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The Bristol Exploration Club, The Belfry, Wells Road, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset.
Editor: Dave Turner

The views expressed by contributors to the Belfry Bulletin, including those of club officers are not necessarily the views of the committee of the Bristol Exploration Club, or the editor, unless so stated.  The Editor cannot guarantee the accuracy of information contained in contributed matter as it cannot normally be checked in the time at his disposal.

Editor’s Notes

Politics and Caving

Most members cannot fail to notice the increased size of this BB which unfortunately is due to bureaucratic ineptitude rather than reports of cave discoveries etc.  It is a pity that the most significant find on Mendip for many years – The Cheddar River Cave - is totally eclipsed by the recent problems caused by the enforcement of the scheduling of all the major caves as SSSI’s.

We (Bob Cork, Hon. Sec. and I) have decided that we ought to present club members with all the relevant paperwork concerning the way which the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) has notified landowners of the NCC’s powers over scheduled land.  We have decided to do so as the heavy handed way the NCC has exerted its power has caused the biggest upset in caver/landowner relations since caving began on Mendip at the turn of the century.

For those members who are out of touch with events on “The Hill” it should be pointed out that all active cavers fully understand and sympathise with the landowners anger. The major caves have been shut and the BEC Committee have closed Cuthbert’s for a period of 2 weeks to show solidarity.  Most landowners realise that local cavers are not responsible for the NCC action but if it wasn't for cavers and caving this action would not have happened, and so we are involved and must try to achieve a compromise.

I have also included some of the correspondence and papers concerning the application for planning permission to develop caves in Fairy Cave Quarry as a show cave complex.  This has been turned down by Mendip District Council and there is a strong feeling locally that the National Caving Association (NCA) exceeded its powers in its critical lobbying of Mendip District Councillors.

Dave Turner 21/5/86

Data Protection Act

In the light of the recent Data Protection Act members may be interested to know that the BEC membership list is held on a computer.  As this list contains only that information required for BB delivery (number, name and address) there is no requirement for us to pay £22 for each 3 years registration. Any member who objects to his name being held on a computer may have it removed - but don't blame me if this is your last BB!

Dave Turner

Recent Library Addition.

Karst Geomorphology - J.N. Jennings Caving Practice & Equipment - D. Judson