Conservation & Access Committee

See our conservation page for general information on cave conservation

The C&A is one of the BCA’s four Standing Committees, who meet as necessary (at least annually) to discuss matters relating to national cave conservation and access. As a Standing Committee, it is available to a voting representative of each of the BCA’s Constituent Bodies, Regional Councils, and any other invited participants.

A considerable amount of cave access is administered by the various Regional Councils or Access Controlling bodies, who typically serve as a liaison between landowners and cavers. Access varies across all these different regions, from entirely open unrestricted access, to making a courtesy call on the landowner (e.g. farmer), or applying in advance for a ‘permit’, right up to some of the most restricted sites where caves are locked or access is on a leader-only basis. Access in each of these situations may be available to all individuals, or just clubs, and is sometimes restricted to BCA members due to our membership insurance benefits.

The BCA does not typically participate or interfere with these access arrangements made by more regional bodies unless specifically invited and asked to do so. We leave individual regions to work in the best interests of their local cavers.

Instead the BCA C&A focus on more national initiatives, such as our ongoing campaigns to have caving recognised nationally by various bodies as an allowable activity on open access land (our CRoW campaign). The C&A Committee will look to overcome national barriers to cave and countryside access, through campaigning with Government bodies if necessary, as well as supplying funding to support cave access initiatives.

Likewise, although lots of hands-on cave conservation work is organised and performed regionally, the BCA looks to oversee this on a national level, including coming up with agreed standards (such as the Minimal Impact Caving Guidelines, a collaboration with Natural England), funding conservation initiatives, and circulating important information.

The C&A Officer is both the convenor of the C&A Committee and a voting member of BCA National Council.


BCA Caving Code

A simplified six-point code for cave conservation.

  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.

Conservation Documents

Minutes of C&A meetings

Minutes of C&A meetings

Last update to this page: 02/03/2020 23:49