Access Agreements

A summary of the terms of the access agreements negotiated by the council for areas, or specific potholes, where access had formally been denied. In some cases there have been variations to the terms of the original agreements, and in such cases the present terms are shown below.

Birks Fell

Meets secretary:

Ric Halliwell, 23 Hull Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 4PN
Email: adsrah@outlook.com

Agreement with National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 2NA

  • Permits to be granted to member clubs, one per day.
  • Permits are not available in April and May due to lambing. 
  • Permits must be shown to the farmer at Redmire Farm, Buckden, on-route to the cave.
  • The nearest available car parking is at Buckden car park. 
  • National Trust and the tenant farmer require a list of permits issued to be sent to them at the beginning of each month. Note that this means permits canot be issued at short notice.
  • Agreed access is through Birks Fell Cave entrance only unless written consent is obtained from the agent and tenant of Redmire Farm.
  • All gates on the access track must be closed.

 

Birkwith area caves

The caves on High Birkwith Farm land are typically not on Access Land, however, we have verbal confirmation from the landowner (January 2019 onwards) that cavers are welcome to visit the caves (with no advanced permission and no need to call at the farm) providing their land is approached on foot.

Parking on High Birkwith land is strictly forbidden.

See the webpage for each individual cave for additional information (for example, Calf Holes)

 

Boreham Cave

Agreement with Mrs Metcalfe of Old Cote Farm

  • Three permits for up to four divers issued annually.
  • Divers must have Qualified Diver status within the Northern Section of the Cave Diving Group
  • All divers to have BCA membership.
  • The CNCC to pay £100 annually to Mrs Metcalfe.
  • Vehicle parking as directed by the landowner/farmer on the day of visit.
  • Always contact the Cave Diving Group Northern Section to discuss access as the situation is volatile and likely to change.

 

Casterton Fell

Meets secretary:

Geoff Whittaker, 19 Eden Grove, Bolton le Sands, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 8DF
Email: geoff.whittaker@cncc.org.uk

Agreement with the Whelprigg Estate for access to caves of Casterton Fell.

  • Novice cavers are not permitted into the Easegill system.
  • The Easegill system is not to be used for training absolute novice cavers or for instructed (commercial) caving purposes.
  • Five permits per day at weekends and two permits per day on weekdays.
  • Permits available only for CNCC and BCA member clubs by email or post.
  • Maximum of eight cavers per permit.
  • Permits are for caving on the fell, and while a named entrance should be specified when requesting the permit (to help us flag congestion issues), a permit covers all entrances on Casterton Fell meaning changes of plan are acceptable.
  • Cavers must abide by the countryside code and the Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines.
  • No digging or explosives are allowed on the Whelprigg Estate land.

 

Excalibur Pot

Meets secretary:

Matt Ewles
Email: speleomatt@hotmail.co.uk
Telephone: 07983 559566

Access agreement for Excalibur Pot between CNCC and landowner (May 2019 onwards):

  • Only one permit per week will be granted to visit the cave.
  • The CNCC shall indemnify the landowner against incidents arising from all visitors whose objective is to visit the caves. The limit of indemnity shall be not less than £5m, provided via a suitable insurance policy.
  • Access during shooting (1st Oct to 1st Feb) will only be on Sundays to avoid cavers disrupting any shoots and on safety grounds.
  • The CNCC will advise visiting cavers of the requirement to drive very slowly on the access road and to park at the bottom of the hill on the left before bridge. Cavers will be advised to avoid blocking access when parking, and to park tightly to ensure there remains enough space for other vehicles to pass on the track and to turn around.
  • The permit must be printed and clearly displayed on the dashboard of one of the cars to enable the landowner/gamekeepers to confirm the cars relate to visiting cavers.
  • The permit confirms access to the permissive routes to the caves only.
  • Visitors must comply with the countryside code and the British Caving Association Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines. They should report any damage they might accidentally cause, or any damage they observe, to the CNCC who will endeavour to rectify this subject to their resources and permission of the landowner.
  • This agreement, including all access permission and issued permits may be withheld or withdrawn by the landowner at any time without prior notice.

 

Fairy Holes (Weardale)

Meets secretary:

Ric Halliwell, 23 Hull Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 4PN
Email: adsrah@outlook.com

Agreement with Mark Tellwright, Eastgate Quarry.

  • Permits can be issued to any BCA-registered club, or to named Club or Direct Individual BCA member (CIMs/DIMs).
  • Permits only on the first Saturday of every month.
  • Maximum eight people per permit.
  • The visit must take place between 8am and 10pm
  • Keys to the entrance locks will be posted to permit holders before your trip. You will be required to either post the keys onto the next permit holder immediately after your trip or to return them to the Permit Secretary, as requested.
  • The overland route indicated on the permit and any restrictions on vehicle access must be followed.
  • The Keeper must be telephoned (details supplied with permit) at a reasonable hour at least 48 hours ahead of your visit to alert him to your intended presence.
  • The cave is an SSSI and the Natural England conservation statements supplied with the permit must be read and understood by all visiting cavers.

 

Great Expectations

Meets secretary:

Ric Halliwell, 23 Hull Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 4PN
Email: adsrah@outlook.com

Agreement with the owners of Stump Cross Caverns

  • Permits may only be issued to CNCC/BCA member clubs
  • Permits available all year except bank holiday weekends.
  • A nominal (peppercorn) fee is paid by CNCC in return for access.
  • Permits must be shown to the owners of Stump Cross Café and the keys to the entrances collected from the café, and returned after the trip.
  • A maximum of five people may enter the cave and must be accompanied by a caver on the owner’s list of guides (R. Halliwell, D. Headley, P. Jones, A. Weight, T. Jones).
  • Vehicles may be parked in the overflow car park at the café.
  • The connection to Stump Cross streamway has seriously collapsed and is unlikely to be re-opened.

 

Ingleborough Estate

Since November 2018, access to the caves of Ingleborough Estate has been facilitated by the CNCC on behalf of the landowner and agents using the online booking system.

Use of this system is a requirement for achieving consented access.

See: https://cncc.org.uk/booking/

Landowner requests regarding your access (e.g. restrictions and conditions) will be presented to you during the booking process.

 

Leck Fell

Since August 2019, access to the caves of Leck Fell has been facilitated by the CNCC on behalf of the Leck Estate using the online booking system.

Use of this system is a requirement for achieving consented access.

See: https://cncc.org.uk/booking/

Requests from Leck Estate regarding your access include:

  • Car parking is limited on Leck Fell. Please make sure you car-share as much as possible and park responsibly so that farmers and other land users have clear access. Leave any unnecessary cars behind at your accommodation or a designated car park such as the one at Cowan Bridge (where you turn off the main road to drive up to Leck Fell).
  • For conservation reasons we advise that caving groups should not exceed eight persons.
  • Please abide by the countryside code and the Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines.
  • This booking system is for recreational caving only. Cave instructors undertaking recreational or personal training trips are welcome but for any trips of a commercial nature separate arrangements must be made directly with the Estate Office.
  • For information on digging please refer to the CNCC SSSI digging guidelines.

 

Mongo Gill Hole, Shockle Shaft and Valentine Shaft

Meets secretary:

Ric Halliwell, 23 Hull Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 4PN
Email: adsrah@outlook.com

Agreement with the owners of Stump Cross Caverns

  • Permits may only be issued to CNCC/BCA member clubs
  • Permits available all year except bank holiday weekends.
  • A nominal (peppercorn) fee is paid by CNCC in return for access annually.
  • Permits must be shown to the owners of Stump Cross Café and the keys to the entrances collected from the café, and returned after the trip.
  • Vehicles may be parked in the overflow car park at the café.
  • No access to Grenade Shaft without specific permission (typically only granted for maintainance work) or entrance via the show cave tourist entrance.

 

Penyghent and Penyghent Gill Area

The CNCC holds a Memorandum of Understanding with the Langcliffe Hall Estate dated 1st December 2018 and effective until further notice.

This allows open access, with no advanced permission, for the caves on Langcliffe Hall Estate, including Penyghent Pot eastwards across to Dale Head Pot (not the Hull Pot area), and caves of the lower Penyghent Gill area such as Swan Dyke Pot and Snatcher Pot. This access is subject to the following conditions:

  • Access to the caves on ‘access land’, as determined by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, is by the rights laid down in that Act and by previous Tax Exempt Heritage Asset status arrangements made with HMRC.
  • Swan Dyke Pot and Snatcher Pot are on private land within the Tax Exempt Heritage Asset Area. Access to these caves is by permissive access route only and no formal right of way is in existence.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the CNCC shall indemnify the landowner against incidents arising from all visitors whose objective is to visit the caves. The limit of indemnity shall be not less than £5m, provided via a suitable insurance policy.
  • Several caves on the Langcliffe Hall Estate are fitted with stainless steel resin bonded anchors on vertical drops which have been installed in accordance with the specification of the British Caving Association.Only these anchors are endorsed by the CNCC. We will advise cavers that all fixed aids are used at their own risk.
  • The CNCC have a group of volunteers who will seek to maintain cave entrances subject to their resources and permission of the Langcliffe Hall Estate.
  • The CNCC will encourage all cavers to abide by the Countryside and Cave Conservation Codes

 

Robinsons' Pot

Meets secretary:

Ric Halliwell, 23 Hull Road, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 4PN
Email: adsrah@outlook.com

Agreement with National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 2NA

  • Permits to be granted to member clubs by email or post.
  • Permits may be issued for the first Saturday of May/June/July/August/September and the third Saturday of May/July/September.
  • The landowner and tenant need to be notified near the end of each month of what permits have been issued for the following month. Last minute permits are therefore not possible.
  • On the day of your trip call at Darnbrook Farm and show the permit to the tenant, who will instruct you on the best place to park.

 

Whitewell Pot (and other Bowland caves)

Meets secretary:

Tony Brown, 21 Eshton Terrace, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 1BQ
Email: abrown.boggarts@gmail.com
Telephone: 01200 422811

Agreement between CNCC and Duchy of Lancaster, Whitewell Estate for access to Whitewell Pot

  • The CNCC must contact the keeper prior to granting permits, so short notice permits may not always be possible.
  • Permits can only be granted to CNCC full or associate member clubs (which includes all BCA member clubs by default).
  • All cavers must have valid public liability insurance (e.g. BCA membership).
  • Parking is preferably at the layby at the top of Hall Hill.
  • Approach the cave directly from the road and not through the woods.
  • Other Bowland caves in the Whitewell area are not specifically covered by this agreement however the CNCC will pass access requests for other Bowland caves to the Estate for consideration and will issue a permit accordingly.