Author Topic: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit  (Read 4272 times)

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2019, 10:31:18 am »
It'd be an interesting thing to research Bob - most of them do not go to court and will not end up being defended as they are civil sanctions. Natural England has successfully pursued hundreds of individuals in this way in the past including for mineral extraction, geological collection etc, and if they can get you for churning up mud with a vehicle, rearing pheasants or incorrectly storing manure, they can certainly give stop notices and enforcement undertakings for blowing up bits of rock or inserting bits of metal.

The argument that "ooo err it might affect access" is not an excuse for folks to cover up or deny criminal activity.

Besides that fact, its a shit argument: I've always found NE very helpful and willing to give out SSSI consents for activities including rock removal, and remember that part of Natural Englands remit is to help people access, understand and enjoy the natural environment. Bear in mind they also have employees that sit on the BCA council (for the moment) and you'll understand why I find this ignorance of our national bodies particularly jarring.

Offline mikem

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2019, 11:59:28 am »
Unfortunately it's a normal cycle of life, people push the boundaries of what's acceptable, sanctions are brought in & things generally calm down for a while, then people start pushing in other directions. Just have to deal with it as best we can ...

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2019, 01:12:13 pm »
Putting signs in caves, just beyond the limit of daylight penetration (i.e. somewhere that only someone who is caving can reach if they are equipped with a light source for personal navigation) has been mentioned to at least one RC and the BCA (at C&A level), and here, more times than I can remember yet in this country it is a topic which seems to elicit an irrational disdain from certain quarters, despite it being standard practice in much of Europe: such signs can convey, using icons so there is no language barrier, acceptable standards of behaviour. WhyTF we don't have them in the UK is a mystery, especially as there are memorial plaques, rescue organisation info-signs, and roadsigns littering numerous classic caves around and about, so the precedent already exists.

They exist at the entrance of most major Welsh caves? (OFD, Daren, Aggy?)

My money would still be on club cavers (or ex-club cavers), not just 'members of the public' (which I presume means non-BCA members, as we are all members of the public). All the evidence I've ever heard suggests the majority of active cavers are BCA members (albeit this is hard to prove), and the vast majority (something like 5/6ths?) of BCA members are club members. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the DIMs are in a club as well; I'm in four clubs and still a DIM (you have to be to be in the BCRA, for example). Joint with another DIM who is a member of two clubs.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2019, 02:07:23 pm »
tobyk suggested a leaflet be pushed out by BCA to all members on 'how to behave in caves'.  CNCC has a leaflet, see https://cncc.org.uk/digging but it is focused on digging & SSSIs.  Although Cap'n Chris makes a point about their ineffectiveness he does highlight other resources which could be used.  And of course, the message need not be restrained to just a leaflet.   

However, the message needs an outline of the ideas it should cover.  My initial thought was creating a message focusing on 'modifying caves', be it adding aids or making holds.  I am unsure quite what 'how to behave in caves' could cover.  But ideas like don't touch stall, keep between tape come to mind. 

With a set of ideas for content, drafting the message should not be too difficult.  It could then be worked up into a message to be sent out to all clubs to forward onto members and also to magazines etc as well as a leaflet for use in various locations.  It could also be turned into a poster for display in club huts and caving shops.  And perhaps other devices for getting the message across?

So what ideas are there for the content of such a message?

Mods - Should this be a new thread?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2019, 02:29:06 pm »
It is my personal opinion (a dangerous thing, I know) that anyone with the appropriate kit and experience to have capped these footholds knew perfectly well what they were doing and that it was against any kind of acceptable caving conduct.

"Capping" is an "advanced" digging technique, it is inconceivable to me, that a "member of the public" would come up with this exact same technique off their own back to cut footholds into a cave (that already has an in-situ rope).

For this reason, I cannot imagine that any form of sign or leaflet would help. If someone chooses to vandalise a cave in this way, a sign is unlikely to stop them.

A 30mph speed limit is well sign-posted and drivers need to undergo training and pass a test to drive on the road, however, people still choose to ignore them for personal convenience. Why do we think that a sign in a cave would be any more effective?
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2019, 02:58:09 pm »
I think Pete Hall is spot on and I wonder if more clutter in caves by way of notices, etc. would have the opposite effect, i.e. the less “pristine” the environment seems the more some people will think it is OK to add their own modifications?

It seems to me that the place to start is to calmly and gently ask the step installers and cappers why they thought it was OK to take unilateral action; did they consider asking others; did they know who they might consult about their plans; did they recognise that they were irrevocably damaging a SSSI, etc. Knowing the motivation might help to inform how best to educate people.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2019, 08:18:03 pm »
It seems to me that the place to start is to calmly and gently ask the step installers and cappers why ...

Good luck with that.

Offline kay

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2019, 09:22:33 am »
tobyk suggested a leaflet be pushed out by BCA to all members on 'how to behave in caves'  ...

However, the message needs an outline of the ideas it should cover.  My initial thought was creating a message focusing on 'modifying caves', be it adding aids or making holds.  I am unsure quite what 'how to behave in caves' could cover.  But ideas like don't touch stall, keep between tape come to mind. 

With a set of ideas for content, drafting the message should not be too difficult.

BCA New Caving Code and Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines are available for download from http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=conservation_access:news

They don't specifically cover adding aids or making holds, but no-one reading them could be left in any doubt that one should at least have a hard think before undertaking such activities.

Offline gardouth

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2019, 12:28:54 pm »
The Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines are also available in web page form here: https://cncc.org.uk/conservation/caving-guidelines.php

There is also a page on digging on SSSI's: https://cncc.org.uk/conservation/digging.php

Plus lots of other conservation information.
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Offline kat

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2019, 01:18:43 pm »
have realised why I never post on forums - it never quite comes out right
 
anyway just for future clarification - by fixed rope (which I hate) I meant those particular ropes - not the presence of fixed ropes in general. much preferred the previous knotted ropes in WR.

anyway just mentioning in case someone decides to point this out next time I'm being thankful there is a fixed rope somewhere   

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2019, 07:16:15 pm »
Like a number of fellow cavers who have expressed displeasure over this issue, I also find it difficult to think of any legitimate justification.

But . . . just put yourself in the mind of the person who did it. The more vitriolic the posts in this topic the more difficult it would be for them to come forward and engage in meaningful discussion. The latter is probably the best way to persuade folk to go about things differently in future. I think that's really what Badlad had in mind, in his well written original post above.

I don't think anything written so far is particularly distasteful but some of it might be a bit off-putting.  Give the bloke or lass a chance - I'm sure common sense will then eventually prevail.

Offline thomasr

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2019, 07:46:46 pm »
Totally agree :thumbsup:

Offline Fulk

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2019, 10:36:24 pm »
Quote
Give the bloke or lass a chance - I'm sure common sense will then eventually prevail.

You could have said that about the stemples in Kingsdale Master Cave . . . but Lo and Behold, it happens again!

So – will 'common sense' ever prevail?

Offline 2xw

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2019, 10:08:24 am »
Should we as a group be covering for and encouraging a gentle attitude towards this act of criminal damage?

Offline Canary

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2019, 10:32:06 am »
If you condemn a person/group entirely and not allow any discussion, the usual reaction is for them to go "f**k it, i will do whatever the hell i want". This usually leads to more bolting/capping as in reality you can't stop them.

Just look at any bolting thread on climbing forums in the past 20 years.

 

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2019, 10:13:19 am »
Should we as a group be covering for and encouraging a gentle attitude towards this act of criminal damage?

No and no. But if you want to nip this in the bud, an analysis of which is likely to be the more successful approach should factor in human nature - which I think is the point Canary makes.


Offline CNCC

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2019, 11:34:01 pm »
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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 11:25:34 am »
There will be as many views as there are personalities on the forum. I personally think this is rather OTT but then I was surprised to see the metal plate placed on the climb down out of Maypole Inlet in OFD2 when it appeared. On Mendip we have until now had more of  a history of fixed aids disappearing in caves eg Three Rung Ladder and the Wire in Wire Rift in St. Cuthbert's Swallet, and the ladder in the Greasy Chimney in Swildon's Hole as wel as the famous row in the 60's over whether a piple should be in place at the top of the 40. In Reservoir Hole we had quite a discussion on how much we should modify the climb into the Frozen Deep and metal plates there were primarily to reduce erosion of the pitch. I think changing the character of a climb that is regularly done after half a century at least of use by cavers is not really good form.

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Modifications in Wretched Rabbit
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2019, 11:53:28 am »
Mrodoc has said explicitly what most here have suggested. It is not the damage to the cave that's upsetting, but the damage to tradition.

A sign in a cave is more unsightly, less useful, and ecologically equal to some footholds.

I attempt to leave every cave as unaltered as possible. When there is a need to drill, break, blast, muddy, carve, or dig, then, I feel absolutely justified in doing so. It is important to do our violence with respect for the place and its people.