Derbyshire Caving Association Information Circular 2001/4, May / July 2001


DCA Council Meeting: Saturday, 21 July, 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.

Meetings for the rest of the year - all at 10am at Monyash Village Hall Council meeting: Saturday, 10 November; AGM 2002: Saturday, 16 February


Update 26 June - supersedes all previous circulars

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.

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 a few 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: Tel. 01335-370629 or E-mail. jenny.potts @

Alderley Edge
Access restored: Wood Mine, etc. Access withdrawn completely (no connection with F&M): West Mine

Bradwell Access
OK: Bagshawe Cavern

Buxton & R.Wye
Access restored: Ashford Black Marble Mine, Holme Bank Chert Mine (Lower entrance only), Cressbrookdale caves.

Access restored: Dr. Jackson's, Eldon Hole, Gautries, Giants, Odin Mine, Old Tor, P8, Peak Cavern, Perryfoot, Suicide. No access at present: Christmas Swallet, James Hall Over Engine, Maskhill, Nettle, Oxlow, Rowter. Current situation uncertain: Long Rake Mine, Winnats Head

Access restored: (Note that the footpath from Cales Dale up to One Ash Grange is still closed so sites affected must be reached via the main Lathkill Dale footpath.) Cales Dale Caves, Cascade Cavern, Hillocks, Knotlow, Lathkill Head Cave, Lathkill Head Upper Entrance, Mandale Mine, Ricklow, Water Icicle, Whalf Mine. (Access restricted for scientific work only: Garden Path entrance to Lathkill Head.)

Magnesian Limestone area
Access OK: Herne Hill Caves Current situation uncertain: Pleasley Vale Railway Cuttings Pot.

Manifold Valley
Access restored: Beeston Tor area caves, Thors Cave, etc., the river bed caves, Wetton area caves. Access withdrawn completely (no connection with F&M): Ecton Mines Current situation uncertain: Waterways Swallet

Matlock/Via Gellia
Access restored: Devonshire Mine, Didos, Jug Holes, etc. (as far as is known all the Matlock Bath Mines and the Matlock Dale Mines are accessible), Northern Dale Mines, Via Gellia area mines, Youds Level. Current situation uncertain: Brightgate Cave, Tearsall Pipe.

Stoney Middleton
Access now OK: Carlswark Cavern, Eyam Dale House Cave, Hangover Hole, Ivy Green Cave, Lay-By Pot, Merlin Mine, Middleton Dale Mine Levels, Nickergrove Mine, Streaks Pot (both entrances), Yoga Cave. No access at present: Hungerhill Swallet, Waterfall Swallet or any of the caves on farmland in the Eyam / Foolow area.

Don't forget that access queries or problems should normally be reported direct to DCA Conservation & Access Officer Tony Gibbs E-mail. t.gibbs @ or to the DCA Asst. Conservation & Access Officer: John Taylor E-mail. jtaylor @

Work at Hoften's Cross Swallet
Thanks to Paul Nixon of Crewe C. P. C. for constructing the shaft cap and to members of Crewe C.P. C. who installed it at short notice after Staffordshire Moorlands District Council had stabilised the two entrances ready for the lids to be put on.

It was noted while the work on the shaft tops was being done that the site could really do with a clean up since it's immediately downstream of an old rubbish tip. Although S.M.D.C. have cleaned up the general rubbish there still remains some work to be done. If the stream is disturbed the mud releases an incredible amount of hydrogen sulphide.

Level 7, Middleton Dale - CAUTION
Crewe C.P.C. members experienced a rock fall on the entrance pitch of Level 7 and one of them sustained minor injuries. The shaft should be treated with a little EXTRA respect until the problem is investigated further. Steve Knox and Paul Nixon have since "gardened" the offending shaft which has improved the situation. However, as with all old mines, the shaft should be descended with caution. Thanks to Ralph Johnson for the warning.

Suicide Cave
Eco-anchors Three Eco-anchors have now been installed at the top of the pitch in Suicide Cave, Winnats Pass by Ralph Johnson. It is intended to install Eco-anchors in Old Tor Mine in due course but there will be a delay while more resin is acquired and official approval is obtained to do the job.

Oxlow Cavern
The ladder up to New Oxlow There is concern that this ladder is now in a dangerous state. It is not known whether anyone now takes responsibility for it since it is thought to have been placed originally by BSA TPU; now defunct. At the April 2001 DCA Council meeting it was agreed that DCA consider adopting the ladder leading up to New Oxlow with a view to its removal and replacement by a 'pull through', (like the one in Nettle Pot, Far Flats). Comments should reach Mark Lowe by the end of October 2001 for a decision at the Council meeting on November 10. To contact Mark: E-mail.
MLowecave @

Final call for subscriptions - if you haven't paid by now your membership will lapse!


26 June 2001