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Winter Explorations Beneath the Ridge

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Now that the bracken and brambles have died back it has been possible to start a methodical survey of the Ridge. This will allow us to identify, measure and photograph our various cave sites; known and unknown.

Teams have begun work in Frodsham and Helsby and have had exciting visits to the sand caves carved out by miners seeking the fine white sand that they could sell in the eighteenth and nineteen centuries for, amongst other things, scouring and spreading on cottage floors.

We are immensely grateful to the landowner and to the Cheshire Bat Group for giving us access to Billy Tweedle's Conker Cave in Helsby (an astonishing feat of excavation, where almost an entire hill has been hollowed out).

We have also explored the much more public Frodsham caves (originally known as Upton's caves), where similar excavations were undertaken in several locations on the surrounding hillsides. This was followed with a brief walk to view the inaccessible Tom Thumb's Cave high in the cliffs beside Jacob's Ladder in Dunsdale Hollow on the Sandstone Trail. Not much seems to be known about this curious little cavity and we would very much welcome any information from anyone who knows about its origin or any stories associated with it.

More walks are planned in the Bickerton area and we will be announcing further opportunities to join us along the Ridge early in the New Year.