CNCC Newsletter 14 - December 2023


Well-known member

Our latest newsletter, for December 2023, is now available to download here:

With CNCC regularly reporting news as-it-happens on UKCaving, Facebook and via our own mailing lists, the newsletter serves as a compilation of several months of work. We have stories spanning conservation, anchoring, training, access, promoting caving, amongst others. This newsletter features a slightly new look, under the name ‘Northern Caving’, and an orange colour scheme sure to exasperate any hangover.

We are pleased to use this issue to launch our exploration grant scheme, which aims to reduce financial barriers to people getting involved in new exploration:

This newsletter includes a reminder of the CNCC’s new-to-caving initiative, including our ‘Venture Underground’ leaflets and posters, of which we have 1000’s of ready for distribution. The first new-to-caving event for 2024 has now been confirmed as 2nd March, thanks to the Craven Pothole Club, so if you know, or are contacted by anyone who is keen to try caving as a potential new hobby, but you cannot take them caving yourselves, this is a great event to recommend to them.

A reminder that our Venture Underground leaflet is also available online via our new-to-caving page:

Physical copies of the newsletter will be posted this week to all usual recipients (including most caving huts) and should arrive before Christmas.

There’s plenty currently going on in CNCC that should ensure the next newsletter (around spring next year) will be packed. This includes appointment of an inclusivity and diversity representative, considering a potential change of name (retaining the CNCC initials), debates on fixed aids, and more.

Finally, our website is undergoing a few minor revamps. This has started with the ‘About’ tab having now changed to ‘Resources’ to reflect this section now encompassing far more than just information about who we are. This section includes lots of useful information about safety and cave rescue, our assets list (which catalogues CNCC-owned kit that might be useful to cavers performing conservation, anchoring or publicity work), press and media information, a list of caving club bunkbarns, and more recently, our exploration grants scheme with an online application form.


Well-known member
With respect to the above-mentioned potential change to our name…

Since, 1963, we have been the Council of Northern Caving Clubs. We were set up by clubs to negotiate with landowners who would not talk about access with individual clubs. For 60 years, we have retained this name, despite for at least the last 10 years, having actively focused on access for all cavers regardless of whether they are affiliated with a club.

In 2014-2015, when we were undergoing quite a lot of changes, a discussion was held about rebranding to Council of Northern Cavers (CNC). At the time however, there were more pressing matters to deal with, not least that caver access to four of our major access-land fells was restricted.

This matter has recently come round again, and this time we have more time to consider this.

We feel that many people are accustomed to calling us ‘CNCC’ and changing to ‘CNC’ is unlikely to catch on (and would be a more substantial rebranding exercise). However, could we change our name while preserving the ‘CNCC’ acronym?

Two possibilities have been put forward:
  • Council of Northern Cavers and Clubs
  • Council of the Northern Caving Community
We have it on good authority that our current name is giving the impression we are working only for clubs, or that caving is exclusively a club-orientated activity (although clubs are still a mega part).

We already welcome any cavers to our meetings, and into Officer roles. While our democratic structure, which is written into our constitution, is very club-focused, we like to think that input from all cavers is welcomed. In that sense, the name change would be more symbolic. However, the impression we give when interacting with organisations such as the National Park, access forums, landowners etc, is important, and to continue to present, via our name, the impression that caving is a ‘clubs only’ activity is not something we want.

Of the other regional councils (DCA, CCC, DCUC and CSCC), only one other (CSCC) specifically focuses on clubs in their name.

We would welcome any thoughts on this and a discussion. Any other alternative name suggestions? Is this a good idea or not worth bothering with? Do cavers actually care what 'CNCC' stands for? Should we be going even further to restructure our democracy to be less club-orientated or to better reflect non-club caving? Do non-club cavers feel that CNCC is delivering what they would want from a regional council?

We will be discussing this at our January meeting (13th January, 9:30am, Clapham Village Hall), anyone is welcome.


Staff member
Excellent newsletter - thanks for all the effort you and Gary put in to it.

You have explained the proposed name change very well. I am all for it as you know, having put the issue on the agenda back in 2015. It was certainly my experience as access officer that the impression those bodies outside of caving had was that we were only representative of caving clubs. That is now not the case.

Any name change is a symbolic change as clubs are predominately what makes the CNCC tick. It would be good to attract a few more non club cavers into CNCC roles and have a better balance. Changing the name may well eventually help with this. Clubs are very important to Dales caving but a lot of caving goes on outside the club structure. I think it is important that the clubs are happy with a new name, as they have been with other changes to the focus of the organisation over the last decade.

As to which name, I think I would plump for Council of Northern Cavers and Clubs. I don't think 'community' really describes who CNCC represent. Cavers are a very diverse group, some embrace the community but others are definitely outside of it and CNCC need to represent both.

I have already sent my apologies for the January meeting - good luck.


Northern Caving Council?
I don’t think changing the acronym is too disruptive. It’s not a huge audience!

I think it’s a positive and progressive change - so best of luck, people hate those! 😘


Well-known member
Although perhaps NCC might conjure up a few memories of organisations from the past (the BCA's predecessor)... ;)


Active member
CNCC is a Google winner. Almost unique.

NCC stands for dozens of things you’d be lucky to be in the first hundred returns. CNC is even worse.

These days Steve's point should carry a lot of weight.

CN Caves & Cavers.

I don't think it really matters a great deal, there are probably better things to spend your time and effort on.


It would be considerably beneficial to keep CNCC initialism and I like both of the suggestions that do that. Rebranding without changing the initialism would be quick and simple (and can be done over a longer timeframe).