ST 5318 4802


There is an access agreement with Wookey Hole Caves for "Dry Caver" access to the cave beyond Chamber 20 in the show cave - including the Land of Hope and Glory and Wookey 24. Trips must be pre-booked and can be arranged by emailing CandA@cscc.org.uk giving 4 days notice. Please see the full agreement below. Cave Diving access is only possible through the CDG.

Access Agreement - Agreed 20/01/2023 :-
Wookey Hole Caves
Recreational Caver Access Considerations


The Wookey Hole Diggers have made a series of impressive finds beyond chamber 20. This has created significant interest in the wider caving community and resulted in requests for visits by regular cavers (i.e. non-divers). In order to accommodate these requests an access agreement has been created. The objectives are:-
● To ensure cavers do not disrupt commercial activities at Wookey Hole
● To conserve and protect the cave
Meeting these objectives will ensure good relations are maintained with WHC management and will help to preserve access.

The target date to start this is the 1st January 2023. This agreement will be reviewed occasionally as appropriate.

The agreement is structured into two parts, Access Procedure and Access Guidelines applying to visiting cavers.

Access Procedure
Pre-booked and authorised visits can be arranged, thus:-
1. Email the CSCC Conservation and Access Officer (canda@cscc.org.uk) giving at least 4 days notice. The booking email should contain:-
a. Name and contact details of the trip organiser.
b. Desired date and time of the trip (ideally with a few alternatives).
c. Intended destination (i.e. Wookey 24 or Land of Hope and Glory).
d. Names of each party member – these cannot be changed once the booking is confirmed.
2. The C and A Officer will:-
a. Check if the cave is available for the desired date and time.
b. Allocate a Wookey Conservation Warden (See Access Guidelines below).
c. Record the booking with Wookey Hole Caves.
d. Inform the trip organiser their trip is booked, which Warden will accompany the trip and where and when to meet.
e. The C and A Officer will endeavour to complete the booking process within 48 hours.
3. On the day of the trip the party should:-
a. Meet the Warden on time.
b. Register at the Wookey Hotel Reception. This involves:-
i. Completing a waiver form
ii. Showing BCA cards to the Warden
c. The Warden will show the party where they can change.
d. The Warden will accompany the party to the cave entrance and at all times within the cave. Their role is to ensure the party adheres to the guidelines. If required, they may also offer navigational advice.
4. After the trip:-
a. The Warden should report any problems encountered with the trip to the C and A Officer.
b. The trip organiser may also send a report giving feedback on the party's experience, any difficulties encountered and any suggestions for improvements.

Access Guidelines necessary to achieve the objectives of the agreement:

1. Access is available weekday evenings and Sundays (trips starting before the cave gets busy, i.e. before 10am). Saturday trips may be available if Wookey Hole Caves have no events planned, n.b. some Saturdays are booked for Weddings etc.
2. Party size is limited to 6 plus Warden.
3. Trips beyond Chamber 20 are not suitable for inexperienced cavers.
4. Please note that rescue from Wookey 24 would be an extremely difficult and protracted affair.
5. Party members must take responsibility for their own safety at all times. This includes the decision to use any in-situ fixed aids.
6. Party members should follow instructions given by the Warden or Wookey Hole Cave Staff, whilst in the cave or on Wookey Hole Caves property.
7. The Warden will inform the party where to get changed. Cavers must not change in the public toilets or on public view in the car park where children are likely to be present.
8. Cavers may use the main car park freely.
9. All party members should be courteous to the Show Cave Staff and paying visitors at all times.
10. Equipment belonging to Wookey Hole Caves must not be used (especially the adventure caving route equipment).
11. Cavers should avoid excessive muddying of handrails in the show cave.
Conservation Wardens:-
12. The role of the Conservation Warden is to ensure visiting parties follow the Guidelines in this agreement.
13. Initially 8 Wardens will be appointed, applications being invited from the Mendip caving community.
14. Initially the Wardens will be inducted by the Wookey Hole Diggers. Inductions will thereafter be provided by the existing Wardens on a rolling basis, as needs dictate.
15. Each Warden should:-
a. Become familiar with the process for signing in, waiver forms, key collection, key return, etc.
b. Know where changing in and out of caving kit is acceptable.
c. Have a basic knowledge of the exploration history of the cave.
d. Become familiar with the main trade routes and are thus able to offer navigational advice to visiting parties.
e. Be aware of the formations and SSSI features requiring protection.
16. Wardens are expected to accompany their fair share of trips and must be capable of accompanying trips to Wookey 24.
17. All members of the Wookey Hole Diggers can act as Conservation Wardens if they so desire (this is in addition to the appointed Wardens).

Last modified 20th Jan 2023.
Copyright © CSCC 2024. For the latest information see cscc.org.uk.
To maintain good relations with the landowners if the location is published the access information should also be published.