Exploration provides the impetus for both sporting caving and a better scientific understanding of the cave. The Panel is keen to encourage reasonable exploration projects. However, exploration may also permanently alter or damage the cave for little or no scientific or sporting benefit so it is essential that all exploration within the cave is carefully managed.
Potential extensions to the cave may sometimes be encountered during the course of a trip. These may be explored without seeking permission, provided:-
Dan yr Ogof lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Consequently all potentially damaging operations (including digging with or without the use of explosives) are subject to the requirements of the SSSI protection and therefore require the permission of Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Applications to NRW for such permission can only be submitted by the owner of the site (in this case the show cave Company). NRW require a written application, prepared by the prospective digger, and will take note of advice from the Dan yr Ogof Conservation Advisory Panel (CAP). The application should include at least the following information:-
The application should first be sent to the CAP Secretary, who will consult the Panel, including the owner. In considering the application the Panel will:-
If approved by the Panel, the application will then be forwarded to NRW (by or on behalf of the cave Company) along with the Panel's comments.
Where permission is granted for a project, it will normally be subject to the following conditions, which may be varied by the Panel, the Company, or NRW:-
Any use of diving equipment within the cave will be regarded as "exploration" and must comply with this policy. Applicants must be DYO wardens and current members of the Cave Diving Group.
It is a condition of any permission granted under these guidelines that all discoveries made will be:-
Any infringements against this policy will be treated as a serious breach of the DYO Access Conditions and may result in the Panel recommending to the Company that the persons involved be excluded from the cave.
Information about exploration projects and discoveries will normally be kept confidential during the course of project unless the Panel and the applicant agree otherwise. Information about significant discoveries may not be released to the press without the prior consent of the Panel.
At the insistence of Dan yr Ogof's insurance company, a closeable barrier has been installed at Lake 2 purely to safeguard the showcave in the unlikely event of a second entrance being opened beyond the lakes. Until such time, the barrier remains unlocked and access arrangements are unchanged. If a second entrance is ever opened, the barrier will be closed and access via the showcave will no longer be available.
Any existing or new project that is found to require the use of explosives will need authorisation in accordance with Section 2 above.
The use of radio location devices as part of any activity within the cave requires a specific application to and authorisation by the Panel.
Scheduled as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Dan Yr Ogof is afforded a special level of protection under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981). The Dan Yr Ogof Conservation Advisory Panel works with the showcave management team to administer the wild cave that lies beyond the showcaves. Conservation of this unique cave is the primary aim of the panel. Exploration and access to the cave is controlled by the panel working with a team of conservation wardens who accompany the caving trips beyond the showcave.
People wishing to visit the Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves visitor attraction should consult the showcaves website.