Derbyshire Caving Association Information Circular 2003/2, April - June 2003

NEXT DCA MEETING

DCA Council Meeting - Sat. 28 June 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.

Further DCA Meetings - all at 10am, Monyash Village Hall:

DCA Council Meeting - Sat. 15 November 2003
DCA AGM 2004 - Sat. 21 February 2004

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 :

NATIONAL CONSERVATION AWARD FOR DCA
Derbyshire Caving Association has just had news that it has won an English Nature Conservation Award for its work on the SSSI Monitoring scheme. This is a national award for special conservation work and recognises DCA's hard work and commitment to helping EN get the scheme up and running and ahead of schedule - help which was noticed by an appreciative head office. DCA's Conservation Officer, David Webb, sent a message to the club cavers primarily responsible for the monitoring work, which was carried out during normal club caving trips: "I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am that we have been given this recognition, and of course it would not have been possible without your help and hard work - it has been a true team effort. However it's not over yet and there's still work to do - but I think we can feel justifiably proud of what we have achieved so far." David will be presented with the award on DCA's behalf at the Royal Show on July 1st.

VANDALISM AND THEFT AT CARLESWARK CAVERN
Ralph Johnson reported on 29th. May, ". . . an incredible amount of damage in Eyam Passage. This is NOT accidental damage - the culprits must have gone in equipped with the necessary tools. It would appear that this vandalism has occurred within the last few days." Further investigations by Dave Webb and others disclosed a section of false floor hacked off with a lump hammer and broken pieces scattered across the passage. Carleswark Cavern is part of an SSSI and a protected site so the damage is being taken very seriously and has been reported to English Nature. At present the broken pieces have been stacked at the base of a stalagmite and cavers are asked NOT to remove them from the cave.

Jez Parr, of Edale YHA, reported on 30th. May, "I had a group (from Edale YHA) visiting the Resurgence Entrance of Carleswark Cavern, to try the duck at the far end. We left some caving kit INSIDE the entrance chamber at the resurgence. It took us 10 minutes to do the duck and return; on our return the kit had 'gone'. Pass the word to all parties please - the thieves have returned to Stoney Middleton."

JUG HOLES TRAVERSE
Dave Edwards reports: "On a training trip on 12th June a large loose block was spotted at the start of the traverse from the 3rd Water Cavern to the 4th Water cavern. This block appeared to be a tempting belay point to rig a traverse line along the ledge. As it was hovering above the start of the traverse it offered a serious hazard to cavers beneath or attached to this block. A small nudge moved this block easily and it now rests on the floor at the start of the traverse. A consequence of this gardening activity is that the traverse now has good thread anchors at both ends to rig a quite satisfactory traverse line to protect the bad step if required (approx 25m rope)."

PLEASLEY VALE RAILWAY CUTTINGS POT
Thanks to Mark Bennett and Adrian Kirk who have repaired the damage done by vandals to the wall alongside the gate to this gave. As the cave is in a Nature Reserve under the control of Notts Wildlife Trust, and in the Pleasley Vale SSSI, DCA is responsible for keeping the cave securely gated in order to maintain access for cavers.

A reminder that if you want to visit the cave the key is obtainable from Mark Bennett, 11 Booth Crescent, Bull Farm Estate, Mansfield, Notts. NG19 7LQ. Tel. 01623 462460

EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY

PULL THRO'S IN NETTLE AND OXLOW
There have been a various reports recently of problems with the pull thro's installed by DCA in Nettle Pot and Oxlow Cavern. Ralph Johnson has now checked the situation himself and reports back:

Nettle Pot Far Flats: The pull thro's jam when you attempt to use them so action will be taken to sort this as soon as possible. We will keep you informed.
Oxlow Cavern: The pull thro' up to Pilgrims Way has been checked and is working properly

NEPTUNE MINE
Ralph Johnson reports: "I am reliably informed that the entrance to Neptune Mine (shored up with blue plastic barrels) has collapsed - just how seriously I don't know."

CO2 REPORTED IN WATER ICICLE
A visiting caver reported on 8th. June that there was CO2 present in the lower reaches of Water Icicle Mine. "A very noticeable layer between 'good' and 'bad' air almost immediately the shaft meets the cave passage, especially on the way out. Seems weird for the prusiking to get easier the further up you go!" This is despite the new grille shaft top, which is very disappointing. The various shafts which seem most liable to this problem have all been fitted with shaft top grilles instead of solid lids and all should now have a notice just inside the entrance advising you of symptoms you may experience if there is excess CO2 so that you know to exit the mine quickly. Please, if you encounter this problem in a new site or if the advisory notice is not there, contact the DCA Conservation & Access Team.

DCA PUBLICATIONS

NEW EDITOR FOR 'THE DERBYSHIRE CAVER'
Thanks to Paul Lydon who has volunteered to take over the Editorship of the DCA Newsletter "The Derbyshire Caver". The previous Editor, Alan Keen, did an excellent job for issues 107 to 116 so Paul's first issue is 117. Paul is at Hefford House, Main Street, Winster, Derbyshire. DE4 2DH. Tel. 01629-650482, E-mail. paul @ palydon.demon.co.uk. Issue No. 117 is being printed now and will be available at the Council Meeting on 28th. June. Copies will be posted out to members after the meeting.

DCA HANDBOOK UPDATES
The Handbook Updates are now being printed and the complete sets of pages will be available for collection at the DCA Council Meeting on 28th. Sets will be posted out to members after the meeting.

CUMBERLAND CAVERN AND WAPPING MINE
Copies of the new DCA publication will be available for sale at the meeting on 28th. June. Your last chance to buy them at the special price of £10.00. After this weekend they will go up to their full price of £11.00.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS WHICH WILL BE ON SALE AT THE MEETING ON 28TH. JUNE

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER / NOTICEBOARD

www.theDCA.org.uk

dca @ theDCA.org.uk

24th June 2003