History of the CNCC

CNCC Handbooks

Several handbooks were produced by the CNCC from 1969 until the 90's when the BCA handbook and later the CNCC website took over this roll. The purpose of the handbook was to let people know the current land and cave access and how to obtain permits as well as information on good caving practice. You can download the 1969, 1979 and 1985 handbook below which makes for some interesting nostalgic reading!

1969 CNCC Handbook
1969 CNCC Handbook
1979 CNCC Handbook
1979 CNCC Handbook
1985 CNCC Handbook
1985 CNCC Handbook

CNCC Timeline

The 59 year history of CNCC in a nutshell. Know of any errors or omissions? Let us know - pr@cncc.org.uk

2020

Chair: Andrew Hinde
Secretary: Josh Young
Treasurer: Ben Wright
Access: Tim Allen
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Ian Patrick

The CNCC welcomes a new Secretary, Treasurer, and for the first time in a while, a Training Officer. The co-opted role of Communications and PR Officer is created. Casterton Fell is brought onto the Online Booking System, thus removing the last permit system spanning a major fell in our region. Coronavirus puts lots of activities on hold, but conservation projects continued with fencing at Sell Gill, remediation on Casterton Fell after a major rescue, stile repairs on route to Tatham Wife, cleanups in Yordas Wood and Brown Hill Pot, walling around Alum Pot and restoration of the entrance to Knacker Trapper Hole. An equally big year for anchor installation including the route to Toyland in Valley Entrance, Growling Hole, and several replacements of wobbly anchors that have been reported over recent years, as the CNCC’s anchor scheme gains momentum and welcomes new installers. Relations with the new owners of High Birkwith Farm deteriorate, with all access being denied, creating challenges as these caves are not on access land; Advice sought from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

2019

Chair: Andrew Hinde
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Pete Bann
Access: Tim Allen
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Vacant

The CNCC continue engagement with Leck Fell Estate to move the caves towards the online booking system. Despite initial positivity from the Estate, CNCC were unable to maintain dialogue. As with the Langcliffe situation last year, the decision was taken to withdraw from the existing Leck access agreement, advising cavers that the caves are on CRoW access land. Subsequent communications with the Estate enabled a productive discussion and the implementation of Leck Fell caves into the online booking system as a compromise. The Excalibur Pot access agreement was renegotiated to enable access to anyone, not just club/BCA members. Elsewhere, a series of cave modifications across our region were undertaken by persons unknow, including stemples in Kingsdale Master Cave and Ease Gill and blasting footholds in Wretched Rabbit. The CNCC takes remedial action and urges against such unilateral action. A new CNCC new mission statement is approved. Major conservation works in Crackpot Cave in Swaledale, Stump Cross and Lancaster Hole. For the first time, CNCC have a stall at Hidden Earth in Mendip, a great chance to promote our work.

2018

Chair: Andrew Hinde
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Pete Bann
Access: Tim Allen
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Marion Holloway

The CNCC’s online booking system is launched, after extensive testing, for the caves of Ingleborough Estate (Gaping Gill, Newby Moss, Hurnel Moss, Allotment). Langcliffe Hall Estate (Penyghent Pot and Dale Head Pot) prove problematic, with land agents refusing to discuss the dated permit system and requesting that it continue. After all attempts fail, the CNCC Committee agree to withdraw from the agreement, emphasising to cavers that these caves are on access land and cavers therefore have a right to access them. The landowner quickly engages with CNCC, resulting in the establishment of simple Memorandum of Understanding enabling consensual open access. The BCA’s stance that caving is covered under CRoW is further embraced as CNCC adds to our website cave catalogue whether a cave is on CRoW land. Major cleanup and re-anchoring project undertaken in Roaring Hole at Chapel-le-Dale. Our Access Officer gave a presentation to the Yorkshire Dales National Park staff forum, around 140 people, showing the magnificence of our caves, the future potential, and the importance of educating non-cavers to their beauty.

2017

Chair: Andrew Hinde
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Pete Bann
Access: Tim Allen
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Marion Holloway

The CNCC obtained agreement in principal from Ingleborough Estate land agents to develop an on-line cave booking system as a possible replacement to the existing permit system. Agreement was obtained that this can cover all cavers (not just clubs/BCA members). Work to develop this system commenced and a draft version was presented to the CNCC Committee and land agent towards the end of the year with encouraging results. Conservation works were performed at Penyghent Pot, Great Douk and Wilson’s Cave. An agreement was reached to establish a new CNCC resin anchor scheme using the IC anchor, thus bringing anchor installation back within the CNCC remit. Over 600 anchors were purchased, and an anchor coordinator was appointed to take this forward.

2016

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Pete Bann
Access: Johnny Latimer (co-opted role)
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Dan Irving

A meeting was arranged between the CNCC and the three major caving estates (Ingleborough, Leck and Casterton), to discuss the future of cave access and try to break the deadlock that has seen few access improvements particularly on Leck and Casterton for several years. Landowners expressed a wish for a continuation of managed cave access, but a productive dialogue was opened towards a more modern means of achieving this. The results of a BCA poll mandated the BCA to campaign in favour of DEFRA changing their interpretation of CRoW to cover caving. Conservation works were performed at Gauber Pot, Slab Cave and Blood Cave. A substantial overhaul of the CNCC website saw the CNCC providing rigging topos and cave descriptions online. The IC anchor team become even more prolific and install resin anchors in several more potholes.

2015

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Pete Bann
Access: Johnny Latimer (co-opted role)
Conservation: Kay Easton
Training: Dan Irving

The CNCC voted that all future access agreements, where possible, should enable access for individual cavers as well as clubs. The caves of Fountains Fell (Gingling Hole, Hammer Pot, Strangle Pot etc) and Hull Pot area (Little Hull Pot, Hull Pot, Hunt Pot etc) were successfully removed from the permit system in favour of a courtesy call on the landowner. The Fairy Holes quarry was sold and the CNCC commenced investigations to ensure future access. A new stainless-steel anchor (the IC anchor) was approved by the CNCC and the IC anchor team (privately run and funded) perform numerous installations. Following negotiations with the National Trust, the number of permits for Robinson’s Pot was increased from 5 to 8 annually, and the closed season for Birks Fell Cave was reduced from nearly half the year to just two months (March/April due to lambing). The CNCC voted to support a campaign to see caving recognised under the Countryside Rights of Way (CRoW) act. Conservation works were performed at Witches II (Shuttleworth Pot), Katnot Cave, Cove Hole, Yordas and Keld Head.

2014

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Matt Ewles
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access: Johnny Latimer (co-opted role)
Conservation: Andrew Hinde
Training: Les Sykes

Ongoing scrutiny and criticism resulted in the resignation of key long-standing CNCC individuals. Complete overhaul of CNCC constitution initiated to re-examine several aspects of the way the CNCC worked. A new access agreement was established for Ingleborough Estate, enabling access on a one-permit-per-entrance-per day basis to all potholes of Gaping Gill, Newby Moss, Hurnell Moss and The Allotment with no closed seasons and for clubs or BCA member individuals, administered by email. A major step forward! The CNCC voted to pursue clarification of whether the CRoW act applied to caving. Landowners were updated on the current interest from the caving community in having this investgated. Restoration work was undertaken on the collapsed entrance of Providence Pot and conservation works were performed at Low Eglins Hole, Daimler Hole, Homeshaw Cave and Marble Steps. A new CNCC website was launched. The possibility of online permits was considered.

2013

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Conservation: Andrew Hinde
Access (co-opted role): Les Sykes
Training: Les Sykes

All Bowland Caves (including Whitewell Cave and Hell Hole) were added to the existing Whitewell Pot access agreement. A limited amount of access to Fairy Holes (Weardale) was negotiated (after two years of delicate negotiations). Concerns were expressed from landowner about increasing use of Casterton Fell caves by commercial cavers. Leck and Casterton Fell permits made available by email, improving significantly on the former ‘letter with SAE’ scenario. Lengthy discussion was held at a CNCC Committee meeting about access for non-club cavers, with acknowledgement that this was something the CNCC may need to consider. Aygill Caverns access was simplified with permits becoming available by email. The CNCC is subjected to considerable scrutiny and attacks via online caving forum from those concerned it had not been adequately proactive in improving access or engaging with the caving community, or constitutionally compliant. The former resin anchor scheme, active since 1990 performed its final installations before entering dormancy owing to the lack of availability of suitable anchors following a defective production batch. CNCC conservation volunteers stabilise the entrance to Brown Hill Pot.

2012

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Conservation: Andrew Hinde
Access (co-opted role): Les Sykes
Training: Les Sykes

The CNCC successfully negotiated to remove Washfold Pot from the permit system. CNCC performs fencing work around Large Pot, Little Pot and Thorney Pot.

2011

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Conservation: Andrew Hinde
Access (co-opted role): Les Sykes
Training: Les Sykes

CNCC publishes book ‘Shuttleworth Pot into Witches Cave II’, to provide background information on this new dig and to set out conservation guidelines for those wishing to visit. CNCC funds restoration work to Excalibur Pot following a forced entrance.

2010

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Marion Dunn (to September) and Andrew Hinde (September onwards)
Training: Les Sykes

The CNCC negotiated an increase in the number of Robinson’s Pot permits from 3 to 5 annually and Leck Fell from 2 to 3 daily, although at a cost of an annual (and highly divisive) £100 goodwill payment. Further efforts to discuss improved access on Leck Fell met with silence. Agreement met with new quarry owners of Fairy Holes in Weardale to establish a CNCC access agreement once the site has been made safe. Several publicity projects organised to promote cave conservation more widely, including display boards, posters, articles and local talks, and further hands on conservation works performed or funded at Long Churn, Cow Pot, Browgill, Gaping Gill, Aygill Caverns, Red Moss Pot and Voldemort Pot. Natural England Consent arranged by CNCC for the ongoing works at Shuttleworth Pot and The Cupcake and materials supplied.

2009

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Marion Dunn
Training: Les Sykes

A busy year! A new access agreement for Mongo Gill was negotiated which removed the previous closed season. Work continued to stabilise, clean up and fence-off several caves in the Forest of Bowland area resulting in successful negotiation of a new access agreement for Whitewell Pot with the Duchy of Lancaster Estate. The CNCC funded material to construct an entrance to the recently discovered Excalibur Pot in the North York Moors. The landowner informed that he was amenable to other clubs coming to visit the cave but as the area was on a private shooting estate, limitations were necessary to control numbers and avoid caver presence during shoots. The CNCC undertake work to see the new Committee Pot entrance to Notts II added to the Leck Fell access agreement and to prepare a cave conservation management plan to help ensure the future conservation of the delicate formations. During a meeting with the Leck Fell land agent, efforts made by CNCC to have Lost Johns’ Cave removed from the permit system owing to its proximity to the road, with a view to expanding this to Notts II, but unfortunately discussions were not successful. Attempts to remove the closed season on the grounds of the Countryside Rights of Way Act were made, but the land owner was only willing to do this in return for a pay-for-access system, which the CNCC refused on principal that cavers should never pay to access open moorland. Later efforts to discuss improved access on Leck Fell met with silence.

2008

Chair: Roy Holmes
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Marion Dunn
Training: Vacant

Holmes replaces Geoff Barber as Chair. Another big year for cave conservation. Andrew Hinde, working as Cave Conservation Advisor to Natural England commences work in partnership with the CNCC and the wider caving community to collect SSSI cave monitoring data; an initiative still active today (the Northern Caves Monitoring Project). The CNCC makes sizable quantities of money available for surface conservation works and promotes this to clubs, resulting in conservation work over a two year period at Ireby Fell, Alum Pot area, Yordas, Gunnerfleet Cave, Aquamole, Ravenscar Cave, Whitewell Pot, Buttertubs, Barbon Pot and Link Pot.

2007

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Marion Dunn
Training: Vacant

The entrance to Dale Head Pot, which had been collapsed for several years, was finally restored with the help of CNCC funding. Issues encountered with Fairy Holes access following closure of the quarry, work ongoing to negotiate future access.

2006

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Marion Dunn
Training: Vacant

2005

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Philip Walker
Training: Vacant

2004

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Unknown
Training: Unknown

The British Caving Association was founded. The CNCC amended its constitution to recognise BCA member clubs as CNCC associate members thus allowing them to obtain permits.

2003

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Unknown
Training: Unknown

The idea of a CNCC website was first discussed.

2002

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Unknown
Training: Unknown

2001

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Unknown
Training: Unknown

Access to all caves and potholes was seriously affected for several months due to Foot and Mouth Disease.

2000

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Unknown
Training: Unknown

Following the sale by the Estate of part of Leck Fell to the owner of Leck Fell House, The CNCC renegotiated access to Link Pot, Mistral Hole, Nippikin and Pippikin Pots with the new owner. This successfully removed these from a permit system in favour of calling for permission at Leck Fell House (an arrangement that has continued until the present day and includes Boundary Pot). Sell Gill Holes was also removed from the Penyghent permit system.

1999

Chair: Geoff Barber
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: J. Harland
Training: Paul Ramsden

The CNCC orchestrated restoration of the collapsing entrance to Notts Pot. Efforts undertaken to improve the number of permits available for Leck Fell at weekends (two per day). However, as part of these negotiations, and following the recent tragedy at Gaping Gill, the Estate requested to scrutinise the public liability insurance provided at the time by the BCRA.

1998

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Janet Harland
Training: Paul Ramsden

Following several years of work, a CNCC access agreement was reached between the CNCC and the landowner of Casterton Fell, replacing the volatile and informal agreement previously administered between RRCPC and the Estate Office. The CNCC struck a renewed access agreement for Mongo Gill via Great Expectations with the new owners of Stump Cross show cave. Agreement reached with landowner and English Nature to enable the continuation of the ‘Iron Kiln Pot’ (Notts II/Committee Pot) dig. Les Sykes and Glenn Jones delivered a talk at Hidden Earth 1998 (Southport) presenting ongoing success of the CNCC resin anchor project.

1997

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Janet Harland
Training: Paul Ramsden

Following discussions with the National Trust, access agreement established for Robinson’s Pot. The access agreement to Mongo Gill was terminated owning to the sale of the caving rights on the land to Stump Cross Show Cave. Work ongoing to establish an agreement with the new owner.

1996

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Phil Parker
Training: Paul Ramsden

The CNCC negotiated access to Skirwith Cave and engages with National Trust to secure future access to Robinson’s Pot. The second CNCC rigging guide was released. The CNCC held a Special General Meeting to discuss the National Caving Association and put forward a vote of no confidence in its current structure, setting out expectations for NCA reform including better representation of sporting cavers, reduced beaurocracy and recognition that the principal of the NCA should be to distribute money to cavers and not take it from them. The access situation on Casterton Fell did not worsen, however, no further progress made on establishment of a more structured access agreement between the CNCC and the landowner.

1995

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: Glenn Jones
Access and Conservation: Phil Parker
Training: Paul Ramsden (new post)

CNCC funds fencing around Leck Fell Pots (total £598), work to install the entrance to Boxhead Pot, work to reopen Grey Wife Hole, work to stabilise Mongo Gill North Shaft and an emergency telephone at Bull Pot Farm. Position of Training Officer created for the first time.

1994

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: D. Shepherd
Access and Conservation: Phil Parker

The CNCC released the first rigging guide covering all caves fitted with resin anchors since 1991. This was a pioneering publication, the rigging topos from which are still used today! Agreement reached to remove dangerous old ladders from Stake and Stop Pots in Ease Gill Caverns and replace with resin anchors. Trial conservation plan for Knock Fell Caverns prepared to try to avoid gating. CNCC funds work to reopen the entrance of Grey Wife Hole on Newby Moss.

1993

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: D. Shepherd
Access and Conservation: Phil Parker

Informal agreement reached with the farmer for Strans Gill Pot to allow continued caver access. Knock Fell Caverns gated by English Nature – work ongoing to re-establish access. This year seems to have marked a major turning point in cave conservation, with significantly elevated interest from all regional councils. Casterton Fell landowner raises further concerns about erosion of unofficial footpaths and possible tenancy issues at Bull Pot Farm, which continue to threaten access via the temporary arrangement still in place between RRCPC and the landowner.

1992

Chair: Russell Myers
Secretary: Les Sykes
Treasurer: D. Shepherd
Access and Conservation: Phil Parker

Les Sykes takes over from Phil Parker as Secretary. The CNCC negotiated removal of Antler Hole, Echo Pot, Fornah Gill Caverns and Magnetometer Pot from the permit system, replaced by a simple courtesy call at Neals Ing Farm (an arrangement that has continued until the present day). Threats received from a farmer to fill in the entrance of Strans Gill Pot – Discussions held with National Parks to try to avert this threat. Casterton Fell access remains a sensitive situation.

1991

Chair: Russell Myers (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: No nomination
Assistant Secretary: No nomination
Treasurer: Dave Shepherd (Earby Pothole Club)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

A consensus was reached that all future bolting should use stainless steel resin bonded anchors. The CNCC resin bonded anchor scheme was born thanks particularly to efforts by Les Sykes.

1990

Chair: Russell Myers (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Phil Parker (White Rose Pothole Club).
Assistant Secretary: No nomination
Treasurer: Dave Shepherd (Earby Pothole Club)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

A fairly quiet year with no significant issues; the CNCC endorse removal of the unsafe ladders at Stake Pot and Fall Pot in Ease Gill Caverns.

1989

Chair: Russell Myers (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Phil Parker (White Rose Pothole Club).
Assistant Secretary: David Leonard (ANT)
Treasurer: Dave Shepherd (Earby Pothole Club)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

A fairly quiet year; the CNCC officially endorse the RRCPC access scheme on Casterton Fell. Meeting attendance remained low and general enthusiasm seemed to be lacking.

1988

Chair: Russell Myers (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Phil Parker (White Rose Pothole Club).
Assistant Secretary: None (nobody stood)
Treasurer: Dave Shepherd (Earby Pothole Club)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

A relatively low point for the Council, with all former Officers standing down, a struggle to make meetings quorate, and the ongoing stalemate at Casterton Fell, with Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club dealing with access instead. There was also a lack of CNCC input into the NCA (due to a lack of volunteers following the death of Roger Sutcliffe), and landowners particularly on Leck Fell were becoming increasingly irate about pirating. The AGM of 1988 was not properly notified to members and so was deemed by some to be a ‘shambles’ and unconstitutional, and there is a distinctly ‘bitter’ notes to many of the reports and meeting minutes. A Special General Meeting had to be held to ensure election of Officers was constitutional.

1987

Chair: David Leonard (ANT)
Secretary: Brian Rhodes (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: B. Sudell (Northern Pennine Club)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (co-opted). (DOSS)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

Follow refusal of the CNCC to levy the £2 access fee for Casterton Fell, the landowner terminated the access agreement, leaving cavers to contact the Estate directly for permission (and to pay the fee). All subsequent efforts were dismissed until the CNCC came up with a means to collect the money. The CNCC advised cavers to make their own private arrangements but not to pay the fee. This was supported in letter from Alan Jeffreys in Descent calling for cavers to make a stand and to refuse to pay. Support for a mass-trespass event was clearly mustering. Later in the year, a temporary access agreement was reached between Red Rose CPC (not the CNCC) and landowner to reinstate fee-free access (this remained in place until 1998!). Separately, the CNCC raised objections to a planning application for a scaffold tower down the main Bar Pot pitch. Lots of work for the Ribbledale Access Officer following rescues from Penyghent, Gingling and Hammer Pots, resulting in a fight to stop the farmer closing access to these caves.

1986

Chair: David Leonard (ANT)
Secretary: Brian Rhodes (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: B. Sudell (Northern Pennine Club)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (co-opted). (DOSS)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

Relations with Casterton Fell landowners deteriorated further. The CNCC managed to avoid implementation of a closed season by agreeing a compromise that cavers crossing the fell to County Pot should take a route via Lancaster Hole and not across the open upper fells. This was acceptable initially, but over the winter, the landowner decided to charge £2/person for access to the caves of Casterton Fell. The CNCC refused to administer this charge.

1985

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Rhodes (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Allan Tate (Yorkshire Subterranean Society)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (co-opted) (DOSS)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

The issues on Casterton Fell escalated. The landowner was concerned that grouse were being disturbed by continuous caver presence particularly on the route crossing the upper moor to County Pot. The landowner insists on instating a closed season. The CNCC sought legal advice.

1984

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Allan Tate (Yorkshire Subterranean Society)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (WM) (DOSS)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

Casterton Fell landowner issued a complaint to the CNCC about pirating and damage to footpaths. The landowners put pressure on the CNCC to re-introduce closed seasons and to restrict further the number of cavers on the fell. This was successfully resisted.

1983

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (WM) (DOSS)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

National Park offered to resume Weather Forecast Service in conjunction with CNCC. Council contributed towards the purchase of equipment for answering services based at Whernside Manor to provide weekend weather forecast for the northern caving region.

1982

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Geoff Barber (WM) (co-opted)
Access and Conservation: Andy Hall (RRCPC)

CNCC Access and Conservation Officer made an official post. Closed season removed from caves around Penyghent (Hull Pots, Hunt Pot, Penyghent Pot, Dale Head Pot). The number of permits for Gingling Hole and Hammer Pot successfully increased from 30-35 and 15-25/year respectively. CNCC issued warnings of the effects of widespread gripping on the fells causing flash floods and serious rescue call outs in several areas. Members: 36 (full), 122 (associate)

1981

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Derek Sudell (Burnley Caving Club)

Further surge in demand for permits on Leck and Casterton Fells following news of the Link Pot discoveries. Littondale access denials were received from several farmers following unauthorised digging activity around Keay Hole above Scoska Cave; the culprits were caught twice by the farmer and the police were called on the second occasion. Mick Rhodes publishes letter appealing against pirating, which has recently been highlighted by several rescues on unauthorised trips. Members: 37 (full), 127 (associate)

1980

Chair: Mick Rhodes (Airedale Caving Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Derek Sudell (Burnley Caving Club)

Leck Fell access increased to three permits per day, subject to further works by CNCC volunteers to help fence open shafts on the fell. For perhaps the first time in the Council’s history, access is now available to all major fells/areas (Casterton, Leck, Ingleborough, Penyghent and Fountains Fell) and most significant potholes with reasonable ease. Moorland gripping at South House Moor and more recently around Fell Beck, Ingleborough causes increased flood risks. Members: 34 (full), 112 (associate)

1979

Chair: Allan Ball (FUG)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: No nomination received

Separate meets secretaries appointed for Leck and Casterton Fell to cope with the growing demand. Efforts to negotiate more access on these fells ongoing, helped by work by CNCC volunteers to repair walls and fences. The Birks Fell Cave access agreement was threatened by a rescue incident during the 'closed season', but additional restrictions were able to be avoided. Members: 31 (full), 105 (associate)

1978

Chair: Randal Coe (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Jim Wilcock (Kendal Caving Club)

Leck and Casterton Fells: Over 500 permits issued during the year, a record. A threat of cave-gating on Ling Gill Nature Reserve was successfully averted. Discussions held about Thackthwaite Beck Cave after a suggestion of a locked entrance had been put to the meeting as a compromise. The CNCC dismissed this as it was opposed to locking caves. After many years of being blocked and out of bounds, some progress made with Hammer Pot on Fountains Fell; landowner agrees to limited access in return for the shaft being made safe from livestock. Members: 29 (full), 98 (associate)

1977

Chair: Randal Coe (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: J Clegg (BSC)

Gingling Hole landowner owner agreed to increased number of permits. Thackthwaite Beck Cave entrance filled by landowner who considered it 'hazardous'. Sundry refusals of permission to visit caves elsewhere in the Dales blamed on landowners' fears about possible legal liability. Members: 27 (full), 88 (associate)

1976

Chair: Randal Coe (Craven Pothole Club)
Secretary: Brian Smith (Bradford Pothole Club)
Assistant Secretary: Alan Beecroft (Earby Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Jim Wilcock (Kendal Caving Club)

A Special General Meeting was held in February to discuss serious pirating issues which it was believed threatened everything the CNCC had achieved over the last 12 years. Although no specific outcome, it was felt that it provided a chance for ‘airing of grievances’. This seems to have resulted in a complete change of hands of all Officer roles, amongst much criticism of CNCC performance in improving access (a situation which has since repeated several times). CNCC negotiates an increase in Casterton Fell permits to three clubs per day. Temporary access to Fairy Holes agreed for survey purposes but hopes receded for locating any new entrance away from the advancing quarry.

1975

Chair: Jack Rasdell (Bolton Speleo)
Secretary: Graham Hudson (YCC???)
Assistant Secretary: D. Webster
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Jack Rasdell takes over as Chair and Graham Hudson as Secretary. CNCC Campaigns for proposed purchase of White Scar Cave by Yorkshire Dales National Park to protect from a potential quarry threat; YDNP was however out-bid at auction (by a businessman) but an agreement was reached with the new owner by CNCC to allow limited access to cavers for survey and scientific work, as a precursor to pushing for general access. CNCC takes an active involvement in the ‘National Park Plan’ being drafted. A legal agreement was reached to cover limited access to Fairy Holes, Weardale, signed with quarry company but this was subsequently withdrawn because of difference of opinion over safety of the excavated entrance. Cherry Tree Hole and Darnbrook Pot were reopened following negotiations with the new landowner.

1974

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Jack Rasdell (Rolls Royce Speleological Group)
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Continued contention over the membership fee necessary to obtain permits prompts open letter from Roger Sutcliffe, CNCC Chairman, to cavers to justify and explain the charges. Access agreement for Birks Fell Cave terminated by landowner following the 1973 rescue incident; negotiations later regained limited renewal but with extended 'closed season' over winter to reduce risks associated to groups getting flooded in. Access being refused at Strans Gill and Pasture Gill Pots and investigations ongoing; landowner will not talk to CNCC directly, only via his agents. Landowner refuses increased access on Leck Fell, citing pirating of caves as the main reason. Owners of Pikedaw Calamine Cavern agree to provision of unlocked lid following CNCC pressure and offer to cover costs; work carried out by a member club (YSS). Request raised (by Mendip Caving Group) to remove a constitutional clause that only allows clubs ‘based’ on the north of Britain to become full members; this did not receive a proposer so did not progress, on the basis that the Committee felt that only clubs based in the north would have adequate local knowledge and ability to attend meetings to contribute sufficiently. The Chair, as a gesture of willing, clarified that the term ‘based on the north’ was subjective and did not necessarily mean ‘domiciled’ in the north; and there was therefore nothing to prevent an associate member such as the MCG making a case for full membership based on their involvement with northern caving; each case would be heard out on a case by case basis. This practice and constitution wording was maintained until 2015, when it was finally amended to clarify that requirements for full membership were a ‘significant input or involvement’ in northern caving. Member clubs: 85 (28 Full and 57 Associate)

1973

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Jack Rasdell (Rolls Royce Speleological Group)
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Following negotiations with landowner, Leck Fell permits increased to two clubs per day. The farmer at Washfold Pot agrees to a permit system to restore access (in return for efforts to cover a second shaft which was proving dangerous for livestock) and repairs to an access gate. Rescues at Birks Fell Cave, Langstroth Pot and Strans Gill Pot resulted in additional access restrictions being imposed. Yet more trouble encountered with the farmer for Swinsto Hole because of unauthorised digging. CNCC makes enquiries about regaining access to Fairy Holes, Weardale. CNCC organised clean-up of farm refuse, dumped vehicles, etc. from stream-beds, cave entrances, and shakeholes in the Chapel-le-Dale area and elsewhere. Still no progress with Pikedaw Calamine Caverns, with landowners threatening to seal the entrance shaft. The recent constitutional change to only grant access to clubs which have paid a CNCC subscription was not a popular move with some; Letters of complaint received from all three other Regional Councils (DCA, CSCC, CCC), arguing that the fee was too high for those who may only visit the area occasionally, but equally praise from many clubs (including those outside the northern region) who believed the fee was very cheap to help ensure access availability in the northern region. Despite some compromise proposals, the CNCC stood firm on both the constitutional changes and the amount of the fee. The £2 fee was confirmed by the Treasurer to be necessary to ensure the future of the CNCC and its current work. Member clubs: 73

1972

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Jack Rasdell (Rolls Royce Speleological Group)
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Red Moss Pot discovered, and entrance blocked on landowners’ instructions following newspaper reports of the discovery. The CNCC tries and fails to negotiate access. Efforts to negotiate access to Washfold Pot also fail. Cherry Tree Hole and Darnbrook Pot entrances filled in by farmer following a rescue incident which caused them ‘considerable inconvenience’. Reports received of refused permission at Pikedaw Calamine Caverns, and also at Langcliffe Pot following a much-publicised rescue. CNCC volunteers erect fences around open shafts on Leck Fell to improve safety and encourage better landowner relations. The CNCC publish observations of a significant increase in permit requests from non-northern clubs (118 of 462 across Leck and Casterton for 1972-1973), following completion of several major cross-country motorways, making it viable to travel further afield for caving at the weekend. This caused contention with northern clubs who were paying £2/year subscription to the CNCC to enable them to get permits but were now competing for the limited permit availability with clubs who were not paying this subscription. In December, a Special General Meeting of the CNCC was held to discuss a revised the constitution. Much of this overhaul was reflective of the evolving role of the council over the past 9 years; from access negotiator to a representative body for many clubs, and conservation and training roles too. One contentious change was to only allow permits to be issued only to CNCC member clubs, or members of other regional councils, who had paid the CNCC £2 subscription. This revised constitution was accepted.

1971

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Jack Rasdell (Rolls Royce Speleological Group)
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Jack Rasdell takes over from Tom Sykes as Secretary. Ongoing issues over Leck Fell pirating were expressed at CNCC AGM, which was resulting in increasing efforts from the Chair and Secretary to resolve with the landowners. Pressure from the landowners for the CNCC to ‘police’ the access agreements was resisted, but as a compromise, a new document (a ‘permit’) was introduced for legitimate groups to display to see if this would help matters. Access agreement negotiated with owners of Birks Fell Cave to restore access. Reports received that all access to Washfold Pot was being denied by the farmer following unauthorised digs. Efforts still ongoing to reopen Dale Barn Cave, and now also Mossdale Caverns, following the earlier tragedy. Member clubs: Unknown

1970

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: John Clarke (Bradford Pothole Club)

Following the recent opening of Gavel and Pippikin Pots, the CNCC received complaints from landowners about unauthorised access on the fells, with threats to close the fells completely if the situation did not improve. Tom Sykes, CNCC Secretary, called to a meeting with Mr Shuttleworth (Leck Fell landowner) over accusations of poaching by potholes. On Casterton Fell, the landowner agreed to ending the closed season. The issues at Dale Barn Cave were referred to the National Park Planning Committee with the backing of Yorkshire Sports Federation. Work continues to gain access to Birks Fell Cave, which has been problematic over recent years. Member clubs: 84

1969

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

Tom Sykes, CNCC Secretary, penned an article in Descent magazine discussing the ongoing issues at Dale Barn Cave, where efforts to communicate with the landowner had broken down. More direct action was decided, resulting in legal threats from landowner. All options (including militant action) were considered. Landowners of Leck and Casterton Fells issued warnings about pirating. Attempts to gain general access to White Scar Cave ongoing. After years of work by the CNCC and other regional councils, the National Caving Association was constituted. CNCC agreed to publish weather forecasts in co-operation with Yorkshire Dales National Park Information Services. Member clubs: 77

1968

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

Foot and Mouth outbreak resulted in voluntary closure of all caves for two months. At Bar Pot, the landowner was persuaded not to proceed with proposed gating following pollution to local water supplies. Reports received of access refusal at Birks Fell Cave. Route of access for Tatham Wife Hole agreed with the farmer. Access negotiated to the caves of Borrins Moor. Stile erected on route to Ireby Fell Caverns. Proposal to change the name from ‘CNCC’ to ‘NCC’ (Northern Caving Council) rejected. The CNCC proposes the formation of a National Caving Association, while extending CNCC membership to CRO and the Cave Research Group to create a more all-embracing northern council, but without affecting the individuality of its member clubs. A booklet called ‘Know the Game’ was published by the CNCC aimed at novice cavers. Member clubs: 68

1967

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

Unsuccessful attempts to contact landowner of Dale Barn Cave; case prepared for scheduling as SSSI but rejected. Issues at Swinsto Hole and New Goyden resolved, and a route of approach agreed with the landowners, but issues encountered around the Alum Pot area, with access being either refused or permitted for considerable charge. Member clubs: 63

1966

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

The entrance to Dale Barn Cave was blocked with concrete on the owner's instructions following contamination of private water supply by fluorescein. An increased number of Gingling Hole permits was negotiated, but Hammer Pot remains off-limits. Access difficulties investigated at Marble Steps, New Goyden Pot and Swinsto Hole, the latter caused by unauthorised digs on the surrounding land. The CSCC and DCA agree to join up with the CNCC to form a ‘Regional Council for Caving in England’, which the CNCC hoped would form the basis of the National Association they had been wishing for. Member clubs: 57

1965

Chair: Roger Sutcliffe (Gritstone Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

Limited access to Gingling Hole negotiated. At Mongo Gill Hole, the CNCC established an access agreement and permit system following a spate of digging and other unauthorised activity. Attempts by the farmer to charge clubs for access to Swinsto Hole were successfully resisted. An inter-regional meeting rejected the National Body proposed by CNCC earlier in the year.

1964

Chair: A. Hurworth (Bradford Pothole Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: H. Long (British Speleological Association)

An agreement covering the Fornah Gill area of Fountains Fell was signed with the inclusion of the Penyghent potholes in the permit agreements at the landowners’ insistence. Access to Rainscar land (Gingling Hole etc) was still being refused and West Riding County Council turned down a request to consider serving an Access Order. Clubs were advised to refuse payment of an access charge being levied at Alum Pot because a 'right of way' was indicated on the draft footpaths map. A six months 'closed-season' on the Allotment area was called for by the landowner, but negotiated down to three. Fairy Holes, Weardale, was 'lost' to a quarry company. Marker posts and stiles were erected on Casterton Fell to facilitate caver access. A CNCC AGM resolution called for moves to set up a 'national body' for caving.

1963

Chair: A. Hurworth (Bradford Pothole Club)
Secretary: Tom Sykes (Red Rose Cave and Pothole Club)
Treasurer: Alan Clegg (Burnley Caving Club); died in cave diving accident in March 1964

The CNCC was formed by 11 established clubs as a joint negotiating body. Access to Leck and Casterton Fells was restored following the signing of an access agreement although, initially, only one club per fell was permitted on one day. Attention was then turned to Fountains Fell, which had been closed to potholers, and the respective landowners for The Allotment area, and Alum Pot, were also approached following reports of access difficulties.

1962

Prior to 1962, access to caves and potholes was based on private agreements between cavers and the landowners. In 1962, the grouse moors of Leck and Casterton Fells were closed completely to cavers following the rescue of cavers from Pegleg Pot, which they had visited without permission. The landowners refused to negotiate with individual clubs but indicated that an access agreement would be considered if responsible clubs got together to help administer access.