Book Review - The Southern Highlands - Scottish Cave Guides

Jim Salvona & Ivan Young
Ivan Young Publishing, 1988, 34 pages, paperback, £1.50.

This is the newest guide book to be published that covers the scattered limestone outcrops that form the caving areas in Scotland . The guide collects together information of minor speleological sites described by various sources including the Grampian Speleological Group (GSG) Bulletin, its members and any "local" knowledge of the area. Appin, Assynt and Scichallion have their own guide books and so this book covers mainland Scotland from the south of the Highland Boundary fault to north of the Great Glen.

The general layout of the book resembles the clear, concise style of the Northern Cave books which it admirably emulates, The guide has a detailed account of the geology of its study area as well as an explanation of why the guide has been published. Like the Northern Cave books it has a large overall map showing the relationship between the areas. This should help even the most uncanny sassanachs to locate the areas and entrances with ease.

Six sub-areas are covered and each has its own clear well drawn map that shows the location of the entrances and local surface features. Each cave has a grid reference and a length, depth and altitude where known. The book contains many surveys and the descriptions of each site are concise without being too brief.

The two authors have clearly put a lot of effort into this book and the overall presentation is excellent; its a pity really that most of the caves contained within the book are so short. Anybody thinking of producing a cave guide about their own pet area would do well to take a look at this publication.

Paul Stacey