Author Topic: Twixt the Severn and Wye  (Read 19049 times)

Offline Greg Jones

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Twixt the Severn and Wye
« on: November 19, 2005, 06:34:27 pm »
The Forest of Dean is a wonderful part of Britain, located on the English/Welsh border, about 15 miles south-west of Gloucester.
It was once famously dismissed as "not worth a special visit" by a caving author (can't remember who), but a lot has changed since he wrote those lines. The area boasts the tenth longest cave in Britain with the Wet-Sink/ Slaughter Stream Cave system; the well-acclaimed prettiest cave in Britain with Otter Hole; and some of the most arduous caves in Britain with Ban-Y-Gor and Cross-Joints Swallett.
The area is also famous for it's extensive networks of old iron mines; which range from bone-dry, gently dipping systems such as Old-Ham and Old-Bow; to steeply inclined and very wet systems, as at Perseverance and Wigpool.
If you haven't been to the Forest then please pay us a visit. Don't be put off by talk of restrictive access arrangements, all it takes is a phone call to Dave Tuffley on 01594 824343. Wet-Sink/Slaughter and Otter Hole have seperate arrangements.
The Forest has a lot to offer, and is most definitely worth a "special visit".
Renegade!

Offline AndyF

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 11:00:52 am »
Slaughter is one of the best trips in the UK for variety and entertainment IMHO. The FoD guys have worked hard over the years to find some caves in an apparent barren area that most people wrote off...

It's a great place, and when I moved house it was a toss up between the FoD and the Peaks....tough call...

"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."

darkplaces

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 02:19:00 pm »
Problem with the FOD is the FE and they are gate gate gate gate gate gate gate, oh and lets gate that badger hole too!

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 06:11:08 pm »
Problem with the FOD is the FE and they are gate gate gate gate gate gate gate, oh and lets gate that badger hole too!

I cannot argue with Darkplaces that Forest Enterprise do insist on gating old mines, and the majority of new digs; BUT they are quite friendly and helpful when it comes to starting new digs on FE land. As far as I am aware, within our Club nobody has been refused permission to open a dig in the Forest. They are pretty good about vehicle access as well, so don't be too hard on them.

Try getting permission to take your car onto the allotment!

Compared to the dispicable behaviour that has taken place at Cwmystwyth, the Forest is a very friendly and easy-going place to enjoy your hobby.
Renegade!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2006, 09:14:21 am »
IMHO gating is probably going to become more commonplace everywhere* as a predictable reaction to concerns over liability.

*Except perhaps in Yorkshire where danger and risk are words which seem to have no meaning.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2006, 09:16:08 am »
FOD is an excellent caving venue with some of the top caves in the country!  :thumbsup:

Offline prahja

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2006, 08:31:28 pm »
Problem with the FOD is the FE and they are gate gate gate gate gate gate gate, oh and lets gate that badger hole too!

At least we have access to the caves in the Forest. I think that, as ship_badger says, it is a reasonable price to pay in order to be able to dig almost anywhere in the forest.
Also, it really is not that hard to get hold of a key for any cave. Has anybody *ever* had a problem obtaining a key when they want one ? Access is ludicrously easy in the Forest. You just need to take the effort to make a phone call or write a letter.
Let's not forget that many caves are not on Forest Enterprise land either and access to them is pretty much universal. Yes, the land owners insist on a gate but I think (in this climate of litigation) that we need to accept the fact and move on.

Cheers...

truescrumpy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2006, 11:35:09 pm »
I have some wonderful memories of FOD, a lovely place to visit and do a trip  :thumbsup:

Offline whitelackington

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2006, 08:01:10 am »
Wet Sink, aka Slaughter, is certainly one of my favorite alltime caves.
On one occasion, I think it was Treemonkey's first forray into The Forest, he wore a full wet suit believing as the name implies that a wet trip would be forthcoming, unfortunately for Treemonkey, we did a dry trip and the poor sod nearly died, also drinking everyone Else's water, I think he thought he was on one of those Naval Marine exercises for marines who have gone AWOL and need to be taught a lesson. Then nine months later @ the M.O.D.inquiry it would be classed as bullying!

On another excellently exciting Wet Sink trip, we were trudging along the splendid main stream, which to me, and I have very long legs, seemed to be exceptionally high and an extremely powerful flow, Neil,one of our chaps had hurt his back and Biff & I decided we would turn around and slowly take him out of the cave, a little peeved as we had not before experienced such a strongly flowing  stream in this cave.
Just before the crawl before the twelve metre ladder is a place where u have to slightly duck your head.
That day it was like being in a full blown waterfall with a two inch airspace, we were scarred, not for us but our companions, who we believed were still bashing down stream.
Anyway we got through and out.
About an hour and a half later the others all got out safely, luckily Karen, the only women among them had the sense to say it was getting too powerful, they had better turn back, by the time they got to the bit where we only had two inches airspace, under a waterfall, it had dropped by a foot.
By the time they got out the cave the sun was out and it was a normal, lovely Forest day.
On returning the key to the keyholder, we told him of our experience and he said " You absolute lucky bastards, none of us diggers have ever seen it it such a flood".
No pleasing some people.
I thought we were lucky to get out alive.
Anyway the moral of this tale is take a wet suit if u expect extreme flood conditions but not if you don't. :annoyed:

boycy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2006, 11:17:42 pm »
Ship-badger, you one of the RFDCC lot? (can't see from your pic!)
What are the 'separate arrangements' for Otter/Slaughter? Cross-joints...ahh one of my favourite trips ;D

Edit: oh no worries, I recognise you now...mostly aided by your name in other threads!
There's an UBSS trip slated here for a mid-Feb weekend -- I haven't done much FOD caving (in fact the majority of it was mines :sleeping:) so I'm not sure what to aim for, but I know several are interested in Otter or Slaughter trip.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 11:40:31 pm by boycy »

Offline prahja

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2006, 10:10:14 am »
Yes ShipBadger is one of the FoD lot but if he doesn't object, I'll answer  :).
The separate arrangements for Wet Sink are that you need to contact Andy Clark, who manages access for Wet Sink.
For Otter, you need to contact John Hutchinson and he will find a leader for the trip. However, Otter is normally closed during the winter months due to high river levels and less predictable sump opening times.
For details, take a look at the RFDCC web site: www.rfdcc.org.uk, it has loads of information on caving in the Forest  :)
Let me know when UBSS are around (I'm an ex-member) and if you want any advice on the Wet Sink trip I'll try to help....

Cheers,
A.

Offline damian

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2006, 11:54:10 am »
I've sent you a PM with contact details for both John and Andy.

Offline Greg Jones

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2006, 01:31:22 pm »
As has been said before in other threads, this forum really works.

See you in the Forest soon.
Renegade!

boycy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2006, 11:30:05 pm »
Thanks for the info damian.
prahja, cheers - after I posted that the RFDCC site did occur so I've checked that out, also got onto Tony Oldham for his FoD caving guide. UBSS haven't been here in the few years I've been with them, not heard of any in particularly recent history either.
Accommodation is a possible sticky point for us at the mo - do any clubs have huts locally? If not then we may be limited by how many I can fit in my house or persuade to camp in the garden! I've checked out the Fountain - 11 quid will be a bit steep as they're all skint students!

Cheers all, sorry for the thread hijack..  ;D

Oh PS does crossjoints have a best time of year or is it just 'if it's not rainy or looking like it might'? Some of the eager novices want punishing   ;)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 11:42:27 pm by boycy »

Offline graham

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2006, 09:46:03 am »
.... also got onto Tony Oldham for his FoD caving guide.

That's in our Library, mate.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

boycy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2006, 10:01:42 am »
.... also got onto Tony Oldham for his FoD caving guide.

That's in our Library, mate.

Bah, I'm not around Bristol these days so library's not so handy for me :(

Offline graham

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2006, 10:04:10 am »
Has the Treasurer been given your current address?  :-\
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

boycy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2006, 10:11:56 am »
Not sure, t'was last year I left. I'll PM it to you just in case. You hutting for some pre-NY caving?

Offline graham

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2006, 10:42:46 am »
Not sure, t'was last year I left. I'll PM it to you just in case. You hutting for some pre-NY caving?
No, but I'll be there for New Year.

Don't burn all the wood!
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Online mrodoc

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2006, 01:58:59 pm »
Have posted some pics of Wet Sink on www.darkandeep.co.uk under other caves but haven't got round to labelling description or adding some I took in highish water a few weeks ago.

boycy

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2006, 02:29:05 pm »
There b'aint no server there mrodoc I have no luck reaching it

Offline damian

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2006, 04:11:50 pm »
There b'aint no server there mrodoc I have no luck reaching it
He missed out the middle "d". I think you'll find this one will work: www.darkanddeep.co.uk

Offline Elaine

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2006, 04:44:16 pm »
Have posted some pics of Wet Sink on www.darkandeep.co.uk under other caves but haven't got round to labelling description or adding some I took in highish water a few weeks ago.

I have been to Wet Sink once (about 6 years ago now) and I am positive the entrance was down a depression with some trees rather than pipes in a field. Is this new or am I just going ga ga!
Wot tiny writing!

Online mrodoc

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2006, 05:16:46 pm »
That's the tank inside the gate one can rinse in. The entrance is as you describe at the bottom of the field in the trees.  The story about the flood is interesting as I can remember doing the trip in dry weather a few years back and two of us coming out well behind the others to find a substantial stream cascading down the entrance shaft. It was bit worrying at the time as the constriction in the middle wasn't dug out then so water could back up and sump it. We were mighty relieved to get past it. I wondered if some kind soul (?) had decided to divert the stream while we were underground. Nowadays you can wear a kit bag on your bag all the way to the top of the balcony pitch. Cave still gives the impression of not quite being clean.

Offline Elaine

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Re: Twixt the Severn and Wye
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2006, 06:22:24 pm »
Aha, thank you Mrodoc.     :)
Wot tiny writing!