Code of Conduct

Plymouth Caving Group Code of Conduct

The Plymouth Caving Group is committed to promoting the safe and sustainable use of the underground environment.

Safe Caving and Mine Exploration

The mine and cave environment is a potentially highly dangerous one, however by taking adequate precautions they may be explored safely.

If a member is unsure whether a trip is suitable for their level of ability they should contact the trip organiser in advance.

1. Competence

A trip organiser has the absolute right to refuse to take a member on a trip if he /she is of the opinion that the member is not competent to undertake the trip.

Club trips should be graded:

  • Easy cave/mine
    A trip suitable for novices.
  • Difficult cave /mine
    A trip suitable for more experienced members.
  • Easy vertical cave/ mine
    A trip suitable for those competent in vertical techniques whether SRT or ladders.
  • Difficult vertical cave/mine
    A trip only suitable for those more experienced in vertical techniques whether SRT or ladders.

2. Equipment

For vertical trips appropriate equipment must be worn. For a trip not requiring vertical techniques the following should as a bare minimum:

  • Helmet with lamp attached.
  • Spare light (recommended)
  • Warm clothes.
  • Sturdy boots.

A trip organiser has the absolute right to refuse to take a member on a trip if he /she is of the opinion that equipment is not up to standard.

3. Responsibility

Regardless of ability everyone on a club trip is responsible for their own safety and that of others. If you see something happening which is unsafe it is your responsibility to highlight it. It is the responsibility experienced members to keep an eye on novices.


Mines and caves are important ecosystems and provide important habitats for a number of species, most obviously but not exclusively bats. Likewise mines and caves are important repositories of archaeological information which may long have vanished at surface. These environments both need and deserve our protection. The overriding principle is to minimisation your impact on the underground environment. The club follows the British Caving Association Caving Code:

Take only photographs, leave only footprints, kill only time.

  • Do not disturb fauna or flora.
  • Do not disturb or remove artefacts.
  • Do not remove or damage minerals or formations.
  • Do not cross conservation tapes.
  • Do not touch formations.
  • Do not walk over undisturbed floor sediments.
  • Do not leave litter.
  • Do not leave graffiti.
  • Do leave the underground environment as you would wish to find it.

Remember, to photograph or handle bats you are required to have a licence.


Do not enter a mine or cave unless there is an access agreement in place or you have the permission of the land owner.

Social Media and the use of the Internet

Where there is an access agreement to visit a site, before any comments or pictures are posted of that site, the landowner’s permission is required prior to posting. This does not necessarily mean that individuals have to each seek permission from the landowner, but they must check with the club as to whether we have permission as a whole.

For sites of a sensitive nature when posting pictures or comments the site should remain anonymous.

The above also applies to members who undertake private trips in order not to bring the club into disrepute.

Please be sensitive to other members who may not wish to have their name or picture published online.

The reason for this is that in an age where social media is all pervasive it may seem like the most natural thing in the world to post details of your trip online. However many sites that the club visits are very sensitive in terms of either access or conservation. Publishing details online may jeopardise access agreements which have taken years to build or compromise ecologically, archaeologically or mineralogically sensitive sites. If in doubt whether it is appropriate to post details on line ask, in the first instance the trip organiser.

Comments are closed.