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Were you once a BEC member?  

Ever wandered what happened to all those people you used to go caving with?

The BEC website is now open to past members to join. Register now to gain access to our Alumni forum and message board.  We're not going to send you the Belfry Bulletin or spam you with email but from time to time we will keep you in touch with relevant events and maybe even connect you with missing friends.

Bristol Exploration Club Rules

  1. The Charges for Members and Guests staying in The Belfry or Camping in The Snake Pit are displayed in The Belfry Foyer or can be obtained from The Hut Warden. The Charges are applicable to all persons staying at The Belfry and must be paid promptly before departure.

  2. ALL Members and Guests are expected to do their fair share of cleaning before departing The Belfry.

  3. Caving Equipment and Attire must be confined to The Belfry Changing Room.

  4. All damage to The Belfry must be reported to a committee member and repaired to a good standard or repairs paid for by the persons responsible.

  5. It is expected that between the hours of Midnight and 8am Members and Guests show consideration to those wishing to sleep. Members and Guests must sleep in the bunk room not in the Lounge, Library or Attic.

  6. The last person to leave The Belfry must ensure that services are turned off as appropriate, and that The Belfry is left in a secure condition in accordance with notices displayed and/or common sense.

  7. The Hut Warden is appointed to control The Belfry and site and in any dispute his/her decision is final. If the Hut Warden is not present at The Belfry, they will appoint either a Duty Officer or another Committee Member to act on their behalf. Any reference in this document to 'Hut Warden' will also be deemed to refer to their representative.

  8. Any BEC Member can use the Belfry and stay there without the prior knowledge of the Hut Warden. Members are entitled to bring a one or two guests but they should be accompanied and pay the guest rate. If Members plan to bring more than two guests they should book this through the Belfry Booking system.

  9. Any member who brings or invites any visitor to The Belfry is responsible for the conduct of that visitor.

  10. Long stays at the Belfry are permitted at the discretion of the hut warden and any stays over 13 nights are at the discretion of the committee. Prior permission for long stays is required.

  11. The Bristol Exploration Club has a Child Protection Policy and Data Protection Policy (Privacy Policy) and these, along with our rules, the Committee reviews regularly and may update from time to time to comply with current laws and legislation.

  12. Young persons (16-18 years) and children (under 16 years) whilst on trips or taking part in social activities must be in the care of their parent/guardian.

  13. Young persons (16-18 years) may stay overnight in The Belfry, but must always be in the care of their parent/guardian and stay in the same room as that person.

  14. Children under 16 years are only permitted to sleep in The Belfry at the discretion of the Hut Warden when groups of members or guests are not present and must stay in the same room as their parent/guardian. At any other time they may only camp in a designated camping area in the care of their parent/guardian and are only permitted to enter the Belfry after 9pm at the discretion of the Hut Warden.

  15. The use of "Controlled Substances" in The Belfry and it grounds are prohibited.

  16. Members and Guests shall be responsible for writing their intended trip up on the notice board including an ETO. Whilst on the trip no rubbish is to be left in or around the cave and no damage should be intentionally done to formations. On returning the trip will be erased from the notice board before embarking on any other activity. Members should write up a report of the trip in the Club Log Book.

  17. No excavations are to be undertaken in the name of The Bristol Exploration Club without approval from The Committee.

  18. The rules governing access and use of the Club library should be strictly adhered to.

  19. The membership of any individual who fails to pay his annual subscription by 31st December following the AGM in October shall deem to have ceased.

  20. All members are required to pay BCA Insurance either via The Bristol Exploration Club or another club or as a Direct BCA member. If this is not to be collected by The Bristol Exploration Club, the member must inform the Membership Secretary of the method of payment.

  21. The Bristol Exploration Club or any individual member thereof will not be held responsible for any accident caused through any fault in ladders, ropes or any other cause whatsoever whilst the person concerned is taking part in any activity organised by The Bristol Exploration Club or it's individual members.

  22. It is expected that the name of The Bristol Exploration Club be upheld. Any member whose behaviour falls short of this in so far as to bring disrepute upon the club or to cause endangerment or distress to other members and their guests and/or members of the public and their property shall be summoned to appear before the Committee to explain their actions. It will be The Committees decision on the appropriate action to take after all the evidence has been considered. This could range from a warning, to suspension of membership for a period of time or dismissal from The Bristol Exploration Club. The member concerned would have right of appeal to The Annual General meeting.

Version 3.1 1st Draft – 29/1/16

Approved – 29/1/16

Last Reviewed – 4/11/16

Next Review due – Nov 2017

Version 4 draft  – 27/03/2017


Last reviewed – 4/11/16


Applying for Membership 

The BEC welcomes cavers to join the club. There are numerous benefits including:

  • Use of the club hut - the Belfry
  • access to the clubs tackle store
  • access to keys for many locked caves on Mendip
  • a free yearly permit for Charterhouse Caves
  • regular issues of our publication the Belfry Bulletin
  • use of the extensive library in the Belfry
  • preferential service at the Hunters (in your dreams)
  • reciprical rates at many other club huts
  • joining a group of like minded cavers

Complete a Membership Form

Download a copy of the Membership Application Form as word document from here or a PDF here

Once you have completed the form and had it proposed and seconded by current full BEC members it needs to be submitted at the next BEC committee meeting. These are always held on the first Friday of each month at around 9pm in the Belfry. It's best if you turn up and introduce yourself if your not already well known to the committee. If you really can't make it then let us know and we'll work something out.

Paying for Membership 

The Club year starts on the 1st October each year at the AGM. Club dues are paid at that date and are:

Fees for the club year to 1 October to 30 September

 Single Membership

£35 per year 
£45 per year if after 30th November

 Joint Membership (per person)

£27 per year 
£37 per year if after 30th November

Student Membership
£19 per year 
£29 per year if after 30th November

 BCA Caving Insurance

£17 per year for active cavers


£6 per year for surface cavers


£8 per year for NUS card holder cavers

Joint Membership

Joint Membership is available to all members regardless of your marital status. The caveat with joint membership is that we generally only mail out a single Belfry Bulletin to you. Each joint member pays the fee shown above plus BCA insurance per person.

Pro-rata fees for New Members


Full member

Student Member

Joint Member


















































BCA Caving Insurance

BCA Insurance is required by all club members who are still caving. The BCA define two categories for insurance: caver and non caver. They do not however provide a definition of what these description cover but imply that anyone who is involved in any form of caving must have insurance. Therefore if you plan to venture underground or dig on the surface during the club year you must take insurance.

In some circumstances we will waive this fee, if you can prove that you already have BCA approved insurance from another club.

Details of the BCA insurance including FAQ are here.

Membership Renewal

All members who wish to remain a member of the club (and lets face it, why wouldn't you) are asked to pay their subs before the end of the November. After this grace period you membership will be considered lapsed and you'll no longer receive the BB any other club benefits.

Information updated 8 October 2018