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Giant's Hole Access
Report From: Jenny Potts, D.C.A.
Report Date: 12/2002.
Published: 12/2002.

Following the sale and for the time being, the access situation at Giants Hole is unchanged. Please continue to pay the trespass fee at the farm. See The Caves for full details. Please remember that, in addition to Giants Hole, a small trespass fee is due at Oxlow Farm for visits to Oxlow, Maskhill and Nettle; at Perryfoot Farm for visits to P8 and Gautries and at Tor Top Farm for Dr. Jackson's and Perryfoot. Please ensure that you do pay up when you visit these sites.

previous related report - October 2002

Knotlow Cavern Pollution
Report From: Jenny Potts, D.C.A.
Report Date: 12/2002.
Published: 12/2002.

The severe pollution entering Knotlow is almost certainly adding to the CO2 problems in the mine. DCA is making it a priority to try to trace the source of this pollution and get it stopped and Dave Webb is heading the Working Party looking into this. Remember that it is important that the Knotlow Log Book is filled in by every visiting party - even a 'nil return' re. pollution evidence, such as strong smells, etc. is useful evidence which may help to locate the source.

Update from Ralph Johnson: The CCPC branch of The Coffin Dodgers are in the process of replacing the solid lids on caves showing signs of high CO2 with grills. This should also help reduce radon levels & may help increase the bat population. Please continue to report all suspected cases of pollution of any kind to the DCA as a matter of urgency. We need to strike while the iron is hot!

Update from Ralph Johnson: Work on the lids on Knotlow climbing, Whalf climbing & Fourways has been completed. Any reports on further problems (here or elsewhere) should be reported immediately to the D.C.A.

previous related report - October 2002

D.C.A. Report on CO2 and Pollution
Report From: Jenny Potts, D.C.A.
Report Date: 12/2002.
Published: 12/2002.

At the DCA Council Meeting on the 2nd of November the decision was taken on how to deal with the increasing problem of excess CO2 in sites in the region. Firstly, ventilated caps will be installed on all shaft tops where there is access - which means altering a number of existing caps to replace solid lids with grills. We will also ensure that any caps or gates installed in future will, as far as possible, be grills rather than sheet metal or sleepers. Secondly, we were agreed that it is pointless to try to close all sites where the problem has been recorded since the situation alters from day to day and, if cavers relied on dangerous sites being closed, they might not be aware of the risk in sites where the problem had not been previously reported. Instead we shall be putting warning notices at all sites where the problem has been reported in the past and hope that cavers will report to DCA where they encounter the problem in a new site. The warning will say:

WARNING! DANGEROUSLY HIGH LEVELS OF CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) GAS HAVE BEEN RECORDED IN THIS CAVE/MINE
CO2 is heavier than air and sometimes settles out in high concentrations, particularly in the lower parts of the mine/cave.
A person descending into an area of high CO2 concentration will eventually lose consciousness and, if not evacuated, will die.
CO2 is colourless and has no smell but any or all of the following signs give an early warning that high levels of the gas are present:
· Unusual breathlessness;
· Headache;
· Feeling sick;
· Match or lighter will not light or stay alight.

BE AWARE - IF YOU ENCOUNTER ANY OF THESE SIGNS, EXIT THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.

Please help to monitor the situation - if you encounter high CO2 levels, contact Derbyshire Caving Association :

E-mail: access@theDCA.org.uk or Phone: 0115-840-1109


Sites already known to DCA where the problem has been reported at least once recently are: Knotlow, Whalf, Hillocks, Water Icicle, Robins Shaft Mine and Lathkill Head Upper Entrance. It is known also that some passages in Peak Cavern and P8 have shown higher than normal levels of CO2 when testing was carried out some time ago. If you know of other sites which you think should be checked, please contact Dave Webb via access@theDCA.org.uk

previous related report - November 2002
next related report - July 2003

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