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Safety Notice Dales Caves. Please download and read the full document below

Stability Issues at the Entrances to Yorkshire Dales Caves

Stability Issues at the Entrances to Yorkshire Dales Caves

To All it May Concern

It has been brought to our attention by various sources that there are potential stability issues in some of the entrances to led group caving/mine exploration venues in the North of England. The instability is a naturally occurring process, but may have been accelerated by the recent spells of very cold weather and the freeze/thaw process.

The venue in question currently is -

Runscar Cave – Runscar 4 Lower Exit

• This concerns specifically the lower ‘letterbox’ exit to Runcar Cave 4 • Continued deterioration of the downstream ‘letterbox’ exit • Large slab fallen in exit crawl and subsequently removed • Loose freshly cleared rock on the surface • Concern that ceiling height in the flat out crawl may be lowering

Overhead instability is a known hazard, particularly at entrances to underground venues, and after extreme weather events such as very heavy rain or very cold periods of snow and ice.

A reminder is given to all BCA Cave Leaders and Instructors, and recreational cavers alike, to be aware of the issues and to ensure that an adequate risk assessment of any caving activity venue is made on each and every visit, in line with advice given on training courses.

Graham Derbyshire Area Liaison Officer, Northern Panel BCA Local Cave and Mine Leader Assessment Scheme

It has come to the attention of the BCA Executive that there is some confusion about recent changes to the British Caving Association Training award schemes.

The 2017 AGM voted on a motion “This meeting instructs Council to set up a working party called ‘the BCA Qualifications Management Committee’, this to be established to develop the BCA training awards and the current Training Committee be henceforth solely responsible for recreational training. This was voted through unanimously at the AGM by both the individual members and club members.

In addition, for the Council meeting following the AGM, the minutes contain a paper which includes a diagram of the training scheme which has the QMC reporting directly to the BCA Council and BCA recreational caving also reporting directly to the Council. This proposal was first circulated at the Council meeting held in April 2016.

The current situation is clearly that there are two separate organisations reporting to the Council; one is called the QMC and responsible purely for BCA caving awards (LCMLA/CIC), and the second under the old training committee title which covers recreational caving and also reports directly to Council.

BCA Executive, February 28th, 2018

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