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Caving

Caving

Caving is a great adventure, for young people and leaders, providing that it is controlled correctly and safety. It allows exploration in dark, damp and perhaps a little frightening, places. It develops, teamwork and mutual support in difficult places, it also presents an opportunity to understand the fragile world underground and a need for conservation.

Generally, the activity is split into either:

Caves: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/programme-guidance/general-activity-guidance/underground-activities/caving/  or

Mines: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/programme-guidance/general-activity-guidance/underground-activities/mine-exploration/

 

Further information is available at Caving@surrey-scouts.org.uk

If you have any queries that are NOT covered in the following information please email caving@surrey-scouts.org.uk

 

Within Surrey there is the opportunity for trips to the following mines and caves:

 

Reigate

  • Tunnel road east/Barons cave – Easy show caves with interesting histories, Barons is a medieval cave beneath the site of Reigate Castle and Tunnel Road is sand mine which was used during both world wars. There is a restriction on the Barons cave over the bat hibernation season from the 1st December to the 1st April each year at these times we are only able to offer a trip to tunnel road.
  • Age restriction: There is no age restriction for these sites.

Godstone

  • Godstone Main Series – Moderate caving, mainly walking but with some stooping/crawling. GMS is a old stone mine from 17th century that may have seen use a World War I munitions store, World War II shelter and a mushroom farm.
  • Age restriction: This mine is suitable for older Beavers / Cubs and Beyond.
  • Marden mine – Mainly walking Marden is a old stone mine from 17th century that may have seen use a , World War II bonded warehouse and a mushroom farm.

Merstham

  • Bedlam bank – More “adventurous” caving, has a laddered entrance with quiet a lot of crawling (including some flat out). This is another old stone mine, but this one dates from 11th century!
  • Age restriction: This mine is aimed at scouts and beyond.

 

 

Caving is essentially exploring underground dark passages, caves, mines etc. and may not be suitable for the very young. However, an introduction can be made by visiting a show cave or an artificial cave can be simulated by a construction from wooden partitions, benches, pipes, straw bales etc. and covering with blankets sheets or old tent canvas.

 

Breaking news

The WCMS lumpy custard digging crew have been working hard on getting the approved route amended so we are pleased to say we are now able to offer trips back into Godstone main series until the 1st of December as this system is then closed for bat hibernation till the 1st April.

Surrey mines access agreement

Access to the mines in Surrey is only possible as guests of WCMS (Wealden Cave and Mine Society) who supervise the trips.

This is to satisfy the requirements of the land agents who have only allowed access to WCMS and guests. Access to the mines in Surrey is only possible as guests of WCMS (Wealden Cave and Mine Society) who supervise the trips, as a condition of access to the sites.

Caving Outside Surrey

Beyond Surrey, there is the opportunity for trips to any of the major UK caving regions (Mendip, South Wales, Peak District & Yorkshire), but with the exception of the Mendip these will require an overnight stay and advice can be given about suitable accommodation (both indoor and camp sites) along with the availability and cost of instructors and equipment.

Please be advised that for the time being we are only able to offer trips to the Mendip area this until we get more permit holders, This we hope to change in the here future so please watch this space.

We have got cave permit holders and are able to take scouts into mines.

For more details about any of the above trips, contact: Ross O’Neill

Caving Permits

Applications for permits to lead Scout parties into caves or mines should be made on the Application for an Adventurous Activity Permit form, available from the web site www.scouts.org.uk/activitypermits or from The Scout Information Centre at Gilwell Park. The completed forms should be sent direct to your chosen Assessor, who will also try to answer any queries.

During a Technical Competence assessment you will be assessed for your technical skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the activity. This is likely to be through a practical assessment, except where you hold an appropriate National Governing Body award or a renewing an identical permit, and you have recent on-going experience. Full details of the syllabus you will be assessed against can be found in the appropriate Assessment Check list. Once you have had the technical assessment done, you must take the assessment form to your DC who will issue a permit. For those who do not belong to a district you should take the form to the responsible commissioner, e.g. ACC (Activities).

Permits can be obtained by Explorer Scouts and Network members, as well as by Leaders. Each permit can be tailored to the level that your skills, experience and requirements justify, meaning that restrictions may be placed on such matters as areas, venues or facilities. This ensures that you can lead activities at the right level. An adventurous activity permit allows you to lead that activity for young people within Scouting. It shows people in Scouting, the young people and their parents that you have the necessary skills and experience to be able to lead these important activities.

For anyone that has had their permit placed on hold that is not part of Surrey Scouts Caving Club we are more than happy to get you back up to speed and ready for reassessment even arrange groups of scouts to aid this.

 

How can I get involved?

Surrey Scouts Caving Club

Visit the Surrey Scouts Caving Club SASU to find details of the latest opportunities to take young people on a caving experience!

Other Caving Organisations

There are a number of commercial, youth &  voluntary organisations who offer caving opportunities, which are another option however you must satisfy yourself of the quality / safety by following this guidance: https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/running-your-section/programme-guidance/general-activity-guidance/externally-led-activities/

Show-caves

Visiting a tourist show-caves, that are open to the general public are not normally considered as adventurous activity however it is worth double checking with the Caving Adviser and standard activity rules apply.

I want the public to know how Scouting continues to open young people’s eyes to a world of extraordinary promise and possibilities.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls