Author Topic: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves  (Read 4040 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2020, 07:01:47 pm »
I think to start with when lockdown eased up we did not want a rush of trip applications and disappointed people. Therefore the freedom to visit sites might have trickled out a bit. It would have been rather silly to have posted here " Mendip is now open and free to visits from all ". The Covid issue still applies and possibly caves are not the best place to be with people you don't know.

Online Badlad

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2020, 07:58:56 pm »
I don't think all cavers are part of the caving community or club scene, as great as that community is for many.  I think there is a minority who don't want to be part of it either but do enjoy caving.  I've come across a few of these groups and they just come to the sport in a different way to many of us.  For those outside, access may look very different from the cosy, rose tinted picture that some paint and experience.  Just a thought...

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #52 on: August 23, 2020, 10:21:40 pm »
Badlad has a good point …. (and is being very diplomatic – perhaps to the degree that his point could be missed?)

Access to (locked) caves may well be easy for those “in the know” (lots of different ways to be “in the know”) but may well be impossible for those who are on the outside ….


Here is a scenario;

The first obstacle that a “caver” needs to overcome is to know that a cave might actually need permission to enter (how many uninitiated folk might see a cave entrance and assume they can go in with a torch?)

The second obstacle might be to consider whether a cave requires permission to enter (or not) – assuming they considered the first obstacle.

The third could be to know who to approach if permission is required? (ie. who has the key?)

The fourth might be “how do I get the key”?


For cavers outside of “our” community, it is entirely possible they would not know to even consider any of the questions above.

Before each of us joined a club, how many of us wandered around (with friends) sticking our heads in various holes? How many had a gate? Did any of us know who to approach to get past that gate at that time? Did any of us know the names of any clubs or know of the existence of an access body?

There are also cavers who understand our “community” but who might not know who to approach (I think Newstuff has a club that is outside of the BCA and (as an example) does not benefit from the BCA’s (insurance?) policy that all member clubs must facilitate reasonable access to other members clubs (I am not certain that is correct and will welcome a correction). Such clubs/groups may not know of regional councils, access bodies, contact protocols et al.

There are also cavers who are IN clubs, and IN the “know” who still find themselves “locked out” because they didn’t know; for example;

... After a horrible muddy crawl that no member of public would ever do, there was a gate in the floor on the way on for some reason ...


I think the point that Badlad is making is; How could any of these “cavers” have known that there was an impediment or known what to do about it?  (again, please correct that if it is wrong).

As much as that is obviously not uniquely a CSCC/Mendips issue, it does strike a chord that the more something (anything) is locked down and micro-managed – the more you will encounter this (above) problem.

Ergo, it is more likely that vandalism will occur.

Badlad … please correct any mis-understanding I arrived at.

 :)

Ian
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2020, 07:05:56 am »
I'd broadly agree with both you and Badlad - but I'd also argue that anyone with an interest in caving should probably be regarded as one of the caving community, whether or not they're in what many of us might consider the "mainstream".


Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2020, 07:11:39 am »
Some locked Mendip Caves have clear signs with a telephone number. We have signs on the caves, on the car park gate, and the quarry gate. Hardly a case of innocent ignorance there.

Anyway --

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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2020, 12:25:30 pm »
Why cannot people just be patient? Things haven't changed since I started caving in the 60's when there were caves with rules and regs.  I started caving young and if a cave wasn't accessible at that time we would do something else. Building up experience is a wasted activity and by the time I was able to access some of the locked caves I realised why there was controlled access as it was nice to see cave formations that hadn't been damaged.  By being patient I got to the point where cave access ceased to be a problem. In a couple  of cases persons holding the keys decided they could trust me to be an ex officio leader.  In others I gained enough experience of the caves to become a leader. I was then putting back something into caving.  It is a bit ridiculous to state that nobody can find out about access to caves. If I could manage to do it (as a 17 year old teenager)  by writing letters (remember those) in the 1960',s I am sure most people have the nous to find out how to access a particular cave in this day and age. I hesitate to use the phrase 'do they need spoon feeding?' Although we joined a club when we started caving we didn't (my father me and schoolfriends) didn't actually go club caving in our first few years of exploration.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2020, 01:14:43 pm »
If I could manage to do it (as a 17 year old teenager)  by writing letters (remember those) in the 1960',s I am sure most people have the nous to find out how to access a particular cave in this day and age. I hesitate to use the phrase 'do they need spoon feeding?'

I suspect it's actually the opposite to spoon feeding these people want.

I suspect that the types of people cutting off locks to explore a cave that has contact details provided for access probably don't want permission. They want to be able to blame the system for keeping them out and make their social media post look more exciting for the fact that they broke in.

I don't think there is any helping these sort of people. Except perhaps making an extremely high security decoy gate to a non-site and spreading rumours about what had been found inside and that it was so good nobody is allowed to visit; with a bit of luck, they'd focus their efforts elsewhere  ;D
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Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2020, 01:53:06 pm »
I suspect that the types of people cutting off locks to explore a cave that has contact details provided for access probably don't want permission. They want to be able to blame the system for keeping them out and make their social media post look more exciting for the fact that they broke in.

I agree there's certainly some people like this, to whom the act of breaking in is most of the fun of exploration. I imagine that some of them wouldn't even consider going in an ungated cave or mine as there's no challenge in it!
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Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2020, 02:35:48 pm »
Musing on Badlad's thoughts a bit:

I have a caving mate who started out as an urbexer. He ended up joining a local club because that gave him access into mines that were "controlled" and gated by the club. Then he got into caving and particularly SRT.

Before joining the club, he was considering just cutting off the locks. He has an anarchic streak and is easily riled by any double standards, condescension, or elitism.

Despite that, he's a really nice, considerate, and principled person. He's conscientious about safety and conservation, and receptive to education from people who treat him with respect. We've gone on Mendip trips that require keys, and he's been very appreciative of how helpful the key holders were (and they really are helpful, at least in my experience).

People's behaviour is governed by their personal principles and their social groups. When you're "outside the tent", things look very different. Imagine if you know a bunch of urbexers, but never met a caver. How might your outlook be then?

There's a lot to be said for finding ways to bring people "inside the tent" -- even if they don't want to come all the way in, but just loiter in the porch (as it were). It opens lines of communication.

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2020, 04:53:42 pm »
People's behaviour is governed by their personal principles and their social groups.


So true … and there are many examples of it on “youtube”.  There is a particular group of lads (I can’t recall the channel name) who make a point of “breaking into” into abandoned premises including tunnels and mines (and a cave). Their entire raison d’etre seems to be the publication of “triumphs”.

Anyway, the point being made (originally by Badlad) seems to be that it doesn’t really matter what “you or I” think … it is what is in the mind of the beholder. “We” may well think that arranging access is easy, or that patience may (or will) yield dividends …. The beholder may not even be aware that a question surrounding access exists at all … for instance, most of the caves in the Dales are just open holes … how would a group of friends wild camping know that they need a permit to enter (some of) the caves or that CNCC exists?

Mr Ruminator’s frustration is very clear and we would all (most probably all anyway) stand at his side to defend against damage to formations.  The solution (if there even is one) has to embrace the “thinking processes” that evolve in the minds of the people trying to gain entry.

Generally speaking, I wonder if the damage caused at “gated” caves is more/less/the same as damage caused at ungated caves?  It is probably an unanswerable question but it would be interesting to know.

Ian


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Offline Fishes

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2020, 05:58:59 pm »
As an outsider I have never had any problems getting access to places in Mendip. It really isn't so difficult.

Lack of access information can't really be used as an excuse these days as most of us carry a device around that gives access to more information than you will ever need. If a simple search doesn't find it then you can always come to somewhere like UK caving and ask for help. In general access is easier now than it has ever been, although covid 19 is complicating matters at the moment.

If one or two locks were damaged then it might be down to ignorance. If a large number are damaged then I suspect it is down to someone with an agenda. They clearly don't care about anyone else or their property. This is criminal damage that can put ongoing access at risk.

The problem here is not Mendip access policies, gates and locks. It is a stupid, selfish individual or group who only care about themselves or their agenda.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2020, 08:23:05 pm »
Ignore the rabid nutter. Don't feed it. Meanwhile it's worth pointing out that the C20th problem of not knowing how to gain access has been totally superceded in the C21st by the internet. The signs I commissioned and installed at FCQ were specifically done to appease the nutter brigade as they are on every entrance of note and provide easily readable and actionable instructions on what an interested party can do to gain access. Can't really make it easier than that. Anyone who has issues with it clearly has issues and is beyond help.

The caves there are jewels and a Derbyshire key would be a disaster for their well-being.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2020, 03:44:24 pm »
Ignore the rabid nutter. Don't feed it.

Ah, the ex-moderator, appears. What disability are you faking this time?
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Offline glyders

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2020, 06:30:40 pm »
As someone who rarely (if ever) can plan ahead for a trip due to work and family committments that change all the time, I find the need to arrange to get a key difficult. I can't remember the last time I knew more than an hour before that I was able to go on a personal caving trip - it must have been at least 12 years ago going by the age of my eldest.
So, I don't get to go in lots of lovely caves. But you know what, it's not a problem. Sure, if I could go online and fill something in and get a combination lock code immediately, that would be wonderful, but I get why the gates are there.

Online Pegasus

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2020, 08:45:44 pm »
Administrator Comment Cap'n Chris / Newstuff, please - It's been a long day, thank you :)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2020, 09:24:28 pm »
Happy and Jolly Mendip cavers today. No key required.

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Offline Roger W

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2020, 11:23:45 pm »
No need for a key there - your bus pass will get you in!
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Online Alex

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Re: Vandalised Locks on Mendip Caves
« Reply #67 on: August 26, 2020, 01:01:41 pm »
Quote
As someone who rarely (if ever) can plan ahead for a trip due to work and family committments that change all the time, I find the need to arrange to get a key difficult. I can't remember the last time I knew more than an hour before that I was able to go on a personal caving trip - it must have been at least 12 years ago going by the age of my eldest.
So, I don't get to go in lots of lovely caves. But you know what, it's not a problem. Sure, if I could go online and fill something in and get a combination lock code immediately, that would be wonderful, but I get why the gates are there.

That my man (having to sort it out in advance) is my biggest problem with gates with keys and of course advanced permits in general (which thankfully are becoming a thing of the past up here in the Dales, I really do love the CNCC booking system)!

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)

 

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