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Cave awareness

Caves in Burrington Combe

As streams flow off the impermeable Sandstone on Black Down and onto the permeable limestone, the water has eroded away the cracks and bedding planes to produce a series of sink holes, swallets and caves.

These caves, as well as exhibiting formations such as stalactites and stalagmites, are extremely important both culturally and for wildlife. The caves in winter are safe havens for hibernating bats. So please take care not to disturb them.

The caves have also been used by humans for over 10,000 years. The remains of over 50 Skeletons were found in Avelines Hole, which makes it the oldest cemetery in Britain. The burials took place approximately 10,300 years ago and at the same time simple cave art was etched onto the walls making it internationally significant too.

Caring for Black Down

If going caving we advise going with an experienced caver for both safety and conservation as they will know which caves are suitable for novices and experienced cavers and how to cave without damaging the cave interiors.

Why don’t you

There are  numerous passages down the caves and it is easy to get lost or injured if you don't know what you are doing. For more information on the caves in the area and how to stay safe why not visit one of the many caving organisations websites.