Changes to the Administration of Access to the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu System

12th September 2019

The BCA has been asked by Bob Hall, on behalf of Natural Resources Wales, South Wales Caving Club, and the OFD Cave Advisory Group, to circulate this press release. This may be of interest to anyone accessing the OFD cave system. In essence, access as perceived for most cavers is not expected to change, however the way that the access is administered ‘behind the scenes’ will, and this is something cavers accessing OFD may consider useful information.

Background

The Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system lies within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest administered by Natural Resources Wales who own the National Nature Reserve in which Top Entrance and Cwm Dwr lie. The lower entrance to the system, OFD 1, lies on land owned by the South Wales Caving Club. For some years access to the whole system has been administered for NRW and SWCC by the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu Cave Management Committee.

Imminent Changes

Following reorganisation within NRW and negotiations between NRW and SWCC, the OFDCMC is being wound up and will cease to exist with effect from 5th November 2019. At the request of NRW, access to OFD will be managed directly by SWCC and applications for access will be processed by the SWCC Permit Secretary. However, the NRW have also agreed to the establishment of a new body, the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu Cave Advisory Group. The OFDCAG will not administer access but will incorporate a greater level of representation from the clubs that regularly visit the OFD system. These clubs will soon receive invitations from OFDCAG. It is expected that arrangements for access to The Columns will remain broadly unchanged and the permit process should operate exactly as before.

Links and Contact Details

The old OFDCMC website is soon to be renamed but, all being well, will still provide appropriate information and links, including a link to the permit application page. ( http://ofdcmc.org.uk/ should continue to function)

Gary Vaughan remains as Permit Secretary ( ofdaccess@hotmail.co.uk ) and Bob Hall (speleobob@ntlworld.com ) transfers from his role as Secretary of OFDCMC to OFDCAG. The SWCC website ( http://www.swcc.org.uk/joomla-swcc/ ) will have all the above information available soon.