News 2014

Caving news received too late for inclusion in Descent ...

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BCA poll

A POLL about whether to continue investigating caving access under CRoW is being handled by the Electoral Reform Services on behalf of BCA; the questionnaire was sent to all BCA members and arrived near the end of November 2014. Descent (241) included a report on this poll, indicating that although responses were preferred before Christmas, the closing date was the end of the year. This information was sourced from the BCA website as Descent went to print in mid-November.

However, the poll's actual closing date is for return by noon on 18 December 2014 (as stated on the covering letter), which does not allow much time between receipt and posting using the supplied second-class postage envelope. Do not delay to register your vote. The results are expected to be presented at a BCA Council meeting on 7 January 2015. (Descent 241)

The CRoW debate

THE debate over CRoW and its interpretation relating to caving has been covered in several issues of Descent. The current status and arguments for change have been published by the BCA Working Party (as a Report and Appendix) and all cavers should consider these essential reading as, in the end, it will be up to you to decide the best course for the future of British caving. The problem is that with any possible increase in access by right, there comes the issues of continued landowner relationships (where whatever happens, the landowner will control the right to dig) and conservation.

BDH containers

JON Hale has been in contact because he recently wanted to obtain a BDH container and found they were no longer available. He ended up speaking to the company that manufactered these plastic screw-top containers, which were once widely used for packing kit underground, and has the opportunity to make a once-only purchase or even, perhaps, have these made again. To do so, he needs to gauge interest levels and writes:

I need to spread the word within the community quickly, mainly here in the UK but international interest is OK too. This is a fantastic opportunity to get a much beloved product back on the market. I’ll also be talking to other sports, wholesalers and retailers.

There are a number of factors involved, but at this stage the key questions are :
1 – Would people buy BDH containers if they were available?
2 – What sizes would they want?
I’m happy for people to contact me regarding this on: bdh@wdhm.co.uk

Make contact via Jon Hale: thank you for your help. (Descent 237)

Access and the environment

A REPORT on p4 of Descent (236) concerns a debate about the trade-off between free access to the land and what this means to the environment. A poster includes the information that the event will be streamed live so that anyone interested may follow the debate even if they cannot attend in person. (Descent 236)

Portuguese appeal

THE Grupo de Espeleologia de Montanhismo (Caving and Mountaineering Group) of Portugal has acquired a refuge in the Alcanena area in the centre of the country to use as a base for activities in the limestone massif. The group has completed the initial investment, but needs help to repair the roof – which it cannot do without additional resources. To this end, the group has launched a crowdfunding campaign and has asked for help from all cavers – promising a warm welcome to everyone once the refuge has a roof! The target is €2,500. (Descent 236)