CNCC Online Services Statistics
4 July 2020
The CNCC offer a range of useful online resources, including cave descriptions, topos, safety warnings, anchor information, conservation guidance, regional news, and of course an online booking system. We are pleased to present some interesting statistics covering the booking system and topo/description downloads.
Online Booking System
The CNCC’s online booking system was launched on 1st November 2018 for the caves of Ingleborough Estate, and has since been expanded to cover Leck Fell (from 22nd August 2019) and Casterton Fell (from 11th February 2020). The system was developed to provide a compromise which enables easy access for all cavers to some of the most popular caves in the north of England (no restrictions relating to age or BCA/club membership), while maintaining a level of management that the landowners of these fells desire.
Booking a cave takes a matter of minutes and is simple and intuitive. The system has been well-received by the northern caving community and we are very thankful to everyone for your support in making it a success.
The online booking system has a secondary benefit of helping cavers to manage traffic. We never saw this as an aim of the system, however, feedback we have received suggests that cavers actually value this, as it helps avoid congestion at potholes. In more recent times, this has become especially useful to facilitate social distancing between different groups.
The online booking system now has about 550 registered users. The chart below shows an obvious jump in users at the point the system was launched (all users prior to that point were testing the system), and then a further small jump when Leck Fell was added, with a gradual rise since.
Of all users:
- 72% have identified as male
- 14% have identified as female
- None have identified as other gender
- 14% have declined to provide information on their gender
- The average age is 46.2 years (range 17-79)
The bar chart below shows the number of bookings on a month by month basis from July 2019 to June 2020 inclusive (showing the month the booking was FOR, not the month the booking was MADE). The chart also shows an interesting breakdown of how far in advance of the trip date those bookings were made.
We can see that the total number of bookings has shown a steady increase over the last year, passing 100/month for the first time in December 2019. This is not surprising, as more caves have been added to the system. In total, 1169 bookings have been made since the system was launched up to 4th July 2020. If we look just at the month with the most bookings so far (February 2020, pre-lockdown, 129 bookings), we can see that:
- 15 (11.6%) were made >28 days in advance of the trip
- 32 (24.8%) were made between 8-28 days in advance of the trip
- 59 (45.7%) were made between 2-7 days in advance of the trip
- 9 (7.0%) were made the day immediately before the trip
- 14 (10.9%) were made the same day as the trip
Naturally, there is a drop in April and May (the system was shut down during full lockdown then gradually reopened through May/June as restrictions eased). The data for June, the first month since lockdown where different households have been able to meet outdoors, suggests a relatively enthusiastic resumption of caving activities by many people.
When booking a cave, users are asked to check a box if they are booking on behalf of a club (for information purposes). By default, this box is unchecked. Of all bookings made using the system so far (1169), 742 (63.5%) have actively chosen to check this box to associate the booking to a club.
Descriptions and Topos
A couple of years ago, the CNCC started making rigging topos and cave descriptions available online. The descriptions came partly as a legacy from Eurospeleo 2016, but have been added to and significantly refined since. Our topo and description download statistics below provide some interesting insights into when people are going caving. Both show a similar trend, with a spike around September (potentially from usage by student clubs at the start of the new term). There is a dip over Christmas, and then a spike during January. Downloads through April/May, the key lockdown months, haven’t dropped as low as you might expect.
We remind people to always download the most recent version, as corrections and updates are made regularly, and we welcome reports on any errors or suggestions for clearer wording. We also welcome submission of new descriptions.
The total downloads between 23rd June 2019 and 22nd June 2020 (to give a one-year snapshot) are:
- Topos: 21970 (60/day) (15345 unique downloads, 42/day).
- Cave descriptions: 19110 (52/day) (13278 unique downloads, 36/day)
- Publications (including our newsletters): 2360 (7/day) (1780 unique downloads, 5/day)
Rigging topo download statistics are shown below (since topo was first uploaded). Remember, some topos have been available for longer than others which might impact their totals relative to others.
|Topo||Total downloads||Unique downloads|
|Bar Pot and Flood Entrance||972||2.2%||603||2.1%|
|Bar Pot and Small Mammal||562||1.3%||377||1.3%|
|Birks Fell Cave||520||1.2%||327||1.2%|
|Black Shiver Pot||496||1.1%||325||1.1%|
|Boggarts Roaring Holes||335||0.8%||159||0.6%|
|Brown Hill Pot||384||0.9%||243||0.9%|
|Bull Pot of the Witches||884||2.0%||547||1.9%|
|Calf Holes and Browgill Cave||634||1.4%||415||1.5%|
|Deaths Head and Big Meanie||633||1.4%||413||1.5%|
|Disappointment Pot and Marilyn||468||1.1%||319||1.1%|
|Gaping Ghyll and Jib Tunnel||682||1.5%||461||1.6%|
|Grange Rigg Pot and Christmas Pot||479||1.1%||291||1.0%|
|Hall of the Mountain King (Ease Gill)||592||1.3%||414||1.5%|
|Hurnel Moss Pot||371||0.8%||237||0.8%|
|Ireby Fell Cavern||829||1.9%||495||1.7%|
|Its a Cracker||720||1.6%||476||1.7%|
|Lancaster Hole and Cow Pot||1266||2.9%||770||2.7%|
|Langcliffe and Oddmire||342||0.8%||226||0.8%|
|Little Hull Pot||457||1.0%||285||1.0%|
|Long Kin East Cave and Pot||367||0.8%||228||0.8%|
|Long Kin West||400||0.9%||252||0.9%|
|Lost Johns' Cave||1167||2.6%||729||2.6%|
|Marble Steps Pot||754||1.7%||469||1.7%|
|New Goyden Pot||344||0.8%||231||0.8%|
|New Rift Pot||422||1.0%||291||1.0%|
|Out Sleets Beck Pot||350||0.8%||227||0.8%|
|Rana Hole (Assynt)||268||0.6%||190||0.7%|
|Sell Gill Holes||1094||2.5%||671||2.4%|
|Short Drop and Gavel||679||1.5%||423||1.5%|
|Spectacle and Vesper Pot||444||1.0%||291||1.0%|
|Stream Passage Pot||424||1.0%||289||1.0%|
|Uamh nan Claig-ionn (Cave of the Skulls)||333||0.8%||239||0.8%|
|Yordas Pot and Cave||1110||2.5%||702||2.5%|
Description download statistics are shown below (since description was first uploaded). Remember, some of these description documents cover multiple caves, for example, the Gaping Gill, Leck Fell Master Cave and Ease Gill Caverns document covers several entrances and through-trips in those respective systems. Some descriptions have been available for longer than others which might impact their statistics relative to others.
|Description||Total downloads||Unique downloads|
|Alum Pot and Long Churn Caves||1435||4.2%||965||4.3%|
|Birks Fell Cave||555||1.6%||360||1.6%|
|Black Shiver Pot||425||1.2%||303||1.3%|
|Boggarts Roaring Holes||219||0.6%||149||0.7%|
|Calf Holes, Old Ing and Birkwith||671||2.0%||470||2.1%|
|Caves of Scotland||1463||4.3%||841||3.7%|
|Ease Gill Cavern||2113||6.2%||1098||4.9%|
|Grange Rigg Pot||314||0.9%||217||1.0%|
|Great Douk and Middle Washfold||776||2.3%||559||2.5%|
|Hagg Gill Pot||473||1.4%||305||1.4%|
|Hurnel Moss Pot||325||1.0%||234||1.0%|
|Ibbeth Peril 1||375||1.1%||277||1.2%|
|Ireby Fell Caverns||816||2.4%||544||2.4%|
|Little Hull Pot||440||1.3%||279||1.2%|
|Long Drop Cave||243||0.7%||175||0.8%|
|Long Kin East and Rift Pot||449||1.3%||308||1.4%|
|Long Kin West and Pillar Holes||461||1.3%||321||1.4%|
|Marble Steps Pot||589||1.7%||397||1.8%|
|New Rift Pot||328||1.0%||246||1.1%|
|Out Sleets Beck Pot||430||1.3%||299||1.3%|
|Sell Gill Holes||621||1.8%||439||2.0%|
|Short Drop Pot and Gavel Pot||616||1.8%||410||1.8%|
|Shuttleworth Pot (Witches Cave) Conservation Guide||733||2.1%||411||1.8%|
|Tatham Wife Hole||671||2.0%||419||1.9%|
|The Leck Fell Master Cave System||1814||5.3%||1019||4.5%|
|Vesper and Spectacle Pot||415||1.2%||303||1.3%|
|Yordas Cave and Pot||853||2.5%||592||2.6%|
There are clearly lots of other statistics that can be mined from the data available relating to cave booking and topo/description downloads. However, we hope that the above snapshot provides some interesting reading.
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