Latest News

Ogof Capel - A465 road works this weekend - Oct 2015

Above - Formations in Ogof Draenen.

I have an update from the road contractors.  Their plan is to shut the A465 in the Clydach Gorge completely from 8pm on Friday 23rd October and then to re-open it asap thereafter as determined by their findings and rate of progress.

Plans to do some blasting during this weekend’s closure opportunity have been changed.  The first blasting (location not specified) is now likely to be in March 2016.

The A465 is going to be dug up this weekend near to the existing underpass by the former Drum & Monkey pub by using pneumatic breakers.  Costain will then insert a line of 1800mm diameter concrete rings weighing 6 tons each to create a tunnel for bats to cross under the existing and then the new road too.  Some kind of big digger will position the rings.  It’s a bit like doing another Vurley Swallet entrance job except that these rings are not vertical and this is happening under a trunk road.

The excavation work for the new bat tunnel will run through the night on Friday and into Saturday morning when the rings will be put into place.  It could all be over by Saturday night with the A465 repaired, given a fair wind.  But it is probably best to give Ogof Capel and the Devil's Bridge footpath a miss while this weekend’s work is underway.  The other caves in the Clydach Gorge and elsewhere are not affected.

Anyone nevertheless turning up at the entrance to Ogof Capel over the weekend is likely to find a notice there placed by Costain giving them specific H&S guidance.

The contractors will have vibration meters etc deployed so as to remain aware of the effects being created.  Dr Peter Smith, their bat consultant on this job, will be making a visit into Ogof Capel after the weekend to check that no cave damage occurred.  Any other questions please try me first on 07740 871845 and I’ll pass you on to Costain if I don’t have an answer for you.

More info here

Water Release affecting Porth yr Ogof - October 2015

To All SWOAPG Members and instructors,
Please be aware that there will be a second water release test from the Ystradfellte Reservoir on Tuesday *October 6th*. This has been arranged with Welsh Water to start at *3.30pm *in an attempt to minimise disruption to providers.
As the effect of this larger water release is not known, *Porth yr Ogof* will be *closed *from this time, and its is recommended that you *avoid* the *Mellte *Gorge.
It is important that we monitor the effects of this water release on the cave. To do this effectively we require a number of *volunteers *who are able to monitor different sections of the cave. If you are available to help with this, please get in touch and I will pass your details onto the National Park's caving advisor.
Many Thanks
*Matt Woodfield*
SWOAPG Coordinator

Green Paper response - October 2015

CCC response to the Welsh Government Green Paper on Access and Recreation download

Ogof Gofan and Range West Access - April 2015

Access is now officially obtainable to Ogof Gofan and Castlemartin Range West subject to the T&Cs. More info in the latest April edition of the CCC Newsletter.

CCC and PDCMG - April 2015

A meeting has been requested between the CCC and PDCMG concerning the management of the Drws Cefn entrance, with Andrew Hinde, BCA C&A Officer, offering to chair this meeting.

2016 CCC AGM

The next CCC AGM is likely to be held in Cwmystwyth at noon on Sun 13 March 2016. This will be confirmed shortly.

A465 dualling Clydach Gorge - April 2015

All the lay-bys in the Clydach Gorge are closed off.  So is the area around the former Drum & Monkey pub and it is no longer possible to park there. But the footpath to Ogof Capel and Devil's Bridge is still open using the normal A465 underpass and a new footpath goes around the top of the D&M site.  The caves are accessible as normal once you have found somewhere to park your vehicle, for example near to the lime kilns next to the Craig a Ffynnon footpath.

Little Neath River Cave Pollution - April 2015

Reports from cavers received in April 2015 suggest that the cave is now completely free from diesel pollution following last September's incident.

Craig y Cilau Rock fall /Land slide - 13th November 2014

Significant sized rocks, maybe upto 3m square, rolled and bounced down the hill, knocking into trees and crossing the small track that makes it way up the hillside through the woods to the tramroad below the escarpment.
Caving group approaching the lower path junction from cattle grid road end heard loud thundering noise and saw rocks bounding towards them, fortunately they were far enough away not to cause any harm.

Tunnel Cave - June 2014, For the present Tunnel Cave will only be accessible from the top entrance, as the airlock doors have developed a fault and have now been sealed.

Hospital Cave - January 2014

No access to Hospital Cave until further notice.