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TOPIC: Ogof Draenen - "Stop" Notice

Ogof Draenen - "Stop" Notice 3 months 1 week ago #32702

  • Ian
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Dear PDCMG Clubs Representatives, Committee Members and trustees

Yesterday a meeting organised by Amelia Pannett of CADW was held to discuss and review the illegal excavation on the Garnddyrus Forge and Hills Tramroad, scheduled monument MM189. At this meeting there were representatives from CADW, National Park, Police, Natural Resources Wales, BCA, CCC (Secretary and Conservation/ Access Officer), and PDCMG (secretary (me) and a trustee) and couple of interested local cavers.

The meeting opened with Jon Berry (CADW), outlining the legal requirements to request changes to scheduled monuments and the current legislation which protects scheduled monuments. This current legislation does not allow for ignorance of the law as a defence for any damage to a scheduled monument. In summary as my previous report this new entrance constitutes criminal damage of a scheduled monument.

If anyone wants further information on scheduled monuments in Wales and the legislation in place to protect them please contact Amelia, her e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A question was raised to ask if permission had been sought for this new entrance if it would have been permitted. In reviewing the site these changes would not have been permitted by CADW due to its location adjacent to a public footpath and the potential to permanently damage the tramway. Those present representing the statuary bodies; CADW, Police, and National Park Representative (who are responsible for maintaining footpaths) stated that this new entrance to Ogof Draenen must be sealed and the damage to Tramroad repaired to return the site to its original state prior to the excavation. The police officer, Maldwyn John requested if anyone from the caving community had any information on those who had caused this criminal damage to contact him, any information given maybe in confidence. Maldwyn’s contact details are Tel. 01495 238006 / 07464 645412 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Once the site meeting was finished a small group of those present, including CADW, NRW, PDCMG, CCC and BCA adjourned to NRW offices to discuss how to progress repair of the damage to the Tramroad. This included short term actions to assess potential bat activity through the entrance, protecting the entrance from potential accidental entry and protecting the site from further damage. Longer term activities were also discussed.

One of those activities is for the caving community to be informed that Ogof Draenen must not be entered by this entrance and to do so is a criminal act. CADW will be placing a ‘Stop Notice’ at the site which will also inform the public that this entry must not be used to access Ogof Draenen. This is also the purpose of this e-mail; so PDCMG Club representatives please forward this information to your Club members. If any club representatives requires further clarification or information please contact Amelia or Maldwyn.

Other reports and information will be sent out by CCC and other caving publications. Over the next few weeks a more detailed joint statement will be issued by the caving organisations involved.

Sue Mabbett
PDCMG Secretary
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Ogof Draenen - "Stop" Notice 3 months 1 week ago #32703

  • DaveT
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I think the obvious outcome from this is the urgent need for a big team of committed cavers to dig a new entrance in land not controlled by Pwll Du conservation so that the PDCMG finally become redundant. There are a couple of possible sites - it just needs the will, manpower and maybe some of Dr Nobel's linctus. CADW are being a bit anal on this, its an old track and the hole is to one side - maybe dig a passage to connect further up the hill and seal and make good the existing hole. That way the bats (our friends!) will still have access.

Dave
Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by DaveT. Reason: more spellos
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Ogof Draenen - "Stop" Notice 3 months 1 day ago #32787

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Joint Statement by the Secretaries of Pwll Du Cave Management Group (PDCMG) and Cambrian Caving Council (CCC).

There is a new entrance to Ogof Draenen, excavated within a Scheduled Monument. Following recent publicity, it has come to our attention that some cavers are contacting Cadw to question the closure of Twll Du. Cadw’s position in law is very clear in that Twll Du is within the boundary of a Scheduled Monument. Strong support was given at the community resolution meeting on the 10th January 2018 for Cadw's position that continued entry into Twll Du risks further damage to the Scheduled Monument which would be against the law. Going forward we ask that anyone who wishes to have further clarification on any aspects of Twll Du that they contact PDCMG (Sue Mabbett) or CCC (Allan Richardson) in the first instance, if we are unable to answer your query we will contact Cadw on your behalf.
Since the last postings by PDCMG and CCC, Cadw have, in response to queries, provided the following statement as part of their reply which clearly shows their legal position.
“The aim of scheduling is to ensure the long-term preservation of a site. Any proposal to carry out works at a scheduled monument which would have the effect of demolishing, destroying, damaging, removing, repairing, altering, adding to, flooding, or covering up a monument must be the subject of an application for scheduled monument consent. It is an offence to carry out such works at the site of a scheduled monument without first obtaining scheduled monument consent. Cadw were not consulted about the excavation of the new hole, nor was scheduled monument consent sought or granted, and therefore the excavation constitutes unauthorised work carried out in breach of the 1979 and 2016 legislation. Continued use of the illegally excavated hole and damage caused by that use are also in breach of the legislation and could result in prosecution. There is an on-going Police investigation into the excavation and use of the illegal hole, and increased monitoring by Cadw, BBNPA and Gwent Police is being carried out.”
We ask the caving community to support us by respecting the wishes of Cadw.

Sue Mabbett, Secretary PDCMG, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Allan Richardson, Secretary CCC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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