Derbyshire Caving Association Information Circular 2001/5, Aug - Oct 2001

NEXT DCA MEETING

DCA Council Meeting: Saturday, 10 November, 10am. Monyash Village Hall

The Hall will be open from about 9.30am with tea, coffee and biscuits on tap. The Old Smithy Cafe, next to the Pub, does an excellent breakfast from about 9am.

DCA AGM 2002: Saturday, 16 February at 10am at Monyash Village Hall

ACCESS TO PEAK DISTRICT CAVES DURING THE FOOT & MOUTH CRISIS

Update 1st October - addition to previous circulars

A special thank you to all who have supplied information enabling us to keep updating.

Note that all usual access conditions still apply to sites listed as now open: call for permission, telephone beforehand, write for permission, etc. as per the DCA Handbook. In some cases there are no known access restrictions. Note that ALL access is subject to no F&M outbreaks occurring in the Peak District. Despite almost all public footpaths being re-opened, there are still a few sites where farmers have asked cavers to stay away for the time being - please respect this. We will pass on the information to you when these are re-opened. There are still one or two sites remaining where we have been unable to make contact to ascertain the current situation - it would help immensely if anyone who has information on these sites could contact Jenny Potts so the information can be passed on: Tel. 01335-370629 or E-mail. jenny.potts @ ukonline.co.uk

Bradwell Area
Access restored to Long Rake Mine - phone Mr. Hadfield on 01298-22139 for permission at least 48 hours in advance.

Buxton & R.Wye
Access restored to Holme Bank Chert Mine. The usual top entrance can be used again as it is now fitted with a combination lock. The "emergency exit" has been fitted with a Yale lock. (Thanks to Nigel Cooper of Crewe for his work here.)

Castleton
Access restored to James Hall Over Engine Mine, Rowter, Winnats Head. No access at present: Christmas Swallet, Maskhill, Nettle, Oxlow.

Magnesian
Access restored to Pleasley Vale Railway Cuttings Pot, phone Mark Bennett on 01623-462460 to arrange for the key.

Manifold/Dove
Access restored to Waterways Swallet. Please ensure you comply fully with the conditions of our licence with Okeover Estates: park in the approved parking spot and not on the road and use the approved route to the cave. Note that the tenant farmer caught some cavers at the height of the F&M outbreak ignoring the restrictions altogether and found others had strayed into the woodland and lit a fire. Our access is dependent upon the goodwill of the farmer , Mr. Perry, and our annual agreement with the Estate Office would not be renewed if Mr. Perry chose to veto it. Robins Shaft Mine: Access restored, call on the farm as usual. Dowel Dale: No access at present to Etches Cave, Dowel Dale Side Pot, Dowel Resurgence, etc.

Matlock/Via Gellia
Access restored to Brightgate Cave, Tearsall Pipe. Please park at the side of the road and call on Mr. Walker at the westerly of the two Brightgate Farms on Bonsall Lane to ask permission and to check if parking in the farmyard will be allowed. Mouldridge Mine is now open for caving, providing cavers stick to the walk down the valley to the mine entrance.

Stoney Middleton
No access at present to Hungerhill Swallet, Situation still not clear re. Waterfall Swallet or any of the caves on farmland in the Eyam / Foolow area.

CONSERVATION / ACCESS

Jug Holes Adit
A major restoration project is under way with a special working party sessions arranged by PICA for SATURDAY & SUNDAY 27th & 28th OCTOBER & TUESDAY 30th OCTOBER. Meet at 09.30am. at Jug Holes. Please bring any digging equipment you can lay your hands on e.g. picks, shovels and a wheelbarrow if possible. Please contact Don Mabbs if you are able to assist at the weekend (01629 733039) or Dave Baines if you are able to assist on Tuesday (01298 25031). DCA has organized mini diggers, engineering input and materials to enable the completion of the Jug Holes adit restoration. We just need some muscle and assistance from PICA members now to see this project through. All interested DCA members who wish to help will be welcome.

Garden Path Entrance to Lathkill Head Cave
The shaft has had to be closed temporarily pending inspection of the ladderway and approval of possible remedial work. It is hoped to re-open the shaft as soon as possible but access will still be restricted for scientific work only.

Eyam Dale House Cave
Thanks to Chesterfield C. C. who repaired the lock on the cave and did a lot of cutting of the undergrowth to make access easier. Call at the residential care home for permission to visit or phone in advance.

Giants Hole Conservation Problems
Giants is suffering badly! Many extra visitors are travelling to the region because of F&M restrictions in their own area; a total of 64 cars and minibuses were reported parked at the farm on one recent weekend. Carbide dumps are appearing in the upper series and also a trail of unused matches leading through the Windpipe and for some distance either side - initiative/management training?! Also of concern is poor rigging, e.g. ladder plus lifeline all rigged to one P -hanger of the inclined pair meant for a Y-hang, which twists the anchor. It is also clear that certain P-hangers are being used with a rope threaded directly through the eye to lower people down, causing wear on the eye. A number of P- hangers have now had to be replaced and fixed stainless steel maillons have been placed in some crucial ones. If you visit, please keep your eyes open and report any damage and help to conserve the cave.

Ball Eye Mine
A quarry bisected the upper level (Ruggs Hall) of Ball Eye Mine near Matlock some years ago. During a recent visit some heavy plant and fresh tracks were spotted in the quarry. DCA Planning Liaison Officer has been asked to check the present position regarding working in the quarry and in particular in the region of the old mine workings. It is believed the site is scheduled as a RIGS.

Access to P.8
Please use the correct access procedure for P.8. Call at Perryfoot Farm to ask permission, pay the small entrance fee, park in the layby opposite the farm and follow the marked route through the gates. Please DO NOT park on the road opposite Eldon Quarry and walk down over the fields.

Don't forget that access queries or problems should normally be reported direct to:
DCA Conservation & Access Officer Tony Gibbs, Tel. 01709-559858, E-mail. t.gibbs @ bigfoot.com
or to DCA Asst. Cons. & Access Officer: John Taylor, Tel. 01663-734918, E-mail. jtaylor @ walbro.sbx.co.uk
However, if you can't contact either of these quickly, please inform Jenny Potts.

DCA HANDBOOK UPDATE PAGES

The problem of reading the out of date Mackintosh disc which held the original data has now been solved, (our thanks to Nick Williams for this) and printed update/amendment pages are now being prepared. We hope to have them ready in time for the BCRA Conference so, if you're around, you may be able to pick up your set there. The pages will be sent automatically to all DCA members and to all those who have bought a Handbook. Please note that all updates are always reported in DCA Information Circulars, sent to the DCA and Hitch 'n' Hike websites and mentioned in NCA SPELEOScene as soon as possible, pending the appearance of the printed pages - so you can " write in" the changes temporarily and make sure your club members know about them.

GEAR THEFT AT ODIN MINE

On 4 August SUSS members had gear stolen from the first pitch of Odin Mine. They had tied off the rope to the bolt at the bottom of the pitch but the thieves must have climbed down and untied this. The thieves got away with an 18m rope plus two maillons.

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER / NOTICEBOARD

www.theDCA.org.uk

2 October 2001