Author Topic: DYO  (Read 5387 times)

Offline PeteHall

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Re: DYO
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2018, 02:04:18 pm »
the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover.

Appreciate you may not know the answer, but I'd be very interested to hear why the insurers view the resurgence in any different way, also providing an ungated access to the show cave, for divers.

If I am not mistaken, opening another entrance beyond a sump would be exactly the same scenario...
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Offline Scrappycaver

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Re: DYO
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2018, 02:14:49 pm »
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

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Offline Bratchley

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Re: DYO
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2018, 02:31:06 pm »
the simple fact is that the showcave's insurers see a second entrance as an open back door and will withdraw cover.

Appreciate you may not know the answer, but I'd be very interested to hear why the insurers view the resurgence in any different way, also providing an ungated access to the show cave, for divers.

If I am not mistaken, opening another entrance beyond a sump would be exactly the same scenario...

Also, I'm not sure what happens at other showcaves in the UK but some do have second entrances, and allow through trips in and out of the show cave, without their insurers throwing a wobbly. Surely any second entrance to DYO could be gated in the same way that Tunnel Top, JH etc is, with keys available for through trips one way or another? Just curious.
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Online David Rose

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Re: DYO
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2018, 03:24:55 pm »
Well I must say another bitter row over how many entrances there should be to a large system in Wales was exactly what the caving world really needed. Happy holidays, one and all. 

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Re: DYO
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2018, 04:02:28 pm »
Quote
Also, I'm not sure what happens at other showcaves in the UK but some do have second entrances, and allow through trips in and out of the show cave, without their insurers throwing a wobbly. Surely any second entrance to DYO could be gated in the same way that Tunnel Top, JH etc is, with keys available for through trips one way or another? Just curious

Yeh Peak cavern is one as mentioned above. Maybe they need better insurers and simply go with the insurers who insure Peak cavern?
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Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: DYO
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2018, 04:06:03 pm »
Maybe they're happy with the current access situation and insurers are a convenient fig leaf.

Online Alex

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Re: DYO
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2018, 04:09:25 pm »
Quote
Well I must say another bitter row over how many entrances there should be to a large system in Wales was exactly what the caving world really needed. Happy holidays, one and all.

We got to have something to distract us from Brexit!
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Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2018, 04:58:26 pm »
Let's be clear about the situation with the unauthorised dig that has caused all this. It was an illegal dig on an SSSI, that was a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) for which no permission was sought or given.               

My mistake. The sentence above should have said: "for which no permission was sought or given from CCW" [CCW is now NRW]

Neither the landowner or DYO Caves were in a position to give permission to dig up an SSSI. Unfortunately the landowner didn't realise exactly where the proposed dig was, or the implications of it being on the SSSI, when she gave permission. Likewise DYO's response was based upon information received from the landowner and neither the showcave management, nor the rep from the [then] DYO CAC who was consulted, picked up that the dig site was on the SSSI.

If Scrappycaver can confirm that he received permission to carry out a PDO (Potentially Damaging Operation) on the SSSI, from the CCW [NRW], then I will give him a full and honest apology. Otherwise everything in my post from earlier today stands.             

Offline 2xw

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Re: DYO
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2018, 05:15:52 pm »
You can say everything technically correct, but still sound unreasonable in your positions if you present them in a dishonest way, which is what it appears the article has done.

From what we've seen here, it looks like the title of the article should be:

"Landowner, access group and digger made mistake regarding dig and the landowner will close the cave if that mistake is repeated"

Rather than this biased "news" piece that ultimately appears to be the anonymous ranting of someone who has a clear agenda.

Offline Bratchley

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Re: DYO
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2018, 05:21:41 pm »
Hypothetically, had this digger had permission from NRW, where would we now be? Probably in the very similar place.

I don't see the end result being any different from the perspective of Dan yr Ogof's insurers or Ashford, even if Ashford (and everyone else relevant) had given permission. Would a certain caver be banned from the cave? Who knows...

If it had all been done permissibly, and had actually broken into the cave system (according to Darkness Below it was seemingly only stopped due to the lack of NRW permission - it already had Ashford's and the landowner's) would Ashford have locked his gate (assuming he ever installed one)? Would the digger still be viewed in a bad light?

Essentially, the position Ashford's insurers are currently taking prevents any caver from attempting to ever connect Dan Yr Ogof to a surface entrance (whether it be the sole intention or not), whether through digging directly down, or by connecting another cave system into it. Yes, these things at present look unlikely and farfetched, but no-one knew OFD 2 was there until the divers broke through... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI, but any caver who's worked and pushed in there would have been in DyO in a heartbeat given half the chance.

If insurance is the biggest problem he's facing, and he really doesn't want to stop cavers entering (he has been and is very supportive of cavers, as you say), then perhaps the caving community could help him with that and work with him on this issue, given that we know that there are insurers that exist who will cover a multi-entrance show cave - there would then be no need for any of these problems and might allow him to relax.
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Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: DYO
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2018, 05:48:49 pm »
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 06:01:09 pm by Martin Laverty »

Offline Bratchley

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Re: DYO
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2018, 07:38:10 pm »
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).

Thanks for clarifying.

Page 3 paragraph 6 onwards in this CCC newsletter has some interesting comments:

http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/pdf/newsletters/44_Feb2015.pdf

Namely, the landowner is responsible for notifying NRW and requesting permission for any PDO's on their land, not the visitor, and that legal action against a certain caver doing a certain dig was perhaps a bit heavy handed.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 08:02:11 pm by Bratchley »
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Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2018, 07:50:17 pm »
... As far as I'm aware Pwll Dwfn isn't a SSSI...

Pwll Dwfn isn't an SSSI in its own right (and neither is DYO, though the show cave is a National Nature Reserve), but both are within the Mynydd Du (Black Mountain) SSSI [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653737/SSSI_0854_Citation_EN00156b9.pdf and  https://naturalresources.wales/media/653762/SSSI_0854_SMS_EN00114b0.pdf ] and thus subject to any relevant PDO's [ https://naturalresources.wales/media/653752/SSSI_0854_PDO_EN00177da.pdf ].

Very few people were aware of the SSSI limits before the dig in question was reported to NRW some years ago, so quite a few S Wales cavers have dug in ignorant bliss of their heinously illegal behaviour, and many more members of the public, the National Park wardens, and landowners have been complicit in allowing these reckless crimes to go unreported (except, sometimes, by the perpetrators, in their ignorance).

Martin is quite correct. I've dug at sites on the SSSI in blissful ignorance. The simple fact is that cavers and diggers had pretty much free rein over that mountain until the fuss over the dig in question happened, since when NRW and BBNPA have had to take a direct interest.

Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2018, 07:56:33 pm »
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

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Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us? 

Offline NewStuff

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Re: DYO
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2018, 07:58:24 pm »
This is fun. More of this please!

Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2018, 08:04:44 pm »
I'm grateful to Scrappycaver for the diligence of his record-keeping, which has allowed him to share with us the letter he received from the showcave management on the subject of the Nant y Gwared dig. In the interests of open and honest disclosure, perhaps he would care to share with the forum the full extent of his communications with Dan-yr-Ogof Caves on the subject of that dig? There were, as I recall, a number of emails and text messages exchanged and these would fully inform the discussion on here.

Also useful would be for him to share with us the emails he sent to DYO Caves and to other members of the [then] DYO CAC, the tone and nature of which went some way towards the eventual suspension of his DYO Warden Permit by the showcave management. Open and honest disclosure can only be a good thing in controversial debates like this, no?   

Offline Bratchley

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Re: DYO
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2018, 08:07:01 pm »
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

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Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.

Also, it would be interesting to know who it was that brought the dig to the attention of NRW after permission had been given by the landowner and Ashford? If digging and caving had previously enjoyed their blissful ignorance, perhaps this wasn't necessarily the right way to go about it.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 08:26:29 pm by Bratchley »
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Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2018, 09:08:49 pm »
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

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Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.


The dig went to 40m deep and with some interesting passage but sadly - and frustratingly - petered out. It never found any proper horizontal passage and to be perfectly honest the idea that it would end up anywhere near the known extent of DYO never even occurred to any of us. It's a long way from the known cave and even if it had 'gone' big-time it would have ended up on the other side of the Far North Choke. Have you ever been to the Far North? Go and have a look and your question is answered. Ever since the choke was first found in 1968 cavers have been trying to find a way through it. That's fifty years.   

Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2018, 09:15:15 pm »
Also, it would be interesting to know who it was that brought the dig to the attention of NRW after permission had been given by the landowner and Ashford? If digging and caving had previously enjoyed their blissful ignorance, perhaps this wasn't necessarily the right way to go about it.

I'm not going to go into this on a public forum. Those involved, on both sides, know the exact sequence of events and the reasons why. I have requested open and honest disclosure of the communications (see earlier post) that went on and if these are published all would be transparent.     

Offline PeteHall

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Re: DYO
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2018, 09:25:28 pm »

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?
The dig went to 40m deep and...

You appear to have side-stepped the question Tony.

Given the nature of the current discussion, understanding your by-the-book approach, agreed with all parties, could really help with a way forward.

I am also still unsure how another entrance beyond a sump is any different to the resurgence entrance, from an insurance perspective. Both provide ungated access to cave divers, however it would be a lot easier to gate a new dig than the resurgence. I am totally bemused by this.   :shrug:
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Offline Rhys

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Re: DYO
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2018, 09:42:16 pm »
I'd just like to suggest that expecting logical, sensible and consistent advice about caves from an insurance company might be expecting a bit too much!

Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2018, 10:05:11 pm »

You appear to have side-stepped the question Tony.

Given the nature of the current discussion, understanding your by-the-book approach, agreed with all parties, could really help with a way forward.

I am also still unsure how another entrance beyond a sump is any different to the resurgence entrance, from an insurance perspective. Both provide ungated access to cave divers, however it would be a lot easier to gate a new dig than the resurgence. I am totally bemused by this.   :shrug:

I've not side-stepped the question. I've been digging on that mountain for thirty years and the intention has always been to find the miles of cave between the sinks and the known cave. A through-trip is an issue that only arises if and when you get anywhere near the known cave. Nothing that I or anyone else have found has 'gone' more than a couple of hundred metres in total, so a few dozen metres at best actually towards DYO.

As I have made clear, the dig at Nant y Gwared was started as, and declared to be, a means of providing an aggrieved caver with his own access to the cave.

As I have also made clear, it makes no difference to the insurance issue whether a potential second entrance is beyond a sump or wherever; if it is opened, insurance cover will be withdrawn until the grille at the end of showcave is locked.     

Offline Tony_B

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Re: DYO
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2018, 10:19:52 pm »

Finest and best preserved in Europe is a bit of a stretch given the place is full of fibreglass models and drilled holes for Christmas lights, but I guess you're obliged to say that...!

You clearly have never been beyond the showcave. 

Offline Scrappycaver

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Re: DYO
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2018, 10:28:16 pm »
Tony...we're you not digging for another entrance in the dry valley,? This would have taken you a few hundred meters beyond the far north choke and not the missing miles that you desired?
If your shaft had succeeded you would have left a route directly back to dyo and some of its best formations in the uk such as The Mostest.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Yes, we did have a dig in the dry valley. The site in question is, as you very well know, close to the sink at Waun Fignen Felen, and therefore quite a long way from the Far North. Still a lot of cave to be found there. The essential difference is that we kept DYO caves fully informed of what we were doing and of our intentions should the dig ever 'go'. Your approach was somewhat different - perhaps you would care to enlighten us?

Tony, out of interest and for the sake of transparency, what were your intentions should your dig ever 'go' into the back of DYO?

Judging by the outcome of the dig mentioned in the Darkness Below article, I'm assuming you'd have needed to blast it shut otherwise DYO's insurance would've made them gate the showcave.


The dig went to 40m deep and with some interesting passage but sadly - and frustratingly - petered out. It never found any proper horizontal passage and to be perfectly honest the idea that it would end up anywhere near the known extent of DYO never even occurred to any of us. It's a long way from the known cave and even if it had 'gone' big-time it would have ended up on the other side of the Far North Choke. Have you ever been to the Far North? Go and have a look and your question is answered. Ever since the choke was first found in 1968 cavers have been trying to find a way through it. That's fifty years.
Sorry for the late reply, I've been out caving and night time seems the best for me under these circumstances! I have only glanced through your chert reply and Josh and Martin have added all the valid points.
To say you didn't know your 40mt shaft would come out between the choke and a main sink....REALLY LOL.
In 50years the choke has barely been touched. Perhaps with my 5year ban ending I can apply for my permit and ask permission  to the panel to dig the choke !
I'm not a yes man nor do I bend down to pick up the soap for anyone so no longer being on an advisory panel dictated by one wasn't for me.
Merry Christmas

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Offline alastairgott

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Re: DYO
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2018, 10:32:24 pm »
I'm perverse, so I'd say ensure the cavers get that grill locked now, then change the name of the wardens to "Keyholders".

But I've already expressed that opinion, so I'll quietly slink off...