Author Topic: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.  (Read 24854 times)

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #150 on: April 17, 2013, 04:13:52 pm »
The point is that the "Derbyshire key" system is designed to reassure landowners etc. that children or unsuspecting walkers cannot gain access or fall down a shaft accidentally and then sue the landowners if they have an accident.  It is not designed to keep cavers out of caves or mines where they would otherwise need a permit for entry.

It is accepted that anyone "in the know" will be able to gain access (whether they are from a recognised club or not) and they don't need permission in advance.  However,  the person using a spanner to gain entry has done so deliberately and is therefore assumed to have full knowledge of what they are expecting to encounter, so they would be unlikely to be able to get far if they attempted to sue the landowner. 

There are a few cases in Derbyshire where, at the request of the landowner or for some special conservation reason, some type of permit system or prior arrangement for a leader is in place; these caves and mines do have a lock on them.




Offline Space Kadet

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #151 on: April 17, 2013, 10:52:00 pm »
The points of view in this thread appear to be logical and reasonable however people are generally none of these things. 

Acts of vandalism, violence, or sabotage aimed at a cave or anything in general are not always motivated by logical things such as taking someones kit or revenge for the lack of access to a cave.

To quote Batmans butler Alfred: "Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn". 

There is no logic to breaking down a door to a cave to then do nothing in the cave, but then we are not dealing with logical people. 

Caves have to be protected for the future and if that means you can't get access exactley when you want then that is a small price to pay if you look at what future generations of cavers have to loose.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #152 on: April 18, 2013, 12:34:36 pm »
Space Kadet,
Does it not seem like a lot of effort for an act of pure vandalism? It's not like they spray painted some genitalia on the gate. This requires time, an expensive power tool and a willingness to do it with a real risk of being heard or caught half way through.

Whether it was a personal vendetta or frustration against access or something else is hard to decide without knowing who to ask, but the idea that they did it for the fun of the vandalism and then happened to go for an explore afterwards seems very unlikely.

As this thread is on the consequences of access, I'm going to suggest that, if on that day, the gate to Aggy had been secured with a Derbyshire key instead of a padlock, then the only real difference would be a smaller repair bill.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #153 on: April 18, 2013, 01:01:47 pm »
Space Kadet has a realistic attitude to this. Believe it or not, there ARE people whose whole agenda is to explore places they are excluded from, just for the kick, and they are not driven by any kind of access agenda. Maybe it's a rebel thing. One in the eye for "authority" or whatever. Give them a key and all the fun is lost. Go check out a few "alternative" exploration websites and you will see what I mean.

Offline bograt

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #154 on: April 18, 2013, 01:07:43 pm »
Yes, just google "Urbex", this is a problem we (as "legit" cavers) will have to give consideration to.
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Offline Pete K

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #155 on: April 18, 2013, 01:13:41 pm »
On one particular website you can read about break-ins to Holme Bank Chert Mine near Bakewell. You can gain legit access to that with a walk of about 20 metres to the office building and ask there. Sometimes it's trespassing for trespassing's sake, getting their kicks if you will.
However I doubt that is what is happening in Wales currently with some gates repeatedly being tampered with.

Offline blackholesun

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #156 on: April 18, 2013, 01:46:48 pm »
I didn't think that's what Space Kadet was proposing. I think that he was saying that they may have done it for the fun of breaking the lock, not for the fun of getting inside.

I'm aware of Urbex and have known some of its practitioners. Though I'm not expert, I think that one of its common themes, possibly its only ethic, is that no damage is done. I believe that breaking in with power tools is viewed as cheating, lacking in skill, and risks drawing negative attention to the sport. Obviously not everyone who breaks into things for fun goes along with this.

Back to the topic of the thread, the above 3 posts suggest to me that if we allow access to a cave in a way that doesn't require a key, then the problem of people trying to break in for fun to that cave would disappear.


Offline bograt

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #157 on: April 18, 2013, 01:56:39 pm »
if we allow access to a cave in a way that doesn't require a key, then the problem of people trying to break in for fun to that cave would disappear.

With you on that one Blackhole, all it takes is advising folks to take along another spanner, if the bolts are fitted properly it would also offer more of a challenge to a cordless angle grinder.
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Offline Space Kadet

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #158 on: April 18, 2013, 07:46:56 pm »
I didn't mean there should be open access to all caves, quite the opposite.  I meant there are idiots out there who don't gave a dam and caves need protecting from these people.

The trouble is the harder you make it to break into a cave the more of a challege you make it for these morons. 

I suggest getting hold of an old blast door from a warship and at fitting it to Aggy along with and internal lock, except someone would turn up with a thermic lance.

Where can you get hold of land mines??     


Offline robjones

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #159 on: April 18, 2013, 10:32:19 pm »
On one particular website you can read about break-ins to Holme Bank Chert Mine near Bakewell. You can gain legit access to that with a walk of about 20 metres to the office building and ask there. Sometimes it's trespassing for trespassing's sake, getting their kicks if you will.
However I doubt that is what is happening in Wales currently with some gates repeatedly being tampered with.

If you have access to a good collection of Descent, check out letters on p.37 in 62 and pp.36-7 in 64 wherein the (late?*) Bob Lewis set out why he enjoyed gaining access outwith normal channels. I do not condone his actions but find them intriguing as his letters provide insight into at least one variety of mindset that derives satisfaction from gaining access this way.

[* no reference to an obit in the Descent indices down to no.133 but I seem to recall reading one in Descent some years ago] 

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #160 on: April 19, 2013, 03:29:18 pm »
Worth noting that in the 1970's DCA administered access to the Clayton Adit of Ecton Copper Mines and, because of the proximity of a caravan site with children, the owner insisted that there must be a locked gate on the adit.  The gate was put on and next to it a polite notice which explained that the mine was kept locked because of danger to children and the key was available, free of charge, from the following address ...

I had to maintain a set of 8 keys because the owner wanted one, the local police station wanted one and one was kept at the cave rescue store.  Each time the lock was cut off, the local PC called me at work and told me and  I immediately went and bought another lock and 8 keys, sent the 3 out to the other holders and kept the 5 for loan.  We deliberately went for cheap brass padlocks, which we knew were easy to break off, because we knew it would happen again, and again, ...

Then the clever b*****s went and cut a hole in the 3/8 steel plate door and a chunk out of the frame using  oxy-acetylene cutters so that it was no longer possible to lock the gate.

Result: the owner apologised to DCA and said he could no longer risk it and walled up the entrance - so no access for anyone via the easy route ever again.

Ever heard of cutting off your nose to spite your face?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #161 on: June 26, 2013, 12:42:57 pm »
Bearing in mind all the recent discussions on UKcaving, at the BCA AGM on 16 June and as an Direct Individual Member of BCA, I put forward a proposal re. access to caves on land covered by CRoW Legislation in England:

"That BCA investigates the position with regard to access to caves on CRoW land in England and reports back to BCA Council as soon as possible."

In the discussion document making the proposal I set out some points which I felt needed to be investigated in the different regions and ended by saying:

"Note that I would suggest also that, if the proposal is passed, the best way to get things going would be to set up an informal working party composed of representatives from the English Regional Councils, cave scientists and other interested bodies to do the fact-finding and start the discussions, initially via a closed list on the internet.  This will require someone to act as Convenor in the first instance and, in the absence of other offers, I would be willing to do this myself."

After discussion my proposal was accepted by BCA and I was appointed convenor of this informal working group with the request that I report back on progress in the first instance to the October Council meeting of BCA.  (Note that the text of the discussion document will be on the BCA website in due course with the Minutes of the meeting.)  I have already spoken to a few people involved in conservation and access arrangements and intend to make a start on collecting information shortly.  Note that the investigation is limited to the situation in England precisely because things are different in Scotland and Wales.

If anyone is interested in helping I would be grateful if you could PM me please.

Thanks,
Jenny P

Offline peterk

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #162 on: June 26, 2013, 06:18:58 pm »
Sorry if I've missed this but other than the "appropriate Countryside Body" what differences exist in the CROW legislation between Wales and England?

Offline zomjon

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #163 on: June 26, 2013, 06:33:09 pm »
Well done Jenny, for not only being ready to plough through all those long and at times torturous threads to do with this issue, but then taking really positive steps to look into issues.

Offline Stuart Anderson

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #164 on: June 26, 2013, 08:14:39 pm »
Well done Jenny. A pm will be forthcoming when I get back from work.
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And all around me a voice was sounding
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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Conservation and consequences of CRoW access applied to caving.
« Reply #165 on: June 26, 2013, 09:24:09 pm »
Sorry if I've missed this but other than the "appropriate Countryside Body" what differences exist in the CROW legislation between Wales and England?

The argument went that CROW is "enforced" in Wales by a different body (Countryside Council for Wales as was, now Natural Resources Wales) who apparently has a slightly different view to the body in England (Natural England).  The concerns being expressed arose around english caves so the focus should be on them.