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NEWS

BCA’s CRoW access

campaign hits the buffers

BCA has kept rather quiet since its AGM in June 2016 about a motion that was passed to halt their CRoW Access Land campaign. Tim Allen, BCA’s CRoW development officer, was told to focus instead on landowner relations and stop working on the statutory rights access project created after a clear referendum result amongst caver members. This is because a small group of activitists argued successfully that BCA’s constitution prevented the organisation from taking any stance that could be interpreted as being against landowners’ interests. Read the discussion from the bottom of page 20 to the middle of page 23 in the BCA AGM minutes. BCA has recognized that it needs to change its constitution to serve cavers and caving rather than provide landowners with free support.  So BCA will table constitutional amendments at its March council meeting to put to its June 2017 AGM. There are three hurdles to jump over, each higher than the previous.  First, BCA council has to agree on its recommended changes, and at present there are various competing ideas. Second, the AGM has to vote them through in both the ‘club’ and the ‘direct member’ voting colleges.  Third, if passed it may then need another expensive postal ballot costing the BCA £thousands where a 70% majority is needed to have any effect. In January 2017 Tim Allen put all this into the public domain by starting a discussion on the ukCaving forum website available at: ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21489

NRW buys scaffolding

NRW has agreed to provide funds for extra scaffolding and replacement shuttering in the first boulder choke in Ogof Craig a Ffynnon to protect access to the scientific interest of the cave. The photo shows there is a lot of fresh air and economy of metal in the scaffolding at present. The tapes were added recently to keep visitors off any potentially loose rock.

Ogof Gofan featured by

Ministry of Defence

The MOD showcases its conservation projects once a year in an impressive 100- page all-colour glossy magazine called Sanctuary available online from gov.uk.  Issue 45 for 2016 presents MOD’s ongoing conservation and archaeology work at Ogof Gofan to support the caver access scheme negotiated by Cambrian Caving Council. 2017 Club Committee The list of officers and ordinary committee members elected at the AGM in January are shown on the contacts page.  We also welcome Chris Tomlin who has kindly agreed to join the committee.  

CAVE SCIENCE LINKS

Flood pulse monitoring

CSS and SWCC members have been monitoring the cave river level in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1 since the summer of 2015.  Half-hourly readings of the cave river level are stored in a data logger in the cave.

LNRC pollution

The last major diesel incident occurred in late August or early September 2014.  But a smaller incident has been recorded too, starting late on a November night in 2015.

Cave telephones

As used by UK cave rescue teams.  How they work, circuit diagrams and firmware. The photo shows a batch of underground handsets in production.

Caver counters

An overview with examples of the system and results from caves in South Wales.
CHELSEA SPELÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY Caving in Wales, the South of England, and beyond

Sewage leaking into Ogof Pont Gam

Cavers have reported raw sewage in the upper part of the cave while doing the through trip from Ogof

Pont Gam to Ogof Nant Rhin during February.  This is entering from various inlets and creating an awful

smell in the cave.  The Brynmawr Sewage Works is a few hundred metres away up the hill, and close to

the site of some explosives tests associated with the A465 dual carriageway project late last year. No

connection between these various matters is being suggested.  NRW has been asked to investigate the

pollution because these caves - and incredibly the sewage works itself too - are designated as sites of

special scientific interest (SSSI) and sewage entering water courses is a potential public health hazard. 

Costain expect Ogof Nant Rhin and Ogof Pont Gam caves to be closed, along with nearby footpaths,

from March to June 2017 while rock is removed to create the new A465 split-level east-bound lanes.

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