Author Topic: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus  (Read 4739 times)

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2020, 10:17:13 am »
They do seem to represent many of the cavers who opened up the caves, but not those who just want to go caving (who are actually the majority, but not generally on committees).

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2020, 10:18:24 am »
That was written long after most access bodies were set up.
I am afraid not.  It was lifted from the NCA constitution so could have ben written before such bodies were set up, given NCA dates back to the late 70s.  Indeed given so much of the BCA constitution was a straight lift from the NCA constitution, it makes me wonder whether the whole thing is fit for purpose these days.  However we did manage to get the veto clause excluded. 

But I note that it remains in the CSCC constitution as an option for a club to use.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2020, 10:21:23 am »
If this general statement is a fact let us have some instances.

" 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 . "

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2020, 10:27:21 am »
There are several under 16s, who are better cavers than many committee members, who would like to go down GB.

On the access bodies - they still decided to form before they agreed to be part of the NCA / BCA.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2020, 10:32:46 am »
There are several under 16s, who are better cavers than most committee members, who would like to go down GB.
One such U16 is currently arranging a Charterhouse trip with me for August when he turns 16. Just hoping the CCC re-open the caves in time, based on updated gov guidance allowing people to meet indoors.

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On the access bodies - they still decided to form before they decided to be part of the NCA / BCA.
I would question if the landowners and/ or land use is the same now as it was when the ACB's formed and whether they still fill the need that they were formed to fill?
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Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2020, 10:36:55 am »
Generally they want someone to take responsibility for the entrance(s). They don't have much involvement in how that's done (although they may have stipulated originally).

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2020, 10:43:51 am »
So the ACB's are pretty much at liberty to deal with the entrances as they choose, which links nicely back to the BCA constitution "as freely as possible for all responsible cavers"
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Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2020, 10:47:14 am »
Except they exist to protect the caves & the landowners, not just the interests of cavers...

Offline Fjell

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2020, 11:00:18 am »
Coming from a farming family and having had various farmers as neighbours I can assure you they spend most of their time bitching about each other and obsessing about making money (or often the opposite). Cavers are a micro-issue unless they interfere with money, get in the bloody way or (don’t go there) try and tell them what to do. No-one tells any farmer what to do, especially when they cock something up. They only do what is really a shit job to get away from people telling them what to do.
At the other end of the scale are landowners in the Dales who have tenants. These are the sort of people you can chat to on the sidelines of school rugby matches. They are very aware their whole position is somewhat under threat. They are thinking bog management will fruitfully replace grouse. I see them going fell running even. All highly discussible.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2020, 11:37:46 am »
An interesting thought Mikem might want to look up. I think that the Leicester spike resulted in infections in a meat processing plant. The Sunday Times quoted the conditions there as dark, high humidity and low temperature ( this hearsay as I have not checked ) . Ring any bells ?

Offline Fjell

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2020, 12:07:53 pm »
An interesting thought Mikem might want to look up. I think that the Leicester spike resulted in infections in a meat processing plant. The Sunday Times quoted the conditions there as dark, high humidity and low temperature ( this hearsay as I have not checked ) . Ring any bells ?

The CNCC booking system which in principle allocates one group a day to a cave seems a good idea doesn’t it in that light? Maybe CSCC could apply it to Swildons etc? I’m sure the chap who wrote it would be only too willing to help if you asked really nicely.
I would think a 24 hour gap between people would probably do the job sufficiently. If not you could allow bookings every other day. Short of a vaccine that works for old people, what option do you have for years to come?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2020, 12:17:41 pm »
Maybe CSCC could apply it to Swildons etc?

The CSCC does not control access to Swildon's.

It has also made absolutely no effort to enable safe (or any) access to the sites it does control during the Coronavirus outbreak. The only statement on the subject is that "all the Mendip Huts are closed and are therefore unable to issue keys." This neglects the fact that many Mendip clubs do not have a hut, so all keys are held by members. I am also unaware of any reason why individuals more generally should not hold their own personal CSCC key as this does not seem to be addressed on the CSCC website. Either way, I know many people do...
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Offline MarkS

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2020, 12:21:55 pm »
It strikes me as very odd that the CSCC site states that Fairy Cave Quarry has been open to climbers since June 5th, but that "Taking into account the current government, BCRC, MCR & BCA regulations, advice & permitted activities and the nature of the caves in the quarry, Fairy Cave Quarry remains closed for caving.".

I'm not sure what BCA or BCRC "regulations" (have there been any?) this refers to. The guidance from each (since mid May) suggests that caving is assumed to be taking place as far as I can tell.

If questions are being raised over access and restrictions, perhaps it is in the CSCC's best interests to be clear and open as to why such restrictions are in place?

In the Dales and in the Peak District I am aware of multiple sites that are (or have been) closed due to COVID-19, and the regional councils have been very open and clear as to why. I have no reason to question them. However, if they started quoting BCA/BCRC guidelines as to why caving on their land wasn't OK, but that it was OK for climbers, I would be pretty irritated and would be asking questions.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2020, 12:29:53 pm »
The chap who wrote the CNCC's online booking system was also BCA's webmaster for the last year. He resigned from that role recently following the CSCC proposals which specifically aimed to abolish his role (i.e. to get rid of him), and various CSCC supporters, one in particular, who spent several months deliberately obstructing him from supporting the BCA's much needed modernisation. A little off topic, but I would be very surprised to see the CSCC approaching him for use of the online booking system anytime soon  :lol:
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Offline Fjell

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2020, 12:42:04 pm »
Like I said, really really nicely.......
Correct me if I err, but my understanding is that CNCC in no way controls access, but agrees to help out the landowner meet their objectives implementing an access agreement via things like provision of a booking system to enable cavers to spread the load sensibly. It is of far more use to cavers than anyone else. Can be booked mere seconds before entering the cave if you have phone reception. Anyone can use it.
There is no reason that booking system couldn’t be used for Mendip caves to assist with self regulation if there was a problem with numbers. All that is required is self-discipline and consideration for others.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2020, 12:58:58 pm »
perhaps it is in the CSCC's best interests to be clear and open as to why such restrictions are in place?

To be fair, while the CSCC has done nothing to enable access, it has also done nothing to prevent access, so we should probably give them a break on this particular point.

All the restrictions in place have sod all to do with the CSCC, they are each the work of separate Access Controlling Bodies (albeit that some names may appear in more than one organisation...)

This is possibly one of the issues in Mendip, there are who knows how many ACB's in the region. I'm not sure if there is even a list anywhere?
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2020, 01:28:02 pm »
The CNCC were considered an Access Controlling Body at the time when most access agreements were aimed at member clubs.  That has changed.  CNCC likes to think that it represents all cavers who cave in, or visit the north, club, independent or otherwise.  We work with landowners, land managers, authorities and others to facilitate the best access we can on behalf of cavers.  Of course we do other things too like all the conservation work, anchors, training, PR, etc.

Offline Hunter

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2020, 01:59:42 pm »
Just going off at a slight tangent but still relative with regard to the same individuals being on several of the Mendip access organisations.
Rather than scorn their input and decisions maybe ask yourself why it is those same people and I would suggest it is because no one else is prepared to take it on.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2020, 02:22:56 pm »
On the Leicester spike - the mayor was on radio today claiming they had done more testing than most other areas, so a rise in cases discovered was almost inevitable. A chicken processing plant in Anglesey also had an outbreak amongst staff - very similar working conditions again. (The Weston super mare hospital closure contained their problem.)

& the CSCC post doesn't refer to BCA regulations, it's talking about government ones, the BCA input would come under the advice headline.

Most ACBs require insurance, so BCA has a list of them.

Also, the CNCC booking system does not apply to majority of the most popular caves in the Dales.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 02:43:02 pm by mikem »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2020, 03:06:14 pm »
Most ACBs require insurance, so BCA has a list of them.
Is this public? I can't find it...

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Also, the CNCC booking system does not apply to majority of the most popular caves in the Dales.
Because they are open access and do not require any permission to descend?
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Offline bagpuss

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2020, 03:44:29 pm »
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.

Interested to know what you mean by government standards, I noticed some show caves are reopening from July, of course it doesn't mean that just because they are opening the risk is lessened, as it will be an economical decision, however they will have far more footfall than Mendip caves. If the virus is to be with us for a long time is it not better to have discussion about how access can be managed to more popular caves such as Swildon's and what steps cavers should take to protect themselves etc? I'm not caving at the moment, so purely asking hypothetically.

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2020, 04:02:15 pm »
Most ACBs require insurance, so BCA has a list of them.
Is this public? I can't find it...
Not as far as I'm aware, but clubs that are also ACBs pay an extra, but reduced subscription, so it must exist.
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Also, the CNCC booking system does not apply to majority of the most popular caves in the Dales.
Because they are open access and do not require any permission to descend?
Because the landowners don't require someone else to manage the cavers. Most of the ones that are on the system are those that require permits.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2020, 04:31:29 pm »
Most ACBs require insurance, so BCA has a list of them.
Is this public? I can't find it...
Not as far as I'm aware, but clubs that are also ACBs pay an extra, but reduced subscription, so it must exist.
The detail is in BCA's membership database.  BCA's privacy statement restricts its usage.  (Though this has made me wonder how BCA justifies listing member clubs.)

Offline mikem

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2020, 04:42:09 pm »
Hopefully clubs have ticked a box saying they want to be listed, so potential new members can see them...

Think there are just under 20 hut owning clubs in country, so numbers of ACBs is probably in range of c.30.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 04:52:44 pm by mikem »

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Mendip Caves closed due to Coronavirus
« Reply #49 on: July 01, 2020, 04:27:31 pm »
Having spoken with Dot Eastwater Cavern remains closed and she doesn’t want cavers coming around, so can CSCC please update accordingly.

 

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