Author Topic: The CRoW Act.  (Read 11719 times)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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The CRoW Act.
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2005, 10:19:21 am »
Quote
Quote:It has long been established that the right to roam is not the right to cave.


Thanks for that information. I am delighted to hear that there has already been a definitive opinion on the subject. Can you also let us know by whom and with what authority?


Hi Langcliffe; I've organised a meeting with our AONB Senior Warden this afternoon to check the Access land maps for Mendip but he also confirmed the above statement. The specific clause is:

"Any person is entitled … to enter and remain on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation…. Section (s) 2(1) of CROW, England and Wales". It's the "open-air" wording which allows climbing but not caving.

Offline langcliffe

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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2005, 12:00:52 pm »
Quote
"Any person is entitled … to enter and remain on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation…. Section (s) 2(1) of CROW, England and Wales". It's the "open-air" wording which allows climbing but not caving.


Which comes back to my original point that this phrase has yet to be interpreted in a court of law, yet. The Act itself has nothing further to say on this point other than what I previously quoted. It is only the judiciary that can provide a definitive interpretation of the wording - not DEFRA, and not the AONB Senior Warden.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2005, 05:12:43 pm »
Well, off you go and get it interpreted in a court of law. (*]:-)

Offline graham

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« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2005, 09:06:19 pm »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
Well, off you go and get it interpreted in a court of law. (*]:-)


Aye & be sure to post your results here.
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Offline rich

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« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2005, 09:20:02 pm »
Quote from: "graham"

I can think of one very good reason why caves should not be included in CROW. If the presence of a cave entrance automatically guarantees access rights then no owner of access land is ever going to allow another surface dig on their land.


I'm not sure that's a big issue. Any landowner who allows digging on their land is presumably happy for any discovered cave to be accessed or they wouldn't allow the dig in the first place.

Offline graham

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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2005, 09:47:57 pm »
Quote from: "rich"
I'm not sure that's a big issue. Any landowner who allows digging on their land is presumably happy for any discovered cave to be accessed or they wouldn't allow the dig in the first place.


Happy to allow access, possibly, working out that they have suddenly allowed a right of access perhaps not - especially if they might consider selling the land one day.
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Offline rich

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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2005, 09:52:40 pm »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
Quote
Quote:It has long been established that the right to roam is not the right to cave.


Thanks for that information. I am delighted to hear that there has already been a definitive opinion on the subject. Can you also let us know by whom and with what authority?


Hi Langcliffe; I've organised a meeting with our AONB Senior Warden this afternoon to check the Access land maps for Mendip but he also confirmed the above statement. The specific clause is:

"Any person is entitled … to enter and remain on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation…. Section (s) 2(1) of CROW, England and Wales". It's the "open-air" wording which allows climbing but not caving.


That could be interpreted either way. I wish people (from both sides of the argument) would stop expressing such certainty on the issue while the status of caves are clearly still undefined.

A google search for "caving" within www.countryside.gov.uk/ comes back with one relevant result, a question at a meeting:

Jon Beavan, Settle: "Caving and potholing open air recreation?"
http://www.countryside.gov.uk/LAR/Recreation/NCAF/16thNCAF_minutes.asp

The answer isn't recorded though!

Has anyone tried asking the Countryside Agency?

Offline rich

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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2005, 10:18:06 pm »
Quote from: "graham"
Quote from: "rich"
I'm not sure that's a big issue. Any landowner who allows digging on their land is presumably happy for any discovered cave to be accessed or they wouldn't allow the dig in the first place.


Happy to allow access, possibly, working out that they have suddenly allowed a right of access perhaps not - especially if they might consider selling the land one day.


A reasonable point. But it would presumably only apply to land that could already be freely accessed because of CRoW, so the only difference would be whether people would have a right to actually go underground once they've reached the cave entrance.

Assuming cave access does come under the Act, it might raise the question of the legality of gating certain caves.

Offline langcliffe

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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2005, 10:35:37 pm »
Has anyone tried asking the Countryside Agency?

What's the point? The Countryside Agency's interpretation is going to be no more binding than anybody else's at this stage. The executive has no power to provide a definitive interpretation of the wording of an Act of Parliament - only the judiciary can do that.

Unfortunately, such ambiguity isn't unusual for legislation passed in the last few years. For example, it is impossible for an organization to know whether or not it is conforming to the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act unless it is taken to the High Court, and the judge finds in its favour.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2005, 11:15:29 am »
It appears, then, that there is no point either in asking questions such as "what are cavers allowed to do?". If this is the case, presumably the whole topic is now closed until precedents are set; in which case we can stop this thread.

Offline langcliffe

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« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2005, 12:19:45 pm »
Quote
It appears, then, that there is no point either in asking questions such as "what are cavers allowed to do?". If this is the case, presumably the whole topic is now closed until precedents are set; in which case we can stop this thread.


That's certainly one possible conclusion. Another is that people could read the relevent parts of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, in particular Sections 2.1 and Schedule 2, and come to their own conclusions, possibly after discussion with others.

Discussions do not have to come up with definitive answers - they are also useful for casting new light on a topic, as, for example, George North's higlighting of paragraph 1(h) of Schedule 2 of the Act.

Offline JJ

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« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2005, 11:43:44 am »
I am very clear as is the Yorkshire Dales National Park that caving is not included as a right under CROW legisaltion.

However the debate so far does not mention one fact of the CROW legislation. A landowner of access land can dedicate his/her land for any other recrecreational activity - including caving. The important thing is that this then reduces the landowners liability right down to that which would apply with common trespess. This is an important consideration for landowners who already allow open access to their caves and may encourage others to do likewise.

Offline rich

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« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2005, 08:32:01 pm »
Quote from: "langcliffe"
Has anyone tried asking the Countryside Agency?

What's the point? The Countryside Agency's interpretation is going to be no more binding than anybody else's at this stage. The executive has no power to provide a definitive interpretation of the wording of an Act of Parliament - only the judiciary can do that.



Well I thought there might have been some sort of previously established convention on what the words mean -- or something!

But I asked the CA and it looks like you're right. They initially said caving was not covered under the legislation, but when I asked how that was decided, they backtracked and said it was for the courts to decide whether it was covered or not.

Offline martinr

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The CRoW Act.
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2005, 04:56:21 pm »
It's official: CROW doesn't apply to caving (at least in Wales). The Countryside Council for Wales has issued advice on the CROW act, which includes the following statement:

What does the new right NOT include?

It doesn't include riding a horse or a bicycle or driving a vehicle or certain other activities such as camping, swimming or caving – but these limitations on the new right do not prevent an owner or occupier of land allowing these activities.

For more information:
To get free advice on the new public right of access to open country and registered common land, copies of publications and ideas on other enjoyment opportunities in the countryside visit www.ccw.gov.uk or call CCW on 0845 130 6229.

Offline langcliffe

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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2005, 05:54:50 pm »
Quote from: "martinr"
It's official: CROW doesn't apply to caving (at least in Wales).


That is simply their interpretation of the Act. As discussed above, only the judiciary can come up with a definitive statement of the law.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2005, 07:57:25 pm »
Quote
only the judiciary can come up with a definitive statement of the law.



In which case this thread is going nowhere.

 

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