Archived News 2008

Bridge Cave - 12th November 2008

Reports have reached us that the unusually wet weather has resulted in changes at Bridge Cave, undermining the boulder choke. A visit in late-September noticed that a wet flat-out crawl had appeared at stream level, leaving parts of the choke above apparently unsupported. The choke itself doesn't seem to have moved, yet... but caution is advised!


Dan yr Ogof, Update on entrapment camp - 23rd August 2008

Earlier in the year we communicated temporary limitations on parties entering DYO in wet or unsettled weather while the rescue dump is being increased in capacity and scope so that it will fully cater for any future incident. Due to extended periods of wet weather this is taking longer than originally expected. We have now new communications cables that run from the showcave through the lakes to Wigmore Hall where the new facilities will be located. The completion of the work will be weather dependant, and will let you know as soon as access returns to normal .A reminder of the current access provision is detailed below.

The DYOCAC and DYO showcave management wish to ensure the safety of wardens and their parties while in the cave. Until further notice, IN WET WEATHER only the number cavers allowed into DYO will be approximately 8 in any one day. In dry settled weather the number of people allowed in will remain unchanged. Please check the weather before embarking on a trip, not only for the day of the trip but the preceding days. Always have an alternative trip planned in case the weather is not with you.Please be aware that the showcave staff have the authority to remove caver access if they feel that water levels and or weather conditions warrant it.

Tunnel Cave is not weather dependant and can be accessed via the showcave under similar access conditions as DYO. Simply ask at the showcave for an airlock key.  Access to the gated Tunnel Top entrance is via the SWCC. We appreciate the help given so far in setting up the new facilities and will communicate to you directly as soon as this is completed.


AALA Safety Alert released following a fatality in Scotland. - 1st August 2008

This has been sent to the ACI and is primarily meant for adventure activity providers. Tom Redfern from the ACI has asked me to circulate it more widely because it is also relevant to recreational cave / mine explorers. Could you, therefore, please make your members aware of it?

Clich here to view document

Many thanks,
Damian Weare
Acting BCA Secretary


New Craig a Ffynnon and Agen Allwedd Access Secretary - 10th July 2008

Please note that the New Access Secretary for Craig a Ffynnon and Agen Allwedd is:-
MCLMAC permit secretary,
Malcolm Reid,
39 Railway Terrace,
Gwent,  NP13 3BU.


Cambrian Cave Registry is now live - 9th July 2008

Follow link at top of this page.


DYO - Boulder Chamber and Tunnel Cave access - 11th June 2008

Please note that the slope up to Mud Hall from Boulder Chamber has suffered extreme erosion in the last few months. There are three or four large rocks at the top whose stability is questionable. Use of the hand line requires prudence if rocks are not to be dislodged. TAKE CARE.The boulder step that was half way up has disappeared and a large protruding rock at the top is now being exposed and seems to be held up by not a lot. The hand line has a tendency to pull/ push sideways on this rock. When completing trips in Tunnel you do NOT need a post trip report. However you still need to fil in the pre trip[ report, please mark this as Tunnel Cave, so you are not chased for the post trip report.

Little Neath River Cave update - 23rd May 2008

It would appear that the pollution in Little Neath River cave has cleared, although the Conservation Officer would like to be informed if any caver notices a return of this pollution in this cave or caves down stream too.


Little Neath River Cave update - 5th May 2008

The pollution in LNRC remains severe, but White Lady, Pwll y Rhyd and Town Drain are all clean


Little Neath River Cave update - 2nd May 2008

A trip in there this week reported that the air is much clearer but that the material on the rock is still very widespread.
No news back from the Env Agency.


Dan yr Ogof important flooding update - 30th April 2008

Over the next month the number of people allowed in the cave on any one day will be approximatley 8 during wet weather. During dry settled weather the access will remain as at present with three parties allowed in. We anticipate that within a month the rescue dump supplies have been increased and access will return to normal.
Please be aware the showcave staff have the right to remove caver access if the water levels or the weather warrants it.
The attached newsletter gives full details.


Little Neath River Cave update - 25th April 2008

The Environment Agency have visited and taken samples from the river but the smell has markedly decreased there since last rain. The river is healing itself! Sadly I believe that unlikely underground. Results are not through yet.
A BBNP Warden claims he smellt what may have been deisel on the river at Pont Melin Fach a few weeks ago. That may have been the same incident.
The local farmers are regularly required to assist drivers on Sarn Helen who have run into trouble on the ford.
A regular caver/diver in the area reports that as of Sunday(when the 1st report reached me) there was nothing evident in either Bridge Cave or White Lady, so they seem to have escaped on this occasion unless it just hadn't arrived by then. I have no news on Town Drain.... do you?

Attached notice put at the parking place yesterday (LNRC Notice)


Little Neath River Cave and caves lower down valley - 21st April 2008

It has been reported that a solvent probably diesel has contaminated Little Neath River Cave, there is no sign of such pollution originating at the farms and I strongly suspect it originates from 4 wheel drive vehicles in the river. The result is that the atmosphere in the cave is currently not healthy, nor is diesel good for the skin. Beware in this cave and those lower down the valley. Direct reports back to the conservation officer would be welcome .


Pwll Dwfn - 20th April 2008

We have received reports that the p-hanger at the top of the last pitch (part of the y-hang ) in Pwll Dwfn is loose, this will get looked at asap, but in the meantime caution should be used.


Forest of Dean Cave Conservation & Access Group - 7th February 2008

Please note the following e-mail addresses can now be used to access the various Officers of the above group.  Paul Taylor  John Hine  Tim Gilson  Maurice Febry  David Tuffley  David Appleing     John Hine

John W Hine,


Otter Hole Access Procedure - 31st January 2008

Since its discovery in 1974, the Royal Forest of Dean Caving Club (RFDCC) has controlled access to Otter Hole on behalf of, and at the request of, the landowner. Parties visiting the cave must be accompanied by a warden, partly to minimise the danger of the cave’s infamous “tidal sump”; and partly to help protect/conserve the beautiful formations that adorn the further reaches of Otter Hole.
Over the past couple of years RFDCC has come in for a bit of stick from some quarters over shortage of information and poor communication with regard to the system for booking a trip. In an effort to address these concerns RFDCC have put more information about the booking procedure on their website, together with an online calendar showing which dates are available and, where a date is booked, who has booked it. The website is excellently maintained by Andy Harp and Nicky Bayley, and Nicky has also agreed to take on the role of Otter Hole Secretary; replacing John Hutchinson who has stood down after doing the job for more years than I (and maybe John) can remember. Many thanks are due to John, who is still going to be involved in the management of the cave.
Applications for trips for a maximum of 4 persons should be made to the Otter Hole Secretary:  
Post:    Nicky Bayley, 67 Templeway West, Lydney, Glos.  GL15 5JD
Telephone: 01594 840481
Access is available to anyone with third party caving insurance.
More information about Otter Hole can be found on the RFDCC website;  Follow the links to Otter Hole.
Greg Jones, Chairman RFDCC


Craig a Ffynnon fixed aids - 31st January 2008

The two fixed ladders have been chained / bolted in position, new bolts and handline have been installed on the climb up to 2nd Boulder Choke, and 3 bolts have been placed for ladder and lifeline at the Promised Land pitch. 

Cavers are reminded that they should always check the condition of fixed aids before use, and should consider bringing additional equipment sufficient for the needs of their party.  Ladder and lifeline is recommended for less competent climbers on the climb up to 2nd Boulder Choke.


Bridge Cave - 31st January 2008

Following a report that Bridge Cave choke has moved it was visited earlier this week by the CCC Equipment officer, Dave Ludlam, who reports
1.                   It looks like more water is coming down the entrance crawl than usual – look for the new, washed-out, slots just inside the entrance.
2.                   This, plus very high water, has washed out the base of part of the choke and some of the boulders that you would have crawled over have dropped in to create a void.  Flood debris at the lowest and tightest part of the crawl suggests a significant flow of water up to 1 metre deep.
3.                   Treading carefully, I took some pics and had a careful look under the remaining boulders.  At present the remaining large boulders are stable; there has been no visible movement of the choke above crawl level.
4.                   The new void is big enough to climb down into to access the streamway – this should be avoided to save disturbing the remaining lower part of the choke, but…
5.                   …the next flood/high water event may do more reconstruction, so…
 ·       Things have changed and may (probably will!) continue to do so
·       The ‘usual’ route through the choke looks stable at present
·       The area should be carefully assessed each trip (but we do that anyway – don’t we?!)
·       This area and the streamway may be reacting even more quickly and unpredictably to high water levels with even greater potential to catch out the unaware!
·       Remedial work/scaffolding/shuttering may be worth considering but I would like to see what happens after the next couple of floods before going down that road.
·       As a precaution I am going to stop using Bridge until I’m convinced that things have settled down or remedial work has taken place.