Hidden Earth 2023
5 km of new cave in the dales: an a-mazing search for a missing master cave
45 minute Lecture|Fleur Loveridge
Between Reeth and Barnard Castle lies the Stang Forest and a bench of limestone outcrop pitted with shakeholes. This far northeastern corner of the Yorkshire Dales (actually in County Durham) hasn’t always got the attention it deserved. But water sinking in the vicinity is thought to arise some four and half kilometres away in a large resurgence at Roughton Keld. This potential has led to renewed interest from York Caving Club, North York Moors Caving Club and friends. In 2021 a team effort led to a breakthrough in Draughting Hole, a dig site chosen for the characteristics imbued in its name, and subsequently painstakingly extended to 3.9 km in length. But Draughting Hole is not the only windy site in the area and attention was also give to Razor Pot and “Hole in the Forest”, before Missed Pot additionally gave wave following a little attention. Currently (at time of writing) 1.0 km long, Missed Pot is only 25 m away from Draughting Hole but not yet connected. These hypogenenic maze caves are fascinating features in their own right, but despite totalling 5 km of survey in the area, the current subterranean drainage that must flow to the resurgence remains elusive.
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