3 December 2018

Important update on Birkwith area access

Important news for all groups visiting caves around High Birkwith Farm

The sale of High Birkwith Farm was reported back in August.  It would appear that the sale has now gone through and there are new owners in the process of moving in. 

This will affect the popular caves of Calf Holes, Browgill, Old Ing, Birkwith and Dismal Hill (amongst other smaller caves) which are used particularly for novice trips by clubs and outdoor groups alike. It must be expected that with a change of ownership, previous access arrangements may not continue. This would appear to be the case and early reports suggest the new owners may not wish to give the same freedoms of access that cavers have enjoyed for many years. 

If you visit these caves please be aware of this change of ownership and expect that access to park cars and to the caves may be denied. Most important of all please be especially respectful and courteous as the impression you give the new owners of cavers in the first few encounters may set the tone of future relationships to come.

Be assured that the CNCC is already on the case. We have arranged a provisional meeting but nothing will happen immediately and the family will wish to settle into their new home. Please use all your club and caver networks to spread this message and please emphasise the need to make a good first impression.

These caves are not on access land so there are no rights other than the footpaths and bridle ways which cross the farm. If we wish to maintain access to these important caves then we need to act as a responsible community. Please be smart.

Cave access details on the CNCC website have been updated with this update; please check back for the latest status as the situation evolves.

Photo; Traverse to Calf Holes entrance pitch (provided, with thanks, to CNCC by David Kirkham)


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