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Offline WaulespanTopic starter
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« on: February 10, 2011, 05:33:58 pm »
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Hello friends

I thought some of you would like to see the BBC broadcast on 21st January, which I only found yesterday on my return from an extended prospecting trip. There is a lot of misinformation from the authorities on the subject. Most panners are responsible and should not be banned just because of allegations or mere fears about the activities of a few. I am now taking the various authorities to task, on behalf of Gold Rivers Trust, which is a newly registered charity in England and Wales. I am a seasoned political campaigner, so I hope to gain some useful press.

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I hope many of you will take a look at this and let me know what you think, either in open forum or in a private message.

Best regards

Waulespan

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Offline BitburgAggie_7377
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 05:55:58 pm »
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Man, that is a major bummer.   Cry  I'd say more (including what I think of the environmental positions of the Crown Prince), but my own country has far too many examples of this type of idiocy and over-reaction for me to enter into your country's internal debate.   All I've got to say is "I hope you and your mates can convince the powers that be adopt a more reasonable stance.)

BA

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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 06:11:40 pm »
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Am I the only one that notices the People Beaching the most have the most Gold?

Just a thought.

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Offline WaulespanTopic starter
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 07:13:34 pm »
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Officials in Wales are desperately trying to justify their jobs, which could all go in forced budget cuts. Get your mug on a local news broadcast or rag, maybe it looks like they are doing something. In reality, the environmental damage is being done by the Forestry Commission themselves, and the panners and metal detectorists are just scapegoats, to save quango's jobs. My prediction is that the liars who made up the false evidence will all be made redundant in due course, if not in the first wave, then not long after, petrol rations and all kinds of expenses gone. Trouble is, I'll then have to deal with gangs of criminals trying to muscle in, with no support from police, who will be locked down in their station houses, filling in forms explaining why they can't do their jobs.


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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 07:23:11 pm »
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this is because of the 500yr law som@#&*h

john

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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 01:31:48 am »
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Hello All

This is bureaucratic BS at its finest. I see the fun police is alive and well.

Those Lovely welsh mountain streams are all fairly fast flowing, no amount of damage can be done to the river bottoms with gold pans that mother nature can do better.

Seriously there are public servants out there need to get a life.

Give em hell!

Hardluck

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« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 01:37:37 am by hardluck »
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 02:07:00 am »
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Bureaucracy at its finest!

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Offline WaulespanTopic starter
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 05:55:57 pm »
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Thanks for the positive comments chaps. After the British Goldpanning Association reps failed to make any headway I'm now conducting my own negotiations with the various authorities. They weren't the only source of the misleading propaganda against panners in the press and BBC. It turns out that it was a former President of the World Panners Association who was feeding the press exaggerations about one mythical guy doing all of the alleged damage, for which there was absolutely no evidence to see. Reporters haven't checked any of the facts and rumours spread like wildfire on panning forums. Some panners were complaining about each other out of sheer jealousy, and the authorities were fed up with having to follow up multiple complaints. Many times someone reported me to the Environment Agency (EA), whose rep dutifully turned up, tested the water quality, had a nice chat and sloped off, another wasted day driving all the way down from Bangor. Others received the same treatment, but didn't stand their ground. Only me left after a while, so I was a sitting duck, but they couldn't pin anything on me, despite attempts to intimidate me, sabotaging my van, stealing my equipment etc. etc. All water off a ducks back, this kind of behaviour is only to be expected sometimes. But there are a good number of nice people in this hobby, and lovely locals too, so I feel that I am working for a common cause. Anyhow, a senior officer at the EA has stated that there is no ban as such, but that the signs are a warning that there could be prosecutions if any environmental damage is done. But this only affects the so called sensitive areas, which according to my research are almost totally barren of fauna, due to high ph levels, regular spates and floods and long term contamination from pine afforestation and clear felling. So, the Forestry Commission is actually the biggest culprit, but they won't be prosecuted. In another area where I pan, way outside the national park, the landowner is replacing pine with natural British species. If the authorities are serious about protecting and improving the rivers in North Wales, they should certainly do the same. However, it is obviously easier for them to scapegoat a few regular panners in order to distract from the real multiple eco problems. I am putting pressure on the authorites to stop harassing and undermining us with exaggerated and unfounded allegations, and gradually I am getting through. It is true that a few guys were acting irresponsibly, digging into riverbanks etc. but the main offenders were the two guys who were running expensive courses, in breach of access legislation and not advising their students about legal and ecological issues. So, things came to a head, the confused authorities over-reacted, and now they need to save face. I asked the guys to stop running courses in Wales as this was the biggest problem, then they started rumours about me removing tons of bedrock from a particular river I didn't even go near. This rumour reached the BBC and they just went ahead and broadcast it, without asking to see where the tons of bedrock had been destroyed. Shaggy dog stories are very popular in the panning world. As you can imagine the authorities and wildlife police just laughed at this one. Result, they take me much more seriously than those guys.
I hope to have a panning agreement in place in the not too distant future, so anyone can have a go, with clear rules and advice. Best to have a few experienced good guys around than leave the place to criminal elements. There are plenty of places to prospect in N Wales which are in no way affected by the so called ban. But its just me for now, all the others have been scared away, as they don't understand the complexity of it all.
So, I thought I would start a new club, as part of Gold Rivers Trust, so that families and school parties and disabled groups and individuals can get free tuition, a nice day out, and possibly a sample of the real AU. Early days on this, but if enough people express an interest, we might be able to cut all of the red tape. What the authorities don't want to see again is scores of guys descending from Scotland (where most of the panning goes on in the UK), working in teams with machines and disturbing tons of gravel and silt. Controlled, licenced panning for fun and education will be ok if the case is properly presented. Also, longer term I'd like to help set up a panning centre where the history, culture and panning techniques can be enjoyed. That's all for now, but it is good to have the opportunity to get these issues discussed on this great forum.
 Cheesy

Posted on: February 11, 2011, 05:51:07 PM
Thanks Hardluck. Funny, but I've just noticed that bureaucracy has both au (gold) and eau (water) in it, the main components necessary for gold panning! Serendipity indeediio.

Anyhow, how can I post a pic of my best Welsh nuggets on here?



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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 06:04:35 pm »
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who wrecked you van and stole your equipment

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Offline WaulespanTopic starter
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 06:15:20 pm »
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I didn't say wrecked, someone in a converted horse box van broke in, probably hoping to find a gold bar lying around. I suspect this young couple were put up to it, as my old van was a bit of a heap, since welded up and new electrical parts, carburettor etc. Now fantastic on steep tracks. I don't can't be certain who stole some of my equipment when I was on a lunch break, but possibly an official who didn't understand or accept that responsible panning is perfectly legal on public access land; probably thought I could be put off, but I keep spare equipment. Most guys come up for a weekend or a few days in their cars, sleep in a tent or the back. A camper van is essential for a good stay, to prospect the many good sites. There is plenty of room for anyone really interested in adventurous prospecting here. Sadly, when someone like myself is successful and finds good nuggets, allcomers jump in after I've gone, usually dig in the wrong place, ie the easy to reach bank rather than the middle of the river, following the 'gold line' then they try to blame me when they get chucked off. Par for the course.

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