Author Topic: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus  (Read 4446 times)

Offline PeteHall

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Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« on: June 28, 2020, 11:36:52 am »
From the CSCC website, as of 27 Jun 2020 16:29

Quote
Caves Known To Be Closed
The following caves are known to be closed due to coronavirus:

- Fairy Cave Quarry Caves
Fairy, Hillier's, Shatter, Withyhill, etc.

- The Charterhouse Caves
GB, Longwood, Rhino, Charterhouse, etc.

- St. Cuthberts

https://cscc.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=access:access_news

Ironically, all caves where access is directly controlled by cavers...
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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 12:11:54 pm »

Quote

Ironically, all caves where access is directly controlled by cavers...

But you do need to add 'on behalf of the landowner' who you definitely want to keep onside.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 12:23:49 pm »
True, but who actually made the decision, the cavers or the landowners?

Martin Grass has made it clear that he doesn't think people should be caving and two of the three areas are where he has a direct influence.

The third area is controlled by the Charterhouse Caving Company, known to be one of the most draconian on access, yet other sites owned by the same landowner are not closed...
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Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 01:54:32 pm »
If you have a " management " committee as Fairy Cave Quarry does and to a point Charterhouse as a landowner you might expect them to manage and make decisions based on their experience and what they see on the ground as it were. The Hobbs family still own FCQ and access there is based entirely on their goodwill . If the management committee wishes to be cautious ( ie not rock the boat ) and maintains access for cavers and climbers that must be a good thing. MG does have connections with FCQ as part of the MC also as a single keyholder for Reservoir Hole. ( on behalf of Longleat Estates ). He is also part of the BEC who owns St Cuthberts. Having known MG for a few years I have learned to respect his views. He has a cautious approach which I have sometimes fallen foul of . Personally I would not want to keep those balls in the air at once satisfying cavers and landowners alike. In good time things will return to normal. The caves noted above will remain closed until they meet government standards which are applicable to all cavers on Mendip rather than a select few caving with a person from their own household.

Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 01:55:43 pm »
Half of them are leader only anyway.

Offline CandnPearce

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 02:29:34 pm »
so are all the caves closed going to reopen on 4th of July then? as that is when 2 households may meet indoors so governments standards are applicable to all mendip caves, never mind that the government already stated that caving could restart ... 

Online tim.rose2

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 05:32:53 pm »
Access to Fairy Cave quarry itself is clearly not an issue as it has been open to climbers since 5th June...

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/crag_access/fairy_cave_quarry_reopening-720349?v=1

I'm guessing that must have been approved by the land owner / management committee?  My experience is that there is far more foot fall from climbers than cavers in there (particularly this time of the year).


Offline Sid

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 05:52:53 pm »
What better time to watch and enjoy


Offline menacer

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 06:15:33 pm »
Access to Fairy Cave quarry itself is clearly not an issue as it has been open to climbers since 5th June...

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/crag_access/fairy_cave_quarry_reopening-720349?v=1

I'm guessing that must have been approved by the land owner / management committee?  My experience is that there is far more foot fall from climbers than cavers in there (particularly this time of the year).

Inconvenient truth 😆


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Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 08:09:14 pm »
The climbers were already back in there before that.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 09:14:27 pm »
Maybe it's much easier to social distance whilst climbing than being confined in a cave ( doh ! ) The climbers I saw at FCQ were maintaining distancing rules. Although certain permutations of groups could actually go caving surely its fairer to wait until we can all return to caving equally.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 09:28:12 pm »
Although certain permutations of groups could actually go caving surely its fairer to wait until we can all return to caving equally.

Shall I wait for my obese friend to loose some weight too, so we can all go caving equally? Or my mate who broke his arm, do we need to wait for him to get better?

What about my caving mate in Sweden, do I need to wait until he's in the country so we all have a fair chance?

Different people have different circumstances, it is not the job of an access controlling body to try to second guess everyone's circumstances and restrict access on the grounds that some people might not be able to go caving.

It is the job of an access controlling body to ensure access is provided as freely as possible.
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Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 08:23:04 am »
I think you'll find most of them were set up to restrict access - to reduce chances of the "general public" hurting themselves, or damaging the cave, & some were to keep certain people out.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:33:17 am by mikem »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 08:42:43 am »
From the BCA constitution:

Quote
4.6. Where caving bodies have control of access delegated to them by the owners, such access should be obtained and granted as freely as possible for all responsible cavers, within the terms of those agreements. When obliged to make new agreements, the appropriate body should endeavour to ensure that this freedom is maintained or improved.
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Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 08:56:01 am »
That was written long after most access bodies were set up. The BCA has no say in how they actually run (hence the use of "should").

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 09:27:52 am »
If the ACB's can't agree with the BCA constitution, perhaps they should not be members of the BCA? :doubt:
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Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 09:29:00 am »
Maybe they're just there for the insurance...

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 09:33:19 am »
I'm informed the Mud Sump in Swildon's is open for Round trips :bounce:

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2020, 09:34:55 am »
What a pool of negativity this forum has become. It seems the frustrations of Lockdown has not brought people together but divided them. All of the old caving myths and arguments have been revived to be chewed over time and time again. Shall we all start arguing about ladders verses SRT now. I have been involved with certain Mendip caves for 55 years. Of course, that counts for nothing now as people like me have been consigned to history as old " stick in the muds ". Reluctant to see change. The younger generation of cavers come along and feel they have the God-given right to do and go anywhere they like. Private land has no meaning for them. There is a cave there so I will ruddy well go there. They do not see the complex negotiations that go on between landowners and access management. You have access at FCQ negotiated and maintained after the caves were closed for many years. Currently access is all about complying with government advice regarding Covid -19. That's not to be trivialized by replies I have seen here. Management is about maintaining access in the longer term. Its not there to willy nilly let everyone come and go as they want. If a cave is gated its because the landowner wishes to protect his asset and reduce the risk of litigation. Gates are not there to keep genuine cavers out. Some of you would have no gates at all. Anyway its an old argument and just not worth resurrecting again. In my view the caves that require leaders are usually delicate and fragile places. Leader is a misnomer anyway. Really leaders are cave wardens there merely to protect the landowners asset and hopefully preserve something worth seeing for future cavers. Even some will see that as a problem. Yes funny that. A cave an asset. Well, I am sorry that's just how some landowners see them. They have a right to feel that asset is protected. If it was me I would drop a ruddy great boulder on some cave entrances and say sod to the lot of you.
Clearly some do not understand the difference between caving in the north and caving in the south. We don't have huge barren moors down south we have small fields usually in agricultural use and some very old fashioned farmers highly protective of their old ways and customs. Anything that appears to threaten that ( real or perceived ) will be met with hostility. We also have ex-industrial sites where landowners still have to maintain health and safety. Some may be SSSI's where further restrictions apply. Also, we have highly advertised and popular visitors sites where any negative publicity resulting from caver actions will be seen as damaging. It's a difficult mix and negotiations for continued access have to be done carefully and patiently. Farmers here will not be lectured to.
What a stupid thing to say that Mendip is controlled by  "Martin Grass sycophants." That clearly emphasises the attitude of somebody totally ignorant of Mendip and its ways. Personally I would not wish to do anything that Martin Grass does as I would quickly lose patience with all of the ignorance and hostility. Still what do I know? Its a brave new world now where the younger generation think that they know it all. Carry on then. Go and shout at few local farmers and trample over their land. There might be a dead rotting cow down that entrance next time that you go there. Or a very large boulder.

Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2020, 09:45:10 am »
Every generation is the same, just some of the issues change. It is interesting how similar the current political situation & attitudes are to the period between the death of Victoria & the start of WW1 (actually, with the pandemic, the end of the war - which is definitely a better place to be than before).
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 09:57:21 am by mikem »

Offline 2xw

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2020, 09:48:43 am »
The "younger generation" presumably meaning those who are in their 40s and 50s currently 😂

Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2020, 09:52:20 am »
You may joke (although I believe some are still in their 30s)...

Offline 2xw

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2020, 09:57:56 am »
I think it would be a lot easier to accept these explanations about complex negotiations and the land being agricultural if it weren't the same people over and over again restricting access in Draenan, Charterhouse, whatever. It's not "Mendip Cavers" it's the same group of people. It's pretty naive to assume it's all being done in good faith.


And don't be surprised that a younger generation might want change when a significant proportion of them are banned from some caves for moral and political (not legal) reasons. You wouldn't like to be banned just cos you're over 50.

Online mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2020, 10:03:33 am »
Except it's not just the same group of people, there may be individuals involved in several of them, but they aren't in the majority.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2020, 10:07:05 am »
Maybe you're right and they do represent Mendip Cavers then

 

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