Caves and Caving in the Mendip Hills is now underway! Check out our facebook EuroSpeleo 2016: Mendip Regional Event Facebook Page for photos and updates from the event :-)
There is a week-long series of events running, prior to the Main Eurospeleo 2016 week being held in the Dales.. There is a varied and full calendar of events, trips, socials, including sight-seeing, privileged access to sites, lectures, films and more.... The Mendip Hills also contain the centre of the Universe, the Hunters Lodge Inn - a cavers pub with two caves nearby, one in the car park!
The caving is in shorter, mainly horizontal systems with an average trip length of 3/4 hours. There is some very interesting local geology and a variety of local tourist opportunities, such as the Cheddar Gorge, Bath, Wells and Glastonbury.
The visit is for cavers familiar with more challenging physical caves rather than SRT. Although the Mendip Hills region in Somerset is quite small, at around 160 sq. km, it has many varied caves and is the birthplace of cave diving, at Wookey Hole in 1935.
The Mendip Hills are aligned West-East and have a significant annual rainfall, ~3000mm/pa. The hills contain the UK's largest chamber by surface area, The Frozen Deep in Reservoir Hole, Cheddar Gorge. To the East there are the pretty caves of Fairy Cave Quarry, while in the central region is the well known and much loved streamway cave of Swildon's Hole, presently the longest cave in the hill, and located almost in the centre of the small hilltop village of Priddy. Also in Priddy are the second longest cave, St. Cuthbert's Swallet, and the demanding and narrow Eastwater Swallet.
A few miles further away is the pretty stream passage cave of Upper Flood Swallet, where major discoveries added to its length in 2006. There are plenty of caves suitable for those who are looking to simply engage in some easy trips as well.
Besides visiting caves there are opportunities to visit tourist locations such as the City of Wells with its famous Cathedral, Glastonbury with its Abbey and Tor, the limestone gorge and showcaves in Cheddar, and privileged access to visit Wookey Hole Cave.
The excursion fee includes bunkroom accommodation at the Wessex Cave Club in Priddy which is convenient for caves and has a good and large self-catering kitchen, cleaning facilities for caving equipment; day trips to caves will be on a rota basis as the conservation leader trips have limits on numbers per day; where applicable entry fees to caves are included (not the Cheddar showcaves).
Delegates will need personal caving equipment but ropes and ladders will be provided for the caves where they are necessary. No carbide, please. This is not allowed for conservation reasons. There is plenty of parking for delegates arriving in their own vehicles.
The pre/post camps are run for the benefit of Ghar Parau Foundation.