Cavers and geoconservation: the history of cave exploration and its contribution to speleology in the Yorkshire Dales
Phillip J. Murphy, Andrew T. Chamberlain, 2008. "Cavers and geoconservation: the history of cave exploration and its contribution to speleology in the Yorkshire Dales", The History of Geoconservation, C. V. Burek, C. D. Prosser
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Caves are important as they preserve archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data otherwise lost from the land surface. The fragile nature and limited extent of cave deposits is often not appreciated by non-specialists and the activities of the main group of cave visitors (sporting cavers) are viewed as damaging to the cave interior deposits. Potential threats to the cave interior deposits of the Yorkshire Dales National Park including caver activity are reviewed. It is concluded that sporting cavers have added greatly to our knowledge of the archaeological record contained in the caves. They appreciate the value of the underground environment and take steps to preserve the cave interior deposits. Any geoconservation strategy that deals with caves must involve the caving community.
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This book is the first to describe the history of geoconservation. It draws on experience from the UK, Europe and further afield, to explore topics including: what is geoconservation; where, when and how did it start; who was responsible; and how has it differed across the world? Geological and geomorphological features, processes, sites and specimens, provide a resource of immense scientific and educational importance. They also form the foundation for the varied and spectacular landscapes that help define national and local identity as well as many of the great tourism destinations. Mankind’s activities, including contributing to enhanced climate change, pose many threats to this resource: the importance of safeguarding and managing it for future generations is now widely accepted as part of sustainable development. Geoconservation is an established and growing activity across the world, with more participants and a greater profile than ever before. This volume highlights a history of challenges, set-backs, successes and visionary individuals and provides a sound basis for taking geoconservation into the future.