Dear Southern Cavers,
As all of you are now no doubt aware the UK is now in the throws of the third national lockdown and this places severe restrictions on our hobby. I would draw your attention to the statement made by the CNCC a few days ago (reproduced below), which provides some excellent advice and is applicable down south as it is up north. The CNCC advice reads;
"The third national lockdown is upon and this sees a return of the Government message to 'Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives' as the country tries to stop the spread of the virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. As with the March 2020 lockdown, leaving home is now only permitted for a limited number of reasons.
Some of you will be wondering about provisions for exercise, potentially including caving, during lockdown. The restrictions include provisions for exercise during lockdown to help people maintain fitness and to support wellbeing. However, this exercise must only be taken alone, with your household/ bubble, or with one other person, and it must be in your immediate local area (defined as your village, town or part of the city in which you live).
For the vast majority of us, who either prefer to cave with a group of friends, or would need to travel away from our immediate local area to go caving, this means venturing underground is sadly off the cards for the duration of this lockdown. Instead, we advise that the next several weeks provide a much better opportunity to repair oversuits, clean equipment and plan your summer adventures instead.
For the small number of people who live on the doorstep of our caves and are intent on visiting them as part of your exercise, we urge you to respect the restrictions on who you can exercise with, and to ensure your exercise regime is low risk and well within your capabilities.
We can't wait to bring you better news over the coming months and to see a return to caving in our region very soon."
As before it is up to the individual to decide whether or not it is possible for them to cave, but in addition to the following CNCC advice please be aware of the potential impression you may be making on landowners and local residents. We rely upon their goodwill for continued access and it would be terrible if the actions of a few result in reduced access once national restrictions start to be lifted.