Author Topic: BMC on the job  (Read 1065 times)

Offline Fjell

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BMC on the job
« on: May 08, 2020, 07:19:25 pm »
Is the sort of thing the BCA is doing? Or at least talking to BMC about?

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-launches-covid19-recovery-plan-for-climbing--hill-walking

Offline MaartinF

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 07:45:25 pm »
it should be , but isn't because the BCA is too busy setting up for the handbags at dawn version of the American Civil War.

Offline 2xw

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2020, 07:57:47 pm »
Moving beyond obvious criticisms of the BCA, I wonder how this could work for caving.

The phased reintroduction of hillwalking and climbing, starting with allowing hillwalking and scrambling, then bouldering, then top roping - I'm not sure how this would translate to caving. I suppose we could say "only horizontal systems close to home" then horizontal plus small pitches, then tighter stuff, then mine exploring, then black book etc but this would be difficult - partly because we just don't have the data to back up the claims the BMC make but also because this is area specific.

I guess other ideas include not using caving huts, only icing one permit a day (everything is permitted?) Etc but I do note we don't quite have the space for distancing that hillwalking permits.

Ideally caving would have its own APPG if it were on the ball.

I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas of what would be in such a plan if the BCA produced one

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 08:18:44 pm »
Perhaps folk are waiting to listen to our leader's announcement on Sunday evening?

Offline mikem

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 08:32:49 pm »
Just follow what's acceptable for other activities.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2020, 09:07:34 pm »
Just follow what's acceptable for other activities.

Walking (allowed withing reason), riding my my bikes (only to/from work/shopping) are both very different to caving. It's a struggle to distance caving, it's trivial with the other activities. No doubt other people will have other pastimes that throw up the same issues.

I'd suggest the mine exploring is more amenable to distancing than caving, certainly up in North Wales it is, given the large mines and generally grotty cave systems we tend to have here.
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2020, 10:06:17 pm »
Walking (allowed withing reason), riding my my bikes (only to/from work/shopping) are both very different to caving.

I don't get saddle sore from going caving. Raw as a peeled peach!  ;D

Offline mikem

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2020, 10:23:25 pm »
I was thinking more climbing, canoeing etc which are much bigger organisations & have paid staff who have nothing better to do at the moment than write schemes that may or may not be acceptable by the time we actually get there.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2020, 11:32:39 pm »
... much bigger organisations & have paid staff who have nothing better to do at the moment than write schemes that may or may not be acceptable by the time we actually get there...

Perhaps folk are waiting to listen to our leader's announcement on Sunday evening?

Hello everyone.  I'm not paid and I spent over 2 hours in a 25 person Zoom meeting on Thursday morning with all the other outdoors sports representatives for Wales, including the BMC, and other interested parties like Sport Wales, commercial provider associations, and local authority OEC reps, etc, to discuss a 'pathway to recovery', an exit strategy from lockdown and gradually returning to the outdoors.  The BMC kindly shared their draft proposals as a basis for discussion.  These in their published form are the subject of this forum thread.

The leadership vacuum at the top of the BCA has done nothing, and not being paid is not an excuse for nothing.  If what people do is nothing then they should not occupy posts.

I've got copious notes and Pitlamp is right that I'm waiting for Boris to say something on Sunday night before giving the Coronavirus news page on the CCC website its near fortnightly refresh:
http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/corona%20virus.html

Meanwhile Mark Drakeford (who's he?) has got in ahead of Boris and already decreed:
1) Exercising more than once a day, which has been illegal in Wales since the start of the lockdown, but not in England, will from Monday be relaxed so that people in Wales can exercise more than once a day.  They must not travel any significant distance from home in the process.
2) Garden centres will be allowed to re-open, provided they can ensure the two metre social distancing rule is followed.
3) Councils will begin to work on plans to re-open libraries and household waste centres.

More details concerning Wales at:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52584690

I will endeavour to write up in more detail on Sunday for the CCC website.

I'll leave you with the thought now though that if Boris opens up Outdoors England somewhat, but Wales stays largely closed down, then the Welsh Goverment will have the reverse of the "Pen-y-Fan" and "Snowdonia" problem of Easter / Mayday.  People from Wales will want to leave Wales to recreate in England, and possibly vector the virus both ways in the process.  This leaves the Welsh police with the problem of how to stop a mass exodus (and mass return) with some kind of Iron Curtain risking all that it entails for their image and that of the nation.



Offline Topimo

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2020, 04:57:08 am »
Hi Stuart, who were the 25 representatives, if you are at liberty to divulge such details?

Offline Stuart France

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2020, 09:57:53 am »
Well the Outdoor Alliance for Wales is not a ‘secret society’ although it has no public-facing web presence.  It’s a highly political arena in which to bring together the stakeholders and leadership of the outdoors community, in the widest sense, and to speak truth about what is right for Wales with one voice to those in power.  For example, the OA sent an open letter, signed by many such groups including our regional caving council, to the DM about the path closures programme at the end of March which is reported here:

https://www.ramblers.org.uk/en/news/latest-news/2020/march/outdoor-alliance-wales-paths-and-outdoor-access-closure.aspx

Work is in progress at a frenetic rate now - judging from the number of emails I’ve been getting since Thursday's OA Zoom meeting and the activity posted on its private forum - to produce a roadmap for normalizing the outdoors - not to where we were before Coronavirus, but at least to a much better place than we are all in now, with appropriate checks and balances.  I expect there will be another joint letter to the Welsh Government  shortly which the BMC will endorse although BMC have already published their statement, i.e the subject of this discussion thread, due to the political exigencies and to beat Boris to the podium.  The next two weeks will be quite significant, I feel.

NRW has its own National Access Forum for Wales (NAFW - pronounced naff you) which meets physically for a couple of hours three times a year at different towns across Wales.  This is also extremely political and is anything but a genuine forum as NRW controls the agenda, chairs the meeting, there is very little actual discussion, etc.  The meeting is generally filled with powerpoint presentations, some of which are essentially “reporting back” exercises for NRW staff to talk about their own work although other organisations contribute too.  For example, I gave a caving presentation there.  I've sat through ones from National Trust, Canal & River Trust, YHA, and so on.  It ends with free lunch which is when any real discussion takes place, in private obviously.

As to who was in the OA Thursday meeting.  I’ve mentioned some already in my earlier posting to which I can add the Ramblers, Open Spaces Society, Pembrokeshire National Park, Sport Wales, Welsh Sports Association.  Significant speakers included Paul Donovan (chairing the meeting), Tom Hutton (mountain guiding), Chris Cousins (RNLI), Phil Benbow (Mountain Rescue), Paul Marshall (Canoe Wales), Tom Hutton (OpenMTB), Gerwyn Owen (RYA), Jethro Moore (Adventure Beyond), Chris Pierce (AHOEC).  Finally Alison Roberts from NRW was there too, listening but said nothing.

The output of the meeting was a decision to tell the WG how we can support a pathway to recovery.  Four subgroups have been formed to report back to OA in a week.  These are hillwalking / climbing / caving and the like, MTBs and cycling generally, water activities, and commercial activity providers.  I expect there will then be another Zoom meeting to integrate these strands with an agreed joint statement coupled to a ‘well thought out across the board’ outdoors action plan.

Attending meetings like these and participating actively in sport politics and lobbying is part and parcel of my voluntary job, at least as I see it, as the Access Officer for caving in Wales, and I hope this gives you some insight into what goes on behind the scenes.  Talking to landowners and battling with the PDCMG is only a bit of what's involved.

As an aside, it was the biggest Zoom meeting I have ever attended (yet).  It was expertly chaired and was highly focused, productive, organised and civilised.  Having seen this work so well, I can see no reason whatever for BCA Council ever to meet again physically on a routine basis and the discipline that comes from using this technology would also be conducive to a better behaved, more uniformly positive and efficient BCA Council than the one we are used to.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 10:06:41 am by Stuart France »

Offline alastairgott

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2020, 10:29:24 am »
They must not travel any significant distance from home in the process.

I find it all very subjective, I was out on my bicycle once (as per current guidance) yesterday, I was on the bike for shy of 7hours, out of the house for more than that. I didn't travel a significant distance from my house to start the ride (5 metres from the front door). And had to go to a shop halfway round as I needed more water (shopping for essentials). In total, yes, I did travel a significant distance, but within my own capabilities. When I got back I wasn't winning any online boardgames with my mates, but I was well hydrated.

Offline mikem

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2020, 01:11:38 pm »
Alastair, I don't believe you are in Wales (different rules)...

Offline darren

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2020, 01:38:27 pm »
In England the Law is "you are not allowed out without a reasonable excuse" that's it.

It then says reasonable excuses include, and gives a list. This list is not exclusive.

So in England there is no legal limit in the law to the number of times you exercise, how long you exercise for or indeed how long you drive for to get to your place of exercise. It is up to the Police to decide a crime has been committed, the CPS to prosecute and the Judge to rule. Unless of course you just don't want the risk of a criminal record so just pay the fixed penalty.

You do legally have to obey a police instruction.

Originally it was only illegal to leave to leave your house without a reasonable excuse, so technically once you had left legally you could do anything you fancied. The law has now been reworded to "leave or be outside of".

This has thrown up another interesting wrinkle. Travelling to work is given in the list of reasonably excuses for leaving home. Being at work is not in the list so you have to rely on the list not being exhaustive to be able to legally stay at work.

https://davidallengreen.com/2020/04/a-blunder-in-the-amended-coronavirus-regulations-how-the-home-office-inadvertently-made-the-work-reasonable-excuse-unclear/
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Offline mikem

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2020, 03:02:33 pm »
They've just produced this, in time for the bank holiday weekend. It includes some caving venues:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/covid19-climbing-hotspots-to-avoid-in-england

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2020, 06:36:30 pm »
Rules are not laws.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2020, 07:27:51 pm »
Rules are not laws.
I so much want to see you argue that with a copper. You know he'll make your day very unpleasant indeed.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline mikem

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Re: BMC on the job
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2020, 09:20:11 pm »
Chris, you're two weeks behind...

 

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