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,…

Latest Eurospeleo newsletter now available

Latest Eurospeleo newsletter now available

The European Speleological Federation have just released their December 2018 newsletter including news of Hirlatzhohle extensions in Austria, new board appointsments,  the 2018 Italian cavers meet which attracted 2490 cavers, next year’s 13th Eurospeleo Forum in Bulgaria and much more. You can download the English version from their website or simply read it below: Hint:…

Ritual protection in the Chaldon Quarries – health and safety in the 16th century

Ritual protection in the Chaldon Quarries – health and safety in the 16th century

For the first time, curious chalk inscriptions on the walls of an ancient stone quarry in Surrey are being systematically recorded, as part of a wider research project to better understand the long and hitherto hidden history of this important source of stone for London. Many of the chalk inscriptions have been identified as ritual protection marks (RPM).

The BCA is missing you – here’s how to get the newsletter!

The BCA is missing you – here’s how to get the newsletter!

Last night the latest BCA newsletter should have popped into your inbox, but the chances are it didn’t. Despite earlier appeals here and elsewhere only 8% of the BCA membership are currently signed up to receive the newsletter by email – some 520 members. The good news is caving clubs are doing rather better, with 170 so far signed up. If you didn’t receive it and would like to in future read on.

How to piss off the French in one easy lesson – and why voles are important

How to piss off the French in one easy lesson – and why voles are important

Linda Wilson picked up some intriguing tips at the British Cave Research Association’s 29th cave science symposium as well as drinking plenty of tea … If you wanted to find out how to annoy our cross-channel neighbours, which caves you might want to avoid if spiders aren’t your thing and why you might soon be…

Hang Son Doong- the cave that built a village

Hang Son Doong- the cave that built a village

Veteran caving film maker Sid Perou has teamed up with photographer Ryan Deboodt to produce a compelling thirty nine minute film about the discovery of the world’s largest cave passage in Han Son Doong cave in Vietnam, the resulting development of tourism in the area and the beneficial affects not just for the local population but also for conservation.

Shot on location earlier this year the film follows the impact of the area of the Vietnam war, early discoveries by British and Vietnamese cavers and includes stunning footage of the cave.

Watching the film it’s hard to believe Sid’s contribution to the film, comprising over 50% of the footage, was shot using just a £400 handy-cam and a zero budget!

Breaking News: British cave divers also rescued four trapped Thai rescuers in Tham Luang Cave

Breaking News: British cave divers also rescued four trapped Thai rescuers in Tham Luang Cave

When Rick Stanton and John Volanthen surfaced in Chamber 3 of Tham Luang Cave on day 6 of the rescue to find four people waiting for them they first thought they’d somehow found the boys of the trapped Wild Boar team. In fact they’d discovered four lost Thai rescuers who had been trapped by the rising floodwaters. In the chaos of the early days of the rescue the absence of the men had been unreported and so had not been noticed by the Thai authorities and or the outside world. What followed was a dramatic and unparalleled “snatch” rescue mission perfectly conceived and executed as they dived the four men through three sumps to safety.

Behind the scenes with the BCRC at the Thai cave rescue – Part One

Behind the scenes with the BCRC at the Thai cave rescue – Part One

While the eyes of the world were on the divers taking part in the Thai cave rescue, an unsung band of volunteers were beavering away behind the scenes to ensure that the divers had all the kit and assistance they needed. Peter Dennis, chair of the British Cave Rescue Council, tells the backroom story to Linda Wilson and Sharon Wheeler.

Review: Cave and Karst Science, August 2018 Issue

Review: Cave and Karst Science, August 2018 Issue

The August 2018 issue of Caves and Karst Science is now available. Volume 45, Number 2 carries five main articles; the first being a subjective summary of the history, activities, publications and some of the characters of the former CRG and BCRA Hydrology Groups (1964–1999) written by John Wilcock. John hopes that current BCRA members…

Training: Cave Surveying Group Therion Training Course

Training: Cave Surveying Group Therion Training Course

The BCA Cave Surveying Group have just announced an Intermediate Therion training course. The scope of this training course is to improve the skills of people who ideally as a minimum have attended a CSG Paperless Surveying training course or are currently using Therion for their mapping projects. The course is not aimed at people…

Appeal: South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team seeks £1,000

Appeal: South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team seeks £1,000

Following the amazing success of the recent Tham Luang cave in Thailand, one of the British cave rescue teams, responsible for getting some of the UK contingent to Thailand has announced a fund-raising campaign. The South and Mid-Wales Cave Rescue Team hope to reach a target of £1,000. Claire Vivian, the team’s Fund-Raising Officer, has…