Please distribute the following statement as widely as possible:
It is a stated aim of the British Caving Association to "support members [...] in obtaining, ensuring and maintaining access arrangements at a national, regional and club level". We would like to remind members that landowners have the right to grant or withhold access to caves and that this right remains regardless of whether the cave entrance lies on "CROW Access Land" or not.
As a result considerable work is often put in to creating Access Agreements. This is done to ensure continued access for members and also remove the burden on landowners and tenants from floods of cavers knocking at their doors. Unfortunately BCA is aware that a number of vital and sometimes delicate Agreements are currently being compromised by some cavers and clubs ignoring them. If we are not careful this could well result in the collapse of these agreements and all BCA members will lose out as a result.
Therefore, Club and Individual Members are requested to check the current access situation for all caves they intend to visit. As guidebooks are sometimes out of date, it is recommended that information is always checked with Regional Council websites or the up-to-date version of the BCA Handbook (available free from the BCA website). Updates to access arrangements are also to be found on the BCA Forum and BCA and Regional Council Newsletters. If any doubt remains, Regional Access Officers should be contacted.
9th October 2008