Derbyshire Caving Association Information Circular 2002/6, October / November 2002

NEXT DCA MEETING

DCA AGM 2003 - Sat. 22 February 2003 at 10am at 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.

CONSERVATION / ACCESS

If you have any queries or problems relating to access or conservation in the region you can e-mail ALL the DCA Conservation and Access Team members on access @ theDCA.org.uk. Team members are :

NEW DCA CONSERVATION OFFICER
We are pleased to report that at the DCA Council Meeting on 2nd. Nov. David Webb was co-opted as Acting DCA Conservation Officer.

BAD AIR IN DERBYSHIRE MINES & CAVES
At the DCA Council Meeting on 2nd. November the decision was taken on how to deal with the increasing problem of excess CO2 in sites in the region.

Firstly, ventilated caps will be installed on all shaft tops where there is access - which means altering a number of existing caps to replace solid lids with grills. We will also ensure that any caps or gates installed in future will, as far as possible, be grills rather than sheet metal or sleepers.

Secondly, we were agreed that it is pointless to try to close all sites where the problem has been recorded since the situation alters from day to day and, if cavers relied on dangerous sites being closed, they might not be aware of the risk in sites where the problem had not been previously reported. Instead we shall be putting warning notices at all sites where the problem has been reported in the past and hope that cavers will report to DCA where they encounter the problem in a new site. The warning will say:


WARNING
DANGEROUSLY HIGH LEVELS OF CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) GAS HAVE BEEN RECORDED
IN THIS CAVE/MINE

CO2 is heavier than air and sometimes settles out in high concentrations, particularly in the lower parts of the mine/cave.
A person descending into an area of high CO2 concentration will eventually lose consciousness and, if not evacuated, will die.
CO2 is colourless and has no smell but any or all of the following signs give an early warning that high levels of the gas are present:

BE AWARE - IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY OF THESE SIGNS, EXIT THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.

Please help to monitor the situation - if you encounter high CO2 levels,
contact Derbyshire Caving Association :
E-mail: access @ theDCA.org.uk or Phone: 0115-840-1109


Sites already known to DCA where the problem has been reported at least once recently are: Knotlow, Whalf, Hillocks, Water Icicle, Robins Shaft Mine and Lathkill Head Upper Entrance. It is known also that some passages in Peak Cavern and P8 have shown higher than normal levels of CO2 when testing was carried out some time ago. If you know of other sites which you think should be checked, please contact Dave Webb.

KNOTLOW POLLUTION
The severe pollution entering Knotlow is almost certainly adding to the CO2 problems in the mine. DCA is making it a priority to try to trace the source of this pollution and get it stopped and Dave Webb is heading the Working Party looking into this. Remember that it is important that the Knotlow Log Book is filled in by every visiting party - even a 'nil return' re. pollution evidence, such as strong smells, etc. is useful evidence which may help to locate the source.

CAVE CONSERVATION MONITORING
Details of the Cave Conservation Monitoring Scheme are printed in the latest issue of "The Derbyshire Caver" and as part of the Conservation Report to the DCA Council Meeting. If you are interested in helping, please contact Dave Webb direct.

GIANTS HOLE
Following the sale, for the time being, the access situation at Giants Hole is unchanged. Please continue to pay the trespass fee at the farm.

PAYMENT OF TRESPASS FEES
Please remember that, in addition to Giants Hole, a small trespass fee is due at Oxlow Farm for visits to Oxlow, Maskhill and Nettle; at Perryfoot Farm for visits to P8 and Gautries and at Tor Top Farm for Dr. Jackson's and Perryfoot. Please ensure that you do pay up when you visit these sites.

WORK IN OXLOW CAVERN
Work on stabilisation of the slope between the entrance pitch and pitch 2 took place at the end of September. There is still some more work to do so please avoid the materials still on site. Apologies for any inconvenience - the job should be complete before Christmas.

LATHKILL HEAD UPPER ENTRANCE
Please ensure that you tighten up the nuts on the lid after you have visited the cave to ensure they cannot be undone without a spanner - finger tight is not good enough. A reminder that the conditions of the access agreement require that all cavers visiting the site are covered by a current Public Liability Insurance, (it doesn't matter which one, either DCA or BCRA is acceptable) and that each member of the group must fill in the Log Book correctly and state, for each person, which insurance cover is held.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE

A reminder that you do need your own current Public Liability Insurance (either as an individual or through your club and either through DCA or BCRA) for access to Lathkill Head Upper Entrance, Peak Cavern and Holme Bank Chert Mine. There are also an increasing number of caves in other areas which require this, the latest being Dan-yr-Ogof. You may obtain this insurance via DCA if you are not already covered. Contact DCA Legal & Insurance Officer, Pete Mellors, 'Fairview', Station Road, Edingley, Newark, Notts. NG22 8BX for an application form for the DCA scheme or download it from the DCA website.

DCA TRAINING EVENT

DCA/NCA Training Workshop - February 2003
Nigel is already beginning to organise the traditional "Cavers Workshop" at Pindale Farm in February next year. Topics: Cave Rescue, SRT, Advanced SRT, Ladders Lines Abseiling with groups and Self Rescue, Cave Video, Mines History, Cave Formation & Development & Conservation. Further details to come

EQUIPMENT NOTES

In the absence of an Equipment Officer, for the time being, please refer problems relating to bolts, fixed aids, etc. to Jenny Potts: Tel. 01335-370629 or E-mail. dca @ theDCA.org.uk.

E-MAIL ADDRESSES FOR DCA OFFICERS

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER / NOTICEBOARD

www.theDCA.org.uk dca @ theDCA.org.uk

11 November 2002