Author Topic: Update on Twll Du  (Read 23441 times)

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2018, 10:09:24 am »
In the unfortunate situation of an accident in draenen with three out of four entrances sealed will this not pose a threat for rescue with time being an important factor ?

No.

Sorry, Rhys but the extraction of an injured caver from, for example, Big Country is bound to take considerably longer than if Twll Du were to be used and how you can so emphatically say otherwise is completely beyond me. Are you totally unfamiliar with the character and layout of the cave?

The "Modifying a cave just in case there is a rescue" excuse has been used over and over in order to justify the actions of the people who can't stand not getting their own way. I'm not debating it again.

Did you dig this new entrance open to facilitate rescues?

There may be good reasons for keeping this hole or other holes open. I don't believe that unnecessarily making the cave safer or easier is one of them.

I think I'm with andrewmc here. You spectacularly messed up on this one. Accept it. Stop wasting your energies fighting this and go dig elsewhere!

Rhys

Offline NameOfTheDragon

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2018, 10:29:29 am »
Apparently CADW are now keen to see the Nunnery and Drws entrances closed, as to get to these entrances requires cavers to walk on or across the tramroad, therefore causing further damage. I wonder who it was that brought the other two entrances into the conversation with CADW?
Is the tramroad that runs past Eglwys and Aggy a Scheduled Monument; if so we had better be careful.
I didn't think that my opinion of the PDCMG could sink any lower; but now it has. These vermin will stop at nothing to get their own way. They have nothing in common with the caving community that I have been a member of since the late '70s.

That is all very well, but PDCMG has to operate within the law and I wonder what you think PDCMG could have done differently? If you have a good faith suggestion then please do make it known.

As far as I am aware, Twll Du is currently the only entrance being actively investigated by Cadw, although Cadw doesn't answer to me or to PDCMG so it is possible that they could be looking further afield. PDCMG has not asked them to do so to the best of my knowledge, although it wouldn't be surprising if under the circumstances they were looking at the whole area a lot more carefully. You say "apparently" as if someone has told you this to be fact. Would you care to share why you think this?

Offline NameOfTheDragon

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2018, 10:47:04 am »
The point is: as I read it, a Stop notice applies to work, and going into a cave does not constitute work. Therefore how could it be a criminal offence to do so? Had a Stop notice been issued while the cave was still being dug, and the diggers then continued, it would have been a different matter. But we are where we are, and I can't quite see how it would be a crime to enter Twll Du is a notice were issued - which, please correct me if I'm wrong, so far has not happened.

I emailed Sue Mabbett of the PDCMG drawing her attention to my question on this thread yesterday. So far she hasn't posted or replied. I hope she will. It does seem to me that whatever stance one takes on Draenen, Twll Du and cave access restrictions, bringing the threat of the criminal law into this is a serious matter, and requires precision.

I see that Sue has now replied to your enquiry by email and she has wisely referred you to Cadw and/or the police for further information. Interpreting the legalities of things such as Stop Notices is not really something that PDCMG is able to do. For anyone who would like further information on this, please contact:

Cadw: Dr. Amelia Pannett <Amelia.Pannett@gov.wales>
Gwent Police: Maldwyn John <Maldwyn.John@gwent.pnn.police.uk>

Please note: the stop notice was NOT requested by PDCMG. This was Cadw's decision as the statutory body responsible for registered monuments.

Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2018, 11:06:05 am »

Did you dig this new entrance open to facilitate rescues?

You spectacularly messed up on this one. Accept it. Stop wasting your energies fighting this and go dig elsewhere!

Rhys

Interesting statements (accusations), Rhys.

Perhaps you might like to enlighten us all with the basis upon which they are made?

Or, even better, pass the evidence which you must most surely possess (otherwise, why would you say such things?) on to the policeman in charge of the investigation. I am certain he would be most interested to hear from you.

(Had you attended the PDCMG meeting on 15 October - or bothered to speak to anyone who had - you would know full well that I did NOT "dig this new entrance open" as you fallaciously claim. As I stated then, I unfortunately played no part in the discovery of Twll Du and only learned of its existence several months after the event. Believe me, had it been otherwise I would be more than prepared to accept whatever credit and/or brickbats might come my way: it is a magnificent piece of exploratory caving.)

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2018, 11:35:52 am »
Interesting statements (accusations), Rhys.


Well, it started off as a question. Perhaps I wrongly assumed you were involved - perhaps getting others to do your dirty work. Forgive me, but you do seem to be neck-deep in this and have a lot to say about it. I guess you know who did dig it.

Rhys

Offline NigR

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2018, 12:11:10 pm »
No, Rhys - your initial question contained a clear implication and this was followed by a definitive statement, both of which were obviously designed to make people think it was me who had dug open the entrance. Please do not try to squirm your way out of what you said by pretending otherwise.

As for being "neck-deep in this" (yet another unfounded allegation?) I have descended Twll Du on an extremely limited number of occasions (twice to be precise) in the time since it has been open (well over a year). So, once again, please stop trying to insinuate differently.

I may well "have a lot to say about it" but this is purely because I feel strongly about what I can see taking place in front of me, not because of any direct involvement on my part. I believe I have every right to express my opinions and I will continue to do so, of that you can be certain.

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2018, 01:59:48 pm »
I believe I have every right to express my opinions and I will continue to do so, of that you can be certain.

Likewise.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2018, 07:18:15 pm »

Incidentally, nobody has "been trespassing without permission in the cave". Any cavers entering the cave via any of the ungated entrances situated on Open Access Land have merely been asserting their right under the CROW Act to do so. Please bear this in mind if inclined to make such sweeping statements in the future.

I am inclined to agree. DEFRA and NRW would disagree (once you are underground).

I don't think the diggers were necessarily doing anything outrageous, but they got unlucky and found an entrance in a location where they have (at least as far as CADW are concerned which is all that really matters) unintentionally damaged a scheduled monument. If it had been 50m away and outside the scheduled monument, that would be great - but it isn't.

What do people really hope to achieve by fighting this?
Do they really think they will convince CADW just to ignore damage to a scheduled monument by angrily ignoring STOP notices and continuing to enter the entrance in contempt of CADW and the police?

Do people really think anything will get resolved by continuing to fight every battle regardless of the chance of success, in ignorance of the collateral damage to efforts to improve access elsewhere?

Next time cavers have to all for permission to dig on an SSSI or scheduled monument, do people think CADW and related organizations are going to be quite as accommodating of caves as responsible, reasonable adults?

It is probably ironic that cavers on both sides of any argument are so bad at taking the high ground (very good at claiming they have it though!). Many seem pretty unable to take a wider view of the problem. If you want more open access to Draenen, but don't have some understanding and sympathy of the PDCMG's position, then you will never be a part of the solution.

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2018, 07:51:58 pm »
Nameofthedragon, yes, the PDCMG have to operate within the law. What could they have done differently? They could have done what I would have done, and what my friends would have done, which is to have said nothing. What would you have done? Would you have run to CADW to tell tales about cavers doing damage to a tramroad? Maybe you would.

I believe, but have no proof, that when members of the PDCMG concreted the Nunnery entrance they transported the equipment to the site by driving a vehicle along the very same tramroad. If this is true, and they have not rushed to deny it when I have previously asserted it, was this not outwith the law? The tramroad is a PROW, but not a Byway as far as I know.

Hopefully a member of the "concreting party" will be along here soon to deny that any vehicle was driven along the tramroad; in which case I will happily stand corrected. If that is the case, it was a very long way to carry all that gravel, and cement, and buckets, and scaffolding, etc, etc, etc.
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Offline thomasr

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2018, 07:54:50 pm »
I have been following  all the  arguements [ best I could ] with a mixture of amusement and  bewilderment. So how many people in Wales would actually give a toss about a tramway on a godforsaken hillside and about  cavers for that matter ? Should not your energies be better spent opening up the hillside.? Never mind easy access for rescue. Why not instead go all out for a super system like in England with its multitude of entrances  provide sport and exploration for all  Attract overseas cavers and give Wales something to be proud of

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #60 on: January 16, 2018, 08:17:14 pm »
Nameofthedragon, yes, the PDCMG have to operate within the law. What could they have done differently? They could have done what I would have done, and what my friends would have done, which is to have said nothing. What would you have done? Would you have run to CADW to tell tales about cavers doing damage to a tramroad? Maybe you would.

Come on Greg, you haven't really thought this through. Assume PDCMG ignored the hole, then a little while later Cadw or the landowners start to notice and see cavers using it. They ask PDCMG about it. What then? Do they lie and deny all knowlege? It's all over the internet. No one comes out of it with any credibility or dignity - you've just delayed the inevitable closure and damaged relationships further.

PS. It's nice to see you using your real name 😁

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2018, 08:27:13 pm »
It wouldn't be all over the internet if PDCMG hadn't got CADW involved. Who knew that this particular bit of crappy tramroad was a Scheduled Monument? Did you know that the crappy tramroad that runs past Eglyws and Aggy, complete with crappy stone sleeper blocks, is not a Scheduled Monument? I suspect that someone within the PDCMG jumped for joy when they knew it was Scheduled. They wouldn't have given a shit if it hadn't been; and they don't actually give a shit about the tramroad either way.

I don't really think it's a crappy tramroad; in fact I really like tramroads, but I try to keep it a secret.
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Offline Graigwen

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2018, 01:35:54 am »
In my opinion it is a beautiful tramroad, a wonderful historic relic and well deserving listing. However, trying to put Twll Du in perspective:

1  It was not very obvious. Since it was opened I must have walked past it as I went along the tramroad six times on my own and twice with Alkapton without noticing it. I gather that it is now more obvious, perhaps as a result of official investigations. (I have not been there since September.) It is strange that it was apparently not intersected when the tramway shelf was cut in the hillside - the normal solution would have been to bridge it with timber and allow it to grass over,

2 Some distance to the north west from the Tumble bridge much more significant damage has been done to the tramroad. The whole of the trackbed has fallen away and the resulting broken ground forms a barrier beyond which people with very limited mobility such as myself cannot pass. Natural elements seem to be causing slow continuing degradation.

.


Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2018, 10:01:16 am »
I would say that the fact that this incident has flushed out trustees onto the forum after several years of reticence suggests that they regard this incident as a bit of a coup, and that this gives them a very useful weapon to keep the multi entrance/pro CROW rabble on the back foot.

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2018, 10:07:30 am »
It wouldn't be all over the internet if PDCMG hadn't got CADW involved. Who knew that this particular bit of crappy tramroad was a Scheduled Monument? Did you know that the crappy tramroad that runs past Eglyws and Aggy, complete with crappy stone sleeper blocks, is not a Scheduled Monument? I suspect that someone within the PDCMG jumped for joy when they knew it was Scheduled. They wouldn't have given a shit if it hadn't been; and they don't actually give a shit about the tramroad either way.

I don't really think it's a crappy tramroad; in fact I really like tramroads, but I try to keep it a secret.
It was all over the internet before Cadw got involved. David Rose wrote an article for BCA and Stuart France one for Cambrian CC. Before that there were public posts on Facebook and other places giving big hints and clues to those who know the area. More posts and clues would've followed until someone posted the actual location, I'm sure. Rightly so - secret access to the select few is as bad as no access, if you ask me. It can only work for a limited time and for a limited pool of people while discoveries are being made.

I rather suspect that most of PDCMG groaned and put their heads in their hands rather than jumped for joy when they discovered that the location of the new entrance was within the bounds of a protected monument. Whether they give a shit about tramroads or not, they can't ignore it. Who decides which laws to obey and which to ignore? You? It's just another sorry chapter in a long sorry tale.

Rhys
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 01:22:07 pm by Rhys, Reason: typo »

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2018, 10:20:19 am »
As a bit of an aside.

Are those shakeholes at SO 2553 1120 and SO 2557 1127 ? Almost on the margin where the Twrch sandstone sits on the Llanelly Formation. Anything of any interest there?

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2018, 06:10:24 pm »
We all make decisions about which laws to obey and which to ignore every day.
I obey the speed limit past schools during school hours and term time, and I sometimes ignore them at other times.
I would not report a man stealing one Christmas tree from a plantation; but I would report a group of men stealing a truck load.
So the answer, I suppose, to Rhys's question is "yes", it is me who decides.

Still no response from PDCMG regarding driving along the tramroad.
Renegade!

Offline BradW

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2018, 08:33:23 am »
Regardless of which laws Greg Jones thinks it's OK to break, there is no moral high ground in complaining when someone reports you for breaking them.

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2018, 09:55:53 am »
Did I say there was?

BradW gets this weeks prize for stating the blindingly obvious.

I think I know what the W stands for.
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Offline BradW

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2018, 10:01:19 am »
Did I say there was?

No you didn't. Neither did I suggest you were. Others are happy to do so. Try reading things at face value please.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2018, 10:16:31 am »
Global Moderator Comment Can we please try to stick to the topic and avoid the petty bickering
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Lloydy

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2018, 10:50:11 am »
Can we please try to stick to the topic and avoid the petty bickering
I think the big loser in the end will be Ogof draenen. The single entrance policy will lead to another entrance away from Pwll ddu, more likely the Southeast of the system, War of the worlds or Dollimore Series. The impact on these areas will be immense. Imagine an entrance in luck of the draw beyond Medusa,s children. This fragile area is already showing signs of damage.

Offline droid

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2018, 10:59:29 am »
Are you implying that increased access might increase damage?

We were assured by *some* proCRoWers that that didn't happen......
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2018, 11:05:18 am »
I think the big loser in the end will be Ogof draenen. The single entrance policy will lead to another entrance away from Pwll ddu, more likely the Southeast of the system, War of the worlds or Dollimore Series. The impact on these areas will be immense. Imagine an entrance in luck of the draw beyond Medusa,s children. This fragile area is already showing signs of damage.

You could have 20 entrances opened up in the Pwll Du area and there will still be people wanting to open more entrances directly in to Dollimores or War of the Worlds.

Offline Rhys

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2018, 11:59:23 am »
I'm just copying this across from another thread as it is relevant here:

What we're seeing at the new Twll Du entrance to Ogof Draenen is a worrying development which I think is potentially damaging to the hopes of CROW ever being recognised for caving. Some cavers have been asserting on the forum that this new hole, which was covertly dug without permission, now has a right of access attached to it thanks to CROW. Surely this couldn't be what the law was intended for? Effectively, it means that you can dig anywhere you please on CROW land without permission and once the hole is open, the landowner can do nothing about it. There seems to be a legal absurdity here. We've all been told that CROW doesn't give a right to dig, but in practice that seems to be the outcome here.
I suggest the law will not allow it.  There is a fundamental principle in law that one should not 'gain' from an illegal act.  Although the oft quoted examples apply to those directly involved, I am confident that a court will throw out any claim that an entrance opened by a breach of the CRoW Act should remain open for others to use.  (I presume that in the Twll Du case, the scheduled monument status is considered a more signficiant potential breach.)