Author Topic: Minera Quarry change of ownership  (Read 3276 times)

Offline robjones

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Minera Quarry change of ownership
« on: November 06, 2016, 06:10:06 pm »
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-37879270    6 Nov 2016:

"Wrexham's Minera Quarry could be 'spectacular reserve'.

A disused quarry near Wrexham looks set to be taken over by the North Wales Wildlife Trust to create a "spectacular" nature reserve.
The Minera quarry, which mined limestone for more than 200 years, closed in 1994.
It is home to varied habitats, including wildflower-rich meadows, and parts have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Owners Tarmac will present the proposal to its board by the end of the year.
The trust said it was working with Tarmac to develop the details of the site transfer.
Simon Mills, North Wales Wildlife Trust trustee, said: "We, along with support from Minera Quarry Trust, have been in discussions with Tarmac for many years on the possible transfer of the quarry to the Trust and we hope this will soon happen."
Lloyd McInally, Tarmac's property estates manager, said the firm felt the trust were "the right group" to enhance the site for "future generations".
The site is also home to a network of caves and tunnels."

Hopefully a change of ownership would not result in access implications for cavers. Maybe a matter for Cambrian Caving Council?

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 06:34:02 pm »
I am pretty sure North Wales Caving Club already hold access agreements there and will (if they have not already) be looking to maintain them.

Perhaps someone from NWCC could comment?

 :)

Ian
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Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 09:56:02 pm »
I guess that explains why this site has rotted away over the last 5 or so years then?

http://www.mineraquarry.org.uk/

Offline timwatts

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 11:40:26 pm »
Well done rob. I just came on to post the same! Perhaps this could be a good opportunity for a more relaxed rewrite of the access agreement to be more open,  combo lock,  derbyshire key,  for all bca/insured people?
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Online Dave Tyson

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 08:59:43 am »
I will be interesting to see if the new organisation is more approachable than Tarmac when it comes to digging. There are areas in the quarry which are not included in the SSSI and have some interest - New Passage Pot being one of them. This would just need agreement of the new landowner and a JCB...

Dave

Offline droid

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 09:18:56 am »
A JCB?

Is Minera in the Mendips?
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Badlad

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 10:03:38 am »
Worth noting in any renegotiation of access that there is no need to restrict access on insurance grounds alone, as the insurers have stated;

"Cover for the landowner extends to incidents arising from all visitors whose objective of their visit is the cave or abandoned mine, not just those who are members of BCA."

As far as I am aware the BCA have no desire to see access restricted to their members only.  There may, of course, be other reasons for restrictions but landowner indemnity should not be one of them.  This has been very useful in ongoing negotiations in the Dales. Well done BCA.

Offline timwatts

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 11:02:14 am »
good point. :-)
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Offline dom

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 12:13:25 pm »
I was at the meeting of Minera Quarry Trust & North Wales Wildlife Trust last night. There were a lot of positives from the meeting, inasmuchas the caves and mines being an important aspect of what they want to achieve (that's my reading of it anyway). Their aspect on access arrangements is that (whatever form it takes) needs to be funded and safe & legal - I am guessing that from their perspective, they would need a good, well-argued reason to change access arrangements.

Although it wasn't mentioned, my hunch is that (so long as safety and legal issues were covered) exploration and extension wouldn't in-and-of itself be an issue - primarily so long as the ecology and environment were not damaged....so a JCB may not be a go-er Dave :)

There were several cavers there who may have another perspective on how they viewed the meeting?

Also note that many of the caves & mines in the immediate surrounding area are NOT actually part of quarry land so there'd be no change in their status (eg the mines to the south-west of the railway, Ogof Malwen etc)

What they DO need from people is volunteers and involvement, as well as fundraising (link below), so I would suggest that anyone with an interest get involved and help shape the future of the quarry.

http://www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/how-you-can-help/minera-appeal



Online Dave Tyson

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 08:24:14 pm »
That sounds quite positive. A lot of the quarry is excluded from the SSSI at present and so any digging or other work would just need permission from the landowner.  I guess a definitive map of the area would be useful to delineate the boundaries - I think NRW can probably provide a base map on a scale of 1:5000 or better.  Certainly there are a few holes in the quarry which would repay further investigation if agreement can be reached on in-fill disposal without damaging any plant life etc.  In addition to caving the quarry has several faces which have (unofficially) bolted as climbing routes. It would be good if access to these could be regularised.

Dave

Offline dom

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 09:32:13 am »
Dave - re the quarry boundaries - we were shown a map of the confirmed boundaries, and were told that part of the delay was due to Tarmac having to resolve numerous boundary issues, now resolved. Now, while the map wasn't an OS overlay, it did appear to me that the quarry area now covers all of the area that common sense would dictate as "the quarry" i.e. within the outside fenced area, going all the way up to the cliff just below the farm to the north west. Additionally they said that the new owners of said farm, as well as the land/SSSI to the north of the quarry want to "work with" the Trust and between them they have already cleared a lot of the debris from the woodland to the north, which obviously contains a lot of mineshafts (but I'm not aware of any caves up there). The grey area is the land immediately north of the end of Maes Y Fynnon road, which also contains a lot of shafts - that ownership continues as previously.

Given their stated aim of fostering the caving aspect of MQ, I would hope that if cost, legalities and environmental impact were all covered off, as well as the most relevant point to cavers, who "controls" any digs then I don't see an issue, especially if something like New Passage Pot could be re-discovered/re-opened as it may be something that would generate positive press and interest. Ditto the entrances on the Benches that are currently the preserve of madmen & climbing specialists (and may not be worth the huge risk anyway).

As regards climbing, I'm just guessing but official sanction of (especially bolted) routes would be highly problematic given the innate dangers of quarry climbing, as well as potential issues regarding peregrine roosts.

Again, all of this is just my opinion !

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 08:46:52 pm »
there is a lost cave just under the quarry face that i would be interested in, and as regards climbing there are hundreds of sport climbing bolted route all over the country in dis-used quarries  so i think a quick word with bmc(or whatever they are calling themselves these days  :lol:) would help with negotiations on that aspect

Offline corax

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2016, 09:38:50 pm »
Would not the issue of safety be best solved by the installation of a fence or something substantial enough to prevent accidental entry but not to restrict deliberate entry around the entrances.

I guess legal issues relate to liability. Considering this quote in a previous post "Cover for the landowner extends to incidents arising from all visitors whose objective of their visit is the cave or abandoned mine, not just those who are members of BCA."  I assume any legal issues are as such covered. Although I expect such cover to only apply to sites registered to a BCA access controlling body.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2016, 09:44:16 pm »
Although I expect such cover to only apply to sites registered to a BCA access controlling body.
and that is such a simple thing to put in place

Online Dave Tyson

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2016, 09:45:53 pm »
With my Cambrian Caving Council/CAL hat on I'll try make contact next week with the trust. It would be good to get an idea of timescales and their views on liability.  BCA insurance can cover most of the liabilities for caver/mine-explorer access and I can make sure they are aware of this. I believe that the cover extends to others who aren't BCA members.

I think the point Mike made about using the BMC for leverage is also helpful. Some of the rock is terrible, but there are some areas which are reasonable and  most of the bird life is in less interesting areas. There do appear to be a few holes on the more challenging benches which might re-pay a closer look.

I would be very concerned if the trust adopted the same stance as the NRW has with respect to bats. We still have not managed to get any meaningful response for access to the Draethen Mine  - they just ignore all communications,  even from a bat expert who has inspected and surveyed the mine...

Dave

Offline Badlad

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2016, 11:29:57 am »
Although I expect such cover to only apply to sites registered to a BCA access controlling body.
and that is such a simple thing to put in place

It is my understanding that BCA landowner liability cover will apply to any site where the landowner permits access to cavers.  It is not reliant on the caves coming under the control of a body registered or otherwise.  Therefore the cover also applies to landowners who allow free access or access by courtesy call as you would expect.

A call to the BCA insurance manager would clarify the situation for you.

Offline timwatts

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2017, 10:19:14 pm »
Whats the latest??
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Online Dave Tyson

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 11:09:13 am »
Whats the latest??
I asked Simon Mills, one of the trustee's what the state of play was. His reply was:

"Still bogged down, despite some false dawns"

so still ongoing. Might happen in August...

Dave

Offline dom

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2017, 10:23:53 am »
Received yesterday - before anyone asks, no, I don't know what impact good or bad this otherwise great news will have re caving in MQ. There is a walk organised by NWWT this Sunday 2pm which obviously focuses on the flora and fauna of the site for anyone that is interested.

"You will, we’re sure, already be fully aware of the fact that North Wales Wildlife Trust have been in dialogue with Tarmac for some considerable time about the future of Minera Quarry.  The negotiations have been long and complex, but we’re delighted to announce that, at last, they have reached this conclusion: as of last week, the Wildlife Trust are the proud new owners!  (Tarmac have made a significant contribution to the essential safety work that will be taking place over the coming months – thank you!)

 We have only reached this stage because of the support of local people – whether through giving to our Christmas Challenge appeal in 2016; sharing stories of Minera’s past; or expressing an interest in the site’s future.  Whatever your involvement, thank you.  It is our intention to safeguard the site for the future as a nature reserve and true community asset in partnership with local people, with access routes and trails around key features; an ongoing series of public events; and of course a programme of essential conservation work including scrub clearance and considering the reintroduction of controlled grazing.

 In the immediate future, however, until the safety work has been undertaken, general access to the site will remain restricted to the public footpaths that criss-cross the nature reserve – these do, at least, permit much of the interesting features to be seen.  We would  really be very grateful for any help you can give in explaining this message to local people: nothing changes in the short term, but it won’t be long before Minera Quarry joins our official nature reserve list: all sites open all day, to everyone, for free.  At the point at which we feel confident that full public access is safe, we’ll make sure everyone hears the good news – and gets to experience a more wildlife-rich, better-interpreted site at the same time.

Finally, although we reached our Christmas Challenge target last year and have received some very generous donations since, we are still accepting donations via our website (www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk), by phone (01248 351541) or post (Llys Garth, Garth Road, BANGOR, Gwynedd, LL57 2RT – note the new address!).  Still better, Minera Quarry supporters can also become NWWT members from as little as £2.50/month – more information online at www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/join-our-trust – or register to volunteer with us!
 
If you have questions about Minera’s future, please send them to nwwt@wildlifetrustswales.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

All best wishes, and thank you again,

North Wales Wildlife Trust"


Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2017, 02:53:34 pm »
Thanks very much for that informative post, much appreciated.
There is a lost cave on the far end of the quarry that would be of interest

Offline dom

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2017, 03:09:47 pm »
Is it still lost??!! If you're referring to NPP, I think that any work of that nature would probably have to wait until NWWT have decided on a direction re any changes to cave access (the info I have is that things stay the same as is for now). But it would be fantastic if NWWT allowed interested parties to rediscover lost caves as there are undoubtedly more discoveries to be made.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2017, 03:37:52 pm »
ye could'nt agree more dom. hopefully nwwt will be on board with us re-discovering a lost cave.
i think it was lost 20 years ago i do remember seeing an old photo of the entrance passage with a huge boulder in it

Offline dom

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2017, 05:07:33 pm »
Yeah, back in the last century  :o

I believe NPP is buried under tons of rubble. Thats a lot of volunteers and/or mechanized assistance!!

There's also the various holes along the benches, I've counted at least 5 myself but they are all fairly risky to get to - someone somewhere must have investigated them at some time but there's no public record.


Online Wayland Smith

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2017, 05:16:38 pm »
NWWT will always be mainly interested in wildlife.
One way to get on there good side is for groups to offer help with things like Bat surveys.

Beating them up for access will likely end in tears. You will find that everywhere is the winter, or summer home of a protected species and access is refused.

Work with them.  :)

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Minera Quarry change of ownership
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2017, 07:47:24 pm »


Beating them up for access will likely end in tears. You will find that everywhere is the winter, or summer home of a protected species and access is refused.

Work with them.  :)

That is the whole point.
Nature is to enjoyed by everyone, just need to make sure we go about it in the right manner