Author Topic: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update  (Read 3456 times)

Offline DCA

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Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« on: May 12, 2020, 07:19:00 pm »
Covid-19 & caving activities

The DCA have been asked for advice on returning to caving following new Government guidance on exercise and we felt that we should update cavers on the current local situation. We are not here to police caving or advise one way or the other. What we have chosen to do is to lay out some of the facts as they currently are and highlight any information from relevant bodies or organisations.
Please remember that none of the volunteers here are legal experts and are only seeking to do our best to answer your questions.
We will update this document as the situation changes or national guidance becomes available.

Stay safe and well.
The DCA team.

Direct link to statement:
https://thedca.org.uk/images/dca/news/DCA_Covid-19_Response.pdf
Derbyshire Caving Association

Offline Pete K

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 08:04:02 am »
Something that has popped up this morning is an update to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.
Daily or unlimited exercise must be taken in "public open spaces":

--- (5) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(ba), “public open space” includes -
(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members
of the public;
(b) land which is “open country” as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949(a), as read with section 16 of the Countryside
Act 1968(b);
(c) land which is “access land” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000(c) (see section 1(1) of that Act(d)). ---

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/500/pdfs/uksi_20200500_en.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0KCO1K0AnvjLsLK9_ELO5mGg1OnYF4J-Fm0zqTa9_X1_D2QPaQK7aCu4c

Offline ttxela2

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 09:06:03 am »
Something that has popped up this morning is an update to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.
Daily or unlimited exercise must be taken in "public open spaces":

--- (5) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(ba), “public open space” includes -
(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members
of the public;
(b) land which is “open country” as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949(a), as read with section 16 of the Countryside
Act 1968(b);
(c) land which is “access land” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000(c) (see section 1(1) of that Act(d)). ---

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/500/pdfs/uksi_20200500_en.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0KCO1K0AnvjLsLK9_ELO5mGg1OnYF4J-Fm0zqTa9_X1_D2QPaQK7aCu4c

OK, so now I'm confused. Do any of those categories include lowland footpaths through farmland such as you might find in non-national park areas?

Online PeteHall

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 09:18:43 am »
Something that has popped up this morning is an update to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.
Daily or unlimited exercise must be taken in "public open spaces":

--- (5) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(ba), “public open space” includes -
(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members
of the public;
(b) land which is “open country” as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949(a), as read with section 16 of the Countryside
Act 1968(b);
(c) land which is “access land” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000(c) (see section 1(1) of that Act(d)). ---

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/500/pdfs/uksi_20200500_en.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0KCO1K0AnvjLsLK9_ELO5mGg1OnYF4J-Fm0zqTa9_X1_D2QPaQK7aCu4c

OK, so now I'm confused. Do any of those categories include lowland footpaths through farmland such as you might find in non-national park areas?

(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members of the public;

This is a pretty general an all-encompassing definition. I think this would cover lowland footpaths and also caves (if a cave is considered land).
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Offline wellyjen

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 09:35:00 am »
Something that has popped up this morning is an update to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.
Daily or unlimited exercise must be taken in "public open spaces":

--- (5) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(ba), “public open space” includes -
(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members
of the public;
(b) land which is “open country” as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949(a), as read with section 16 of the Countryside
Act 1968(b);
(c) land which is “access land” for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000(c) (see section 1(1) of that Act(d)). ---

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/500/pdfs/uksi_20200500_en.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0KCO1K0AnvjLsLK9_ELO5mGg1OnYF4J-Fm0zqTa9_X1_D2QPaQK7aCu4c

OK, so now I'm confused. Do any of those categories include lowland footpaths through farmland such as you might find in non-national park areas?

(a) land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members of the public;

This is a pretty general an all-encompassing definition. I think this would cover lowland footpaths and also caves (if a cave is considered land).

Lowland footpaths which were also public rights of way were never closed. The changes from today wouldn't affect that. Actually caving? Who knows. All this is Englandshire only.
Jen
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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 10:24:55 am »
I believe this is a misinterpretation (although I could be horribly wrong, as usual).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/regulation/6 for the full, amended legislation (you might have to click some buttons?)

A reasonable excuse could be:
(b)to take exercise—
 (i)alone,
 (ii)with one or more members of their household, or
 (iii)with one member of another household;]
(ba)to visit a public open space for the purposes of open-air recreation to promote their physical or mental health or emotional wellbeing—
 (i)alone,
 (ii)with one or more members of their household, or
 (iii)with one member of another household;

The explanation of 'public open space' only applies to (ba), which is basically the sunbathing exemption. Since caving can be 'exercise', the explanation is not relevant (I think).

Offline Alex

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 11:22:43 am »
I was hoping the caving situation in the Peak would be easier with the locals than the Dales... but maybe I was wrong.

It just seems daft to me, and I know the rescue situation is unique to caving, but all other sports including climbing will be resuming I bet. It's just really frustrating and as we know the R rate will soon go over 1 if London is anything to go by so we will soon be locked down again. So waiting another couple of weeks, won't work as the situation will be worse again. I don't see with the above attitude how we will ever go caving without a vaccine. It really is stressing me out not going caving, I have not slept well recently. Caving really helped me in my 20s and I genuinely am lost without it. I don't think I can last an entire year, which is how long its going to be before a vaccine (if one is even possible!). So I am sorry I will have to go somewhere this Friday, otherwise I am not sure I can cope.

That and the economy worries, everything is just fucked :( We are all fucked... what's the point eh?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 11:33:28 am by Alex »
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Online PeteHall

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 11:36:45 am »
I really sympathise with this position Alex and I bet a lot of others are feeling the same way too.

As far as not upsetting locals goes, how about evening caving trips, so you avoid the swarms of walkers? Doesn't change a lot in relation to any potential rescue, but at least keeps a lower public profile and reduces the density of footfall during the day when it will be busiest.

I've been out on my bike in the evenings recently, leaving about 8pm after the kids are in bed. Hardly see a soul out...
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Offline JoshW

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 12:06:09 pm »
I really sympathise with this position Alex and I bet a lot of others are feeling the same way too.

As far as not upsetting locals goes, how about evening caving trips, so you avoid the swarms of walkers? Doesn't change a lot in relation to any potential rescue, but at least keeps a lower public profile and reduces the density of footfall during the day when it will be busiest.

I've been out on my bike in the evenings recently, leaving about 8pm after the kids are in bed. Hardly see a soul out...

Been cycling a lot recently, but with people now able to drive to exercise and being encouraged to go back to work, I imagine the roads will get busier, so currently researching bridleways/graveltracks to avoid the hooligans hammering it round the country lanes round here.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 03:37:55 pm »
First day of the tweaked lockdown arrangements today and I saw absolutely no-one on Ingleborough (late morning). Nobody at all at GG either. By now it should be full of tents and friendly Bratf'd members but everything was eerily quiet. Left GG feeling really sorry for the BPC, knowing how much their members look forward to the winch meet every year.

I suspect 2020 will go down in caving history as a lost year.

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 04:03:19 pm »
Not that many on Mendip either, but it was quite cold compared to last few weeks.

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 04:09:51 pm »
First day of the tweaked lockdown arrangements today and I saw absolutely no-one on Ingleborough (late morning). Nobody at all at GG either.

They were probably all in Sheffield, i've never seen it so busy.

I've just visited two businesses and driven past four building sites. Social distancing measures and the wearing of suitable PPE was pretty much non-existent.

I'd be surprised if we aren't back in full lockdown next week.

Offline Pete K

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2020, 05:33:28 pm »
This probably wants to be in this thread too....

The DCA have been informed that:

1. Bagshawe Cavern is closed.
2. The owner of Peakshill Farm is not allowing caving on his land (Giants Hole and Snelslow Swallet).

It is likely that other land owners and tenant farmers, who's good will we rely on for access, will not welcome cavers at this time.
Please respect the wishes of the land owners. These caves are on private land, any unauthorised activity will risk long term access for all.

Angus Sawyer

Online alastairgott

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2020, 05:38:53 pm »
2. The owner of Peakshill Farm is not allowing caving on his land (Giants Hole and Snelslow Swallet).

Is this Maurice Gregory, and if so does it also apply to eldon hole and eldon quarry?

Offline Pete K

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2020, 05:41:48 pm »
Not sure mate, you'd need to drop Angus an email for the full details, I'm out of the loop on this one. Guessing - yes, any caving/mining/digging activities are likely to do some damage to the reputation of cavers with these very concerned locals.

Offline DCA

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2020, 05:58:14 pm »
The message was via Nigel Atkins. 
Derbyshire Caving Association

Offline Katie

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2020, 06:55:01 pm »
Don't know the specifics of the current situation butMaurice Gregory does not own the land Giants is on but he is the tenant farmer of it. So I would guess caving is probably not ok anywhere he farms, such as Eldon quarry.....

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2020, 07:20:42 pm »
(was composing this before Katie's message) sent nigel a text and he says that it's the peakshill farm owner and not Maurice, but the general feeling he got from those he has spoken to is stay away.

Offline DCA

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update CLOSURES
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2020, 02:30:39 pm »
The DCA have been made aware that the following sites or areas are currently closed to visitors:

  • Bagshawe Cavern
  • Devonshire Mine
  • Peakshill Farm (Giant's & Snelslow)
  • Peak/Speedwell and other entrances
  • Rowter Farm

It is very likely that other land owners and tenant farmers, who's good will we rely on for access, will not welcome cavers at this time.
Please respect the wishes of the land owners. These caves are on private land, any unauthorised activity will risk long term access for all.
Just because a site is not listed here does not mean that access is currently okay.
Derbyshire Caving Association

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2020, 03:18:31 pm »
I note Titan & JH are also listed as closed on the cave registry (as many may not know whose land they are on):
https://registry.thedca.org.uk/registry/sitedetails.php?id=32

Offline Pete K

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2020, 04:35:21 pm »
Yes, the web team have started to put Covid-19 closure notices on the registry as we are made aware of them. Best to check there for any access changes if considering a trip anywhere in the near future.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2020, 09:52:05 pm »
Serious question.  Is there anywhere in the Peak that you can go caving?

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2020, 10:17:31 pm »
Serious question.  Is there anywhere in the Peak that you can go caving?

I went out on the motorbike this afternoon and did a tour of the Castleton catchment. I didn't see any cars parked in the usual caving spots but there were loads of people about. It looked like a normal Sunday to me.

There was a burger van in the Peak Hotel car park doing a roaring trade with the 100's of motorbikes on the road. The car park in Castleton was full of motorbikes and the garage at the Bamford cross roads was packed with bikers. 

I saw a few climbers heading on to Burbage with mattresses on their backs.

There were no parking places anywhere on the road at Fox House or by Ladybower and all the car parks around Toads Mouth and Surprise View were full when I rode past.

Mark

 

Offline owd git

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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2020, 12:16:37 am »
Please don't do Matlock bath  Mark. Too many wankers today! have put an order in for piano  wire!!!!
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Re: Covid-19 & caving activities - DCA Update
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2020, 01:30:04 am »
That's a big shame. Ironically I almost mentioned just the other day that one good thing about the lockdown would be the removal of the weekly slow-motion motorbike procession of doom through Castleton - and how the villagers may appreciate a little peace and quiet from the endless revving. They even used to ruin our day way up at Longcliffe with their infernal and somewhat pointless racket chugging up and down Winnats Pass for some reason or other. But no. The fat old leather boys must triumph. Cough. Equally, teenage lads have been all over the place today in Sheffield in defiant 'tight' groups, even in the woods - passing spliffs about of course. Cough. The best way to catch everything going round - even the clap. If anyone's still got that ;)

I had a long chat with a friend in France last night who said that most of the guys on the streets in her town are getting tense and nasty as they can't visit prostitutes any more, and are just mooching about making cat-calls and not really social distancing either. It's quite a 'normal' activity where she lives apparently - or it was. So she's staying in a lot, and wearing very baggy clothes when she goes out shopping to avoid any grief. Exercising is even worse as they've followed her, so she's not doing it much, or taking a shopping bag with her when she does. What a life.

But it seems to me that outside the hospital and care home environment, most people should now have little chance of catching the virus accidentally, as long as they observe social distancing. I would happily say 'tough shit' to the rest who catch it now - curl up and die - except they'll infect blameless people who are trying their best to avoid it - and no doubt more hospital staff who still try to save their lives, even though it was their own stupid fault they caught it.

As for the Peak District, I'm sure there must be places you could go if you could walk it - or catch the bus if you were allowed. Windy Knoll and Odin Cave spring to mind! I don't think the National Trust have closed their land to walkers. Though you could walk into Windy Knoll and find a bunch of students sharing a spliff. Jugholes? Isn't that a public footpath to the entrance? But it's a long way to go for an hour underground. I guess poking around in abandoned quarries might also just be acceptable, depending on the landowner.

 

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