Caving is a fascinating recreational activity which attracts the interest of a diverse range of people and groups, who all benefit immensely from the experience. However, some caves and some areas within them can be sensitive to human interference. By following the few simple guidelines set out in a booklet published by the British Caving Association, the cave environment can be conserved for future generations to enjoy.
This code is divided into two sections, one relating to general cave visits and the other relating to the exploration of a newly discovered cave or section of cave. The full code can be downloaded from the link below but the opening paragraphs of each part are given in the sections that follow.
In summary, follow these guidelines:
1 Cave with care and thought for the environment.
2 Disturb nothing whether living or geological.
3 Avoid touching formations.
4 Keep to marked routes and never cross conservation tapes.
5 Take nothing but photographs.
6 Do not pollute the cave, leave nothing behind.
Every caving trip has an impact. It is important to select a site to visit that is appropriate to the group and type of trip being undertaken. Certain caves are less susceptible to damage and more suitable for novices. Advice is available from the Regional Caving Council or local clubs including the Derbyshire Caving Club.
Modifcation of cave entrances and passages, including changing water levels in sumps or ducks and diversion of streams, should only be undertaken after all possible effects have been assessed and the appropriate permission obtained from the landowner. Any modifications must be the minimum required. The long term impact of any work and materials used must be considered. If the site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest or a Scheduled Monument, a ‘Consent’ will also be required from the Statutory Conservation Body