional access restricitions that require BCA membership is to protect revenue for the BCA insurance scheme which is fine i just wish they would be open about what theyre doing and why.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #499 on: March 28, 2013, 01:20:47 pm »
Twice I tried to get "involved". Once no reply (replies).

Second time I was asked by an officer "why am I bothering?". I got the impression there was a suspicion as to why I wanted to get involved.

Don't ask who, when or why. I've had a chat with a sympathetic man in the know and it's in the past. In the end I was involved with my clubs first two or three Try Caving events. Sadly (with kids of my own), I'm less able to do as much volunteering.
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