19 January 2018

Changes to access at Penyghent and Dale Head area

In the January 2018 Committee meeting the CNCC made the decision to opt-out of a long-standing access agreement with Langcliffe Estate covering Penyghent Pot, Psilomelane Pot, Dale Head Pot, and other small caves in between these around the south side of Penyghent.

The decision to do this was based on the age of the access agreement (which included clauses that were no longer relevant, could not be complied with, and could not be renegotiated) and also the identification of the tax-exempt heritage status of the land.

These caves are all located on access land covered by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which at the very least enables access to the cave entrances on foot. Furthermore, the land has tax-exempt heritage status which we believe provides public access into the caves.

The CNCC has not been made aware of any restrictions that should compromise access to these caves.

Groups are advised to use public footpaths from either Brackenbottom or Dale Head to reach the access land as shown on Ordnance Survey, observe the Countryside Code, be courteous to any farmers or gamekeepers you may meet, and to report to the CNCC if you encounter any access or conservation issues during your visit.

Penyghent Pot is an outstanding trip and a true Yorkshire potholing adventure, and has recently benefited from new CNCC-approved IC-resin anchors and entrance stabilisation works. A rigging topo and route description can be found on our website:


Dale Head Pot has come to the attention of many since the publication of 'Not for the Faint Hearted' and is a great example of a more challenging pothole with the added benefit of being conveniently close to the road. Discussions are currently ongoing to consider making the entrance of this cave safer for livestock and to review the current resin anchor situation.

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