Newly-published Book – Karst: Environment and Management of Aquifers
Darkness Below
by Peter Burgess
1w ago
Who isn’t tempted by a free book, especially when it’s about karst or caves? The Groundwater Project has just published a 300-page volume on the science of karst and management of aquifers. “Karst: Environment and Management of Aquifers” is a newly published book, authored by Zoran Stevanović, John Gunn, Nico Goldscheider and Nataša Ravbar. It is free and can be downloaded from the Groundwater Project’s website. This link also includes an interview with the authors. If anyone who downloads the book would like to tell us what they think, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you! P ..read more
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Incident 23rd May 2024
Darkness Below
by Home
1w ago
Wiltshire Police contacted Mendip Cave Rescue, following a report of smoke coming from an air shaft above Bethel Quarry, and at 21:28 a SARCALL alert was received via Avon & Somerset Police requesting assistance. Two local MCR members attended the scene, and entered the quarry with three officers from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service, to be stopped by thick smoke. Two fire officers with breathing apparatus went further into the quarry and managed to extinguish a small smouldering fire, whilst a large fan was deployed to help clear the smoke. No people were located within t ..read more
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Descent 298: On The Shelves Soon
Darkness Below
by Peter Burgess
2w ago
Descent 298 is due out on June 8th, so without further ado, here is what we can look forward to reading. In Newsdesk, there is a challenger for the title of world’s largest sea cave, and findings that suggest a difficult caving trip undertaken by ancient humans. In regional news, dye tracing in the Forest of Dean has shown some great potential for Slaughter Stream Cave. There are some extensions to report in County Fermanagh and South Wales, several success stories by diggers in the Yorkshire Dales, an exciting find in the Peak District, some minor progress by Cardiff’s student diggers and, i ..read more
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GB Cavern, Mendip – Waterfall route re-opened
Darkness Below
by Linda Wilson
3w ago
The Waterfall climb in GB Cavern, Somerset was closed in 2021 after a major rockfall. Following a recent inspection, Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd (CCC Ltd) have now re-opened the route and have issued the following statement: A major rockfall occurred in GB Cavern in April 2021, and following a safety inspection by the CCC Ltd Conservation officer and two CCC Ltd directors, cavers were informed that the route down Main Chamber via the Waterfall climb should not be used and that cavers should take the alternative route over the Bridge and via White Passage etc to reach Main Chamber. The roc ..read more
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BCA: fee increase explained
Darkness Below
by Linda Wilson
3w ago
Zac Woodford, the British Caving Association’s new Publications and Information Officer, explains why BCA needs to raise membership fees and demonstrates why BCA still provides excellent value for money for cavers and mine explorers. BCA Finances BCA Finances and membership fees In light of the BCA Treasurer’s recent report on the state of the organisation’s finances the BCA Council has voted to adopt measures to attempt to eliminate the deficit we currently face. The most immediate effect of this is a rise in BCA subscription fees which will come into effect next year. 2024 fee (£) 2025 ..read more
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Incident 11th May 2024
Darkness Below
by Home
1M ago
At 00:25 on Saturday 11th May 2024, Mendip Cave Rescue received a SARCALL alert asking for assistance regarding two mine explorers who were unable to exit Box Stone Mine. They had entered the mine on Friday afternoon via a grilled entrance, but were unable to find their way back to their entry point. Instead they found themselves behind the grill at a different entrance and could not exit. They were able to get a mobile phone signal and ask the emergency services for help. Two MCR members attended the scene, along with members of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service, the Police an ..read more
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Cave and Karst Science Vol 51 No 1: Speleothems, Shrimps and Fungus
Darkness Below
by Graham Mullan
1M ago
The latest edition of the BCRA’s Cave and Karst Science contains five main papers, and a photo feature. It begins, however, with tributes to David St. Pierre, John Wilcock and David William Gill. The editors write that, yet again, it is their sad privilege to introduce and present words of tribute and celebration dedicated to friends and colleagues who have been lost both to caving and to the world of cave and karst science. Max Moseley writes that the understanding of British subterranean aquatic fauna hardly advanced in the half century before the First World War. The ecological and physica ..read more
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Descent 297: Caving Across the Globe
Darkness Below
by Peter Burgess
2M ago
From tight and wet digs in Derbyshire, to the discovery of huge river caves in Indonesia, the latest issue of Descent covers it all. Peter Burgess reviews the latest issue. Regular readers may have noticed that we didn’t review Descent 296 – this was not an oversight, but, sadly, simply down to a lack of resource caused by more pressing priorities. At Darkness Below, we continue to support our best caving magazine, and we encourage everyone to take out a subscription so you can discover what your fellow cavers get up to both in the UK and abroad. We should always remember that the magazine is ..read more
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Somerset Rockfalls: Fairy Cave Quarry and Goatchurch Cavern
Darkness Below
by Peter Burgess
4M ago
The entrance to Goatchurch Cavern with the recent rockfall on the left. Photo: Wayne Starsmore The wet winter of 2023/24 is probably the cause of a couple of rockfalls that Mendip cavers should be aware of. A small not insignificant landslide has occurred in the car park at Fairy Cave Quarry. On the South East bank near to the gate a lot of rocks have collapsed out from the bank that appear to be what was a bank retaining wall. More of the wall and bank may be unstable so it is recommended to park either towards the far end or nearer the road side wall of the car park. And some loose material ..read more
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Incident 17th February 2024
Darkness Below
by Home
4M ago
Mendip Cave Rescue were called by Avon and Somerset Police via SARCALL at 16:41 on 17th February 2024, concerning a caver with equipment failure who was unable to exit Hunters Hole in Priddy. Two cavers had entered the cave earlier in the day, but one of them was unable to ascend the pitch. A small party of MCR members attended with some spare equipment, re-rigged the lower pitches and the caver was then able to make his way to the surface unaided. The SARCALL incident was closed at 18:19, with everyone and all the equipment back on the surface, and was attended by 7 MCR members in total. MCR ..read more
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