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Guest Leaders System

The scheme is being introduced as an experiment and will attempt to widen the source of Cuthbert’s Leaders.  Up to the present time the B.E.C. whose agreement with Wookey Paper Mills makes them responsible for the controlled access, have drawn the leaders from their own members.

Various Mendip clubs have been invited to submit names of their own members who would make suitable leaders.  The clubs are: - Wessex Cave Club, Shepton Mallet Cave Club, Mendip Caving Group, University of Bristol Spelio. Society, Westminster Spelio. Group, Mendip Nature and Research Club, Axbridge Caving Group and Severn Valley Caving Club.

The outline of the plan is as follow: -

1.                  A meeting is being held 24th March to explain the procedure and answer any queries.

2.                  The Guest Leader will have to carry through the 5 ‘test’ trips (also a requirement for B.E.C. members) and be familiar with all main tourist and escape routes.  The B.E.C. Caving Secretary (Andy MacGregor) will make all the arrangements.

3.                  All parties (including B.E.C.) will sign a special Cuthbert’s log book to ensure the rules applying to the cave are understood by all entering the system.

4.                  The Guest Leaders will not be issued with keys and the cave will only be available to them at weekends.

5.                  Guest Leaders will be expected to take all their club trips and one of the B.E.C. arranged trips with their clubs.

6.                  All visiting clubs, other than the clubs having members as Guest Leaders, will still book trips through the B.E.C. and not any of the clubs in the Guest Leaders Scheme.

7.                  Once the Guest Leader has completed the record form he will be able to descend the cave at will during the course of a weekend BUT the final decision to accept him on a permanent basis is left to the Leaders meeting (usually held in September) and the B.E.C. General Committee.

8.                  As St. Cuthbert’s is the only large cave system on Mendip still in pristine condition the B.E.C. hold the right to cancel this experiment without notice should the B.E.C. Leaders feel that there has been, during the trial period, a noticeable deterioration in the condition of the cave.