News

International Greenland expedition’s record-breaking trip

Researchers from four international universities have returned from an expedition to a remote area of north-east Greenland where they broke two records. The team, comprised ...
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NAMHO 2019 Mid-Wales – A programme of excellence

My workplace annual leave is a precious resource, and I try to use it sparingly and wisely. In respect of this year’s NAMHO Conference, I ...
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Rick and Jason: the two degrees …

Two of last summer’s Thai cave rescue heroes have been awarded honorary degrees from UK universities. Rick Stanton is to receive the award from his ...
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Descent 269 coming soon!

Descent 269 is about to land on your mats, so take a moment to check whether your subscription is up to date! In store for ...
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Book review: Death Sentence

Swildon's Hole and a terminally bad experience in Sump 1 feature in our latest look at caving fiction. I’ve followed Damian Boyd’s West Country police ...
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Why mines are secured against entry and why you should help keep it that way.

Pete Knight 2
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 ...
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Tuning in to cave radio and comms

Mike Bedford talks about cave radios, cave communications and much more in the annual report of the BCRA's Cave Radio and Electronics Group. Our decision, ...
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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 ...
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Descent 268 now available

Descent 268 is now available! If a copy hasn’t arrived with you, it’s time to head over to Wildplaces Publishing to subscribe now or if ...
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Book review: Underground

As the cover states, Underground sets out to tell a human history of the worlds beneath our feet. As a caver, I approached a book ...
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Data logging and much more at the British Cave Monitoring Centre

The British Cave Research Association (BCRA) recently held its Spring Field Meeting at the British Cave Monitoring Centre, Poole’s Cavern, Buxton in Derbyshire. This was ...
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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 ...
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Cave and Karst Science Vol 46 No 1 now available

Reports on amphibians and reptiles in caves, 3-D cave mapping, and racial segregation in a South African cave are among the features in the April ...
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Descent 268 coming soon

The June issue of Descent is about to land on your mats, so take a moment to check whether your subscription is up to date! ...
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Go delving into the dark with Irish cavers

Thrill-seekers with a visual impairment are to get the chance to go underground in a ‘try-caving’ event in one of Irelands's most spectacular underground-exploration regions ...
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Irish cave gets a spring clean

Irish cavers have cleaned up, thanks to a grant from the Geological Survey of Ireland – and may also have found new access points to ...
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Have your say at the British Caving Association’s AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the British Caving Association is being held in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales caving area this year - at ...
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Deliverance from evil, climate change, and the Soviet Union

Deliverance from evil, climate change, and the Soviet Union
Peter Burgess hears about ritual protection marks, cars going underground, time capsules and threats from out east in the Subterranea Britannica spring meeting at the ...
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Access news: Parking no longer allowed at High Birkwith Farm

Jeff Wade abseiling in Calf Holes, Yorkshire Dales. Photo courtesy of Rob Eavis
Council for Northern Caving Clubs (CNCC) has announced that parking will no longer be allowed at High Birkwith farm, meaning cavers will need to park ...
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Breaking news: Josh Bratchley safe and well after Tennessee cave rescue

Numerous reports from the US confirm that Josh Bratchley returned to the surface safe and well around 7pm local time last night after being trapped ...
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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 ...
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Descent 267 now available

Descent 267 is now available! If a copy hasn’t arrived with you, it’s time to head over to Wild Places Publishing to subscribe now or ...
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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 ...
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Cave rescue teams celebrate £30,000 donation

Peter Barratt of Honeywell Analytics, Peter Dell and Peter Dennis with representatives of DCRO and BCRC
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 ...
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Ali and Co dig deep at BagPit

Pete Buckley and Ali Moody assisted by a band of Wessex diggers have had more success recently at their dig at Bagpit, on the south ...
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Event: BCRA spring field meeting

A one-day British Cave Research Association field meeting will be held at the British Cave Monitoring Centre, Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park on Saturday ...
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Book review: Caving: Episodes of Underground Exploration

Alan Jeffreys enjoys a caving classic even if he doesn't entirely approve of the author's somewhat cavalier attitude to risk ... Ernest Baker was well ...
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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 ...
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Book review: The Cave

Kate Mosse is better known for Labyrinth and other books, but Alan Jeffreys recommends taking a look at her novella, The Cave, set in the ...
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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 ...
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Descent 266 – the half century!

It’s birthday cake plus cheese and pineapple on sticks all round this issue as Descent 266 celebrates 50 years in print. And it’s a visually ...
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BCA newsletter now available

BCA Newsletter no 37 for January 2019 is now available. Editor David Rose has produced a bumper issue starting with a few words from him ...
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Book review: Potholing Below the Northern Pennines

In his quest for vintage caving books, Alan Jeffreys has delved into his bookshelves again, and has come up with a northern classic from the ...
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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 ...
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Descent 266 coming soon

Descent 266 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 ...
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Book review: Subterranean Climbers

Alan Jeffreys continues his look at classic caving books with a review of a classic text that captures the excitement of underground exploration in the 1930s and ...
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Book review: Pennine Underground

As part of our ongoing series of reviews of classic caving books, Alan Jeffreys looks at the groundbreaking Pennine Underground. With the plethora of UK ...
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Grab your chance, says Rising Star

Angharad Brewer Gillham collecting sediment for later analysis on the surface. Photo by Dirk van Rooyen, courtesy of University of the Witwatersrand.
In the final part of her report for Darkness Below, Rising Star Angharad Brewer Gillham looks back on her adventures underground in South Africa, and ...
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Presenting caving’s future part 2

Third year PR students at UWE Bristol were asked to come up with ideas for raising the profile and diversity of the British Caving Association ...
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Review: Cave and Karst Science, December 2018 Issue

The December 2018 issue of Caves and Karst Science is now available. Volume 45, Number 3 carries six articles. The first is a report on ...
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Book review: Rich Mountains of Lead

Mike Moore reviews a valuable addition to any mine explorer's book collection. This new book is a detailed study of  the lead, silver and zinc ...
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British cave divers recognised in honours list

Honoured ... Rick Stanton, Connor Roe and Chris Jewell (Photos by Linda Wilson) The British divers at the centre of the Thai cave rescue have ...
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Access to Dan yr Ogof in jeopardy?

Cavers, no matter how carefully they abide by access arrangements, should always be conscious that for some of our most treasured caves, access can never be taken for granted ...
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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 ...
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Going underground … The Rising Stars feel the squeeze

Angharad Brewer Gillham found herself a world away from her comfortable desk job in Switzerland when she joined the Rising Stars expedition in South Africa's Dinaledi Chamber. Here's her second report from the excavation ...
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Access to Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1 entrance

The following information has been released by South Wales Caving Club regarding a revised access route to the entrance of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1. Due ...
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Presenting caving’s future

Third year PR students at UWE Bristol were asked to come up with ideas for raising the profile and diversity of the BCA in the wake of the Thai rescue story. BCA newsletter editor David Rose reports back on the opening presentations. ...
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Descent 265 now available

If it looks like you’ll be restricted to armchair caving over the festive season, make sure you get the latest copy of Descent to keep ...
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Getting some elfy exercise

Chesney the Chipmunk and Valentine the donkey go caving in Reigate. Peter Burgess was there to record the occasion! Cavers do some pretty daft things ...
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Warning – access to caves around High Birkwith Farm in doubt

Jeff Wade abseiling in Calf Holes, Yorkshire Dales. Photo courtesy of Rob Eavis
High Birkwith Farm is now under new ownership and potentially this could cause problems for access to Calf Holes, Browgill, Old Ing, Birkwith, Dismal Hill ...
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Collapse at Cascades Entrance, Co. Fermanagh

The Speleological Union of Ireland has warned of safety concerns after two trips into Cascades Caves in Co. Fermanagh were cancelled on Saturday. The boulder entrance squeeze is ...
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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) ...
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Scotland dig in to take third win

The tenth J'Rat digging award has gone north of the border - for the third time in ten years. The 2018 winning entry was Uamh ...
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Dispatches from one of caving’s Rising Stars …

One moment Angharad Brewer Gillham was sitting behind a desk in Switzerland. The next, she's in South Africa on the prestigious Rising Stars expedition helping ...
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Descent 265 Coming Soon

Descent 265 will be winging its way to you very soon! If you’re not up to date with your subscription now’s the time to remedy ...
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Book review: Styx

As part of a new series on classic caving books, both fact and fiction, Linda Wilson reviews Styx, a 1982 adventure novel with a surprisingly ...
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Landowners speak out on Twll Du closure

Twll Du before and after. Photo courtesy of Caves and Cave Diving on Facebook
The Ogof Draenen landowners have spoken for the first time following Cadw’s announcement of the closure of a controversial access into the cave system. The ...
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How to check caving conditions from the comfort of your bed!

CPC Webcam at Horton
Why not check out Dales water levels before you decide whether to get up? Craven Pothole Club have gone live with a River Ribble monitoring webcam in Horton. Anyone viewing the sites will be able to view live feeds of river conditions to give an indication of how high water levels are ...
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Book review: Underground Adventure

As part of a new series on classic caving books, both fact and fiction, Alan Jeffreys takes a look at Underground Adventure by A Gemmell ...
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Hold the front page: caving’s moment in the international spotlight

British cavers suddenly found themselves on the front pages of the world’s media through the Thai cave rescue drama. Journalist Sharon Wheeler takes a look ...
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Jeff Wade abseiling in Calf Holes, Yorkshire Dales. Photo courtesy of Rob Eavis
Council for Northern Caving Clubs (CNCC) has announced that parking will no longer be allowed at High Birkwith farm, meaning cavers will need to park ...
Read More
Numerous reports from the US confirm that Josh Bratchley returned to the surface safe and well around 7pm local time last night after being trapped ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Descent 267 is now available! If a copy hasn’t arrived with you, it’s time to head over to Wild Places Publishing to subscribe now or ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Peter Barratt of Honeywell Analytics, Peter Dell and Peter Dennis with representatives of DCRO and BCRC
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 ...
Read More
Pete Buckley and Ali Moody assisted by a band of Wessex diggers have had more success recently at their dig at Bagpit, on the south ...
Read More
A one-day British Cave Research Association field meeting will be held at the British Cave Monitoring Centre, Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park on Saturday ...
Read More
Alan Jeffreys enjoys a caving classic even if he doesn't entirely approve of the author's somewhat cavalier attitude to risk ... Ernest Baker was well ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Kate Mosse is better known for Labyrinth and other books, but Alan Jeffreys recommends taking a look at her novella, The Cave, set in the ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
It’s birthday cake plus cheese and pineapple on sticks all round this issue as Descent 266 celebrates 50 years in print. And it’s a visually ...
Read More
BCA Newsletter no 37 for January 2019 is now available. Editor David Rose has produced a bumper issue starting with a few words from him ...
Read More
In his quest for vintage caving books, Alan Jeffreys has delved into his bookshelves again, and has come up with a northern classic from the ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Descent 266 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 ...
Read More
Alan Jeffreys continues his look at classic caving books with a review of a classic text that captures the excitement of underground exploration in the 1930s and ...
Read More