Cave Conservation

Conservation of ‘Unadopted Caves’

Above - Main Passage floor in Agen Allwedd


The Cambrian Caving Council Conservation and Access Officer, now holds a supply of conservation tape and pegs for use in those caves that do not receive funding from other sources. Ogof Ffynnon Ddu for example is maintained by SWCC on behalf Countryside Council for Wales. Tape to mark formations in this cave is supplied by CCW. Other caves such as Little Neath River Cave, Chartist Cave or Wet Sink Cave are not funded in the same way so if you know of any parts of these caves or others that could do with a little taping then contact Conservation and Access Officer for a supply.
P.S. Please only place tape in areas, which do not flood, our local CDG members would not be impressed if we fill cave sumps with glowing orange tape.


CAVE CONSERVATION CODE
( Mininmal Impact Caving Code is subject to review at present)

Caves are a special and rare environment, some more so than others, and parts of some more so than others.

Active stream passages and potholes with fast moving water may have very little that can be accidentally damaged by the passage of a caver.  On the other hand,  fossil cave passages where streams never flow are likely to contain all sorts of delicate remains that could be easily damaged by the passage of a single thoughtless caver.

Where there is a risk of accidental damage, whilst passing delicate straw stalactites, or sand banks, approaching close to a crystal pools, for example, you should slow down, look carefully around you and take extreme care. All these features are easily damaged and cannot be repaired.

The following is a carefully considered CODE intended to minimise damage to caves.
Please read it and try to follow it whenever you go caving.  Thank you.

1          CAVE WITH CAUTION and WITHIN YOUR OWN ABILITY and EXPERIENCE
If you are the leader/organiser always be aware of the abilities/limitations of ALL of the members of the party. The ‘Weakest Link’ must dictate the speed and extent of your trip – not the strongest!  Tired cavers will not only damage themselves, they will damage the cave as well!

2          KEEP PARTY SIZE
Appropriate to the particular cave that you are visiting.

3          OBSERVE and KEEP TO TAPED ROUTES
In taped-off sections follow the path and do not cross the tapes. They are there for good reason.

4          DO NOT TOUCH FORMATIONS OR OTHER DELICATE ITEMS
These are easily broken or muddied – they must NEVER be touched.

5          KEEP AWAY FROM BATS OR OTHER LIFE
Bats are endangered species – please keep away from all of them. You must not disturb them. All bats are protected by law.

6          NEVER DIG WITHOUT PROPER CONSENT
Sand/mud banks are valuable sources of information about the cave and its surroundings, and might also contain archaeological remains.  Do not dig or disturb without proper consent.

7          NEVER INTERFERE WITH SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT
Dedicated cave scientists put a lot of time, funding and effort into their research. Never touch any such equipment that you find in a cave.

8          LEAVE NO LITTER OR POLLUTION
Carbide lighting should be avoided and never used where bats are present.  Where it is used  take with you a suitable container for its safe removal from the cave.

9          TAKE NOTHING OUT OF A CAVE
Do not remove anything from a cave except your own or others’ rubbish.

10        TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS WITH CARE
Do not be tempted to break any of these guidelines.

See www.british-caving.org.uk for details of Regional Councils and BCA Officers

Do You Have Permission to Visit The Cave? Caves and their entrances are all owned by somebody. The rights of the landowner should be observed at all times.  If in doubt, ask!

You are responsible for any damage you may do!