Its been a bit of a quiet time over the last couple of weeks, we are on weekend groups at the Centre - its been good to welcome back some regular November visitors and also to host some first time visitors to Blaithwaite. Other than the British Canoe Union coach re-validation day last Monday, organised by Cumbria Canoeists, today was the first day I have been out and about since Ireby Fell Caverns
We'd planned to go caving in the Dales but a combination of: torrential rain (its been more on than off since the weekend); a slightly delayed start and an extended lunch stop we opted instead to explore the area of Ayle Burn near Alston. The group on the day was: Alan Rainford; Clare Mackey; Kevin Marsh & myself. Alan had visited Ayle Burn Mine Caves about 20 years ago and we were aware that groups also use Ayle Burn Caves (about 200m upstream according to the guide books).
Alan & Clare had a talk with the guys from the quarry & discovered that the entrance to the Mine Caves has now collapsed but they were able to point them in the direction of the caves which they successfully located for future exploration.
Kevin & myself explored further upstream and found quite extensive mining evidence that we had not previously been aware of.
|Locked Entrance With "modern-ish" Fan|
|Slightly Further Upstream Another Fan / Entrance|
These workings are at approximately NY 731500 on the north bank of Ayle Burn upstream of the caves. I've never explored the area before, the only reference I could find to them was at http://www.dmm-gallery.org.uk/collmap/a910.htm which indicates coal workings (1865) - if you know different / more please let me know.