EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

Here, there and everywhere: Britain's cave and karst databases.

Session code: OS4

Oral / Science, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Dr Andrew Farrant


The UK has many databases of cave and karst features at various levels of sophistication. Some cover the whole county whilst others are more regional or club based in extent. Some are focused on caves, others include a wider variety of karst features such as sinkholes and dissolution pipes. Some databases also record anthropogenic and pseudo-karst cavities including dene-holes, mines, mass-movement and sea-caves. Together, they provide a comprehensive inventory of Britain’s underworld. What emerges is a surprisingly diverse and widespread distribution of underground features. These can be interrogated for many applications including ground stability assessments, conservation and groundwater protection. However, lots of questions and gaps still remain and there is plenty more work to be done if we are to create a comprehensive single inventory of the UK's underworld.


Geologist and karst geomorphologist at the British Geological Survey.


British Geological Survey.
University of Bristol Speleological Society
Chelsea Speleological Society