Author Topic: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals  (Read 5033 times)

Offline mikem

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2020, 10:06:11 am »
& access is to the natural environment, not holes dug open by man. Legislation would have to decide whether it only covered those that were historically open, or include everything there at time it's passed. Also what happens when passages leave access land & extend under private property?

Landowners don't have increased liability over naturally occurring holes, but they do about ones they've allowed to be opened.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2020, 10:07:25 am »
I think (and I'm honestly no expert on this) that the difference which most affects we cavers is that NE doesn't get very involved in access but it does manage activities which might cause problems ("potentially damaging operations", or "PDOs") but only if a caving area falls within an SSSI. What this means in practice is that NE aren't interested in you having a trip in, say, Meregill. But if you wanted to rip open the Ingleborough fellside to investigate some hot lead in the pursuit of a new cave, then they need to be involved.

Offline mikem

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2020, 10:15:50 am »
Your supposition is correct (& they would also have an interest in digging underground).

There are mechanisms in place for protecting sites & several clubs have already prepared their cases for specific caves that are on access land.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #78 on: April 19, 2020, 01:49:06 pm »
Indeed, and what you need to go for is what I understand is called a "Section 26" agreement.  (I think, but am not 100% sure that you need a "Section 25" agreement if it's a mine - and some mines are SSSIs.)  Anyway, it's a standard system that allows cavers to work or access an SSSI or, if necessary, to control access to it.

The expert on this is Bob Mehew but we did go into it all when the brief was done for Dinah Rose, who did the Barrister's opinion on CRoW for BCA.

Offline royfellows

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #79 on: April 19, 2020, 03:48:43 pm »
For the record I voted against CRoW recognizing caving as as allowable activity because I fear for the conservation of vulnerable sites. But I am a democrat and accept the result.

Jopo BCA DIM

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Offline Badlad

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #80 on: April 19, 2020, 04:05:58 pm »
In fact Jenny, you'll remember, with Bob, we wrote a guidance document on behalf of BCA C&A committee several years ago on section 26 and related matters.  It was accepted by council and I expect it is up on the web site somewhere but a quick search hasn't revealed where.  Any ideas?

Offline Pete K

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #81 on: April 19, 2020, 04:41:59 pm »
It might be one of the appended items noted in the minutes of the C&A meeting 19/02/16 under section 6, although it is not included in the minutes on the website.
https://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=conservation_access:canda_minutes_2016_02_19.pdf

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #82 on: April 19, 2020, 04:46:39 pm »
I have emailed what I think is the document to Tim for him to check and use.  But broadly it is possible to control access even if CRoW applies.  There is even an example of where this has been used and caught a cave entrance. 

I would however issue a word of caution about SSSI status.  Bluntly if you carefully read what was called the PDO list, you will find it offers bugger all protection to most caves from cavers.  Indeed I won't name the individual but an officer of one RCC boasted about how the PDO list carried an exemption for recreational cavers!

And as a point of detail Section 25 is about banning access due to fire risk.  Sec 26 covers protection of both natural and heritage features. 

I don't have the time at this moment to comment on other points raised.

Offline Badlad

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Offline Jenny P

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #84 on: April 20, 2020, 04:42:33 pm »
Here is the link to the advice document prepared by me and Bob in 2016. 

 https://www.british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=publications_information:bca_document_-_advice_to_access_controlling_bodies_on_crow_and_related_matters_bob_mehew_-_october_2016.pdf

 

Brilliant !  Many thanks Tim. 

I'd obviously misremembered some of the material from an earlier leaflet written by Bob which was handed out at Hidden Earth in, I think, 2014 or 2015.

Your advice document contains extremely sensible and useful information and the only part of it which has changed is that the conservation advice is now contained in the "Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines" which should be accessible, along with the other updated cave conservation documents, on the BCA website.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #85 on: April 20, 2020, 04:54:20 pm »
Jenny, Tim and I wrote something for the 2014 Hidden Earth, downloadable from https://drive.google.com/open?id=14Z04UjcRgzwSssvfArPS_uXV6xRHwAwo .  It is worth noting the statistics.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #86 on: April 20, 2020, 05:40:42 pm »
Jenny, Tim and I wrote something for the 2014 Hidden Earth, downloadable from https://drive.google.com/open?id=14Z04UjcRgzwSssvfArPS_uXV6xRHwAwo .  It is worth noting the statistics.

Yup, that's the one I was thinking of and misremembered.  I still have some printed copies around of the ones we handed out at Hidden Earth that year.  As you say, the statistics are worth noting.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2020, 07:45:51 pm »
Quote

I would however issue a word of caution about SSSI status...

Sec 26 (of CROW) covers protection of both natural and heritage features.
 

There's a problem with the SSSI bit.  SSSI status provides no statutory means to control access to land thus caves also.

There's another bigger problem.  In order for NE and NRW to protect caves via s.26 of the CROW Act they first have to accept that CROW applies to caves and caving which is something they will not concede willingly.  So s.26 is currently useless in a cave conservation context.

Incidentally, I asked NE in a Freedom of Information Request how many times they'd ever used s.26 (answer: about 100 when I asked this) and how many instances involved caves (answer: none at that time).  The same question put to NRW  less formally resulted in the answer zero/zero.

Off topic I know as this is properly about the BCA AGM but interesting anyway.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 07:54:17 pm by Stuart France »

Offline Ed W

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #88 on: July 02, 2020, 09:27:15 am »

Offline 2xw

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Re: Thoughts on the BCA AGM proposals
« Reply #89 on: July 02, 2020, 09:59:57 am »
Well it's good to see some factual and unbiased reporting on it.

 

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