|Do you want to go cave surveying?|
Historically, the most comprehensive source of caving information for this area were the Northern Caves volumes, of which the third edition is still in preparation. However, these books only included basic surveys and no centreline data. There has been no comprehensive data project, as there is in many other countries, and as exists in Mendip. However, there are active surveying projects contributing their work to the Cave Registry. We hope to extend this to cover all caves in the area, ideally by making use of already existing material as well as from new survey projects.
Three Counties Area
Ease Gill system
The Red Rose Caving and Potholing Club continues to work on its Ease Gill resurvey. You can purchase the completed sheets from their website and a copy of the raw centreline data is in the Cave Registry. The compiled Ease Gill, Leck Fell and Kingsdale data is available here as all.3d which is a Survex file.
Leck Fell caves
Together with Ease Gill, the Leck Fell Caves currently form the Three Counties System. The Misty Mountain Mud Mining Club has been resurveying caves such as Lost Johns', Notts Pot, Ireby Fell Cavern, Rift Pot and Large Pot, in order to help guide their digging activities and to document the gradual extension of the Three Counties system. Several of the caves have been drawn up in Tunnel and these surveys are available to download here.
There is also the East Kingsdale section as the The Misty Mountain Mud Mining Club had done some resurveys of Crescent and Illusion. Some diving data passing under the valley floor has been added.
All the data for this project is now in the Cave Registry and should be processable along with the Three Counties cave system (when it gets debugged).
Gaping Gill Area
A project to resurvey the Gaping Gill system and Ingleborough Cave was started in August 2013 by Kevin Dixon. This project includes the third longest cave system in Northern England.
As described above, there are now active resurvey projects covering the three longest cave systems in Northern England (and extending to caves nearby to these systems). However, this still leaves many hundreds of caves with little or no survey documentation. In particular, centre line data is not available although there are historical surveys of many individual caves. Many of these historical surveys are available on the excellent CaveMaps.org.
New page to add, Title: Do you want to go cave surveying?
Excellent. There's not enough people doing it, and we are here to help you. There are lots of people who can teach you, but the best way to learn is by doing it, learning from your mistakes and looking at other people's work. (There's a lot of it in the rawscans directories in these here repositories.)
Cave surveying is a Do-ocracy. Don't feel you need to ask anyone's permission to survey a cave, draw maps, or put it into the repository (though you'll need a login account to do that, just ask us for one). Just do it! It's like contributing to a Wikipedia page, except we'll be a lot less critical and much more supportive, and will probably lend you some equipment and help if you are actually doing it.
Now, it is natural that, if you do go out cave surveying, you may feel you want to do something useful, and that your work gets absorbed into one of the greater projects out there, like the Leck Fell or West Kingsdale resurveys.
If we assume that these repositories of cave data are completely up to date, then by taking an SVN update of them, and looking at the history records, you will know everything that people have been doing right up until yesterday. There is no better way to find out where people are working, who is doing what, and probably what's going to happen next and where you could fit in. Pick something, ask for some advice for how you'd tie it in if you don't know how, and go out and do the surveying. The more time spent talking about things the less gets done.
If trying to contribute to a big project with lots of people sounds like too much to handle, there are lots of smaller caves and systems out on the fells. Once again, look up the repositories and data sets and even SVN checkout them and have a good look around, to find some cave nobody is doing. Have a look on cavemaps.org for any old stuff that may be completely out of date, and go for it. Aim to get your cave done to completion. This could take 2 trips or 20 trips (if you pick something too hard). A good cave might be too short for a normal Saturday sport caving trip, but it'll keep you busy surveying for hours and give you greater satisfaction. Maybe it's got a couple of short pitches to keep the riff-raff out.
And make sure that all of your cave data is committed to the cave-registry data archive as soon as you collect it so that everyone else can find out what you are doing and be able to offer to help.