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.