Derbyshire Caving Association Information Circular 2002/2, March 2002


DCA Council Meeting: Saturday, 27 April 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.

Meetings for the rest of the year - all at 10am at Monyash Village Hall


The following Officers were elected at the DCA AGM on February 16th. 2002:

Cave Discovery Fund Panel


If you have any queries or problems relating to access or conservation in the region, contact DCA Conservation & Access Officer, John Taylor: johnny @ Iain Barker has taken on the new post of Access Officer: Iain's contact details are: iainbarker @ Dave Mycroft has taken on the new post of Conservation Officer and continues to deal with Planning Liaison: Dave's contact details are: dmycroft @

Peak Season Extension 2002
The 2001/2002 Peak Cavern season officially came to a end on the 24th March 2002 but the show cave owners expressed an interest in extending the season, as long as the keyholders can run the trips. Several of the keyholders said that they are willing to run trips on a Sunday but by prior arrangement only, from now through to the end of June then the season will end for the summer holidays. The season will then begin again in October when access will again have to be arranged through John Beck at the usual address.

The same access arrangements apply, cavers must meet at the TSG caving hostel, pay the usual fees and be in the cave by 9-45am, following the usual rules that apply. If you want a trip, contact one of the following keyholders with at least a weeks notice to see what their plans are and maybe they can let you into the cave. The following keyholders have agreed to run trips: Wayne Sheldon - 0794 121 1209; Nick Williams - 01298 873800 (daytime only); Ralph Johnson - 01782 515753 Please note that there is no weekly rota and trips can only be undertaken with prior arrangement with a keyholder. Turning up at the TSG hostel on a Sunday won’t guarantee you a caving trip, as a keyholder won’t turn up without prior arrangement.
Wayne Sheldon (Peak Cavern Keyholder)

Pollution in Peak Cavern
There is currently severe pollution in the main streamway in Peak Cavern. Between the Lake Sump / Ink Sump passage and the Buxton Sump and now visible between the cave entrance and the village, the stream bed is plastered with a white slime, and the water is actually a suspension of the same material. This has been brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities and attempts are being made to positively identify the source, which is believed to be dumping on Dirtlow Rake.

Nickergrove Mine
On 22nd March 2002 a party of cavers reported bad / polluted air in the area around Rift Chamber. A bad smell was noticed and two members of the party felt ill. This is being investigated.

Hillocks Mine
The rubbish dumped in the Entrance Chamber has been removed from Hillocks Mine, bagged up and removed from the site altogether. Thanks to all involved. Please keep an eye on this site and report any further dumping as it's happened several times recently.


Congratulations to Rick Westwood and the TSG diggers who have been awarded a grant from the DCA Cave Discovery Fund for their work in opening up P7. Work continues on stabilisation and there are cave conservation measures to be put in place so, for the moment, the site is not open for normal caving trips. As soon as everything is sorted and proper permissions and access arrangements agreed it will be open for cavers in general to visit and we will let you know. If you have any queries, please contact Rick direct on 01246-200532.


Problems and queries relating to Eco-anchors, fixed aids, etc. should be reported to the newly elected DCA Equipment Officer, Mark Wright: Tel. 0114-273-1333(W), Mob. 07778-776097, E-mail. mark @

Oxlow Pullthro' Installed
The Eco-anchors and fittings for the pullthro' on the climb leading up from the West Antechamber to Pilgrim's Way in Oxlow have now been installed. (An 35m rope is just right for the pullthro'.) Our thanks to the members of the DCA bolt installation team who did the job. This replaces the dodgy old fixed ladder, which will now be removed from the cave altogether and should be gone by Easter.

Warning about Fixed Ropes in caves in the region
When the bolts in Odin Mine were checked recently a number of fixed handlines were found attached to the P-hangers. These were not installed by DCA and DCA takes no responsibility for them. Please note that DCA does NOT install permanent rope handlines or fixed ropes for SRT in caves or mines in the region. Any such ropes in place, even if they are attached to DCA-installed Eco-anchors, have not been placed by DCA and are not subject to inspection by DCA.


At present, due to a problem with our service provider, the DCA website is temporarily off-line. Apologies; we hope to get it back on-line again with a new service provider shortly.


The Agenda for the Council meeting on 27th. April will be sent out after Easter, together with the Minutes of the AGM and the full Annual Report for 2001.