Lectures, Films & Workshops

Hidden Earth Lectures, Films and Workshops

The weekend is packed with lectures, with two or three parallel sessions running both days. Topics include new and old exploration from the UK and overseas as well as workshops covering cave science, research, technology and photography. 

We wouldn't have an event if we didn't have lots of exciting lectures so we encourage all cavers to submit a talk, film or workshop. You can submit your abstract online any time throughout the year - even if you haven't been on that expedition yet!

Lecture secretary: Gary Douthwaite - lectures@hidden.earth

Giving a lecture? Please read our information for lecturers.


Confirmed Sessions for 2024

Hear's a selecton of confirmed sessions for Hidden Earth 2024. We'll add more as the conference gets closer so keep checking back.

Workshop

Cave Archaeology - communication and collaboration

Rick Peterson

Over the last two years I have been running a project examining the prehistoric archaeology of caves in the western Yorkshire Dales. Cave archaeology depends on cavers, local archaeologists, professional and academic archaeologists, and conservation bodies like the National Parks and Natural England all working together. There have been some excellent initiatives over the years by the BCRA and others...

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Lecture

Drawing underground.

Robin Gray

Robin will talk about materials and techniques used in underground sketching and produce a large drawing of a Caver who will stand in caving kit. He was asked to do this last year and is prepared to do it if it is still thought interesting.

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Lecture

ICCC - Pol Stoletja

Chris Hayes & Ben Richards

Celebrating 30 years of student exploration in Sistem Migovec! Imperial College Caving Club was first invited to Slovenia by the JSPDT in 1994. Looking back over 30 years, what have we done? A brief history of the expedition, a discussion on this years findings, and our aims looking forward.

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Lecture

How Wet is Wales Really?

Graham Christian & Gareth Edwards

South Wales Caving Club members have been monitoring the rainfall at Penwyllt for over 20 years. This presentation looks at the drivers for starting to monitor the local rainfall and then the more recent monitoring of the stream level in Ogof Ffynnon Ddu One. We look at the equipment used and the problems that cropped up and how they...

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Film

Achik Kol - Uncharted Caves of South Garo Hills

Thomas Arbenz

A video documentary covering CORE GEO-EXPEDITIONS' 2024 caving expedition in South Garo Hills, Meghalaya, NE-India. During a period of three weeks a team of 16 cavers from UK, Romania, Switzerland and India explored and surveyed 52 caves with a total of 12.7km of passage. Core Geo-Expeditions is a non-profit research organisation dedicated to exploring the subterranean landscape and its related aspects...

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Lecture

Descent at 300

Chris Scaife

The October 2024 edition of Descent will be issue 300. Founded in January 1969 – when a first edition could be paid for with a half-crown coin, the Beatles were still together and humans had not yet set foot on the moon – Descent has been a huge part of the caving world for over half a century. This presentation...

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Lecture

Mulu, the longer journey to Benarat

Tim Allen

This is the story of a pre covid and post covid expedition to Gunung Benarat, Mulu. Benarat is the most northerly limestone mountain in the National Park and much more remote than other recent expeditions. It is tough but rewarding caving. Across the two trips there was success and failure, highs and lows, accidents and illness, and...

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Lecture

Sulphate caves and karst in the South Harz Mountains, Central Germany

John Gunn

Globally the majority of caves are epigenic (formed by water descending from the surface) and have formed in carbonate rocks but there are also fascinating and extensive caves in sulphate rocks (gypsum and anhydrite) many of which were formed by hypogenic processes (fluids rising from depth). In the South Harz area of Central Germany there is a 100 km long...

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Lecture

An Electronic Cave Rescue Incident Management System

Keith Edwards And Paul Taylor

Traditionally cave rescues have been managed using a T card board along with a hand written incident log. This system has stood the test of time. So why change anything? The aims behind the development of an electronic system were: * To provide more information on the T card board to aid decision making, such as the time that the incident as been...

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Lecture

The Dachstein Caving Expedition

Andrew Mcleod

The Dachstein caving expedition has been exploring the high Alpine plateau of the Dachstein in Austria for over 50 years. It is a primarily British expedition but international expedition with cavers from countries such as Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic etc. We focus on training for new cavers, offering discounts for young cavers and training new-to-expedition cavers before...

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Lecture

Am I a Cavefish? Exploring the Evolutionary Adaptations and Medical Insights from Blind Cavefish

Rachael Pajak

It is not often you find creatures lurking in the underground, however, when one has made the hidden realm their home, one must adapt to this hostile environment. The phenomena of the blind cavefish of Mexico demonstrate there is more than what meets the (lack of) eye. These fascinating cavefish are an excellent model for evolutionary development but also could...

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Lecture

Back to Buda

Louise Korsgaard

Gunung Buda National Park is the little-known neighbor of Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia. Buda has more than 80 km of known cave passages. The Green Cathedral system is almost 30 km long. Since 2003, no one has explored the caves of Buda. In July 2024 an international team of 9 cavers go on a quest to revive...

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Lecture

Forest of Dean Round Up

Paul Taylor

Exploration and Research work in the Forest of Dean continues. Resurveying of the Wet Sink (Slaughter Stream Cave) system has seen its length grow to 14.1km. It is the longest Cave in the UK currently with a single entrance and sitting in Dolomite Rock. It may be the longest in Europe in Dolomite. Recently a connection was established between Kuwait...

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Lecture

In defence of caving politics, a history and possible future of the BCA

Rostam Namaghi

Politics, from the greek 'Poly' meaning many and 'Tics' being blood sucking creatures. Therefore it follows that caving politics is the art of trying to get blood from a stone... This promises to be a good natured and hopefully humours examination of our caving politics! The first part takes a look at the history of caving politics, how things are structured...

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Lecture

SpeleoPhillippines

Henry Bennett

Permits, Heat and Politicians Google Earth shows a river coming out the side of a mountain. The catch? It’s 24km from the nearest road. However, our original plan was 100s of miles away. A tale of the power of indigenous people, jungle exploits and politicians promises.

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Lecture

Cuetzalan, Past 20 Years On From The Rescue, and the Future

Steve Whitlock

Cuetzalan was forever changed by the events in Mar 2004, when six cavers were rescued via a sump and were on the front page of every western newspaper for 10 days. Following a recent visit on the 20th Anniversary, Steve Whitlock reflects the effects the rescue had on caving in the area, on the lessons that could be learned...

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Lecture

Clear floors? Stable roofs!

Paul Nathanail

The stability of a natural (cave) or artificial (mine or tunnel) underground space depends on the geometry of the space, the quality of any support and the orientation of zones of weakness in the rock as well as prevailing environmental conditions that often trigger a fall, collapse or slide. Knowing the signs of impending instability can protect cavers. Equally knowing that...

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