UK scientific first at Poole’s Cavern caves

stock pics, Soloman's Temple, Grin Woods, Pooles Cavern, Buxton Civic Association
stock pics, Soloman's Temple, Grin Woods, Pooles Cavern, Buxton Civic Association

Poole’s Cavern is leading the way for science after becoming the first in the country to set up a long term climate and environmental monitoring station.

Buxton Civic Association, which owns the cavern, has teamed up with the University of Birmingham and the British Cave Research Association to establish the British Cave Monitoring Centre, with the aim of becoming a focus for cave science.

Simon Fussell, from the civic association, said: “This is great thing for Buxton and I am so proud that Poole’s Cavern is involved in a country-wide first.

“This project has been in the offing for some time and it’s great to see it finally happening.

“We have a wonderful and unique show cave here and because of the high limestone content in the area stalagmite and stalactites grow at such a quick rate, so we can measure and analyse ecology and climate changes much quicker.”

The goal of project is to implement a long-term climate and environmental monitoring station, with the data used as part of cave-related scientific studies.

It is the only site of its type in Great Britain and one of only a handful throughout Europe.

It is intended the site will become a focus for cave science and will promote cave science among young researchers.

The site has already been used in similar studies, but with the establishment of a permanent monitoring station the number of scientists able to investigate cave-based phenomena will increase and the quality of the science will improve.

Future plans for the cavern include adding sensors to record air movement, atmospheric pressure, carbon dioxide and radon.

Cathy Clark, from Gemini Data Loggers UK Ltd, which makes the recording instruments which are being used in Poole’s Cavern, said: “The scope of school visits can also be expanded into the maths and science curriculum for example, taking advantage of the availability of historical and long term data.

“In addition, the plan is to allow remote data access to interested parties.

“Remote data access will also provide a valuable resource in the visitor centre, educating visitors about the unique environment.”