26 June 2023

Securing future access to Malham Cove Flood Rising

Conservation work at Malham Cove

John Cordingley reports on some recent CNCC-sponsored work to replace the lid at Malham Cove rising:

The main cave entrance at the foot of the Cove is at the Flood Rising (to the east of the beck). It has been shored with scaffolding and covered with a steel mesh lid since 1989 but this was deteriorating and becoming unsafe. 

Over the past 12 months a replacement structure has been designed, as funding was kindly offered from the Barry Andrew estate and from the CNCC. Durable materials were chosen (either galvanised or stainless steel) and the fabrication was expertly done by Geoff Ward.

Natural England, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Kirkby Malham Parish Council and the two farmers concerned were all hugely supportive. We chose the weekend of 13th / 14th May this year for the installation, which involved removing the old steelwork and digging a large hole underwater, before fitting the new structure. The sun shone and a strong team assembled, consisting of NPC, CPC and BPC members, together with several CDG folk. It all went like clockwork and we had the new entrance fitted by 3 p.m. on the Sunday. 

Access for future generations has thus been maintained and will be in the manner of the “Derbyshire key” system. It’s likely that the relevant tool to open the entrance will be kept at Ingleton and can be obtained by contacting members of the CDG Northern Section. 

This is a splendid effort and CNCC are extremely grateful to the volunteers, including John for bringing the opportunity to sponsor this to our attention and putting together the above report and supplying the photos. 

This means another speleologically important site in such a well-visited area remains safe for the public and livestock but accessible for those who are intending to visit.

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