24 April 2023

Death's Head Hole tree planting

Over the last month, we have seen a number of issues at Death's Head Hole on Leck Fell, starting with the declining health of the well-established rowan tree in the entrance, used as a belay for decades by cavers.

This tree was pruned back by CNCC volunteers, but not removed, as its roots no doubt add considerable support to the sides of an otherwise loose and steep shakehole.

The full story, including placement of alternative belays can be found HERE.

During the week of 17th April, CNCC Chairman Andrew Hinde, accompanied by Ingleborough National Nature Reserve warden, Frank Morgan (who is new to caving) took a morning off to plant a selection of native trees around the Death's Head Hole enclosure. About 20 were planted which will hopefully, in time, help to stabilise the steep ground above the old belay tree and prevent any collapses into the pothole.

Cavers are urged to tread carefully. Not all of the new trees are inside a ‘guard’.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Hinde.

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