Poll

Under what circumstances is it OK to go caving now?

Not at all.
With members of your household and trips are well within own ability.
So long as social distancing is respected and trips are well within own ability.
So long as social distancing is respected.
Any time, anywhere.

Author Topic: Is it OK to go caving?  (Read 9757 times)

Online PeteHall

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Is it OK to go caving?
« on: May 15, 2020, 10:32:51 am »
There have been a lot of advice notes issued recently, by various organisations, as to whether or not we may go caving. While the tone varies, the core message across the board seems to be "we aren't going to tell you what to do, you need to think about it yourself". So what do people think?

There have been plenty of reasons made for not going caving, some easier to mitigate than others, so I'm going to put my head above the parapet and make the case for why it is ok to go caving.

Should we go out at all?
The key change to government advice, as far as I'm concerned, is allowing people to travel for exercise. This is specifically to allow those cooped up inside to visit the countryside for exercise, even if they don't live there. Fair enough really; I'd love to live in a National Park, where I could go out walking the fells every day. Unfortunately I don't have that option, so allowing me to occasionally take advantage of our national assets is welcome.

Medically speaking though, nothing has changed since last week. The virus is still carries the same health implications and is just as contagious. There still isn't a cure and there still isn't a vaccine.

So why has the government advice been relaxed?

I think the main thing here is the mental health of the nation. Being stuck inside, not going anywhere and not meeting anyone for months on end is really bad for us. Our species is not supposed to exist like this. Motivation among my colleagues is at an all-time low. Personally, I've got to the point on several days where I've hardly managed to achieve anything more than staring at a blank screen. This is not good for the country and won't help our recovery.

Allowing people to travel for day trips to get their exercise opens up so many more possibilities for where to go or what to do. This is really important, it gives us a sense of more freedom for starters, even if we don't take advantage of it. The knowledge that we could if we wanted to, has certainly improved my motivation.

Unfortunately, that new-found motivation has been undermined by the insistence of some that, despite government advice to improve our mental health, we are somehow being selfish, bad citizens if we take advantage of our limited new freedoms.

Clearly those in authority want us to stay healthy and part of that is mental health. We have a duty to maintain our mental health as much as we have a duty to maintain our physical health. So we should be getting out of the house and getting out of our neighbourhood; maybe not as often as we used to, but enough to remind us what we live for.

But isn't caving too risky?
"Surely caving is much too risky right now" I hear them say. "Is it bollocks" is what I say. Here's why?

As a species, we are not very good at risk assessment; we are very good at assessing consequence, but we often disregard probability and frequency. Risk is a combination of all three, not the consequence alone.

Risk of infection on a trip
There is absolutely no reason why sensible precautions like social distancing or wearing gloves will not mitigate any risk of infection during a trip to lower levels than anywhere else you go. We go out shopping, in supermarkets where thousands of people have been within the survivable life of the virus. The number of people in any cave is so small, that the probability of catching Coronavirus in a cave is as good as zero.

Risk of rescue
This is no greater than usual. However because of the consequences (discussed below), we can reduce the risk significantly, by sticking to caves well within our own ability. We should also take particular care and pay careful attention to the weather, just as we should do on any caving trip normally. By reducing the frequency of caving eg. once a fortnight instead of once a week, we halve the chance of rescue again.

Risk of reduced rescue capability
So there are less people able to attend a call out and they may be impeded by extra PPE, so a rescue would be more protracted. However, if under normal circumstances, we would be quite happy to undertake a challenging trip several hours into a constricted cave system, we have already risk assessed a protracted rescue (or at least we should have done), and we are ok with this. So by reducing the complexity of our trip, we mitigate the additional challenges of a rescue in current circumstances, compared to our base position. Combine this with the fact that the chance of a rescue can be reduced (as discussed above) and the risk from a protracted rescue is reduced far, far below the normal level, that we are all quite happy to accept.

Risk of infection during rescue
It is true that if there was a protracted underground rescue, and one person (casualty or rescuer) was carrying Coronavirus, it could be spread. However by reducing the chance of a rescue (as discussed above), this risk is so small it's barely worth considering.
"But you could be putting others at risk" I hear you say.
Maybe I'm a selfish twat, but I reckon I put innocent people at risk every day (normally). Every time we get in our car, we put other road users at risk, this is massively increased if we are distracted (eg. using a phone, even hands free or dealing with fighting children), are tired (after a long caving trip, or just a late finish at work), or have had even one drink (look at the car park at any pub in a caving area , don't tell me everyone is on water!).
So we're all selfish twats most of the time and we all put others at much more risk than we would put rescuers at by going caving. Lay off the double standards, I'm no worse than you!

Risk of burdening a stretched NHS
Since the NHS has cancelled all routine operations, there is probably no better time to go to A&E (not that I'd advise it for leisure). That said, based on all the above, the chance of needing it are so slim compared to anything else we do (such as cycling!) and there are so few cavers compared to all the cyclists, that the potential impact on the NHS is approximately zero.

Public perception
Sure, the farmer at Braida Garth may be a bit upset if the whole of Kingsdale is rammed with cavers cars and the owner of Rose Cottage Cave won't want you traipsing through the garden to go caving, but this just takes a little common sense to manage. Compared to the number of walkers and cyclists out, cavers are going to be a drop in the ocean. My advice would be to avoid honey pot sites and probably to go in the evening when there are far fewer people about. The chances are, the only reason anyone will know you are caving is because a car will be parked at the side of the road near a cave, or the odd cyclist might see you getting changed before your trip.
If we are sensible, there is no need to upset anyone.

Conclusion:
 - Our mental health needs looking after. If that means getting out to the countryside and going caving, that is good for us and therefore good for the nation's health.
 - The risk of coronavirus infection while caving is much smaller than the risk of infection during our daily lives.
 - The risks associated with rescue can be mitigated far below our usually acceptable risk levels.
 - The risk we put others at is far lower than the risks we routinely put others at.
 - The risk of burdening the NHS is non-existant.
 - By using a little common sense there is no reason to upset public perception.

I rest my case and await the onslaught of condemnation for daring to suggest that it is ok to cave, subject to the simple caveats advised by various caving bodies  :kiss2:
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 11:17:34 am »
I should probably add to this, that going caving (or going anywhere) while suffering from Coronavirus symptoms would probably be a significantly bad idea, even by my standards   :ang:
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Offline domestos bend

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 12:07:50 pm »
The cold hard facts would probably say its OK. But would I feel bad about it? Yes probably at this moment in time - it 'feels' too soon.

Offline Fishes

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 12:20:36 pm »
Any rescue would be a big problem for the  rescue team and its members. It may also mean that that team is not available is not available for another rescue for a while afterwards. This has been discussed elsewhere on the forum.

Offline paul

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 12:29:05 pm »
Doesn't the highlighted section in the paragraph below taken from the current advice document negate questions 3, 4 and 5?

Quote
Public spaces
SAGE advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the Government
is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors
subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; continued
compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside
your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those
responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new
COVID-19 Secure guidance.
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2020, 12:32:53 pm »
Doesn't the highlighted section in the paragraph below taken from the current advice document negate questions 3, 4 and 5?

Quote
Public spaces
SAGE advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the Government
is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors
subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; continued
compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside
your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those
responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new
COVID-19 Secure guidance.

Cave with one other person and maintain social distance?
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2020, 12:38:06 pm »
Any rescue would be a big problem for the  rescue team and its members. It may also mean that that team is not available is not available for another rescue for a while afterwards. This has been discussed elsewhere on the forum.

A protracted rescue is always a big problem for a rescue team, see https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=25092.0 as a recent example. This is a risk we all accept.

The chance and complexity of any rescue can be hugely mitigated through choice and frequency of trip.
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Online Badlad

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2020, 12:41:28 pm »
Very well reasoned Pete.  In the Dales we are urging cavers to consider the government instructions and then all the wider advice from CNCC and other organisations.  Ultimately it is up to individuals to decide.  I think your thoughts on public perception are probably the weakest part of your argument.  Overall public perception of caving is not great to start with and local feelings are running quite high in some areas.  If anyone is going caving choosing the right location and being discrete should be a priority.

We're certainly going to be monitoring the situation closely over the next few weeks.  If anyone does have any experiences in the Dales I'd love to hear about them as they will help me plan going forward.  You can rely on the fact that any emails to me will be held in the strictest confidence.  You can either PM me or use my access[at]cncc.org.uk address.

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Offline paul

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 12:45:39 pm »
Doesn't the highlighted section in the paragraph below taken from the current advice document negate questions 3, 4 and 5?

Quote
Public spaces
SAGE advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the Government
is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors
subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; continued
compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside
your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those
responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new
COVID-19 Secure guidance.

Cave with one other person and maintain social distance?

I think the whole "social distance of 2 metres" thing is misleading personally. Viruses spread through contact with the eyes, nose or mouth (such as when you touch your face after getting the virus on your hand) or through droplet infection (breathing in droplets in the air after an infected person has sneezed, coughed, spluttered, or sometimes even spoken, etc).

It is thought that the droplets from a cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within 2 metres of being emitted so this leads to the "keep 2 metres apart" recommendation.

That's fine if you both are standing still but if two people are moving one behind the other and the person in front sneezes, the person behind would probably walk into the droplet cloud as it is falling to the ground within that 2 metre radius even if they were 2 metres apart.  So you probably need to keep quite a bit further apart than 2 metres when moving. And if you are moving even faster, say running or cycling, the chances that you hit that droplet cloud will be even greater so you would need to keep apart an even larger distance.
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 12:51:26 pm »
I think your thoughts on public perception are probably the weakest part of your argument.  Overall public perception of caving is not great to start with and local feelings are running quite high in some areas.  If anyone is going caving choosing the right location and being discrete should be a priority.

I don't disagree. That is because it is about perception, so no facts or reason will ever answer this concern fully. As you say discretion and choice of location are key, but certainly for many Dales caves and a good number of Mendip caves (can't speak for Peak as I don't know the area well, and Wales is off limits anyway), you will park on the side of the road, miles from where anyone lives, so there should be options here.

The other point which I think is important is avoiding peak times, sunny weekends etc. It doesn't matter if it's dark when you cave, but there will be far fewer locals or tourists out an about in the evening. What reason have they to leave home when the shops and pubs are shut and work is finished for the day. The roads around where I live are deserted after 8pm.
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 01:04:03 pm »
What's the point of going somewhere super-easy? Really? With one other person, to a cave that I don't need a rescue from? That's Windy Knoll and Odin Cave in Castleton. So an extra radon dose just to prove a point, and piss off everyone in the village who would see me going there. There are many other easy caves I could go to in other areas (if I were allowed to get on a bus), like Stoney or Calver or Matlock Bath - trouble is I've been to them all a million times before, and there's absolutely nothing to be gained by another visit, other than 'getting out of the house'. I could badly twist my ankle climbing through the jungle to get to the entrances in Stoney, and I'll still need rescuing if I can't walk. Hopefully I would have arranged a callout. Hopefully they would have persuaded me not to go instead. I know half of DCRO, as I go caving with many of them when they're off-duty, and I'd like to stay friends with them.

The only reason I want to go caving is to carry on with my stalled projects, and none of them are easy and a rescue would be protracted and at very close-quarters. Going with anyone else would be from another household, but I can't dig on my own. If no-one has the virus then no-one can catch it, but none of us can be 100% sure that we don't have it. I fight most bugs off pretty well and almost never catch anything when everyone else does, but what if it's me who's innocently giving out all these bugs to everyone else?

I've just been down the main shopping street The Moor in Sheffield, and if that's anything to go by, we're gonna have another spike here in about a fortnight - and judging by the general health of the people who were gathered around, they're all gonna die. And this time I don't care, as they're blatantly asking for it now. Shop staff with no masks all leaning on each other laughing, and a guy touting the queue for 'Scan and Shop' bullshit tags looming in my face, despite him wearing a badge saying '2 metres' - I told him to back off and he looked offended. He'd have been far more offended if I'd lamped him, the fuckwit. The UK Freedom Movement is organising mass parties in my two favourite parks tomorrow, and it could get nasty, despite their 'happy clappy' posters that they're currently sleazing around the internet. Needless to say I won't be going anywhere near them now.

It's frustrating and it's boring, but my mental health isn't suffering one iota from this lockdown, and neither is it for most of my caving friends, as far as I can deduce. Though watching many of my fellow countryfolk gradually let selfishness and their general unhealthiness overcome altruism is a tad depressing, as it was looking quite positive for improvement. Why 'not going caving' negatively affects one's mental health is beyond me, other than the lack of exercise, but I am getting that by other means, and anyone can. There are many other 'hobbies' that could be tried out in the interim, and there's plenty of cave research and other stuff to do if it has to be cave-related. I've just written two long articles, and have a third in the pipeline.

Things will improve no doubt, but for now I believe we just have to sit it out, tedious as that seems. As soon as the rules start bending, all the retards will start lunging. And surely - if you're a cop in the countryside and you start seeing cars parking up at 8pm in remote laybys, and there's definitely no-one from the same household shagging in them, then I have a feeling even they may be able to put two and two together.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2020, 01:04:24 pm »
I think the whole "social distance of 2 metres" thing is misleading personally. Viruses spread through contact with the eyes, nose or mouth (such as when you touch your face after getting the virus on your hand) or through droplet infection (breathing in droplets in the air after an infected person has sneezed, coughed, spluttered, or sometimes even spoken, etc).

It is thought that the droplets from a cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within 2 metres of being emitted so this leads to the "keep 2 metres apart" recommendation.

That's fine if you both are standing still but if two people are moving one behind the other and the person in front sneezes, the person behind would probably walk into the droplet cloud as it is falling to the ground within that 2 metre radius even if they were 2 metres apart.  So you probably need to keep quite a bit further apart than 2 metres when moving. And if you are moving even faster, say running or cycling, the chances that you hit that droplet cloud will be even greater so you would need to keep apart an even larger distance.

Again, I don't disagree.

But what about the perspective? A reasonable worst case (ie what the media are reporting: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52662066) suggests 1 in 400 people could have Covid-19 right now. Of those, 80% will have no symptoms.

So the chances of your asymptomatic caving partner having covid-19 are 1:400 x 80%. This is 0.2% before you even consider how likely you are to catch it off them.

I would be bloody sure that you chance of running into the virus are far higher at the supermarket, just because of the sheer number of people.
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Offline Fjell

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2020, 01:10:42 pm »
The population has been whipped up and it will take some time to de-whip them. The CMO is quite clear the chance of transmitting it outside is very low, probably about zero if you don’t protractedly breathe all over someone. Even the boys in blue have told people to stop walking in the road because you can’t catch it walking past someone.

But that doesn’t stop the Westmorland Gazette today losing it’s mind over it. Although who they are talking to is unclear. The Park is unlocking the car parks in walking areas and coming up with some advanced plan for min distance between cars no doubt, because that will be very important to them. And it is obviously critical to limit the number of people on High Street. The fact that having people stand all day at the Haweswater car park telling people off is hardly risk reducing for them doesn’t seem to have entered the calculations.

Back to caving, the additional risk to people going caving is as near zero as makes no difference. There is a small risk to a rescue team, so it would seem self-evident to avoid said team having to turn out. However you arrange it, it should only happen if you know for certain someone needs serious help, stretcher etc (very uncommon looking at the incident list). So not for being late for instance, or lost. I really don't know how you would explain being lost at the moment. Or being stuck beyond a nasty squeeze you have never done before. It might help if the person you leave a callout with is prepared to turn up and go down the cave to see why you aren’t home yet, or at least drive to the entrance to check things out. Take a bivi tent and Trangia and add 12 hours to your normal call out time. Next morning sounds good. You’ll be needing spare lights and batteries for your night out. And obviously you won’t need CRO to pick someone off a rope for you.
Two family units taking a rig/derig approach might be an idea, one backing up the other during the day. It’s the reality of expedition caving in many places, so excellent practice.


Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2020, 01:12:10 pm »
Where have you got 80 % having no symptoms from? As far as we know 80 % have a mild illness, but mild doesn't mean no symptoms it means that you aren't going to die so don't need hospital. A mild illness from Covid-19 can still be grim for you.

Most of the studies apparently showing how large a proportion have no symptoms are miss-interpreted by the media. They show that a proportion of people had no symptoms at the time of testing but they don't follow up to see if they get ill later. With an incubation period of up to 14 days this is a distinct possibility.
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Offline alexchien

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2020, 01:22:12 pm »
make an informed decision and get on with it, or not.

lot's of waffle , meanwhile people are out there discretely doing it.

The 'rescue' argument IMO is a Red Herring. Ask CRO how many actual cave rescues they have been called out to (for fit, young to middle aged people) in the last few years.
Cave incident numbers have been declining.
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Sure, there could be an incident, but I could also get knocked of my bike by some twat, which is much more likely, as happened to someone on the road from Horton to Settle.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2020, 01:23:58 pm »
Where have you got 80 % having no symptoms from? As far as we know 80 % have a mild illness, but mild doesn't mean no symptoms it means that you aren't going to die so don't need hospital. A mild illness from Covid-19 can still be grim for you.

Most of the studies apparently showing how large a proportion have no symptoms are miss-interpreted by the media. They show that a proportion of people had no symptoms at the time of testing but they don't follow up to see if they get ill later. With an incubation period of up to 14 days this is a distinct possibility.

Sorry, context is important.

I wasn't trying to suggest that you had an 80% chance of no symptoms yourself if infected. What I was saying is that if you caving partner has got it (1 in 400 chance) there is a good chance (80%) that he (or she) doesn't know about it at the time (though may still infect you). This is a worst case as you'd hope they stayed home with mild symptoms, but I don't have data for this.

One assumes that you aren't at risk from someone who has it (1 in 400) and is badly unwell at the time (20%), because they stayed at home (or are in hospital)  :)

80% was from WHO: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200306-sitrep-46-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=96b04adf_4
Quote
For COVID-19, data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation
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Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2020, 01:28:33 pm »
OK no worries. The exact quote is "data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic" which isn't that helpful because it ranges from being totally asymptomatic for the whole disease, and getting hit hard with it and feeling absolutely aweful, but not quite needing hospital. I had a 'mild' case of swine-flu in 2009 and I felt absolutely shocking, I ended up passed out on the floor in the hall where my mum later found me later in a puddle of sweat. Took me 3 months to recover to the point where I could walk up a hill in the Peak!
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2020, 01:39:46 pm »
Fair point, which again reduces the likelihood that your caving partner will be an asymptomatic carrier, so your odds are probably far better than I suggested.  :thumbsup:

Note: the "like" isn't to suggest I'm pleased you had swine flu! more that the clarification on what "mild" means is very helpful
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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2020, 01:42:23 pm »
Possibly. I think that if your risk assessment relies on second guessing all these (poorly understood) parameters then something is wrong though! Not that that's what you are relying on. I hadn't gone caving for a year or two before all this anyway due to work, injuries and doing more mountaineering and climbing so I might as well wait a bit longer until things are more stable and access etc is sorted. 
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Offline ttxela2

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2020, 02:28:27 pm »
Dunno

I've been sitting at home or walking around the village like a good boy waiting for the official advice that it's Ok to do something a little more fulfilling. Now it's here it seems I have to not only judge the risk for myself (not a problem we always have to do that) but weigh up factors like upsetting locals, jeopardising future access, making myself unpopular with rescue teams if they get wind of any trip.

I admit I am a bear of very little brain as far as the science is concerned many people I know and respect are putting up arguments that it's Ok and others are set against it. I can't go at a quiet time such as a weekday or evening as I am still working, as I have throughout, and without the ability to overnight I'm pretty limited to weekend daytime.

I have a choice of several supposedly now permitted activities this weekend;

1. Stay at home and continue projects there, been doing rather a lot of that lately, it would be nice to have a change.
2. Go caving/mine exploring, would have to be Peak or Surrey if limited to a day trip, I don't really mind doing an easy trip to somewhere I've been before, advice seems vague and inconsistent, possibly people I know as friends would disapprove.
3. Go Hillwalking, Peak probably the only realistic option for a day trip, likely to be extremely busy, advice seems to be based around 'respect' and avoiding busier areas - I could try and choose a route I think is going to be unpopular but I'll be driving a long way on this assumption, everyone will likely be thinking along the same lines, what if my chosen route/parking area is unexpectedly busy, I can forsee driving around forlornly looking for a quiet enough spot.
4. Take the motorhome out for a jaunt/picnic before returning home, supposedly allowed but much talk of misunderstanding from the public and disapproval of folks thinking we are off on holiday, concern over being stopped by the police etc.
5. Kayaking on the river - BCU advice is the clearest I've seen so far but does still recommend staying local, fortunately I can get on the river within walking distance of home, go with the wife with some confidence I can comply with all distancing rules etc. If the river is unexpectedly busy I can return home with minimum fuss/effort.

On balance I think I'm kayaking tomorrow.


Offline Ed

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2020, 02:33:34 pm »
rightly or wrongly - just don't expect a friendly welcome from many of the locals around the Dales

Online Jenny P

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2020, 03:00:00 pm »
In some specific cases where it is necessary for instance, to ask for permission at a farm or to collect a key from someone local, DCA have been told by these people that they wish us to stay away for the moment.  There are other sites in the Peak where there is normally no interaction with the owner involved but they have still specifically informed DCA that they would prefer cavers to stay off their land for the moment.  We have to respect these requests for the future of caving in our region.

Other regions may have similar requests from some local landowners where there are caves.  In addition, some local communities are genuinely worried that visiting outsiders, irrespective of whether walking, caving, climbing, cycling, etc. may bring the disease in with them. 

It depends entirely on the local circumstances so there really is no one-size-fits-all.  It's their livelihood and living whereas it's our passtime.

We would want to maintain the goodwill of these local people for the benefit of future cavers so it behoves all of us to be really aware of local sensitivities.  I think that's what all the advice from the various caving bodies and regions is trying to get across.

Online Badlad

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2020, 03:01:30 pm »
It is worth remembering that the YDNP (like others) was established in law to benefit the public.  Now that travel restrictions have been lifted people have a right to visit unless that changes.  As long as you park sensibly, the PROW and access land is open.  Caving aside, there are many things you can do including wandering around looking at surface features - a very pleasant way to spend a day out.  As a local I very much disagree with the attitude of some of my neighbours that want to keep people away.  I fully realise that some visitors can be a pain, even a down right menace, but many, many visitors are not and take an awful lot of enjoyment from visiting this part of the world and generally behave very responsibly.  I, and many others, welcome visitors (and I have noting to gain from them unlike many businesses up here). 

BCRC and CRO have been quite positive, not wanting to put anyone off enjoying the countryside IMO.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2020, 05:27:59 pm »
Much depends on the area where you go caving. Swildons is closed at the request of the landowner I believe. Also St Cuthberts which is adjacent to the BEC HQ. The chairman of the MRO controls Reservoir Hole and is also part of the FCQ management committee. He would hardly go against MRO advice. Nearly every cave on Mendip is on private property where access arrangements would not want to be compromised. Yup give it ago elsewhere but be prepared to be pilloried if something goes wrong. I am staying away for the very last reason.

Offline JoshW

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2020, 05:34:44 pm »
I personally think restrictions for travel/working etc have been lifted too early, and will be continuing to function as I have during lockdown until I'm convinced that the risk to me, others and the NHS has reduced enough.

Living miles away from caves, mean caving isn't yet an option to me, and I will probably resume caving once the huts reopen, and I can have a proper weekend of it.

 

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