Author Topic: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things  (Read 123310 times)

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #700 on: April 02, 2013, 03:28:54 pm »
You are entirely right, Jessop.
If I were writing it again, I would put " does not seem like the best way forwards to me ".
I'm not a fan of such statements either as it, as you say, implies there is consensus.


Offline JessopSmythe

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #701 on: April 02, 2013, 03:38:23 pm »
If it's too late to get a proper discussion into this years AGM, could it be beneficial to set up a working group of some kind (prefferably made up with a balance of stances) to put together a proposal outlining exactly what needs to be discussed in 2014?

Perhaps we could channel some of the rhetorical rantings into something constructive
"If at first you don't succeed, try again. If that doesn't work, quit. There's no point being a damn fool about it" Homer Simpson

Offline JessopSmythe

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #702 on: April 02, 2013, 03:42:57 pm »
You are entirely right, Jessop.
If I were writing it again, I would put " does not seem like the best way forwards to me ".
I'm not a fan of such statements either as it, as you say, implies there is consensus.



Oops - my bad. I'd some how managed to read it as "[BCA]...... does not seem to like the best way forwards"
which, perhaps, makes my post above even more relevant. With a manageable number of people in a room discussing the issue face to face, misunderstandings and misinterpretations are less likely to happen and easier to fix when they do.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #703 on: April 02, 2013, 03:50:48 pm »
I think this is what Jenny had in mind, what needs to be taken to the AGM is a suggested list of guidelines for this working group to follow.
 A definite remit would suggest retrictions and could limit the field of investigation.
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #704 on: April 02, 2013, 03:53:33 pm »
If it's too late to get a proper discussion into this years AGM, could it be beneficial to set up a working group of some kind (prefferably made up with a balance of stances) to put together a proposal outlining exactly what needs to be discussed in 2014?

Perhaps we could channel some of the rhetorical rantings into something constructive

What would the BCA discuss? Somewhere on this or blackholesun's other thread was a post about the need to clarify if CRoW covers caving or if it can be included. I think that question needs resolving (at LAF) and if it's affirmative then time to go to BCA and CNCC to see if armed with that information what they then will do about it.

My gut feeling is, I hate to say it, that at present BCA and CNCC have some vested interest for maintaining the status quo and therefore any discussion is likely to get rebuffed with the usual stuff about future access to digs, landowners insist etc etc.
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #705 on: April 02, 2013, 03:54:53 pm »
I think this is what Jenny had in mind, what needs to be taken to the AGM is a suggested list of guidelines for this working group to follow.
 A definite remit would suggest retrictions and could limit the field of investigation.

Here's your remit: is caving acceptable under CRoW? Only people who seem to have any authority to say either way are the LAF.
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #706 on: April 02, 2013, 03:55:42 pm »
Sorry for being very strident. But there is no point in a delay until 2014. It's a simple question that can be put forward on the 18th June.
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Offline Jenny P

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #707 on: April 02, 2013, 03:55:49 pm »
If it's too late to get a proper discussion into this years AGM, could it be beneficial to set up a working group of some kind (prefferably made up with a balance of stances) to put together a proposal outlining exactly what needs to be discussed in 2014?

That's exactly the lines I was thinking upon - you can't solve this in one go at this year's BCA AGM but you could start the process going so that you can make progress in 2014.   Let's be realistic, this has been going on for something like 12 years, so fixing it in a rush in June this year seems a tad optimistic.  Better to take the time to be sure of your ground and then decide on the action (if any) that you want to take.

Offline bograt

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #708 on: April 02, 2013, 04:17:15 pm »
Sorry for being very strident. But there is no point in a delay until 2014. It's a simple question that can be put forward on the 18th June.

The BCA AGM is on the 16th June.
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #709 on: April 02, 2013, 04:40:00 pm »
Sorry for being very strident. But there is no point in a delay until 2014. It's a simple question that can be put forward on the 18th June.

The BCA AGM is on the 16th June.

For sure, but I was being mindful of Jenny P's post:

IMHO what is needed is to bring the issue to people's attention this year, so that they have a chance to think about it and collate necessary information, discuss the matter at individual, club and regional level and then, if it's thought necessary, come back to next year's AGM with a definite proposal on action required.

The LAF is on the 18th June and that is where I think the answer to the question of CRoW access will come. No point in discussing anything at BCA this year on a point of technicality that we don't have an answer to. Though maybe a wider debate on BCA stance would be welcome I suppose.
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Offline blackholesun

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #710 on: April 02, 2013, 06:14:32 pm »
If anyone would like Natural England's opinion, then it can be found here;
http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008 . This is a document commissioned solely to look at the effects of CROW, published in 2009. The link is to a pdf 212 pages long, which is only part one!

On page 10/27 depending on your pdf reader:
" The CROW Act provides for open-air recreation, basically on foot, which would include the following activities:
Walking
Climbing
Potholing
Informal games
.... "

Obviously, N.E. do not legislate or judge and this is not a legal precedent. It may though, be considered advice on the likely legality of caving on CROW land.

"Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone."

You'd think they'd have a pretty good idea.

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #711 on: April 02, 2013, 06:32:36 pm »
Blackholesun;

Isn't that the single most important statement/post made on this thread to date ?

Ian
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Offline Pete K

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #712 on: April 02, 2013, 06:36:39 pm »
I think you may be right there, very good find.

Game-changer? Maybe. Significant negotiating tool? Certainly.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #713 on: April 02, 2013, 06:45:25 pm »
Outstanding find.
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 Jenny P

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #714 on: April 02, 2013, 06:52:13 pm »
Excellent!

And, most importantly, being published in 2009 it post dates the original advice given to NCA and BCA so would not have been taken into account when the the original statements were made in relation to caving.  This is an extremely important update!

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #715 on: April 02, 2013, 06:53:22 pm »
 ;)clever man ;D. it was only a matter of time someone came up with the goods  :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

Offline damian

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #716 on: April 02, 2013, 08:08:25 pm »
To claify: I think it is highly likely that the BCA AGM will be happy to discuss access-related issues even though they have not been notified as an Agenda Item by the required deadline. In my experience BCA has a very good history of listening to (and often acting on) input from members at meetings and I have no doubt the same will happen here if anyone wishes to bring it up.

Offline Les W

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #717 on: April 02, 2013, 08:13:46 pm »
To claify: I think it is highly likely that the BCA AGM will be happy to discuss access-related issues even though they have not been notified as an Agenda Item by the required deadline. In my experience BCA has a very good history of listening to (and often acting on) input from members at meetings and I have no doubt the same will happen here if anyone wishes to bring it up.

I fully endorse Damian's view. BCA will want to do what is right and will be only too happy to hear the arguments for this.
My experience of BCA meetings is that they are generally very fair and if the point has merit it will be considered at great length.

BCA is your organisation, but cannot do your work without your input...
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #718 on: April 02, 2013, 08:28:37 pm »
To claify: I think it is highly likely that the BCA AGM will be happy to discuss access-related issues even though they have not been notified as an Agenda Item by the required deadline. In my experience BCA has a very good history of listening to (and often acting on) input from members at meetings and I have no doubt the same will happen here if anyone wishes to bring it up.

I fully endorse Damian's view. BCA will want to do what is right and will be only too happy to hear the arguments for this.
My experience of BCA meetings is that they are generally very fair and if the point has merit it will be considered at great length.

BCA is your organisation, but cannot do your work without your input...

I had to think long and hard about what to reply to both these statements. In the spirit of cordiality I didn't post what first came to mind.

If the BCA is willing to listen and in the light of the N.E. document act in a more radical way and, should the outcome be positive in terms of pro-CRoW access, that they direct other regional bodies, (where there is viable substance (i.e. CRoW), to adopt a more "robust" approach in favour of caver access - it can only be welcomed.

I think some members and none members have shown they are willing to put some input.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 08:37:40 pm by stu »
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And all around me a voice was sounding
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #719 on: April 02, 2013, 08:38:05 pm »


" The CROW Act provides for open-air recreation, basically on foot, which would include the following activities:
Walking
Climbing
Potholing
Informal games
.... "


This is great news and really lends weight to the argument.  Well done Blackholeson in 'digging' out this quote from Natural England.  Amazing that NE can come up with this interpretation yet BCA/CNCC, the representatives of caving, can only view the legislation negatively.

From reading through all references to the CRoW Act it is obvious to me that the 'open air' reference is intended to point towards health beneficial pursuits not that the recreation has to be 'open to the sky'.

I'm liking this more and more.  Keep up the good work.

Offline peterk

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #720 on: April 02, 2013, 08:45:17 pm »
I don't think the Natural England report by Penny Anderson Associates (consultant ecologists) should be given publicity. I think it identified activities that could take place and then reported on their potential environmental impacts. It references caving 4 times in respect of bats, earth science, erosion and over usage (pages 113, 158, 159 & 160).

Obviously(?) CROW would have to be amended because a LAF opinion will not be recognised by landowners but I wonder if there were reasons that "open-air" was used - If it was deleted would the act, forgetting caving, be any "different"?  The only reasons I can think of are cave systems that leave CROW land and pollution to farm water supplies.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #721 on: April 02, 2013, 09:07:56 pm »
I don't think the Natural England report by Penny Anderson Associates (consultant ecologists) should be given publicity.

Your post does not appear to address *why* You think this. I can't see a good reason to not publicise and use it.
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #722 on: April 02, 2013, 09:10:09 pm »
I don't think the Natural England report by Penny Anderson Associates (consultant ecologists) should be given publicity. I think it identified activities that could take place and then reported on their potential environmental impacts. It references caving 4 times in respect of bats, earth science, erosion and over usage (pages 113, 158, 159 & 160).

Obviously(?) CROW would have to be amended because a LAF opinion will not be recognised by landowners but I wonder if there were reasons that "open-air" was used - If it was deleted would the act, forgetting caving, be any "different"?  The only reasons I can think of are cave systems that leave CROW land and pollution to farm water supplies.

I couldn't disagree more.  We should give this every publicity.  NE are potentially major player in this debate and one of their reports clearly states that 'Potholing' is an 'included' activity under CRoW.  Look at Blackholeson's link yourself.  Potholing - included.

I still maintain that 'open air' is used in the same way as you would use 'fresh air'.  So it doesn't need to be deleted, or the Act changed in any way. 


Offline Les W

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #723 on: April 02, 2013, 09:13:52 pm »
Obviously(?) CROW would have to be amended because a LAF opinion will not be recognised by landowners but I wonder if there were reasons that "open-air" was used - If it was deleted would the act, forgetting caving, be any "different"?  The only reasons I can think of are cave systems that leave CROW land and pollution to farm water supplies.

If Caving is recognised as "Open air recreation" as espoused by many on here and as appears to be the case according to Natural England's definition, then why would the CRoW act need to be amended. It states clearly that CRoW is for open air recreation, the debate is whether caving is accepted as such. If it is it is covered by CRoW, no amendment needed...
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Loss of cave access, CROW and other things
« Reply #724 on: April 02, 2013, 09:15:51 pm »
Having briefly read the parts relevant to potholing and caving there are sentences which talk about damage and erosion from climbing and caving. The sentence that stood out to me was at the end of a passage refererincing open access to fossil sites (on the coast). It was an "as well"  phrase. On my phone so can't recall detail.

I don't know if the Act would need changing. Open air recreation is a catch all phrase. If the landowners can be persuaded that caving is, given a weight of evidence, then it might not need statutory change.
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

 

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