SWCC now owns Ogof Ffynnon Ddu I
by PCW ~, 15 August 2011
South Wales Caving Club is pleased to announce that it has recently completed the purchase of around seven acres of land including the entrance to Ogof Ffynnon Ddu I.
At the end of 2010 the club was approached by the Toye family, who have owned the cottage and land at Y Grithig for many years, and they explained that they had reluctantly decided to sell the property. They asked if we were interested in buying a parcel of land to include not just OFD 1 but also Powell's Cave and other sites of speleological interest.
A site meeting was held to discuss potential boundaries, and it was clear that this was a one-off opportunity to secure permanent access to, and conservation of, one of the UK's most important caves. However, the sum of money involved represented a significant outlay for a club with limited reserves and it was essential that the club's committee consult with the wider membership before proceeding.
Our members recognized the unique nature of the opportunity and were overwhelmingly in favour of the purchase. We were fortunate to secure a grant from the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), amounting to 25% of the purchase price, and SWCC would like to record our thanks for this. A significant proportion of the balance has come from donations from individual SWCC members, and we are planning a major fund-raising event for the autumn - Ogof-Fest - to reduce the impact of the purchase on Club funds. The purchase was completed at the end of July.
As far as we are aware this is a 'first' in British caving; we can't think of another club that actually owns a cave entrance. Our parcel of land has now been fenced, and on 3rd August a small ceremony took place at the cave entrance to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the cave's discovery. A plaque in memory of our late President, Peter Harvey (one of the cave's discoverers), was placed and the Toye family were invited guests.
Access: Existing rules of access to OFD I continue. The leadership system
has served the cave and cavers well for many years.
~ Tony Baker