News

Book Review: The Devil’s Dice

Respectable patent lawyer Peter Hamilton is found dead at a spot known as The Devil’s Dice, a remote crag in the Peak District which houses ...
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Review: Caves of North Wales Website

In today’s Information Age we’ve all become used to having what we want to know at our fingertips – literally! At times it seems as ...
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The ‘Definitive Opinion’ on CRoW and Cave Access

The ‘Definitive Opinion’ on CRoW and Cave Access
This article first appeared in the South Wales Caving Club newsletter for April 2018 and is reprinted here with kind permission from the author Gary ...
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Welsh Mines News Digest, Spring 2018

Here are some brief snippets of news, courtesy of Roy Fellows. Filming for "Hidden Wales" Lazerbeam Productions has been filming surface and underground at Cwmystwyth for ...
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Ritual Protection Marks in Caves under the Mendips

Conservation work in 2003 in Goatchurch Cavern on the Mendips revealed some fine inscribed marks on calcite flowstone next to the Giant’s Steps. The marks ...
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News: Cheddar Gorge Extreme Spring Clean

A team of rope access technicians are undertaking a radical spring clean at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. A total of 15 specialists are taking part ...
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Event: Expedition to the Deepest Cave in Bulgaria

If you're at a loose end from the 4th of April – 15th of April 2018, the Pod Raba Caving Club are organising an expedition ...
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News: Neanderthals were the first artists

Most of the popular coverage of the recent announcements about the possible Neanderthal link to parietal art in Spanish caves has, as usual, been focussing ...
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News: UNEXMIN UX-1 Robot, First Field Trials due in June

On the 31st of January and 1st of February, the UNEXMIN consortium partners and advisory board  members gathered in Bled, Slovenia, to discuss the current ...
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News: CSCC Locks are Changing

The Council of Southern Caving Clubs (CSCC) are changing the locks on all of the caves for which they administer access. The previously used locks ...
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News: Putting Cave Surveying In The Map

In September, Andrew Atkinson's article on Cave Surveying – the next steps proved to be of huge interest to readers. An open invitation was extended ...
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News: Exploring Large River Caves in West Papua

An Italian team, Achleoos Geo Exploring, is exploring and documenting underground rivers with very high flow rates. In a series of expeditions from 2012 to ...
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News: DNA Research Reveals More About 10,000-Year-Old Cheddar Man

DNA work carried out by researchers from the Natural History Museum (NHM) and University College London (UCL) has shed new light on Cheddar Man, a ...
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News: Radon Underground – Recent Changes

Bob Mehew has provided the following information with regard to the reduction in acceptable levels of exposure to radon gas, which might impact cave instructors ...
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Newsflash: Movement Reported in Ogof Draenen’s Second Boulder Choke

Following an incident on Saturday 27th January 2018, it has been reported to the Pwll Du Cave Management Group (PDCMG) that there has been some ...
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News: Conservation Work in Ogof Draenen

Taping, for good or bad, is a vital aspect of caving that ensures most of the cave is kept safe for future generations, restricting the ...
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Rhosydd Slate Quarry – a classic book republished

A new print run of Rhosydd Slate Quarry, by M.J.T. Lewis and J.H. Denton, is now available. In 1974, the list of available literature covering ...
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News, Caves and Karst Science Now Available

The December issue of Caves and Karst Science is now available. Volume 44, Number 3 carries four main articles, starting with a paper on Karst ...
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News: Descent 260 Now Available

Descent 260 should by now have landed on mats all around the country! If you’re not a subscriber, we hope this short round up will ...
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News: The World’s Longest Underwater Cave System

The connection of two of the largest underwater cave systems in the world has produced a new record, bringing the combined length of two caves, Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, to a total length of 347 km ...
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NewsFlash: Trapped Cavers Freed.

The eight men trapped since Sunday in the Hölloch in Switzerland’s Muotathal valley are now free. The Schwyz cantonal police said that the men had ...
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News: Trapped Cavers Still Waiting For Release.

Eight men have been trapped in the Hölloch cave in Switzerland’s Muotathal valley since 21 January. They will not be released before this weekend at ...
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News: Descent Coming Soon

Descent 260 will be with you very shortly! If you’re not up to date with your subscription, now is the time to renew. The lovely ...
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Joint Statement by the Secretaries of Pwll Du Cave Management Group (PDCMG) and Cambrian Caving Council (CCC).

A view along the Garndyrrus tram road. Photo: M. Jones
Joint Statement by the Secretaries of Pwll Du Cave Management Group (PDCMG) and Cambrian Caving Council (CCC). There is a new entrance to Ogof Draenen, ...
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News: Pre Columbian Cave Art in the Caribbean

New research by academics from the University of Leicester and the British Museum, working with colleagues from the British Geological Survey and Cambridge University, outlines ...
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News: UNEXMIN: An Autonomous Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines

Thirteen organisations from seven countries across Europe are collaborating in an ambitious project to develop a submersible robotic system for surveying and exploration of flooded ...
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Wealden Cave and Mine Society Wins Radiocarbon Dating Award

In the summer of 2017, I was made aware of a scheme to encourage community archaeological groups to submit material for radiocarbon dating. The scheme ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 24th January 2018

Information has been received from Robert Griffiths at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru that they will be carrying out a scour test at 10am on the morning ...
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Appeal: Missing Caver – your help needed!

9/12/2017 Update: Please note we understand that the search for Michael Wood is now over. Cavers and walkers across the UK, particularly in the Yorkshire ...
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News: Descent 259 Now Available

Descent 259 is now available! Newsdesk’s five pages will bring you up to date with news at home and abroad and even outer space, with ...
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Review: Underground Worlds Calendar 2018

The internationally renowned Underground Worlds calendar for 2018 is now available from Wild Places Publishing, better known to most of us as the publishers of ...
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News: Ogof Draenen – Update

A view along the Garndyrrus tram road. Photo: M. Jones
Following recent reports of the opening of a new entrance to Ogof Draenen and the statement from the Trustees of the Pwll Dhu Cave Management ...
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Happy Birthday (or is it anniversary?) – to us!

From us to you - a very big thanks! No cake, although maybe we should take a leaf out of  the Dudley Caving Club's book ...
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News: A Golden Age of Cave Exploration

To celebrate 50 years of pioneering British cave exploration and scientific research, renowned explorers of the subterranean world will come together to share their discoveries and experiences during 4 days at the Royal Geographical Society, London ...
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News: Statement from the Trustees of Pwll Du Cave Management Group

A view along the Garndyrrus tram road. Photo: M. Jones
We have been asked by the Trustees of Pwll Du Cave Management Group to publish the following statement, which is also being published today in Descent ...
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Poll Breugair (Liar’s Sink) – This Year’s J-Rat Digging Award Winner

Liar's Sink is the name given to an obvious sink in the burn a short distance from the Cave of the Liar, Applecross. The following ...
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News: The Winner of the 2017 J-Rat Digging Award is….

The winner of the 2017 J-Rat digging award was announced at the Hunter's Lodge Inn last night, 25th November. The winner is Toby Speight and ...
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News: The Ario Dream Wins People’s Choice Award at the Kendal Mountain Festival

The Ario Dream, a new film reflecting on 57 years of cave exploration by Oxford University Caving Club and the Ario Caves Project, premiered at ...
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Descent 259 Coming Soon

Descent 259 will landing on your mats very soon! If you’re not up to date with your subscription, now is the time to renew. The ...
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News: The 2017 J-Rat Digging Award

The deadline has passed, the figures are in and the 2017 annual J-Rat Digging Award will be announced at a gala evening at the Hunters' ...
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News: Northern England Caving Awards for Exploration Announced

The Northern England Caving Awards For Exploration (NECAFE) have been announced. For the first time cavers in the North of England are being invited to enter, ...
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Report: Beneath those Mountains Again

Me bolting in 27/9 (photo Mark Sims)
I’d been caving for perhaps nine hours. We’d been going slowly, carrying a lot of equipment and I was tired. Very tired. Now I was ...
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News: Cambrian Mines Trust To Host NAMHO 2019

Cambrian Mines Trust will be hosting the NAMHO 2019 event in association with Dr Peter Claughton as lecture programme organiser. Peter has extensive experience in ...
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News: Update on Cwmystwyth Lefel Fawr works

Roy Fellows has sent us an update about the the underground works in Cwmystwyth Lefel Fawr. These are now completed and the Steel Road which ...
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News: New Entrance to Ogof Draenen Opens Further Controversy

Ogof Draenen in South Wales has once again been plunged into an entrance-related controversy following a connection made to the surface from inside the cave ...
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News: BCRA’s Cryogenic Cave Calcite Competition

We reported last year that cryogenic cave crystals (CCCs) had been found for the first time in the UK in Wookey Hole in 2015. Gina ...
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News: Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter for October 2017 Now Available

The October edition of Wales Underground, the Newsletter of the Cambrian Caving Council is now available. The newsletter leads with news of the discovery of ...
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News: Bristol Students Surveying in Co. Clare

At the beginning of the summer break of 2017, six members of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society (UBSS) travelled to County Clare on our ...
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News: Cave and Karst Science August 2017 issue Now Available.

Cave and Karst Science’s August 2017 issue is now available. Volume 44, Number 2 carries six main articles, starting with ‘Deeply submerged speleothems in Keld ...
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News: BCA November 2017 Newsletter Now Available

The British Caving Association Newsletter for November 2017 is now available on the BCA website. David Rose has now taken on the job of newsletter ...
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News: British Caving Association on Facebook

If you've been watching carefully you'll have noticed over the last couple of months that the BCA have set up a Facebook page, and have ...
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News: Suicide Cave Update

We recently reported that a loose section of wall in Suicide Cave posed a potential risk. Pete Knight has been in touch again with an ...
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News: Playing with Time, An Art Installation at Wells and Mendip Museum, Somerset

Wells and Mendip Museum is hosting a stunning exhibition featuring the work of artist and film maker Sean Harris. 'Playing with Time (Or a Concise ...
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Newsflash: Possible Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 21st October 2017

Information has just been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru that due to a severe weather warning forecast for Saturday 21st October, they ...
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Review: Adventures Underground

When I first began caving, I eagerly worked my way through as many of the caving classics as possible. Most of the ones I was ...
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Warning: Suicide Cave Winnats Pass

Warning: Suicide Cave Winnats Pass
Correspondent: Pete Knight There has always been a nasty bit of rock on the wall at the far pitch in the roof of Suicide Cave ...
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News: Descent 258 Now Available

Descent 258 is now available! As ever, Newsdesk will bring you up to date with news at home and abroad. A new world depth record ...
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News: Tratman Award 2016

The Tratman Award 2016 The prestigious Tratman Award, administered by the Ghar Parau Foundation, is given annually to a caving-related paper-based publication in memory of ...
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Newsflash: Blasting Work in the Clydach Gorge, South Wales

Information has been received that Costain will be blasting in the Clydach Gorge on Friday 6th October, and as a consequence of this, Ogof Nant ...
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News: BCA Ballot Result Announced

The BCA Chairman Andy Eavis has announced the ballot result today via the BCA's Facebook page. In summary all four proposals have been approved by ...
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The Darkness Beckons Tour

To accompany the launch of his latest book, The Darkness Beckons, cave diver and explorer Martyn Farr went on tour with a series of exclusive ...
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Hidden Earth Survey Salon and Competition 2017

Hidden Earth are holding a survey salon and competition. The purpose  is to promote cave surveying and provide the opportunity for clubs or individuals to ...
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Cave Surveying – the next steps?

The backbone of cave surveying is the data, in other words the numbers. We spend many hours collecting them, and some time building up pictures ...
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Descent 258 Coming Soon

Descent 258 will be winging its way to your doormat very soon! If you’re not up to date with your subscription, now is the time ...
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Earby Pothole Club on bikes for charity!

SMRC Charity Bike Ride
September 30th will see members of the Earby Pothole Club joining friends to raise money for the Preston based Specialist Mobility Rehabilation Centre (SMRC) in ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 15th, 16th and 17th September 2017

Due to the large volume of recent rainfall in the region, information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that ...
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Cavers’ Classroom First Aid Event – 7th October 2017

The Wealden Cave and Mine Society have some spaces available for a one-day event: ‘First Aid Training for the Underground Environment’. The date is Saturday ...
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BCA Ballot – a landowners view

We've been approached today by Ashford Price and asked to publish the following statement. Ashford Price owns land in South Wales under which a number ...
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The BCA Ballot Explained

If like many cavers in the UK, and some abroad, you have just received an eight page ballot paper either by post or email and ...
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BCA email poll – have you received your email?

The British Caving Association are about to conduct a postal and email ballot of all members and in advance of this have emailed those members ...
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News: Northern Caves – new guide coming soon!

For those of us that remember rushing to Bernies or Inglesport to get our copy of Northern Caves 3 back in 1994 it's been a ...
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News: Joint Mitnor Cave Re-Opens

Joint Mitnor Cave deposit
After the break-in in 2015 when archaeological bones and artefacts were damaged and stolen, the site has been restored with much help from the Natural History Museum ...
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Ritual Cannibalism at Gough’s Cave, Cheddar

Analysis on an engraved human bone from the well-known Palaeolithic site of Gough's Cave has shown that "ritualistic‟ cannibalism took place there ...
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Close Shaves (and How To Avoid Them) by Martyn Farr

Mazeways - Dan-yr-Ogof
There are few cavers who won’t know the name of Martyn Farr, one of the world’s foremost cave diving experts. Martyn started caving in 1961 ...
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Summer 2017 Mining News Digest

Talybont (Source: Roy Fellows) Access is now open with the rotten timberwork all stripped out and the access shaft concreted. Rotten ladders have been replaced ...
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Event: The 11th Balkan Caving Camp, 28th August to 3rd September 2017

The Hellenic Federation of Speleology has invited all cavers to join them in the 11th Balkan Caving Camp. The event is being held from August ...
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News: New Palaeolithic Engraving Found in La Marche Cave, France

British archaeologist and researcher Dr Paul Bahn has recently discovered an engraving on the wall of the rock shelter of La Marche near Lussac-les-Châteaux in ...
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News: BCA July 2017 Newsletter Now Available

The British Caving Association Newsletter for July 2017 is available on the BCA website. The newsletter contains a report of the 2017 AGM and Party ...
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News: ‘Stories In Stone’ – Conservation Work in the Yorkshire Dales

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 ...
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News: Speleo Film Festival 2017

 SPELEO FILM FESTIVAL - Karlovac, September 23th, 2017. Your story...Your script...Your cave...Your choice... All cavers are welcome! The festival will be showing films created by ...
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News: Descent 257 Now Available

Descent 257 is now available! As ever, Newsdesk will bring you up to date with news from around the world, including the news that the ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 29th and 30th July 2017

Information has just been received from Nathan Walding at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru that due to rainfall experienced yesterday and that forecast over the coming weekend, ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 21st and 22nd July 2017

Due to the large volume of rainfall today in the region, information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that ...
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Descent 257 Coming Soon!

Descent 257 will soon be landing on your mats! If you’re not up to date with your subscription, now is the time to renew. The ...
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News: Awards and High Speed Internet at Bullpot Farm!

July 12th was a bright and sunny day on Casterton Fell Good job as it was a publicity day for Red Rose Cave & Pothole ...
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News: Cambrian Caving Council Newsletter for July 2017 Now Available

The July edition of Wales Underground, the Newsletter of the Cambrian Caving Council is now available. The newsletter contains details of the Welsh Government's consultation ...
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Event: Symposium “To know and share caves and karst – understanding, conservation and geotourism”

The Grand Project - The Pont d’Arc Cavern - Syndicat Mixte is pleased to announce that the 1st Symposium “To know and share caves and ...
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Event: BCRA Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

British Cave Research Association, 28th Cave Science Symposium hosted jointly with the Yorkshire Geological Society and Leeds Geological Association Symposium - Saturday 21st October, 2017 ...
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Cambrian Caving Council Open Meeting on the Welsh Goverment’s Consultation on Management of Natural Resources

The Welsh Government has produced a consultation document entitled Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. The overview states that the government's intention is ...
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News: No Access to Box Mines, Wiltshire

Following two recent rescues from Box Mines, Wiltshire, quarry owners Hanson UK are proceeding with the gating of other entrances. One of the recent rescues ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 10th and 11th July 2017

Due to the heavy rain forecast for tomorrow in the region, information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that ...
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News: Two Rescues at Box Mines, Wiltshire

Firefighters and cave rescuers have had to attend Box Mines near Corsham, Wiltshire, twice in three days to assist parties in trouble underground. On 2 ...
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NAMHO Annual Conference 2017 – Lecture Review

It fell to me to arrange and host the two days of lectures for the 2017 conference of the National Association of Mining History Organisations ...
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Remembering Mossdale fifty years on

Remembering Mossdale fifty years on
On Saturday 24th June 1967 a strong team of ten cavers led by Dave Adamson entered Mossdale Caverns on a beautiful summers day intending to ...
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Behind the Scenes at the Mendip Cave Photography Exhibition and Competition

Caver and photographer Mark Burkey impressed the judges so much at the recent Mendip Cave Photography Exhibition and Competition that he swept up the prize ...
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Book Review: The White Road

Simon Newman would be the first to admit that a bad fall eight years ago, climbing in Wales, gave his confidence, as well as his ...
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News: BCA AGM – Constitutional Matters

The BCA AGM was held on Sunday 11th June, with a raft of constitutional matters on the agenda. Darkness Below has received the following summary ...
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News: Descent 256 Now Available

Descent 256 is now available! As ever, Newsdesk will bring you up to date with news from around the world. A new species of blind ...
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News: Generous Gift to SECRO in Memory of the late Paul Dold LRPS

Paul Dold's death last year in a diving accident in Cornwall shocked his many friends in a way only the unexpected death of someone with ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on 6th and 7th June 2017

Due to the continuing heavy rain in the region, information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that there is ...
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Descent 256 Coming Soon!

Descent 256 is on its way! Make sure your subscription is up to date so you don’t miss out on all the latest caving and ...
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News: Improvements to Access and Parking at Bull Pot Farm, Casterton

Red Rose Cave & Pothole Club have recently received a grant of £400 from the Sedbergh & Kirkby Lonsdale (South Lakeland) Community Grants Fund to ...
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Newsflash: Water Release in the Mellte River Affecting Porth yr Ogof on Thursday 25th May 2017

Information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that there is to be a planned release of water from an ...
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News: Researchers Extract Human DNA From Cave Sediments

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany have developed a new method of retrieving hominin DNA from sediments, even in the absence of ...
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News: Successful Cave Diving Rescue in Mallorca

News: Successful Cave Diving Rescue in Mallorca
Spanish cave diver Xisco Gracia (54) survived 60 hours stranded in an air bell in the cave of Sa Piqueta in Cala Romantica, Mallorca after ...
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News: Descent 255 Now Available

Descent 255 is now available! As ever, the edition starts with the information-packed Newsdesk, featuring a rapid run-down  on news and events around the world ...
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Adventures Underground – book signing at Clapham

The Clapham Bunk, Cafe and Bar is the venue this Saturday (8th April) for a book signing by Adventures Underground author Dave Haigh. Dave explains ...
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Cwmystwyth Lefel Fawr -Urgent notice from Cambrian Mines Trust

UPDATE: 6th April 2018 - the work described below has now been completed. Roy Fellows has been in touch with the following notice: Cwmystwyth Lefel ...
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Descent 255 Coming Soon!

Descent 255 is on its way! Make sure your subscription is up to date so you don’t miss out on all the latest caving and ...
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Cave Archaeology in North Wales – the last few years

The bone caves of north Wales have received increased attention from archaeologists in recent years. Excavations have taken place at Llanarmon Cave (Llanarmon-yn-ial) and Ffynnon ...
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Coming Soon…. Adventures Underground

Inspired by the 1952 caving classic Underground Adventures by Arthur Gemmell and Jack Myers, Dave Haigh and John Cordingley have resumed the tale of cave ...
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Kan-i-Gut Expedition – an open invitation

Kan-i-Gut is a natural cave that has been extensively extended by miners over the centuries. The cave is located in the northern foothills of the ...
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News: BCRA 28th Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

The British Cave Research Association, Yorkshire Geological Society, and Leeds Geological Association are pleased to announce details of the 28th Annual Cave Science Symposium and ...
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Book Review: The Chalk Pit

Elly Griffith’s latest outing for Norfolk archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway, involves the chalk mines under Norwich, with which I have a certain amount of history ...
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Recreational Caver Training – Does it Work?

When someone new to caving starts to make enquiries about how to get involved, and what is the best way to gain some experience, one ...
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News: The Lot International Cave Diving Congress 15th, 16th, 17th September 2017

Save the date! The Lot International Cave Diving Congress (LIDC) is taking place in Gramat, in the Lot region of France on 15, 16th and ...
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News: BBC Inside Out West Visit Pen Park Hole

On 4 August 2016, Pen Park Hole was notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England, and cavers and local residents held ...
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The latest edition of Descent is now available and comes packed with an extra eight pages of articles and caving news from around the world ...
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Information has been received from Welsh Water to confirm that the planned water release in the Mellte River on 8th December 2016 is no longer ...
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Story and photos courtesy of Yousef Sorninia and Sadat Lotfizadeh A large team of Iranian cavers led by Yousef Sorninia have discovered the second deepest ...
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Information has been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that there is to be a planned release of water from an ...
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Anyone familiar with the West Country will be aware of the iconic suspension bridge stretching high above the Avon Gorge on the south side of ...
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Flooding at Black Rock Gate
Cheddar Gorge has now reopened to traffic – just days after the road was badly damaged by severe weather and flooding. The B3135 through the ...
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Neil getting very wet 22-11.2016
Back in the winter of 2012/13 Cheddar Gorge flooded, damaging the road, and had to be closed for several months, until it dried out and ...
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Coming Soon – Descent 253 The latest edition of the caving magazine Descent will be coming soon! Have you remembered to renew your subscription? Head ...
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The eighth annual J-Rat Digging Award winner was announced last night (19th November) at Priddy Village Hall during a joint celebration with the Mendip Cave ...
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The following announcement is being made on behalf of the Council for Higher Education Caving Clubs (CHECC): CHECC are thrilled to announce this year's CHECC ...
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The finale of Mendip Rocks! 2016, which has been celebrating the 450 million year history of the Mendip Hills  is taking place at Wells Museum ...
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Giles Barker lost his life while caving in Spain in 1992. An accomplished cave photographer, Giles was a member of the Red Rose CPC and ...
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27th British Cave Research Association Cave Science Symposium - Saturday 22nd October, 2016 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford Field-trip - Sunday 23rd October, ...
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This year the MCR will be 80 years old, and to celebrate they are having a party, to be held in Priddy Village Hall on ...
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The latest edition of Descent is now available. Issue 252 is packed with news from around the regions at home and abroad. The four page ...
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It had never really occurred to me that caving instruction could be so enjoyable and simple to arrange. In the summer of 2016, I attended ...
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High carbon dioxide levels are currently reported in some Mendip caves. Manor Farm Swallet, Swildons Hole and G.B. Cavern are three popular examples. Other caves ...
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Information has just been received from Terry Northam at Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru to confirm that due to high rainfall predicted for tonight in the relevant ...
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