Author Topic: BCA statement on CROW land  (Read 8274 times)

Offline blackholesun

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BCA statement on CROW land
« on: March 31, 2013, 11:41:19 am »
This is not meant to be an entirely serious post.

If you've not already seen it BCA released a statement written by Dave Judson in 2010. It was their opinion on the matter and may now be influencing and strengthening their members opinions in a nightmare of circular logic. It can be found at http://www.british-caving.org.uk/membership/landownership+caves_240310.pdf

The rest of the document has been debated elsewhere, but one paragraph must be seen to be believed:

"Think about it, free access to caves and potholes would be quite inoperable (and dangerous) in many situations including popular sites such as Lancaster Hole, Gaping Gill, Ogof Fynnon Ddu, Swildons Hole, etc."

So, I've thought about it Dave.

Lancaster Hole: A cave that could not be more popular if it had no permit system and everywhere else in the Dales did. Truly this pot is a notorious scourge of cavers, with freshers sometimes getting stuck at the rebelay for a whole ten minutes.

Swildons Hole: Thank heavens this cave doesn't have free access! Truly, having to pay a pound to get changed in the barn has made this cave safe and operable.

GG: Pirated to the extent that two groups may avoid each other on the nature trail, both thinking the other has the permit. One caver I know forgot that a permit was required for an entire decade. As far as I can remember it lacks fragile features on the trade routes. Fortunately, it doesn't have free access which magically makes it safe! One group (who won't be named) recently tried to do Dihedral with a heavy snow melt on, but of course, as they had a permit they came to no harm.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:46:05 am by Rhys, Reason: name removed from thread title »

Offline blackholesun

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 11:43:59 am »
The rest of the statement was debated on http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=9925.50
and recently http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=14948.550
The legislation is here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/contents
Decide for yourself if "The law in England and Wales is thus absolutely clear" with regards to caving!

Offline graham

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 12:14:14 pm »

GG:  .... As far as I can remember it lacks fragile features on the trade routes.


It does now, didn't always though. Wonder why.
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Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 12:23:49 pm »
Less enlightened times. It won't have been anyone with a permit though. The permit exudes a mystical aura which precludes you from doing any damage.

A silly response of course.
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Offline Ian Adams

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 02:53:49 pm »
The permit exudes a mystical aura which precludes you from doing any damage.


LMAO  :lol:  :lol: :lol:
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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 07:15:40 pm »
Well nout got damaged in Lost Johns yesterday belive the power of the permit for it is real and can absolve all your sins. All hail the permit :bow: :bow: :bow:
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 Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 08:03:10 pm »
And Ogof Ffynnon Ddu? The cave where, when you collect your key, you fill in a chit which, for as long as I have been caving, provides a reliable check on overdue parties and the rough area you are visiting? A system which has allowed a lot of cavers to be rescued safe and well through a system that works almost like clockwork when it has to? Would free access provide such security? Would having free access maintain this level of security? I am given to understand that since the leader requirement was relaxed for Ogof Ffynnon Ddu I, the number of rescues there has increased. One reason for once having a leader was that the leader was required to know his or her way around, which is especially important when the river is in flood. It might not be free access, but it is a relaxation of access requirements, and (as far as I am aware) has led to a deterioration in safety witnessed by the increase in incidents (I am happy to be corrected if this is not so). Of course, everyone visiting under "free access" is also free to make their own call out arrangements - and under free access there will be a lot of cavers who won't, you can be sure of it. But I for one am perfectly happy with the way things operate at SWCC, and would be horrified to see "free access" there.
I am also very disappointed to see Dave Judson's advice being ridiculed. Whether his statement is perfect or could be better is one thing. But to make light of it, and associate a really helpful and useful Officer with such ridicule is verging on the disgusting. Some years ago Dave was extremely helpful to me and my club when handling a delicate matter with a landowner. He was worth every minute of the time he devotes to his unpaid role.
One reason I don't post much here now is because of the, quite frankly, painful lack of respect shown by what is a minority of members here, but nevertheless they sour the atmosphere for everyone else.

Offline bob monkhouses face mole

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 08:35:49 pm »
ooooooo....get her!

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2013, 08:41:04 pm »
Well, I have no expectations that anyone else here will stand up for "respect", but I can dream.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2013, 08:49:33 pm »
Well, I have no expectations that anyone else here will stand up for "respect", but I can dream.

Peter that last reply to you from bob was uncalled for. I suspect you and I might be on different sides of the access fence but you didn't deserve that. To be fair, now it's calmed down a bit, the "other" thread has at least turned into something a bit healthier.

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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 08:53:43 pm »
I am grateful to the face mole for proving my point so succinctly.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 09:07:57 pm »
I made no comment on OFD, as I have visited it fewer times than the others and never personally had to arrange access for it.

Peter, I meant no disrespect whatsoever towards David. I've no doubt, from your experience with him and the fact that he is a key member of the BCA, that he is more generous and has done more for caving than I likely ever will.

I was, if you like, ridiculing the statement. Not the man, not the people behind it. Nothing was meant to cause personal offence.

I think that the document was written mainly to provide advice with the hope of helping other cavers. However, it appears that this document has made an impression on many cavers and some landowners, so it is not beyond criticism or scrutiny.

Offline Anon

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 09:42:49 pm »
Quote
One reason for once having a leader was that the leader was required to know his or her way around, which is especially important when the river is in flood. It might not be free access, but it is a relaxation of access requirements, and (as far as I am aware) has led to a deterioration in safety witnessed by the increase in incidents (I am happy to be corrected if this is not so). Of course, everyone visiting under "free access" is also free to make their own call out arrangements - and under free access there will be a lot of cavers who won't, you can be sure of it.
Just a random thought and no doubt drifting off-topic, but are there more rescues from OFD because people blindly dive in to the cave, knowing full well they have this almost guaranteed backup or would there be less 'rescues' if no such backup existed? I don't know the figures on trips vs rescues but does Draenen (a comparable cave in terms of length and passage complexity) suffer the same amount of rescues?

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 09:48:22 pm »
ooooooo....get her!

Global Moderator Comment Please try and keep on topic.
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Offline graham

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 09:51:28 pm »
Just a random thought and no doubt drifting off-topic, but are there more rescues from OFD because people blindly dive in to the cave, knowing full well they have this almost guaranteed backup or would there be less 'rescues' if no such backup existed? I don't know the figures on trips vs rescues but does Draenen (a comparable cave in terms of length and passage complexity) suffer the same amount of rescues?
Not related to Peter's point which was not about the absolute number of rescues, but about the increase in number after a change in access conditions. i do not know whether his figures are correct, but would be interested to hear whether they are or not.
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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2013, 10:26:38 pm »
One reason I don't post much here now is because of the, quite frankly, painful lack of respect shown by what is a minority of members here, but nevertheless they sour the atmosphere for everyone else.

Respect is earned. It is not an automatic right.

I have no doubt the man works very hard, but it does not, at any point, confer automatic respect.
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Offline Anon

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2013, 10:38:27 pm »
Just a random thought and no doubt drifting off-topic, but are there more rescues from OFD because people blindly dive in to the cave, knowing full well they have this almost guaranteed backup or would there be less 'rescues' if no such backup existed? I don't know the figures on trips vs rescues but does Draenen (a comparable cave in terms of length and passage complexity) suffer the same amount of rescues?
Not related to Peter's point which was not about the absolute number of rescues, but about the increase in number after a change in access conditions. i do not know whether his figures are correct, but would be interested to hear whether they are or not.
Considering access has only changed within the last year (ish) it is hardly a fair comparison, I would think a few years is required before a reasonable assessment can be made on the true impact.

I would guess OFD I has become more popular because of easier access, I've certainly made use of this easier access in the last year. Prior to this change I always assumed it would be a pain in the arse to arrange a trip, based partly on the DYO experience where the "availability" of leaders is somewhat sketchy, where it's not what you know it's who you know seems to ring true..
It is blatantly obvious more trips equals more potential for rescues. Are those alleged extra incidents because of flooding (2012 has been one of the wettest years on record) or just getting lost - are they lost in OFD I or II? Would those rescues still have occurred if they were on a Cwm Dwr-Top through trip? As can be seen a significant number of variables come in to play.

Either way, rescue statistics are irrelevant and have no bearing on cave access issues. If that were the case Porth-yr-Ogof should have been a leader system years ago!  ::)

Offline danthecavingman

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 12:01:27 am »
Blackholesun clearly stated at the outset:

"This is not meant to be an entirely serious post."

Anyways...

The thread has drifted way off topic. My response here is mainly in reply to Mr Burgess.

I will add my thoughts on OFD1 and the system in general. I do not think there was any implication that access to OFD should be 'free'.

OFD1 has had a leader system in place for many years (more than I can remember), in order to satisfy the wishes of the Land Owners at Y Grithig and keep the numbers of cavers crossing their land (very close to their house) to a reasonable minimum. There is an added factor that the water supply for Y Grithig used to and may still, come from Ffynnon Ddu. Less cavers = less mucky water. Recently, the previous owners of Y Grithig have moved on, and access is no longer via the garden and seems to no longer be an issue.

Realistically, the Fynnon Ddu streamway in OFD1 is no more dangerous than the streamway in Ffynnon Ddu 2. Both are extremely dangerous in high water and easily under-estimated or mis-judged by inexperienced or unlucky parties. In either section of the streamway, knowing when to stay out of the stream, when to get out of the stream, and very importantly, how to get out of the stream are all crucial if one is to venture into the said streamway. Understanding the risk of flooding and the requisite of knowing the escape routes were the entry level requirements along with general route finding to allow one to be named as an OFD1 leader.
I risk opening myself to attack here but here goes:
Most of the rescues from the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu system are due to inexperienced parties losing their way whilst attempting through trips between the various entrances.
It would not suprise me in the slightest, that due to the withdrawl of the requirement to have an OFD1 leader with you when go into the bottom end of the system, that the number of callouts has increased, quite simply due to people getting lost in a very complicated and easily misjudged cave system. This will iron itself out in a few years, and will be nothing to do with the original requirement for the leader system which was geared around the risk of parties being caught out by flooding. To be an OFD1 leader, you did not have to know your way from Boulder Chamber to the Diver's Pitch and then onward through Cwm Dwr. However, if you wanted to do the through trip, you needed a leader, and as experienced OFD cavers, most of the leaders knew their way having caved extensively throughout the system.....As more people become familiar with the route, the callouts will decrease.
My advice to anyone wishing to explore the Ffynnon Ddu system would be to do as I and many others have - learn it slowly by yourself through trial and error and gradually increasing the distance and complexity of your trips. Do not expect to wander into OFD1, Cwm Dwr or Top Entrance, having never visited the system previously and expect to find your route through between the entrances. At all times, be aware of the potential severe danger posed by flooding in the main streamway. Go in when the water is low. Learn what the streamway is like. Learn the escape routes. Get to know the 'trade' routes.
Having been on the wrong end of the OFD streamway many years ago with someone who claimed to know the cave, but was clearly way out of their depth, I can say from experience that you do not want to be caught out. Once you are committed and things are out of hand, it is too late...we were lucky that water levels had peaked...

Free access to the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu system is not on the agenda here and not what the OP was inferring. The OFD system and the catchment are not CRoW land, they are a National Nature Reserve and access is controlled by CCW with access to the caves being managed in conjunction with the SWCC. No-one has suggested open access to OFD....

I would argue that the SWCC policy of rescue from OFD is a little over zealous, but something that parties should bear in mind given that trip length and complexity are easily overlooked in a system as big and complicated as Ogof Ffynnon Ddu.....

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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 08:03:23 am »
To clarify a few things:

My view is that the BCA statement is worthy of a discussion - no problem.

To decide whether Dave is being ridiculed by association (not directly) I merely thought of myself in his position and how the comments might come over to me - it's not a bad thing sometimes to imagine your name in a comment, and then read through a comment to see what you think, and whether to "go into print".

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu is relevant to the discussion as it is mentioned in the BCA statement.

It is my opinion that the access framework at Ogof Ffynnon Ddu makes visits to the cave a degree safer (for reasons I have already explained, around the business of using the ticket system), even if no more cavers were to visit in the unlikely event of "free access".

Respect can be earnt, of course. But earning it is not a precondition of receiving it. There are countless landowners I have never met, have no idea what kind of people they are, but they deserve my respect if I am at all interested in visiting their property.

Earning respect is a great concept, however. If more people here (and in the wider world), tried to earn a bit of respect for themselves and not just decide who to dish it out to (or not), we might all just bump along together a bit more productively.

Offline G. Hardwick

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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2013, 09:21:16 am »

Respect is earned. It is not an automatic right.


How does that work then?

If I meet a person for the first time must I be prepared to endure several days/weeks/months of offhand and insulting treatment before that person decides that I am worthy of respect?

I don`t think the vast majority of people work this way for the excellent reason that life would be unpleasant for most people most of the time.

Respect IS an automatic right on first acquaintance. It can later be forfeit. Anyone who suggests otherwise just hasn`t thought things through.

Offline owd git

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Re: BCA statement on CROW land
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2013, 11:42:04 am »

Respect is earned. It is not an automatic right.


How does that work then?

If I meet a person for the first time must I be prepared to endure several days/weeks/months of offhand and insulting treatment before that person decides that I am worthy of respect?

I don`t think the vast majority of people work this way for the excellent reason that life would be unpleasant for most people most of the time.

Respect IS an automatic right on first acquaintance. It can later be forfeit. Anyone who suggests otherwise just hasn`t thought things through.
Whilst I respect the first posters right to an opinion;  :tease:
I respect, and agree with the thoughtfulness and decent tone of G. Hardwicks reply. :clap2: :thumbsup:
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« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:46:36 am by Rhys, Reason: name removed from thread title »
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Offline jonnyrocketboots

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Re: BCA statement on CROW land
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2013, 12:20:31 pm »
A little while ago I had a Gentlewomans through trip in Derbyshire with a few mates and asked for any info on this forum.  Owd Git went out of his way to tape some gen underneath the lid (and unknown to me!) on the exit in Matlock.  Was a nice surprise and I learned a lot from info received.

A successful trip and a great day out was had by all, So O.G. certainly has my respect for his help. One day I hope I can return the favour somehow.

 :bow:Cheers OG!
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Re: BCA/Judson statement on CROW land
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2013, 01:35:45 pm »

Respect is earned. It is not an automatic right.


How does that work then?


Some people get my respect almost immediately, some will never get it. Most fall somewhere between.

I do not subscribe to the theory that You should automatically respect people in a position of "power". They are still people, the same as the rest of us, and like us, their attitude and actions define how quickly/if they gain respect
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Offline droid

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Re: BCA statement on CROW land
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2013, 02:25:32 pm »
All very true, but with the caveat that people that don't show respect tend not to get it.
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Offline bob monkhouses face mole

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Re: BCA statement on CROW land
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2013, 03:24:33 pm »
I will respect a person. I will not respect pomp or ego.

Mr. Burgess sor, I agree with what you said, just not how you said it.  :beer2:?

 

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