Access to caves varies widely. Some landowners are happy for cavers to walk straight in, whilst others require a courtesy call in advance, and some require a leader to accompany you on your trip. Access in each of these situations is sometimes restricted to BCA members due to our membership insurance benefits.

Covid-19 Restrictions

Currently there are no reported access restrictions due to Covid-19.

For more information please see these regional pages for Wales & Forest of Dean, the Dales, Derbyshire, Mendip and Devon & Cornwall.

What we do

The BCA focuses on national initiatives, such as our ongoing campaigns to have caving recognised nationally as an allowable activity on open access land. The BCA also looks to overcome national barriers to cave and countryside access, through campaigning to Government bodies, landowners, and agencies, building beneficial relations with like-minded organisations, and supplying funding for cave access initiatives nationally.

This work is performed by the BCA’s Conservation & Access Committee.

Countryside Rights of Way Act

The 2000 Countryside Rights of Way Act normally gives a public right of access to land mapped as ‘open country’ for certain allowed activities. The BCA believes caving is one of these activities.

The BCA’s CRoW Working Group is campaigning for caving to be recognised as an allowed activity on CRoW access land. At the time of writing (2020), Government bodies insist that it is not, despite not being specifically excluded by the CRoW Act wording. Legal advice obtained by the BCA, as well as the more recently published Julian Glover ‘Landscapes Review’, suggest that caving should be allowed on access land.

Until such a time that the campaign is successful, the BCA has adopted a standpoint that caving is already covered under CRoW, and has thus adopted a CRoW Policy to formalise this opinion. This concludes with:

The BCA will support cavers in their work to develop access to caves on CRoW access land.

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional cookies for more advanced features, but we won’t unless you enable them. Our cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information please see our Privacy Policy. You can change your mind using the “Cookie Choices” link in the footer.