4 July 2020

CNCC Online Services Statistics

The CNCC offer a range of useful online resources, including cave descriptions, topos, safety warnings, anchor information, conservation guidance, regional news, and of course an online booking system. We are pleased to present some interesting statistics covering the booking system and topo/description downloads.

Online Booking System

The CNCC’s online booking system was launched on 1st November 2018 for the caves of Ingleborough Estate, and has since been expanded to cover Leck Fell (from 22nd August 2019) and Casterton Fell (from 11th February 2020). The system was developed to provide a compromise which enables easy access for all cavers to some of the most popular caves in the north of England (no restrictions relating to age or BCA/club membership), while maintaining a level of management that the landowners of these fells desire.

Booking a cave takes a matter of minutes and is simple and intuitive. The system has been well-received by the northern caving community and we are very thankful to everyone for your support in making it a success.

The online booking system has a secondary benefit of helping cavers to manage traffic. We never saw this as an aim of the system, however, feedback we have received suggests that cavers actually value this, as it helps avoid congestion at potholes. In more recent times, this has become especially useful to facilitate social distancing between different groups.

The online booking system now has about 550 registered users. The chart below shows an obvious jump in users at the point the system was launched (all users prior to that point were testing the system), and then a further small jump when Leck Fell was added, with a gradual rise since.

Of all users:

  • 72% have identified as male
  • 14% have identified as female
  • None have identified as other gender
  • 14% have declined to provide information on their gender
  • The average age is 46.2 years (range 17-79)

The bar chart below shows the number of bookings on a month by month basis from July 2019 to June 2020 inclusive (showing the month the booking was FOR, not the month the booking was MADE). The chart also shows an interesting breakdown of how far in advance of the trip date those bookings were made.

We can see that the total number of bookings has shown a steady increase over the last year, passing 100/month for the first time in December 2019. This is not surprising, as more caves have been added to the system. In total, 1169 bookings have been made since the system was launched up to 4th July 2020. If we look just at the month with the most bookings so far (February 2020, pre-lockdown, 129 bookings), we can see that:

  • 15 (11.6%) were made >28 days in advance of the trip
  • 32 (24.8%) were made between 8-28 days in advance of the trip
  • 59 (45.7%) were made between 2-7 days in advance of the trip
  • 9 (7.0%) were made the day immediately before the trip
  • 14 (10.9%) were made the same day as the trip

Naturally, there is a drop in April and May (the system was shut down during full lockdown then gradually reopened through May/June as restrictions eased). The data for June, the first month since lockdown where different households have been able to meet outdoors, suggests a relatively enthusiastic resumption of caving activities by many people.

When booking a cave, users are asked to check a box if they are booking on behalf of a club (for information purposes). By default, this box is unchecked. Of all bookings made using the system so far (1169), 742 (63.5%) have actively chosen to check this box to associate the booking to a club.

Descriptions and Topos

A couple of years ago, the CNCC started making rigging topos and cave descriptions available online. The descriptions came partly as a legacy from Eurospeleo 2016, but have been added to and significantly refined since. Our topo and description download statistics below provide some interesting insights into when people are going caving. Both show a similar trend, with a spike around September (potentially from usage by student clubs at the start of the new term). There is a dip over Christmas, and then a spike during January. Downloads through April/May, the key lockdown months, haven’t dropped as low as you might expect.

We remind people to always download the most recent version, as corrections and updates are made regularly, and we welcome reports on any errors or suggestions for clearer wording. We also welcome submission of new descriptions.

The total downloads between 23rd June 2019 and 22nd June 2020 (to give a one-year snapshot) are:

  • Topos: 21970 (60/day) (15345 unique downloads, 42/day).
  • Cave descriptions: 19110 (52/day) (13278 unique downloads, 36/day)
  • Publications (including our newsletters): 2360 (7/day) (1780 unique downloads, 5/day)

Rigging topo download statistics are shown below (since topo was first uploaded). Remember, some topos have been available for longer than others which might impact their totals relative to others.

TopoTotal downloadsUnique downloads
Alum Pot 16923.8%10313.6%
Aquamole Pot 10242.3%6492.3%
Aygill Caverns 3860.9%2570.9%
Bar Pot and Flood Entrance 9722.2%6032.1%
Bar Pot and Small Mammal 5621.3%3771.3%
Birks Fell Cave 5201.2%3271.2%
Black Shiver Pot 4961.1%3251.1%
Boggarts Roaring Holes 3350.8%1590.6%
Boxhead Pot 6421.5%4061.4%
Brown Hill Pot 3840.9%2430.9%
Bull Pot 12372.8%7012.5%
Bull Pot of the Witches 8842.0%5471.9%
Calf Holes and Browgill Cave 6341.4%4151.5%
Car Pot 2910.7%1840.6%
Cupcake 4211.0%2951.0%
Deaths Head and Big Meanie 6331.4%4131.5%
Diccan Pot 5281.2%3271.2%
Disappointment Pot and Marilyn 4681.1%3191.1%
Foul Pot 4551.0%3001.1%
Gaping Ghyll and Jib Tunnel 6821.5%4611.6%
Gingling Hole 5131.2%3711.3%
Grange Rigg Pot and Christmas Pot 4791.1%2911.0%
Hall of the Mountain King (Ease Gill) 5921.3%4141.5%
Hardrawkin Pot 4521.0%2911.0%
Henslers Pot 3130.7%1980.7%
Heron Pot 6561.5%4251.5%
Hunt Pot 4551.0%3041.1%
Hurnel Moss Pot 3710.8%2370.8%
Ireby Fell Cavern 8291.9%4951.7%
Its a Cracker 7201.6%4761.7%
Jingling Pot 9632.2%6082.1%
Jockey Hole 5611.3%3711.3%
Juniper Gulf 6121.4%4031.4%
Lancaster Hole and Cow Pot 12662.9%7702.7%
Langcliffe and Oddmire 3420.8%2260.8%
Large Pot 4351.0%3001.1%
Little Hull Pot 4571.0%2851.0%
Long Drop 4661.1%2941.0%
Long Kin East Cave and Pot 3670.8%2280.8%
Long Kin West 4000.9%2520.9%
Lost Johns' Cave 11672.6%7292.6%
Magnetometer Pot 3690.8%2420.9%
Marble Sink 3250.7%2090.7%
Marble Steps Pot 7541.7%4691.7%
Meregill Hole 6601.5%4251.5%
New Goyden Pot 3440.8%2310.8%
New Rift Pot 4221.0%2911.0%
Nick Pot 3330.8%2240.8%
Notts Pot 10862.5%6142.2%
Out Sleets Beck Pot 3500.8%2270.8%
Penyghent Pot 5461.2%3941.4%
Pillar Holes 3700.8%2580.9%
Pippikin Pot 3660.8%2480.9%
Pool Sink 3360.8%2130.8%
Quaking Pot 7021.6%4271.5%
Rana Hole (Assynt) 2680.6%1900.7%
Rat Hole 2670.6%1900.7%
Rift Pot 6471.5%4131.5%
Roaring Hole 3810.9%2580.9%
Rowten Pot 8642.0%5612.0%
Rumbling Hole 4551.0%3061.1%
Sell Gill Holes 10942.5%6712.4%
Short Drop and Gavel 6791.5%4231.5%
Shuttleworth Pot 5491.2%3431.2%
Simpson's Pot 7561.7%5011.8%
Spectacle and Vesper Pot 4441.0%2911.0%
Stream Passage Pot 4241.0%2891.0%
Sunset Hole 7121.6%4551.6%
Swinsto Hole 7501.7%5181.8%
Tatham Wife 5841.3%3811.3%
Top Sink 3000.7%2000.7%
Uamh nan Claig-ionn (Cave of the Skulls) 3330.8%2390.8%
Washfold Pot 3910.9%2670.9%
Yordas Pot and Cave 11102.5%7022.5%


Description download statistics are shown below (since description was first uploaded). Remember, some of these description documents cover multiple caves, for example, the Gaping Gill, Leck Fell Master Cave and Ease Gill Caverns document covers several entrances and through-trips in those respective systems. Some descriptions have been available for longer than others which might impact their statistics relative to others.

DescriptionTotal downloadsUnique downloads
Alum Pot and Long Churn Caves 14354.2%9654.3%
Aquamole Pot 6031.8%4131.8%
Aygill Caverns 4171.2%2971.3%
Big Meanie 3401.0%2371.1%
Birks Fell Cave 5551.6%3601.6%
Black Shiver Pot 4251.2%3031.3%
Boggarts Roaring Holes 2190.6%1490.7%
Bull Pot 5861.7%3971.8%
Calf Holes, Old Ing and Birkwith 6712.0%4702.1%
Caves of Scotland 14634.3%8413.7%
Christmas Pot 3941.2%2631.2%
Cupcake 2210.6%1620.7%
Ease Gill Cavern 21136.2%10984.9%
FOUL Pot 5871.7%4081.8%
Gaping Gill 16074.7%9114.0%
Gingling Hole 2230.7%1590.7%
Grange Rigg Pot 3140.9%2171.0%
Great Douk and Middle Washfold 7762.3%5592.5%
Hagg Gill Pot 4731.4%3051.4%
Hardrawkin Pot 5441.6%3731.7%
Heron Pot 5121.5%3501.6%
Hunt Pot 4081.2%2801.2%
Hurnel Moss Pot 3251.0%2341.0%
Ibbeth Peril 1 3751.1%2771.2%
Ireby Fell Caverns 8162.4%5442.4%
Jingling Pot 6792.0%4602.0%
Juniper Gulf 5111.5%3641.6%
Large Pot 5501.6%3851.7%
Little Hull Pot 4401.3%2791.2%
Long Drop Cave 2430.7%1750.8%
Long Kin East and Rift Pot 4491.3%3081.4%
Long Kin West and Pillar Holes 4611.3%3211.4%
Marble Steps Pot 5891.7%3971.8%
Meregill Hole 6061.8%3971.8%
New Rift Pot 3281.0%2461.1%
Nick Pot 3811.1%2381.1%
Notts Pot 7242.1%4862.2%
Out Sleets Beck Pot 4301.3%2991.3%
Penyghent Pot 5231.5%3711.6%
Roaring Hole 4371.3%3101.4%
Robinsons' Pot 4661.4%3421.5%
Rowten Pot 5221.5%3571.6%
Rumbling Hole 4591.3%3161.4%
Sell Gill Holes 6211.8%4392.0%
Short Drop Pot and Gavel Pot 6161.8%4101.8%
Shuttleworth Pot (Witches Cave) Conservation Guide 7332.1%4111.8%
Simpsons Pot 5731.7%3951.8%
Sunset Hole 7702.3%5462.4%
Swinsto Hole 5441.6%3741.7%
Tatham Wife Hole 6712.0%4191.9%
The Leck Fell Master Cave System 18145.3%10194.5%
Trapdoor Pot 880.3%710.3%
Valley Entrance 5841.7%4221.9%
Vesper and Spectacle Pot 4151.2%3031.3%
Washfold Pot 3871.1%2871.3%
Yordas Cave and Pot 8532.5%5922.6%


There are clearly lots of other statistics that can be mined from the data available relating to cave booking and topo/description downloads. However, we hope that the above snapshot provides some interesting reading.


Copyright 2024 Council for the Northern Caving Community.