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

ash dieback

Ash Dieback has been reported near various cave entrances across the UK and care needs to be taken as affected trees can become brittle and suddenly collapse, so think about those trees you use for belays and anchor points!

Ash Trees are native to British Limestone environments and with 80% projected to succumb to the disease so it may only be a matter of time before someone has an unpleasant surprise at a top of a pitch.

The effect of Ash Die Back (ADB) is beginning to manifest itself on the national caving scene and as a regional council, we need to think about this at our caving / mine sites.

Ash Dieback (the Woodland Trust)

As we say above, think about those sites that have trees where we belay to and take care. We also need local cavers and mine explorer’s who actually know the sites to report these sites to us and if required, we can undertake a closer inspection.

Feedback can be returned to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A list of sites that need inspecting will be added to the site in due course.

The DCA Team

Access to minesAn open letter from Peter Knight following the recent increase in damge to mine entrances.

Please read. 

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.