UK CAVE CONSERVATION EMERGENCY FUND
A REPORT ON STABILISATION IN ATTBOROUGH SWALLET
by members of the Cotham Caving Group,
Having applied for and received a grant from UKCCEF for the works the CCG was able to put the work in hand very quickly, and it was completed within two months of the receipt of the grant.
With the money we purchased sand, cement and aggregate, and coarse-cloth bags.
The total cost was £106.
We pre-mixed the concrete, using a borrowed electric concrete mixer, and bagged it up dry for transportation.
On the Saturday following the pre-mixing session six group members assisted in transporting the 46 bags of dry concrete from Bristol to the Swallet.
The whole left hand side of the wall at the bottom of the entrance shaft was quite unstable, and parts were actually moving.
Working together we moved the bags down the shaft, and used them to form a wall, and bedded them in with large rocks and steel mesh, then over-layed the whole wall with cement and small stone to make it look a more natural feature, rather than a pile of bags stacked up upon one another!
This stabilisation has worked rather well, and no further movement has taken place, and with the concrete tubes that we have fitted to the cave since the stabilisation work this area of the cave is believed to be stable now.
Since this work has been finished we have undertaken quite a lot more work in the cave, e.g., installing a steel ladder in the shaft, and a lockable steel lid over the top of the shaft.
We also removed the fence that we installed during the dig, so it would not become a danger to the farmers livestock.
Much more stabilisation work has taken place in other areas of the cave, and we are still actively digging in the swallet in several places.
Some of the dig sites are promising, and of course we still dig at His Lordships Hole at the top of Attborough Field, with some 200ft of passage so far, with three small chambers, with the help of Tony Jarret and friends.