Alum Pot Wall Repairs
A group of six CNCC volunteers recently spent a moist September day rebuilding sections of dry stone wall around Alum Pot. A five metre section was rebuilt from the ground up and another six sections were repaired where the top had fallen. Keeping this wall in good condition is important to avoid risk to livestock and unwary visitors.
The CNCC were happy to undertake this work as a goodwill gesture to the landowners, the Lambert family, who have welcomed cavers and walkers onto their land for generations. Alum Pot and Lower Long Churn Caves are not on Access Land, and their approach is not a Public Right of Way, so access here relies on landowner goodwill. Mr Lambert charges a modest access fee payable at a box outside Selside Farm. The money recovered does not meet the impact cost of having thousands of visitors using his land for their recreation each year.
This site is probably the most important venue for introducing newcomers to caving in the Yorkshire Dales. It continues to astonish experienced cavers with its spectacular situations and atmosphere. It should not be taken for granted that access to sites like this will always be available to us.
Thankfully, the honesty of most cavers has developed for us an overall good reputation over the years. Please help us maintain this reputation by respecting the access fee request.
It is hoped that the derelict stile on the west (high) side of the enclosure can be replaced on a followup visit to facilitate safer access for cavers and avoid further damage to the wall.
Thanks to Fred Rattray, Ray Duffy, Andrew Hinde, Andy Hall, Sally Hodge and Ian Hodge for volunteering. This work was supported by Stories in Stone.
Photo by Fred Rattray