News: ‘Stories In Stone’ – Conservation Work in the Yorkshire Dales

Ged Benn securing the new pipe to the Great Douk Dig. Photo by Rowan Worsman.

CNCC’s Cave Conservation Volunteers have been hard at work in the Ingleborough area during the last 18 months. A total of 78 individual volunteers have contributed to 11 separate conservation projects. These varied from cave graffiti removal, entrance rebuilding, tree planting, backfilling abandoned digs, clearance of farm waste from shakeholes, scrap metal hauling from -100m, access track repairs …..

All of this strenuous work, often in very hostile conditions, was undertaken by cavers who wanted to give something back to this unique and fragile landscape which has given them some of the most memorable days of their lives (young and old alike).

The skills that cavers possess make them invaluable in this type of work where specialist knowledge, self- reliance and a calm determination are key factors for success.

These CNCC Volunteers are working in partnership with Natural England on the Stories in Stone Project. It has enabled the undertaking of conservation projects that would have been too costly for the CNCC to tackle alone.

Ian Cross and Adrian Laycock planting trees at Wilson Cave- Selside. Photo by Martel Baines.

The project will deliver more than well looked-after caves. Relations with landowners and managers are improved through this work, and local residents are also discovering more about their own landscape and its wider economic value as a visitor destination.

Much more work remains to be done. More volunteers are always needed. If you want to help out- visit CNCC’s volunteers’ page

Stories in Stone is a scheme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area. The scheme was developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership, led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Correspondent: Andrew Hinde