News; December 2022

BCRA News Forum. The BCRA online newsletter; announcement and discussion of items. The BCRA is a UK registered charity, and a constituent body of the BCA, undertaking charitable activities on its behalf.

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David Gibson
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News; December 2022

Post by David Gibson » Thu 15 Dec 2022 13:41

In this newsletter ...
  • Cave & Karst Science, CREG Journal
  • Exploring the Karst and Caves of the Gower Peninsula
  • 2023 BCRA Online Seminars via Zoom
  • Council News
  • BCRA Council – New Secretary Needed URGENTLY
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Cave & Karst Science, CREG Journal

Please note that the December issues of both Cave & Karst Science and the CREG journal are delayed. Running into the Christmas period and ongoing strike action will not help, but we expect them both to be out in early January.

Exploring the Karst and Caves of the Gower Peninsula

The new book from BCRA, Exploring the Karst and Caves of the Gower Peninsula, which we announced in October will be available from BCRA in early January. The book is edited by John S. Cooper with contributions from several authors. It is printed in full colour and priced at £12.50 with a 20% discount to BCRA members. Postage is £2.50 within the UK. You can pre-order the book from BCRA and pay online in the usual way. Some sample pages can be found at and the order form is at

Some of you might recognise this as the (very) delayed book that was originally promised to accompany our field meeting that was held in 2017. We apologise for the lengthy delay and for not quite achieving a Christmas deadline - there were several re-writes by the contributing authors and, for a long time, we did not have a volunteer to lay it out, but this was eventually done by Phil Wolstenholme, who also edits the BCRA Review. If you attended the original field meeting and paid for a copy of the book, please contact David Gibson to obtain your free copy.

2023 BCRA Online Seminars via Zoom

In 2023, BCRA celebrates its 50th anniversary. To mark this occasion, we are hosting a series of online seminars that will promote the scientific importance of caves and karst. The seminars will be held on the second Monday of each month in 2023, 19:30–21:00 UK time, commencing in January 2023. Initially four talks are planned from January to April. These talks will use the Zoom platform.

To start this series of seminars, our President — Professor Simon Bottrell of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds — will be speaking on 9 January 2023 at 7:30pm. Further details are on our Facebook page, our News Forum, and at

If, as part of this series of seminars, you would like to offer a talk on a science topic that you think would be of interest to a broad caver audience then please contact John Gunn with a title and a few words about your suggested content.

Council News

We have co-opted a new Council member for 2023, and we welcome Bente Hollestelle. In 2020 Bente graduated from the University of Exeter with a BSc in Medical Sciences, specialising in Human Genomics. She is now a research technician in Developmental Haematopoiesis in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. She is an active member of several caving clubs (EUSS, MUSC and SWCC) and will act as BCRA's CHECC liaison. Many university students enjoy the sporting side of caving but are unaware of the existence of BCRA or of 'cave science' in general. We hope that Bente will be able to create a greater interest and encourage more to join BCRA.

BCRA Council – New Secretary Needed URGENTLY

Our recently-appointed Secretary Vince Simmonds has had to resign from the post, and from Council, for personal reasons. Hence, we are seeking a person to fill this important post and to contribute to the future of the Association as we enter our 50th year. As you will know, BCRA is a registered charity, and the Secretary is one of our trustees and a member of our governing Council. The Secretary handles the day-to-day administration of the Association and the communications with our members. In doing this they work with other officers, particularly the Chairman, Treasurer and Webmaster. The BCRA Council meets six times a year, with five of those meetings being via the Zoom platform and the other being a longer face-to-face meeting at the British Caving Library in Glutton Bridge, Derbyshire. It is not our Secretary's role to take minutes of these meetings, as that is done by a separate administrative officer, but there are a number of other important tasks that the Secretary performs, which would suit an experienced administrator. In common with our other trustees the role of Secretary is a voluntary one and inevitably requires a time commitment. We seek an individual with a passion for caves who subscribes to our aims. You do not need to be a trained scientist or a professional academic, nor even a caver; but knowing something about administration might come in handy. If you are interested in helping BCRA and supporting British cave science then please contact our Chairman, John Gunn.

In addition to the post of Secretary, if there is someone with a background in accountancy would like to take on the role of Treasurer, then we would be interested to hear from you. This would enable the current Treasurer to assume another role within the Association.

Further opportunities: The posts of Secretary and Treasurer are essential to the operation of the Association and holders of these posts are trustees and members of our governing Council. However, there are other opportunities to support BCRA that do not require the same level of commitment (and would not require you to be a trustee or council member). One such post is the Meetings Coordinator who oversees and takes responsibility for publicity and organisation of meetings. This includes the annual Cave Science symposium, and our field meetings and workshops. This is usually done in collaboration with other volunteers and members of Council.

We would also like to hear from anyone who has experience of editing, particularly the laying out of publications and proof-reading, and is prepared to undertake tasks on a voluntary