Author Topic: Concreting Drws Cefn  (Read 195987 times)

Offline rich

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #300 on: September 29, 2015, 11:58:39 pm »
I'm going to make an argument for closing Drws Cefn (because it's been a while since we've done this). It's fine if you have a diffo opinion but please remember if you're e.g.  a northern caver who has never visited Draenen but feel allergic to closing bits of cave, the many club reps who voted to close the entrance probably thought about the issue rather than going on a random power trip or decided they actually hated all cavers.

Drws Cefn is not in a terribly useful bit of the cave. The main entrance is located centrally, whilst Drws Cefn only knocks off a bit of time if you're going to the SE of the cave. I reckon you can traverse between the main entrance and where Drws Cefn enters in under an hour if you're a fairly speedy caver.

However, if you're a beginner then distances take a fair bit longer to cover and Drws Cefn being open does make bits of the SE of the cave a lot more accessible. This is the bit of the cave where the most extensive and delicate formations live. Having to go the longer way from the main entrance does add a natural barrier of some caving experience. So the main argument for closing Drws Cefn is conservation.

I like Draenen but some bits of it are pretty boring and are only tolerable by caving fast. The through trip between the main entrance and Drws Cefn is pretty much a tour of the most tedious bits. So if you're feeling awfully sad about this potential loss, you're not missing much.

The far SE end of Draenen is pretty remote (I think it's the furthest distance-wise you can go underground from an entrance in the UK?) and some cavers prefer it that way. Whether this is a good argument is a matter of taste but doesn't make someone evil for holding it (it's worth considering how different an experience caving in Ffynnon Ddu would be if OFD II / Cwm Dwr had never been opened up).

Closing entrances, even with concrete, isn't permanent and cavers/landowners might decide in the future to open things back up. A locked gate might be a compromise but given how keen certain parties have been to remove gates / break padlocks / steal bat counters etc. and risk losing access to Draenen altogether doesn't give a lot of confidence that it would stay in place.

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #301 on: September 30, 2015, 12:29:17 am »
Yeah, but NRW don't like it, and see it as having an adverse affect on air movement, and on bats. Maybe a gate might be better, and could give Tony some more scrap metal purloining opportunities.

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #302 on: September 30, 2015, 12:32:23 am »
Don't worry Tony, I'll give you an alibi..

Offline NigR

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #303 on: September 30, 2015, 02:07:12 am »
Yeah, but NRW don't like it, and see it as having an adverse affect on air movement, and on bats. Maybe a gate might be better, and could give Tony some more scrap metal purloining opportunities.

Tony doesn't want them for scrap metal, he really does collect the bloody things! Bit of a weird hobby if you ask me but there you go.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #304 on: September 30, 2015, 08:52:33 am »
This is basic. Drws Cefn is a cave. We are cavers, and we want caves to be open. Although some of those who support closing Drws are my friends, fellow alumni of OUCC, with respect, I think they are deeply, appallingly wrong. I am utterly dismayed that any cavers should wish to block a cave - especially one that happens to lie on CROW land. It has been open for years already, without any conservation catastrophes taking place. It isn't a particularly easy trip: it imposes its own access restrictions. Those who seek the challenge and "wilderness experience" of a trip to the end of Draenen from the original entrance are still free to pursue this, in much the same way as they can try an OFD one to three and back trip: knowing Top Entrance is there does not detract from this. (I once supported the wilderness argument in a letter to Descent, but I have changed my mind.)

Why should Draenen be treated differently from the Three Counties system? Would anyone argue we should close all the entrances to Easegill - Link -Pippikin except Top Sink? Because the logic of closing Drws is exactly the same. Caves are where you find them. This one happens to have two entrances. That's just the way it is. 

Online PeteHall

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #305 on: September 30, 2015, 11:02:35 am »
Having to go the longer way from the main entrance does add a natural barrier of some caving experience. So the main argument for closing Drws Cefn is conservation.

Nothing natural about reinforced concrete.  :thumbsdown:

It's naturally a multi-entrance cave system
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #306 on: September 30, 2015, 11:28:02 am »
Actually, to be strictly accurate, nature determined at some time that it was a no-entrance cave. Only human intervention has resulted in this situation changing.

Offline NigR

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #307 on: September 30, 2015, 12:12:16 pm »
Very good point, Peter.

Perhaps we should fill ALL the entrances in and just put it back to how it was.

And, of course, never go looking for other entrances ever again!

Without doubt, the Ultimate Conservation Plan.

Do you think this might provide the solution we are all searching for?

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #308 on: September 30, 2015, 12:15:59 pm »
I am not answering that, as my point was merely to point out that artificially blocking an entrance is no more natural than artificially digging one out. One is simply the reverse of the other.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #309 on: September 30, 2015, 12:22:44 pm »
I am aware of a number of instances where deliberately blocking has been deemed by cavers a sensible thing to do, for a variety of reasons. Whether a specific instance can be justified or not is simply down to those who are fully aware of the reasons and can make the best judgement. Those who are not involved or who have never been there, and may never do so, ought to let those who are involved work out what to do.

Offline rich

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #310 on: September 30, 2015, 12:27:31 pm »
Nothing natural about reinforced concrete.  :thumbsdown:

It's naturally a multi-entrance cave system

Drws Cefn isn't natural either. It was blasted open. It's no more natural than a borehole.

There are many other cases where bits of cave have had restricted access for the good of the cave. Asking cavers to walk a bit further to visit bits of a cave is not such an onerous restriction. cf the Columns in OFD, Dan yr Ogof, St. Cuthbert's...

Online Alex

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #311 on: September 30, 2015, 12:56:57 pm »
Quote
Drws Cefn isn't natural either. It was blasted open. It's no more natural than a borehole.

There are many other cases where bits of cave have had restricted access for the good of the cave. Asking cavers to walk a bit further to visit bits of a cave is not such an onerous restriction. cf the Columns in OFD, Dan yr Ogof, St. Cuthbert's...

But you are asking a lot more than to walk a bit further or cave a bit longer. To get at the current entrance is a right faff:

First you need several weeks notice.
You also need to send an envelope that contains a 20 pound cheque (who uses cheques nowadays?).
A jiffy bag - I actually Googled that one to find out what it was.
A self addressed envelope.
A club letter head.
A few first class stamps.
And hope it all does not get lost in the mail!

All this just to go caving...

Surely the keys should be held at the pub and/or at various club huts. I know the land-owner wishes it to be locked but it does not have to be such a pain to get the keys?

That is my main problem, though of course the second entrance is a big secret so I have no idea where it is anyway.
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 NigR

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #312 on: September 30, 2015, 01:32:40 pm »
Drws Cefn isn't natural either. It was blasted open. It's no more natural than a borehole.

Interesting that you feel the need to deliberately put out totally false information in order to bolster your argument.

The entrance to Drws Cefn is a completely natural feature (a small vertical pothole) that became infilled with glacial deposits at the end of the last ice age. These deposits were then removed to reveal the open cave passage which lay beneath. Further on, this passage was indeed enlarged artificially during the course of its exploration but this is no different to what you find with many caves, including the original Ogof Draenen entrance.


Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #313 on: September 30, 2015, 01:44:11 pm »
Quote

Surely the keys should be held at the pub and/or at various club huts. I know the land-owner wishes it to be locked but it does not have to be such a pain to get the keys?

That is my main problem, though of course the second entrance is a big secret so I have no idea where it is anyway.


 :smartass: Since you may be one of the few who do not know the location of the entrance to Drws Cefn
Purely in the public interest here it is in an interactive map.  :clap2:
http://www.ogof.org.uk/Clydach-Gorge-Cave-Location-Map.html

Online royfellows

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #314 on: September 30, 2015, 01:48:04 pm »

But you are asking a lot more than to walk a bit further or cave a bit longer. To get at the current entrance is a right faff:

First you need several weeks notice.
You also need to send an envelope that contains a 20 pound cheque (who uses cheques nowadays?).
A jiffy bag - I actually Googled that one to find out what it was.
A self addressed envelope.
A club letter head.
A few first class stamps.
And hope it all does not get lost in the mail!

All this just to go caving...

Surely the keys should be held at the pub and/or at various club huts. I know the land-owner wishes it to be locked but it does not have to be such a pain to get the keys?

That is my main problem, though of course the second entrance is a big secret so I have no idea where it is anyway.

This a serious question.

Is everything above for real?
A club letterhead?
So if you don't belong to a club its hard luck

No wonder there is falling out amongst cavers. I appreciate the need to protect certain sites and the necessity for access controls, but really!
Sorry about my ignorance of such things but I am a mining man
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Offline rich

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #315 on: September 30, 2015, 02:01:41 pm »
But you are asking a lot more than to walk a bit further or cave a bit longer. To get at the current entrance is a right faff.

It used to be the case that you could phone up for permission and the code and then access the cave using the padlock combination. It worked pretty well - some security with minimum inconvenience for cavers and was the most open of all the big Welsh systems (bar Daren maybe).

Then we had to change to a lock because liberties taken by certain parties regarding events discussed in this thread pissed off the landowner (cheers dudes). It is indeed a right annoyance and is worth bearing in mind if you think the PDCMG are not trying to get access for cavers and fighting over Drws Cefn is of no consequence.

Several local clubs possess keys. I'm not sure what the deal is with lending them out is but you might just be able to ask. Failing that ask on here if someone fancies a trip. Probably easier than sending an SAE.

The Drws Cefn location isn't a secret; you can find it on the PDCMG site: www.pdcmg.org.uk/SF%20DRWS%20CEFN.pdf (SF = Stuart France?) But bear in mind the landowner has asked no one to go down it so if you do you are risking even worse relations and access to Draenen as a whole.

Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #316 on: September 30, 2015, 02:05:19 pm »
[quote  The Drws Cefn location isn't a secret; you can find it on the PDCMG site: www.pdcmg.org.uk/SF%20DRWS%20CEFN.pdf (SF = Stuart France?) But bear in mind the landowner has asked no one to go down it so if you do you are risking even worse relations and access to Draenen as a whole.
[/quote]

It is also on Open Access (CROW) land!

Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #317 on: September 30, 2015, 02:18:01 pm »


 bear in mind the landowner has asked no one to go down it so if you do you are risking even worse relations and access to Draenen as a whole.

Hey Rich, how about a compromise solution in the form of an exit only gate at Drws Cefn?  No short cut to the heart of the cave, no second entrance as per landowner's wishes.   Saves a bit of face on both sides, and finally resolves the issue to most people's satisfaction.   It works at Fairy/Hilliers on Mendip. 
Andy Sparrow



Offline rich

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #318 on: September 30, 2015, 02:18:57 pm »
This a serious question.

Is everything above for real?
A club letterhead?
So if you don't belong to a club its hard luck

No wonder there is falling out amongst cavers. I appreciate the need to protect certain sites and the necessity for access controls, but really!
Sorry about my ignorance of such things but I am a mining man

Looks like Alex is mistaken or a bit out of date:

http://www.pdcmg.org.uk/access.htm

Further details of current access are available to member clubs; all others should contact the Access Officer in order to apply for a key: applications should come with only the stamp for a large envelope and an address label (jiffy bag not required)).

Hopefully access will be made easier in the future. Before that can happen we should look for some sort of resolution with Drws Cefn and for everyone to calm down a bit. This will definitely not be helped by people going down Drws Cefn. We could lose all access to Draenen. We really don't want another Ogof T1 situation.

Online royfellows

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #319 on: September 30, 2015, 02:31:16 pm »
Looks fair enough.
As an outsider looking in its difficult to make any assessments of the situation if opposing arguments are being misrepresented. This will usually end up going tit for tat anyway.

Thank you.
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Online Alex

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #320 on: September 30, 2015, 02:39:07 pm »
It must have changed since I was there in Spring then. I certainly did have to do all that. Infact it still says I need to do all that looking at this website:

http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/cave_access.html

Which is where I looked as its the first thing that comes up regarding access on a Google search.

Oh well I had a good scavenger hunt finding all the bits.
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 NigR

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #321 on: September 30, 2015, 02:44:55 pm »
[quote  The Drws Cefn location isn't a secret; you can find it on the PDCMG site: www.pdcmg.org.uk/SF%20DRWS%20CEFN.pdf (SF = Stuart France?) But bear in mind the landowner has asked no one to go down it so if you do you are risking even worse relations and access to Draenen as a whole.

It is also on Open Access (CROW) land!
[/quote]

That is quite correct, although the prime movers behind the concreting of Drws Cefn are equally steadfast in their opposition to CRoW being applied to caving.

In fact, this could partly explain why they were so determined to get it all over and done with at the present time. Once caving does come under CRoW (as it surely one day will) they would find it increasingly difficult to get their way.

Thanks to Rich for the link to Stuart's 2009 presentation on Drws Cefn, I hadn't viewed it for a while. Perhaps one point to note is that the gate is no longer there and has not been for more than five years now. I suspect (but it is only a hunch) that it may have found its rightful resting place in Tony's Official Cave Gate Museum mentioned earlier!

Online royfellows

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #322 on: September 30, 2015, 02:51:35 pm »
It must have changed since I was there in Spring then. I certainly did have to do all that. Infact it still says I need to do all that looking at this website:

http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/cave_access.html

Which is where I looked as its the first thing that comes up regarding access on a Google search.


I feel that the access position needs clarification, I find myself looking at two different hymn sheets.
As a member of CCC I am unhappy with this.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #323 on: September 30, 2015, 02:55:40 pm »
Spending more time coming to an amicable arrangement, and less time rubbishing the motives of those one doesn't agree with, might help to bring a resolution closer. One can only dream.

Online royfellows

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Re: Concreting Drws Cefn
« Reply #324 on: September 30, 2015, 03:00:42 pm »
Sorry but I am all questions

I still note that there are clubs that only allow access to people who are members of other clubs, and yet BCA membership which includes the insurance is open to all.

Why is this?
can someone please enlighten me
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