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Three centuries of open access to the caves in Stoney Middleton Dale Site of Special Scientific Interest, Derbyshire

Mark A. Cope
Three centuries of open access to the caves in Stoney Middleton Dale Site of Special Scientific Interest, Derbyshire (in Appreciating physical landscapes; three hundred years of geotourism, T. A. Hose (editor))
Special Publication - Geological Society of London (October 2014) 417

Abstract

The limestone caves of Stoney Middleton Dale are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for features of geological interest, but have been open access since at least the eighteenth century and have a documented history of geotourism. Using the examples of Carlswark Cavern and Merlin Cavern, this chapter sets out evidence that 300 years of open access has resulted in significant disturbance to the features of geological interest. In particular, the integrity of the overall site for scientific research was affected by historical removal of speleothem formations long before it became a SSSI, with damage still occurring today. As most cave SSSIs in Derbyshire have historically had similar open-access arrangements, the examples presented highlight that there is potential for the integrity of less well historically documented caves elsewhere to have been disturbed. This article highlights the importance of establishing a baseline of historical disturbance to recognize whether the integrity of cave SSSIs have been affected and help monitor if disturbance is still occurring. For cave SSSIs to be useful for geological research, it is suggested that there is a need for the historical legacy of open access to individual caves elsewhere to be better understood.


ISSN: 0305-8719
EISSN: 2041-4927
Coden: GSLSBW
Serial Title: Special Publication - Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 417
Title: Three centuries of open access to the caves in Stoney Middleton Dale Site of Special Scientific Interest, Derbyshire
Title: Appreciating physical landscapes; three hundred years of geotourism
Author(s): Cope, Mark A.
Author(s): Hose, T. A.editor
Affiliation: URS Infrastructure & Environment, Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Published: 20141030
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
Number of pages: 13
References: 30
Accession Number: 2014-105186
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N53°16'00" - N53°16'00", W01°38'60" - W01°38'60"
Source Note: Online First
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201452
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