The latest news concerning caving in the Peak District and the DCA. National caving news can be found on the BCA website.

The DCA wishes to thank you for your patience in understanding the delicate nature of the access issue at Masson Quarry and surrounding land at the moment.

Please understand the owner has a right to work their own land and do so safely. They are currently working within permissions: no planning permission is required to clear scrub or move earth and to date, Gentlewoman’s shaft is still there but not accessible to us. Our access to Masson Quarry or Gentlewoman's has never been knowingly been formally agreed with the landowner and so we have never had a right, as such, to walk over the land to access the cave sites. Whereas our presence in the past may have been accepted, tolerated or gone unnoticed, it is possible that now the land is being worked the access situation may be different.

Communication, by mail, has now begun with the owner in an attempt to foster a good relationship and aid future access. We have also talked to and continue to communicate with other interested parties and planning authorities to make them aware of our concerns but to also gain a full understanding of any other issues and tensions.

We hope for a positive outcome for all concerned. We ask for your continued support to work with us, so please:-

◼ Avoid going to Masson Quarry or Gentlewomans until further notice.

◼ Refrain from parking large numbers of cars in the lay-by, at the entrance to Masson Lees Farm when going to visit Jug Holes. (Large numbers of cars are having a negative impact on the businesses of both the owner of the quarry and Masson Lees Farm especially when cars are parked carelessly. Large or articulated vehicles need a lot of room to manoeuvre to access the track. We jeopardise access to Masson Quarry outright, if we are unthoughtful with parking, so please consider using other venues for large groups coming in individual cars or else car share or arrange a minibus. This parking concern applies to both climbers and cavers who share parking here).

Many thanks for your cooperation

Christine Wilson
DCA Access and Conservation Team

From Peak Cavern Peak holders

The Bung ladder in Speedwell Mine has now been repaired.

Thanks for your cooperation and many thanks to the folk that helped wth this project!

Please note the access requirements for Old Ash Mine and Lords and Ladies Mine have been changed at the request of the farmer.

Access to the sites on Lobby Farm should be arranged in advance (especially evening visits) with Mr. Shaun Greatorex by calling 01629 733575. He will ask to see your BCA PL Insurance cards or other proof of PL insurance when you call in at the farm.

Hi everyone - We need your help!

As part of your caving trips in SSSI cave and mine systems in the White Peak, in the next year of so, we are asking whether you can help us check their condition and take note of any damage. Their condition needs to be assessed for Natural England at 5 yearly intervals and is required now. Natural England in return for our service provides necessary funding for conservation, repair and clean up work to caves/mines and their entrances and many of you may have already been involved in some of Pete Knight’s conservation projects that have tapped into this funding.

Monitoring forms (surveys) are available to download from the DCA website see SSSI's in the White Peak. You can locate features to assess and whether important cave features like sediment sequences (CSS) i.e. mud, or the cave passage morphology CPM (rock), or minerals (M) have been damaged or not. Some systems have been checked already and an indication of their monitoring status is shown on the DCA website. https://thedca.org.uk/sssi-monitoring/sssi.

Historically, in order to help look after and monitor our caves and save time, caving clubs/individuals have adopted cave areas but it’s not just down to those clubs and their members, everyone and anyone can monitor part or whole of a SSSI cave/mine system and any any level of contribution gratefully received:- Cave SSSI areas (individual caves are listed under these on the website):-

  • Castleton -TSG
  • Bradwell Dale - Eldon PC
  • Hamps & Manifold valleys - individual
  • Lathkill Dale - Orpheus
  • Masson Hill - Masson CG
  • Poole's Cavern -individual/owner
  • Stoney Middleton Dale - individual
  • Upper Lathkill Dale - Orpheus

Many thanks and looking forward to receiving forms!

Best wishes

Christine Wilson
DCA Conservation Officer
DCA Conservation and Access Team

The new owners of the New Bath Hotel are installing "No Parking" notices on the overflow parking spot. This is not aimed at cavers but the general public who are using this space for BBQ’s, leaving rubbish, etc. Cavers are informally advised to avoid this parking area for a few weeks until it calms down and then the hotel will issue a temporary permit for cavers to collect from reception

Please take note of this and if you really must use this parking area in the next few weeks, please go and ask at the hotel reception.

Pete Knight, DCA Projects / PICA