The arrangements for visits by Scouts are subject to the constraints laid down by the Scout Association and the rules applied to all trips by the DCC. The DCC rules are outlined in the information on the general page about visiting the mines and also the item on the legal page about licensed activity centres.
The Scout Association rules (Rules 9.7 and 9.35 of the Scout Association Policy, Organisation and Rules) mean that, in brief, the leader has to have a permit issued by the District or County Commissioner. Along with the permit, there are conditions relating to first aid provisions, leaving notice on the surface and the condition of the mine to be visited. The mine must have a current inspection report covering the sections used for the visit and the report must be accessible to, and have been read by the permit holder. For Alderley, an inspection has been carried out on behalf of PICA (the Peak Instructed Caving Affiliation) but the club does not have a copy. The Scout leader will have to obtain this for himself or herself.
In the DCC, there is currently only one member who has a permit and he uses it to lead Scouts from his local area interested in obtaining a caving badge. It is an unwritten policy of the Club that, given the restrictions on leading Scout groups which includes the fact that we cannot ask for any payment on behalf of the under-18s, general tourist trips by Scouts cannot be arranged. Scouts interested in the caving badge may be able to visit but the availability of such trips is very limited. Our advice is that, if Cheshire Scout groups want to organise trips down caves or mines, they make contact with a licensed activity centre in the Peak District and plan a trip in that way. They could also contact an Outdoor Education Centre that regularly uses the Alderley Mines and may be able to arrange a visit to Alderley Edge as they have a copy of an inspection report and are also a licensed centre.
We are sorry to have to impose these limitations but it is the Scout Association POR that sets the more stringent rules. The POR can be downloaded from the Scout Association website (www.scouts.org.uk) and this page is based on the content of the July 2011 revision. Because revisions are made regularly, anyone interested should download and read the latest version for the most up-to-date policy.
Copyright DCC and Nigel Dibben: 2013
Last updated: 13/12/2011
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