The Right Stuff?

Are you:-

  • A caver?
  • Active in South Wales?
  • Of reasonable fitness?
  • Interested in exploring new cave systems?
  • Tenacious and determined?
  • Keep you humour in times of adversity?
  • Have four limbs and sound mind?

Then read on:-

When a large new cave such as Ogof Draenan is discovered after a prolonged dig, it is only natural that there will be increased digging activity elsewhere in an effort to achieve similar breakthroughs. Digs that lead to sizeable eaves tend to have either an active sink, resurgence, and/or draught well.

Within the Croydon Caving Club we at ready have a number of cavers who dig, or have dug in S. Wales and we even have a long term club dig, with a year-round active streamway sink. Indeed this has already yielded several hundred metres of active streamway - albeit immature. I refer of course to Ogof Cul, and write in the hope of regenerating interest in the dig.

Lying as it does, several hundred feet above any known resurgence, and in an area with little known cave, Ogof Cul could very easily be a high-level inlet to a major cave system that has long been sought beneath Pant Mawr. Indeed Pwll Pindar - discovered by Westminster Speleological Group - lies almost directly in line several hundred metres across the moor and appears to be a high-level fossil remnant of a large cave. This cave was explored to a depth of some 100ft with no active streamway found. It is possible that Ogof Cul will lead us deeper and into the live cave below.

The most recently dug site - OC5a - has yielded some 30m of tight passage following alongside the active stream. Digging activity has stopped at a section where loose rocks and mud have slumped in. These cannot be sensibly shored up or removed via the current entrance. It is clear to those involved over the last year or so that a new entrance shaft will be required before any further advances are made. Any newly excavated surface shaft will be clearly visible from the now popular footpath through Pant Mawr Farm - and will he obvious to any interested parties. Therefore if, as a Club, we wish to pursue this project further, a number of preliminary tasks will be necessary:-

Radio location of current limit of exploration
Back-filling of OC3 entrance - this will become unsafe as timbers rot (original shoring is nearly 10 years old already).
Filling of solution slot in valley floor (currently covered by old car bonnet).
Back-filling and levelling of 0C5 collapsed entrance.
Either back-fill or construct permanent safe entrance to OC5a

Once the above tasks are underway or completed we will be in a strong position to demonstrate that we are a responsible club. At this point it would be prudent to make it known to the land agent that we wish to begin a new excavation, and make a commitment to keep the site safe and tidy until either the cave "goes" or the site becomes unworkable. As you can see there is much work to he done. The question is have YOU got the Cul Commitment?

Chris Fry