For a list of all news items see the News Catalogue (work in progress).

For previous news see the News Archive.

It has been reported that the P-hangers in the concrete capping have been vandalised. They should be considered unsafe and must not be used. The shaft should be rigged using natural belays such as nearby trees (approx 10m away). If anyone has any information about who caused the damage please let us know. In view of the vandalism there are no immediate plans to replace the hangers.

It is possible that there has also been some movement at the bottom of the shaft along with some areas are of suspect stability so appropriate care should be taken. If anyone is familiar with the shaft and can confirm if there has been any movement please let us know.

Thanks to Jim Maillardet for informing us of the above.

Jim also reported that two of the wooden ladders at the bottom have now totally disintegrated.

Graham Price

Following the fitting of the new gate and the removal of the entrance ladder, I can report that the Land Owner (Roger Dors) has reopened the cave. For access contact Roger at the Hunters.

Please note: Now the entrance ladder has been removed you will need to bring your own ladder and lifeline (or SRT rope) for the entrance pitch. There are integrated rigging points fitted to the underside of the gate for this purpose.

As is standard with all new CSCC gates, it is openable from the inside without a key, so make sure you lock it behind you when you visit, to keep the cave secure and to ensure there is no risk to members of the public.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer

The Council of Southern Caving Clubs are changing the locks on all of the caves for which they administer access. The previously used locks are now no longer available and there have been a number of issues with copied and poorly fitting keys in circulation, causing damage to the locks and not operating the locks easily, if at all.

All CSCC member clubs are being issued with at least one new key. Keys will continue to be available to borrow by arrangement from the following Mendip clubs: Bristol Exploration Club, Cerberus Spelaeological Society, Mendip Caving Group, Mendip Nature Research Committee, Shepton Mallet Caving Clubs and Wessex Cave Club.

Cavers are asked not to copy keys for the reasons above. Official keys are easily available, are fully tried and tested, and stamped CSCC for identification purposes.

The changeover will start at the beginning of March and, given the number of sites involved, will take some time to complete. To guarantee being able to get access visitors should take both the old and the new key with them until they are notified that the process is complete.

The principal behind the CSCC system is to make the caves covered by this arrangement, as freely and easily accessible as possible.

The list of caves fitted with a CSCC standard lock is being updated but currently includes: Attborough Swallet, Axbridge Hill Cavern, Balch Cave, Blackmoor Swallet (Stainsby's Shaft), Chardswell Cave, Compton Martin Ochre Mine, Conning Tower Cave, Coral Cave, Cuckoo Cleeves, Eighteen Acre Swallet, Fairy Cave Quarry car park, Five Buddles Sink, Hillier's Cave, Hobnail Hole, Loxton Cave, Loxton Quarry Cave, Maesbury Swallet, Priddy Green Sink, Singing River Mine, Sludge Pit Hole, Snake Pit Hole, Spider Hole, Star Shaft Mine, Stock Hill Mine Cave, Stocks House Shaft, Ubley Warren Pot (both entrances, but currently closed) Viaduct Sink (currently closed), Waterwheel Swallet, West Twin Brook Adit, Windsor Hill Flood Sink 1, and Windsor Hill Flood Sink 2.

Some caves have particular access requirements which it is important to comply with to maintain free access, and the Access Guide on the CSCC web site should be checked before making a visit. The Guide is in the process of being updated.

For further information, updates, and availability of keys, etc contact Graham Price via email at cscc [at]

Graham Price

Box Quarry has been closed by the landowner and CSCC are in communication with them and other interested parties, to see how this situation can be resolved. We know the landowner is not opposed to bona fide access for cavers and mine explorers, but they do have a legal duty to keep the quarries secure against casual entry, and a recent series of high profile incidents in the quarry have caused pressure on the landowner to secure the site. We respect the landowner's rights and understand their legal duties. We are hopeful that an equitable solution can be achieved in the longer term.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer

After many years of work a team of Wessex Cave Club diggers have made an interesting discovery at Tween Twins Hole in Burrington Combe, Mendip. Tween Twins, known to members of the WCC as “Fester Hole”, has been worked sporadically since the early 1980’s, with interest in the site re-kindled in 2008 as part of the J-Rat DigFest celebrations.
On Valentine’s Day last year, a well decorated rift was entered by the team. Named after the day of discovery, it gave access to a partially filled phreatic tube through which a good draught flowed. Over 100 trips into the cave followed during 2015 and by February this year open space could be seen ahead of the terminal dig face at the bottom of a 10m deep rift.

On Saturday 13th February almost one year to the day since Valentine’s was entered the team assembled for the breakthrough and were rewarded with an estimated 200 feet of large extremely well decorated passage.

From the onset, priority at this Site of Special Scientific Interest has been conservation, with taping being completed on the day after discovery. The cave gives a good idea of just how well decorated many of the popular Burrington caves might have been in the past. With the permission and approval of both the landowner and English Nature, the site has now been gated and a leader system established. For conservation reasons, visits are limited to three experienced cavers who must be accompanied by an approved leader. For further information on access to the cave please visit
Bookings can also be made through the website.
The team are grateful for the assistance of Linda Wilson of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society for liaising with the landowner to obtain his approval of the conservation measures and access arrangements, and also for obtaining the SSSI consent to the gating from Natural England.

Jonathan Williams
Posted 21/3/2016 by Aubrey Newport
CSCC Webmaster

CSCC Dig Fest 2016 Ever fancied finding new cave? Now's your chance. The diggers of Mendip will be opening their digs for you to visit and have a go.

  • June 3rd - 5th
  • Digging
  • Workshops
  • Talks
  • Wessex Challenge (hosted by the BEC)
  • BBQ
  • Stomp

CSCC Dig Fest 2016

David Cooke
Posted 4/2/2016

I have been in communication with Hanson concerning this issue.
It appears the site was locked after several high profile incidents concerning groups getting lost and having to be released by the police and emergency services. Hanson have indicated that they want to work with the caving and mine exploring community to maintain legitimate access to the site but are concerned about their liability.

I am in discussion with Hanson and will report back as soon as there is more information.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer

John the landlord of the Quarryman's Arms has just informed me that Hansons has padlocked the Backdoor. No notices and in fact some people were inside and fortunately reached the gate before being locked in. They may well block all entrances.

Neil Reaich (via Chris Smart)
posted 26/9/2014

CSCC policy regarding access as agreed at general meeting 02/08/2014

1.The BCA guiding principles set out in the BCA Constitution;

Section 4.6b “The owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access. Where caving bodies have control of access delegated to them by the owners, such access should be obtained and granted as freely as possible for all responsible cavers, within the terms of those agreements. When obliged to make new agreements, the appropriate body should endeavor to ensure that this freedom is maintained or improved.”

CSCC does not wish BCA to pursue or endorse any course of action that would result in any change of that guiding principle, irrespective of any opinions that have been expressed to the contrary by those seeking to argue for the application of the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000 to apply to caves.

2.CSCC would encourage all cavers to respect established access procedures and not take any action which would jeopardize such arrangements between cavers and landowners.

Aubrey Newport
CSCC webmaster
Posted 5/8/2014

Update to White Pit Access Guidelines (now gate has been repaired and it can be opened from the inside) Key to be issued by either a BEC or WCC committee member. Bookings taken via the caving secretary of either club. Contact either or Take caution with the CO2 - in summer months it is particularly bad, but can be bad at other times too, so if your breathing becomes unusually hard, a quick exit is advised. White Pit is a 'leader led' system, in that once you have had a trip in there and been shown around, you are effectively a leader and can book the key yourself. When crossing the field, please walk along the footpath by the wall until you are level with the cave fence before you cross as there are often crops in the field. Please put the lock back on the mechanism before entering the cave, the lever to open from the inside is fully functional. If you are visiting Talus IV, please do so before the rest of the cave to avoid dirty oversuits bringing mud near the formations. Take good care around the formations in Talus IV, St Alactite’s Hall and the pearls at the bottom of Prophecy Pot as some of these are particularly vulnerable to passing cavers. The areas that are still obviously active digs, please take extra care in. These are also occasionally banged – a ‘date of last banged’ note will be displayed at the bottom of the entrance by the CO2 sign.
Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 01/8/2014

Recently some cavers have been ignoring the access conditions for Templeton, including some that really ought to know better!
As a result, access is threatened to this site.
Please adhere to the access conditions, if you want to have a look then contact the diggers who will be extremely pleased to give you a tour.

The digging team have requested the follow message be publicised:
Templeton Dig Team 16th July 2014

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 15/7/2014

CSCC DigFest 2014 - It's Going To Be Awesome!
- June 6th - 8th

CSCC DigFest 2014

David Cooke
CSCC Webmaster
Posted 3/5/2014

Due to recent flooding and a collapse at the entrance, Thrupe Lane Swallet is currently closed. Works are being carried out to re-open the cave as soon as possible

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 26/12/2013

There have been reports of some instability just inside Back Door The large slab over the crawl (that makes up the roof of the crawl) has moved and should be treated with some respect. Also the falls just inside Back Door (to the left, leading to OXO II and AO route) are considered to be very unstable and best avoided…

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 15/08/2013

After something like 28 years, Sludge Pit Hole is again open. The cave is locked with a CSCC Lock, keys are available to all bonafide cavers from Mendip caving clubs or from the CSCC. Please secure the gate when you are inside, you cannot be locked in as the gate can always be opened from the inside.

The land owner has issued the following notice:

Welcome to Sludge Pit Hole

We want everyone to be able to enjoy this cave, please help us to achieve this by following a few simple rules.


  1. All trips to be recorded in the log provided at the top of the pitch.
    • Enter date, name of Club, names of all cavers.
    • Leader to print name and sign to confirm that all persons in the group are BCA insured.
    • Deposit £1 per visitor in honesty box provided.
  2. Ensure that Gate is locked behind you whilst you are in the cave and when you leave.
  3. Lifeline MUST be used on pitch for all visitors.
  4. No Novices or Commercial Groups.
  5. No Carbide.

Your enjoyment of the cave will be better in smaller groups.

Please feel free to add comments to the log after your trip.

Please respect the cave and the environment;
Take nothing but photos.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.

Please respect the Land Owner's requests and follow the access rules, to ensure continued access.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 09/07/2013

There is a continuing collapse of the boulders in the roof of the first small chamber as you crawl from East Twin to Spar pot. This started 3 weeks ago with wash out of some infill in the floor of this passage from the heavy rain. A week later some rocks had fallen. Last night, more had come down. There are still some wedged there, and we cant tell if the very large boulders will stay there when exposed. It is currently very dangerous. Take great care or stay away for now.

South Bristol Speleos will be taking a look after Christmas, to give it time to stabilise and an update will be published then.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 15/12/2012

The land owner at Manor Farm Swallet, Mr Jeffries, has asked me to pass on the following. He has been disturbed in the early hours several times by people leaving the cave at all hours. He is not too happy about it and has asked that people are out of the cave by 10pm at the latest, unless prior arrangement is made with him. If you need to contact him to make arrangements, he can be phoned on 01761 462366. Please only ring him if it's absolutely necessary. Also, people have been going down the cave without seeking permission from him. He has said that if this continues he will look into locking the cave so that people will have to see him for the key.

Please respect the landowners wishes and remember that it is only by his consent that we are able to visit his cave.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 11/12/2012

The entrance to Loxton Cavern is currently in a poor state of repair and until entrance stability works can be carried out to secure it, access is not permitted.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 22/10/2012

CSCC is currently in negotiations with the landowner to set up an access agreement. Part of this will be the need to carry out certain works to provide an access route to the caves. Until this work is complete the caves remain closed. Please stay away for now and be patient. The caves have been closed for the last 27 years, another few weeks wait won't hurt.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 16/8/2012


Posted by David Cooke, Webmaster, 19/7/2012.

Myself and Les Williams attended the auction of Higher Eastwater Farm last night and the property was sold as a single lot, including the caves, for £455,000. The winning bid was made by telephone through an agent. No information was available on the name of the purchaser, who apparently is currently living abroad and will not be returning for some time; or their intentions with regard to the future of the property. Conflicting information was given by agent and auctioneers so the situation is ripe for lots of rumors. We have expressed an interest in negotiating access to the caves and hopefully discussions with the new owners will take place in due course.

Graham Price
Posted 18/7/2012

Posted by David Cooke, Webmaster, 14/7/2012.

Lectures on Saturday and a Welcome in the Hunters Long Room on Friday night (bring your own video/digital images…

Saturday Lecture session includes:

  • Mendip digging update
  • Cave registry/archive update
  • Neolithic Cave use
  • Ochre mining
  • Somerset's Copper mining industry
  • The latest on ACG's digs

Wessex Challenge

Cave rescue stomp

Bar all day and food available all day

Evening pig roast/barbeque

Posted by David Cooke, Webmaster, 5/7/2012 (Updated 14/7/2012).

Posted by David Cooke, Webmaster, 5/7/2012.

Somerset County Council is currently engaged in a Minerals Options Consultation which will form the main input to their Core Strategy. I will be coordinating and preparing a response on behalf of the CSCC and would welcome input. I have prepared a response form for your use. To obtain a copy of this please email me. You can either return this to me as a Word file or complete it manually and return by post. I will accept responses in any other format as long as it is clear to which questions you are responding. The consultation documents are listed below. Links are available to download all documents. To be able to prepare our response I need all comments returned to me by 6th February at the latest.

Graham Price


The Minerals Options Paper identifies a number of issues and options relating to future minerals development within Somerset. The consultation covers all minerals extracted in Somerset; namely peat, aggregates and building stones. It provides an opportunity for consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public. Feedback from this consultation will inform the preparation of the County Council's Minerals Core Strategy which will run to the year 2028.


1) Summary: Minerals Options Paper (1.6Mb) This document presents a summary of the issues and potential options relating to future minerals development in Somerset together with consultation questions. 06 Jan 2012 09:56

2) Summary: Minerals Options Paper - Figures (557Kb) This document contains the figures included in the Summary Minerals Options Paper. 06 Jan 2012 09:57

3) Minerals Options Paper (806Kb) This document identifies a number of relevant issues and potential options relating to future minerals development within Somerset. 15 Dec 2011 08:36

4) Minerals Options Paper - Appendices (3.0Mb) This document contains the appendices included in the Minerals Options Paper. 06 Jan 2012 09:57

5) Sustainability Appraisal - Interim Report (437Kb) This report has been prepared by Land Use Consultants to assess the environmental, social and economic impacts of the proposed options. 14 Dec 2011 11:11

The boulders at the top of the third pitch have moved. Several have fallen down the pitch, including one of about 4 Tonnes! There are still boulders perched precariously at the pitch head, including one extremely large boulder that appears to have no visible means of support. You are advised to avoid going below the top of the third pitch and also to stay away from the pitch head. Although the “Right Hand Route” will avoid the instability, you wouldn't want to be below the top of Pitch 3 at the moment. It is almost certain that the way on to the rest of the lower cave is currently blocked.

It is planned to leave the pitch head alone for the winter to see if it stabalises or otherwise, so you are advised to restrict any caving to the first two pitches for now.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 6/11/2011

Spider Hole, in Cheddar Gorge, is now on a CSCC lock. An update on access will be posted on this site soon, along with a rigging topo. Please do not drive up the track, but instead park in the small quarry just before this track (about 20m up gorge on the same side). Please keep the cave locked at all times (even when inside) as there is a large pitch not far from the entrance.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 6/11/2011

There is quite a high attrition rate on cave gate locks, particullarly the CSCC caves. The problems are mostly caused by mud ingress in the mechanism. Please ensure the key is clean before inserting it into the lock and also try to ensure your hands are clean before handling the lock. Please report any problems with the locks or gates to the Conservation & Access Officer.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 6/11/2011

The Mendip Caving Group are currently improving access to Upper Flood Swallet by training “Guest Wardens” to guide trips. They are asking for a number of cavers to apply to be Wardens. The criteria for becoming a Warden will be placed on the MCG Website soon along with an application form. For any enquiries please contact the MCG Caving Sec. Kevin Speight.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 6/11/2011

The AONB Service have reported problems with vehicles blocking the track where the new barriers have been installed and on more than one occasion the farmer has not been able to get past. There is very limited parking here and the AONB Service have asked that the tracks are not blocked. Be warned that if you do block the track vehicles may either be removed or possibly damaged.

We warned the AONB of these potential problems when they installed the barriers but they were not willing to discuss other options. As previously advised anyone intending to visit the caves in this area is advised to park in the Combe and approach via West Twin Brook valley.

Graham Price
Posted 1/9/2011

There is now an access agreement in place with the landowners, Mr and Mrs Scott, who own the majority of the land on Axbridge Hill. The access agreement is as follows:

The caves must only be visited at weekends in the day, and before a visit the Scotts must be informed. Please telephone, before 7pm, Mrs. Scott, on 01934 733341. Mr Scott also agreed that a CSCC lock could be fitted but stated that if cavers break this agreement access may be denied. The CSCC lock has now been fitted and the caves in question are – Axbridge Hill Cavern (formerly The Lost Cave of Axbridge) Triple-H Cave Large Chamber Cave Toad Pit Chard’s Well Axbridge Ochre Cavern

Please respect this agreement.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 31/8/2011

There have been reports about instability of the boulders that make up the top of the third pitch. The pitch head appears unstable and it is advised that you take great care here and better still don't use the direct hang but instead use the “Right Hand Route” third pitch. Do not congregate below this area and be aware that it is possible (probable) that any further collapse here could (would) block the way on (or out) from the rest of the lower cave.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 28/8/2011

Loxton Caves are now fitted with CSCC locks (Except Loxton Cavern, which remains a leader system only).

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 12/8/2011

Much higher than normal levels of CO2 have been measured at Cuckoo Cleeves recently. Levels of 6% have been measured just inside the entrace and cavers are advised to avoid this cave for the summer until the problem reduces. Information on the effects of Carbon Dioxide.

It is probable that CO2 levels are elevated in all of the caves at the moment and particular care should be taken at other sites that are known to have a CO2 problem, such as Tynings Barrow Swallet and White Pit.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 1/8/2011

There has been a rock fall at the Eastern entrance of Swan/Kingsdown mine. This is the usual exit from the quarry on through trips. The exit is a low crawl and is generally done on your back. As you exit you will be looking directly up to the area where the rocks have fallen from. Most of the big stuff has fallen already but there may still be a few loose rocks waiting to fall on your face. The area is being looked at to ascertain how much more loose stuff there is, in the meantime take care when leaving by this route.

Les Williams
CSCC C&A Officer
Posted 23/2/2011

The lock has recently been changed due to a catastrophic failure and because currently the gate is damaged and we are unable to lock or unlock the cave from the inside hence a risk of locking someone into the cave, access is via the current diggers/ BEC Caving Secretary. A fixed ladder has been reinstalled into the entrance and because of the vicinity to a public footbath, it is important that the gate is locked. Once the weather improves, the gate will either be repaired or replaced and previous access arrangements restored.

Estelle Sandford
Posted 24/1/2011

The fixed ladder has been removed from entrance. Now requires a 5m ladder which should be easy enough to hang off the scaffold bars used to secure the gate.

Estelle Sandford
Posted 24/1/2011

CSCC is holding a Surveying course based at Upper Pitts (WCC) on the weekend of 19/20th Febuary

The course will adapt to all levels of surveying but the aim of the weekend is for people who have surveyed before to convert to the use of Paperless surveying, particularly using a DistoX. Once tried you will not go back.

Examples of what can be done can be seen at (you will need Therion and/or Survex installed for the 3d models)

It will take you through the process of connecting the DistoX to a pda, and calibrating it. There will be a practical session to collect some data, so caving gear is necessary, followed by basic processing and introduction to some of the advance features such as morphed surface overlays, and managing large projects, with a team that are in different locations.

Program for the Weekend

10:00 Overview of the Paperless surveying, followed by
lunch and then
Collecting data (caving)
19:00 (ish) Producing 3D centreline, then pub

9:30 Drawing plans and producing 3D models, connection of multiple surveys
13:00 (ish) Surface overlays (including other tools needed). Google earth overlays. Other fancy outputs

Numbers are limited to 12 for practical purposes. There may be up to a £10 charge to cover costs however it is hoped that this will not be needed. This does not include the accommodation, for which you will need to make your own arrangements.

If you are interested then contact myself, , to reserve a place or for further information.

You are encouraged to bring your own computer, and if you could let us know what operating system you have, we can try to bring everything that you might need. (Please note that macs are not well supported.) Also if you can bring your own DistoX and pda it would be useful, however, we will have 4 sets available if necessary.

Graham Price
Posted 11/12/2010

Barriers have been installed on Blackdown on the bridleway leading to Rods Pot, Read’s Cavern etc. Vehicles can no longer drive close to the caves and can get no further along the track than the UBSS hut. There is consequently a lack of parking for cavers’ vehicles and care should be taken to avoid blocking the track. The problem has been pointed out to the AONB Service who appear to have been coordinating the installation in association with the landowners, but there seems little possibility of access being allowed for anything other than rescue purposes. CSCC is currently in negotiations to obtain a key for emergency purposes.

Anyone intending to visit these caves is advised to park in the Combe and approach via West Twin Brook valley.

Graham Price
Posted 11/12/2010

The following fixed aid in GB has been reported defective and is under investigation by CSCC:

  • Chain up to ladder dig extensions

CSCC is investigating this report and you will be notified again when a CSCC appointed person has inspected the fixed aid and a decision has been made on what, if any, remedial action is required.

Please note: the CSCC does not carry out any routine inspection or testing of fixed aids in caves. Further, the CSCC view is that individual cavers should satisfy themselves that the fixed aids they are proposing to use are safe.

Faye Litherland
CSCC Equipment Officer
Posted 21/11/2010

The following anchors in Rhino Rift have been replaced:

  • First anchor on the traverse line to the second pitch (RR-FP-08)
  • Two anchors of the second y hang on the second pitch (RR-SP-05, RR-SP-06)

All anchors on the first and second pitches have been inspected and although in some cases the rock resin bond has started to fail, as can be seen from the slight rotation (less than 1mm), it is my opinion and that of others in the working party that they are safe to use and do not require immediate replacement. The anchors where the rock resin bond is starting to fail have been identified for future replacement.

Please note: the CSCC does not carry out any routine inspection or testing of bolts within the CSCC Anchor Placement Scheme. This policy is in line with the BCA statement on the testing of anchors. Further, the CSCC view is that individual cavers should satisfy themselves that the anchors they are proposing to use are safe.

The proposed chain on the head of the first pitch has not yet been fitted. A suitable vendor has been identified and I will update here when the chain is in place.

Faye Litherland
CSCC Equipment Officer
Posted 21/11/2010

CSCC will be holding an anchor placement demonstration & practical session on Saturday 20th November at 10am near Priddy. All attendees will be expected to have familiarised themselves with the CSCC anchor scheme documents prior to attending.

The documents are available in .pdf form from the CSCC Website

There are three documents in the pack:

CSCC-EQ-GN-1001 Anchor Placement & Installation Guidance CSCC-EQ-GN-1002 Anchor Inspection & Usage CSCC-EQ-PR-1001 Anchor Management (Installation, Testing, Defect Reporting) Procedure

Following the surface session, a real life case study will be discussed on site in Rhino Rift.

All Mendip cavers are welcome to attend (subject to availability of spaces). If you would like to attend or require further information, please contact me on 01761 233769.

Faye Litherland
CSCC Equipment Officer
Posted 4/11/2010

It is common knowledge that CO2 levels in some of the Mendip caves are problematic in the summer months, particularly after a long warm dry spell.

It has been noted that CO2 levels have increased recently, particularly in Cuckoo Cleeves where readings of more than 3% have been noted in the past few weeks.

Cavers are reminded to be aware of CO2 levels within caves and to take appropriate actions if high levels of CO2 are encountered.

NOTE: You should make yourselves aware of the symptoms of high levels of CO2 and act accordingly. Here is some useful information on Carbon Dioxide.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 31/7/2010

CSCC has been asked by the Parish Council to remind cavers to change in the barn and not in public as this offends some of the villagers. Please respect this request.

Cavers are also asked not to park on the grass at the green but to use the hardstanding.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 31/7/2010

There has been a small collapse at the entrance to Priddy Green Sink. A hole has opened up around the edge of the lid and the entrance has been fenced off.

CSCC are holding a working party on the green on Saturday 14th August to effect repairs. All welcome, Meet by Main's Barn at about 10:00AM

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 31/7/2010

The following anchors in Rhino Rift have been reported defective and are under investigation by CSCC:

RR-FP-08  Rebelay on first pitch

RR-SP-01  First anchor on traverse line to second pitch

CSCC is investigating this report and you will be contacted again when a CSCC appointed person has inspected the anchor and a decision has been made on what, if any, remedial action is required.

Please note: the CSCC does not carry out any routine inspection or testing of bolts within the CSCC Anchor Placement Scheme. This policy is in line with the BCA statement on the testing of anchors.

Further, the CSCC view is that individual cavers should satisfy themselves that the anchors they are proposing to use are safe.

Thank you,

Faye Litherland
Equipment Officer
Posted 29/6/2010

CSCC are now aware of the source of the recent pollution in Swildon's Hole. We can confirm that the source has been traced to a heating oil spillage and cavers can rest assured that steps are being taken to ensure there will be no further leaks from this source, however we have been made aware that recently, prior to determining the source, a further 1000 litres of heating oil escaped into the ground above the cave. This has not yet been detected in the cave but is expected to turn up once the good weather breaks and the ground water flow is reactivated when it next rains.

The white deposits on the walls of the passages have been identified as a type of fungus, no link has so far been made between the fungus and the heating oil. The fungus cannot be further identified without major lab work which will be very expensive as there are something like 30 different sub species, and the samples will have to be tested for them all.

The fungus is generally not considered harmful to most people, however a small percentage of people will be sensitive to it. If you know you are sensitive to fungus spores then you are advised to avoid the area until it clears up. The fungus is expected to disappear once it has consumed the energy source that it is currently growing on.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 24/5/2010

The BBC has asked CSCC to publicise its ThrillSeeker campaign. The Aim of the campaign is to help individuals and families experience an adventure activity, particularly for the first time. They are looking for caving clubs willing to participate and offer some “taster sessions” on a free or minimum cost basis. The ThrillSeeker website can be found at The campaign runs until Easter and clubs interested in offering something need to submit a declaration of interest. Further information and a copy of the form can be obtained from myself or the Secretary.

Graham Price

As of Saturday 9th January Swildon's Hole is open. The landowner has issued the following notice concerning the cave, please read it and take note.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 8/1/2010


The decision to close Swildon's Hole was taken by the landowner after consultation with various parties. This followed a period of significant movement in the entrance series during very wet weather.

The cave has been closed for a period of a month for monitoring during which several visits were made.

Following further consultations at the end of the monitoring period and on the advice of CSCC, the cave will now be reopened.

All persons are reminded that they enter the cave at their own risk and are advised to exercise considerable caution in the entrance area and are advised to consider avoiding the area around Showerbath Chamber.

Following consultations, Robin Main the land owner, has decided to close Swildon's Hole for a period of one month to see how things settle down in the entrance. Please stay away for now and respect the landowners decision. The latest information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 9/12/2009

There have been reports of loose boulders in Tyning's. The area concerned is the small boulder choke approx 60m from the entrance. Care should be taken as you squeeze through the hole on the right as the rocks below appear to be very loose and may fall out if disturbed.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 7/12/2009

Recent measurements show that the CO2 levels have dropped to a more sensible level (around 2%). The cave is open and access can be obtained with a standard CSCC key. Please be aware that the cave (along with several others) is known for high levels of CO2, especially when the outside temperature is warmer (e.g. summer time). You should make yourselves aware of the symptoms of high levels of CO2 and act accordingly. Here is some useful information on Carbon Dioxide.

Les Williams
Conservation & Access Officer
Posted 7/12/2009

The CSCC mailing list is open to anyone interested in supporting the work of the CSCC.

It is a low volume list, mainly for announcements since the CSCC Forum is more suited to discussions.

Recently BCA Web Services changed its provider and now offer many more facilities to domains hosted with them, all for the same basic price. One such facility is the ability to host our own Mailing Lists.

For several years now the CSCC mailing list has been hosted for free on David Gibson's server at Our thanks must go to David for his generosity. When he had to move provider, the time was right to move the CSCC mailing list to our domain.

So I have moved the list to the domain. All those people who were previously subscribed are still subscribed.

Note the email address to send a message to the mailing list has changed. See The CSCC Mailing List for details.

Subscribing is easy. If you want to subscribe go to The CSCC Mailing List.

For more information see the Mailing List page.

David Cooke
Posted 7/5/2009

Specially-fabricated bat grilles have been installed at Box Mine SSSI, funded by English Nature, in order to help protect rare bat species that use the sites for roosting. The increasing disturbance of hibernating bats by people passing through the mine systems has necessitated the installation of the grilles. In particular, the risk of a one-off catastrophic event caused by lighting fires or spraying canned paint has increased, and this could wipe out the entire bat population.

English Nature’s Conservation Officer, Katie Lloyd said “It has taken two years to come up with proposals and consult with all the known users of the mines in order to work out the best approach to installing the grilles. We are delighted that the work is finally coming to fruition and that the bats will be better protected in future.”

Back Door and Jack's Workings entrances have been gated, accessible by allen key. The Lady Hamilton's entrance has been permanently grilled for safety reasons and access is no longer possible. Keys are held by the major Mendip Clubs.

Please contact the C & A Officer here for further details.

Posted 2/9/2006

The C & A Officer reports that the combination lock on the caver's car park has been replaced with the CSCC padlock. You now need a key to use the car park, so please don't forget to collect one before travelling to East Mendip. Keys are held by the major Mendip Clubs. These are the ACG, BEC, CSS, MCG, MNRC, SMCC and WCC.

Posted 2/9/2006

The BCA has setup some Discussion Forums on its website. A Forum is a place where a discussion can held on topics of interest and importance. Recent topics have been access to Brown's Folly and a discussion on the geology of Sally's Rift.

Here is the CSCC Forum and the BCA Forum.

Anyone can read the Forum, but you will need to register if you wish to contribute your own musings.

Posted 13/7/2006

This information has been received from the Wealden Cave and Mine Society.

“All caving access rights have been removed by the landowners for Football Field also known as No4 and Quarry Dean Farm also known as No2 . Any person found on site will be prosecuted by the land agents”

For further information contact the WCMS Surrey Mines Agent via the committee page of

Posted 8/3/2005

Avon Wildlife Trust have CLOSED the mine until further notice, pending a Mines Inspectors report.

Posted 19/2/2005

An engraving that is possibly 10,000 years or more old has been discovered in Aveline's Hole. Aveline's is famous as being the site of the earliest known cemetery in the British Isles.

A gate has been installed in the back of the cave to protect the engraving. This was after consultations between English Heritage and other interested parties, including the landowner, English Nature and the CSCC. No visits will be possible until bat hibernation season is over. Access is controlled by the UBSS.

Full details can be found on the UBSS website here.

Posted 19/2/2005

The duty to manage asbestos came into force on 21 May 2004. It applies to non-domestic premises, which includes caving huts. So if your club has a club hut and you are a committee member you should read the leaflet 'Managing Asbestos in Premises'. Further information is available on the HSE website here.

The regulations are not as scary as one might initially assume. For example there is no need to remove asbestos that is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed. But you will need to systematically identify and record any asbestos in your hut. Also you need to make that information available to workmen and also to the emergency services.

Posted 19/2/2005

The 20+ year old rusty metal bolt belays at the 7m pitch have been superceded by the installation of four eco-hangers on the right hand wall as you approach the pitch head - a traverse line can be installed from the initial two hangers and a y-hang can be put in over the clear hang to the water below for a ladder or SRT if you want to use this venue for practice - mind you the dams are now nice and full for winter so it's a bit of a cold swim to get there! The work was done while killing two birds with one stone, so to speak/write; the bolts were part of a training session for the new CSCC bolting trainees to learn how to place eco-hangers.

Posted 16/12/2004. Report from the Cheddar Caving Club.

A considerable amount of work has been going on at Fairy Cave Quarry.

The new car park is now finished. You are asked to make use of this facility rather than parking on the road since the road is narrow and despite its appearance, takes a lot of 38ton lorry traffic. The car park has a combination lock. The number is available from the major Mendip Clubs.

Balch's Cave is a well known bat hibernacula and has been grilled to protect the resident bat colony. Padlocks have been placed on the three low entrances of Balch's Cave. Conning Tower Cave also has a new entrance and padlock. Keys are held by the major Mendip Clubs. These are the ACG, BEC, CSS, MCG, MNRC, SMCC and WCC.

Posted 17/5/2004

The situation at Ariel Hole, Portland has deteriorated. The landowner has denied access to the cave. Negotiations are continuing , so please respect the landowners wishes.

A fuller explanation can be found in the letters column of Descent issues 170 and 171.

Posted 12/5/2003

GB Cavern was shut from the 12/10/2002 to 6/11/2002 due to high CO2 levels. Readings from the Bridge and on down to Ladder Dig were 4% or greater. CO2 levels seem to be an increasing problem in Mendip Caves. Dr Tony Boycott has provided a short article outlining the effects of CO2 and the treatment for CO2 poisoning here.

Further information can be found here.

Posted 16/11/2002攀

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