The British Caving Association
The British Caving Association is the national body for underground exploration in Great Britain. We represent individuals and groups with a genuine interest in caves, karst and associated phenomena, whether from a strictly sporting viewpoint, a scientific viewpoint, or a combination of both. Through close liaison with our member organisation, NAMHO we also seek to represent and support mining history societies and all those with an interest in the man-made underground environment.
Through our democratic structure and network of Regional Councils we will:
- Maintain and seek to improve access to caves and sites of speleological interest.
- Seek to achieve a better public understanding of all matters to do with caves & caving
- Encourage and support cave conservation in its widest interpretation.
- Promote and advise on training, equipment, science and safety.
- Promote and administer caver training.
- Provide necessary services and information on behalf of cavers in general, and promote an exchange of ideas and information between members.
- Organise and/or support meeting and events, including training, conservation, science and education.
How We Work…
Membership of the BCA is open to any individual, club or other group with an interest in cave or abandoned-mine exploration.
The BCA is a democratic organisation, answerable to our membership at General Meetings (typically an AGM each summer) and run through the year by an elected National Council. Specific aspects of BCA’s work, including hands on-implementation of many regional conservation, training and access initiatives are handled on our behalf by the BCA-funded Regional Councils, and different facets are covered by our Constituent Bodies.
By joining the BCA, as well as giving your support and voice to the UK’s national body, you are contributing to a central pot of funds, which is distributed to support conservation, access, training, equipment, safety, exploration, research and campaigning initiatives nationally. These funds help support our members, promote caving and provide membership benefits including public liability insurance and access to a travel insurance scheme.
Our Constituent Bodies
Constituent Bodies are automatically Group Members of BCA who are recognised as having some kind of national co-ordinating role in a specific aspect of caving or mine exploration. They each have a vote on BCA National Council.
- Association of Caving Instructors (ACI)
- The National Caving Scout Active Support Unit (NCSASU)
- British Cave Research Association (BCRA)
- British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC)
- Cave Diving Group (CDG)
- Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs (CHECC)
- National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO)
- William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust (WPCST)
Regional Caving Councils
The Regional Caving Councils are automatically Group Members of the BCA, as well as being predominantly funded by the BCA. They deal with various aspects of caving on a regional level, such as implementing conservation and access works, administering access to caves, organising regional training initiatives, overseeing regional anchor installation, amongst various other functions. They each have a vote on BCA National Council.
- Cambrian Caving Council
Wales, The Marches and The Royal Forest of Dean.
- Council of Northern Caving Clubs
North of Britain including Scotland.
- Council of Southern Caving Clubs
Mendip Hills, West Wiltshire and The Isle of Portland.
- Derbyshire Caving Association
Peak District + South Yorks, North Notts & Cheshire.
- Devon & Cornwall Underground Council
Devon & Cornwall.
Photos courtesy of Gary Douthwaite, Pete Knight, Stu Gardiner and Rob Eavis