12 December 2023

CNCC Exploration Grants

Supporting northern cave exploration

Over summer, we examined ways that we can spend some money. For several years, the CNCC has held reserves of around £12000, and after some discussion, we identified that we only actually need to hold £8000 to cover our annual expenditure prior to reimbursement from BCA funds. 

To spend some money in a non-BCA reimbursable way, we welcome applications for exploration grants for projects across northern England and Scotland. This initiative aims to support those who seek to further our knowledge of northern caves and discover new places that others might enjoy.

Funding is primarily intended to help cover costs associated to procurement of materials and consumable items or equipment hire, but other costs will be considered.

To make an application, we will require a summary of your project including the nature of the work you are seeking funding for (e.g. shaft sinking, stabilisation, underground digging, diving, pitch scaling, conservation, surveying), project timeframes, the amount you need and, as accurately as possible, a costs breakdown of how this is going to be spent.

All applications will be decided by CNCC Committee at our next meeting, although more urgent grants can be arranged if the project is time-sensitive.

Any project receiving CNCC funding must show that all necessary permissions are in place, including Landowner or Natural England consent where appropriate. Applications must include a conservation plan to show that all relevant aspects of conservation have been considered. This includes spoil management, precautions to minimise the impact of your work, preservation of new discoveries, restoration and cleanup of the site once work is completed, and making surface entrances safe for people and livestock.

It is important for CNCC to be transparent and publish details of projects receiving funding. Grant recipients are expected to provide follow-up on how the project has gone (or is going) once some reasonable progress has been made. The exact expectations associated to each grant may vary on a project-by-project basis.

We know that many established diggers will not use this initiative, preferring to self-fund to avoid bureaucracy or to preserve CNCC funds for those who need them. However, we really hope that this initiative will support anyone for who funding is a prohibitary factor, perhaps encouraging younger or student cavers to get more involved in exploration.

You can apply for an exploration grant via our website.

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