Why mines are secured against entry and why you should help keep it that way.

Why mines are secured against entry and why you should help keep it that way.

Earlier this year, Pete Knight, Derbyshire Caving Association’s projects officer published an open letter detailing damage to gates and the consequences including the risk to long term access. Despite this damage has continued, and most recently all the locks on Homebank Chert mine have again been removed. In an attempt to highlight the problem and…

Aveline’s Hole: A new twist in an old tale

Aveline’s Hole: A new twist in an old tale

New samples taken for DNA analysis from human bone from Aveline’s Hole by Natural History Museum researchers have thrown up surprising results. Graham Mullan reports on their findings. Aveline’s Hole, Burrington Combe, Mendip, contained the largest assemblage of Mesolithic human remains yet found anywhere in Britain. The cave was excavated in the 1920s by the…

Seek and ye shall find – the discovery of Beard’s lost passage in Bleadon Cavern

Seek and ye shall find – the discovery of Beard’s lost passage in Bleadon Cavern

A dig in Bleadon Cavern on Mendip has revealed more pieces to a mysterious puzzle … In 1833, a survey was carried out of Bleadon Cavern by John Heel but was, in all likelihood, drawn up by William Beard who had been investigating the area from 1828. This survey was first mentioned in more recent…

BCRA Newsletter April 2019

BCRA Newsletter April 2019

In this newsletter… BCRA Field meeting. Saturday/Sunday 29/30 June 2019 in Alston, Cumbria This weekend field meeting is entitled “Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark”. This is a joint meeting of the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and The North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark (NPUGG). It will be based at Nenthead Village…

Archaeologists identify first figurative Palaeolithic cave art in the Balkans

Archaeologists identify first figurative Palaeolithic cave art in the Balkans

An international team, led by an archaeologist from the University of Southampton and the University of Bordeaux, has revealed the first example of Palaeolithic figurative cave art found in the Balkan Peninsula. Dr Aitor Ruiz-Redondo worked with researchers from the universities of Cantabria (Spain), Newfoundland (Canada), Zagreb (Croatia) and the Archaeological Museum of Istria (Croatia)…

Cave rescue teams celebrate £30,000 donation

Cave rescue teams celebrate £30,000 donation

Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation are this week celebrating after receiving more than £30,000-worth of life-saving gas detection equipment donated by Honeywell Analytics. The equipment, including four and five gas personal monitors and calibration equipment, was donated when DCRO’s equipment officer, Pete Dell, contacted them trying to source replacement sensors for their old equipment and the…

Descent 267 coming soon

Descent 267 coming soon

Descent 267 will be with you very shortly! If you’re not up to date with your subscription don’t forget that the lovely folks at Wildplaces Publishing will be only too happy to welcome you back into the fold. And if you’re new to caving, Descent will provide you with news, photos and the best possible…

Ritual protection marks found in Creswell Crags

Ritual protection marks found in Creswell Crags

A large concentration of ritual protection marks have been discovered in caves in Creswell Crags, a limestone gorge on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border. Darkness Below editor Linda Wilson visited the site with researcher and archaeologist Alison Fearn and gives an account of the find. On Sunday 21st October 2018, cavers Hayley Clark and Ed Waters of…

Students get the chance to meet in-cave monitoring experts

Students get the chance to meet in-cave monitoring experts

Students interested in undertaking a cave-related dissertation will get the chance to talk to experts on in-cave monitoring next month. The BCRA (British Cave Research Association), in conjunction with CHECC (Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs), are holding a workshop on in-cave monitoring on 16th February 2019 at the British Cave Monitoring Centre, Poole’s Cavern,…