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White Scar Cave

Town/City : Ingleton
County : Yorkshire
Country : England
Post code : LA6 3AW
Phone : 01524 241244
Web Site :  www.whitescarcave.co.uk

White Scar Cave, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is the longest show cave in Britain. There are underground waterfalls and streams, and thousands of stalactites.

The curious cave formations include the Devil's Tongue, the Arum Lily, and the remarkably lifelike Judge's Head. Guides lead visitors along the well-lit paths and explain the features. The highlight of the tour is the 200,000 year old Battlefield Cavern. Over 330 feet long, with its roof soaring in places to 100 feet, this is one of the largest caverns in Britain. Also shown on the tour are fine examples of the geological feature known as flowstone, and a display of fluorescing stalactites.

Until 1923 these underground wonders remained a secret of nature. In August that year a Cambridge undergraduate undertook a hiking tour of the area. He noticed a slight fissure in the ground, and decided to investigate. Perhaps coincidentally for an explorer, he bore the splendid name Christopher Francis Drake Long. Wearing only his summer clothes of shirt and shorts, and lighting his way with candles stuck in the brim of his hat, he crawled into the low passage. Spurred on by the distant roar of water, he struggled over jagged rocks and through pools, until eventually he found himself at the foot of a waterfall. White Scar Cave had been discovered, and its name was derived from the outcrops of pale rock above the entrance. The huge Battlefield Cavern was found in 1971, its boulder-strewn floor suggestive of fearsome conflict between prehistoric giants.

The River With Mr. LongWe are already thinking how to mark the centenary in 2023 of the cave's discovery. A statue of Christopher Long, complete with candle hat, is planned for the cave entrance. He will look out across the valley, enjoying distant views to the sea. A stone tablet will commemorate the efforts of the 1924 and 1991 tunnelling teams, the former from nearby Ingleton and the latter from Cornwall.

The installation in 2013 of fifty square metres of solar panels on the cafe roof has reduced the carbon footprint of the cave site, which is now a 'micro-generator' exporting surplus power to the national grid. In addition, the programme of converting the cave itself to low-energy lighting is reducing carbon emissions, and helping to preserve the natural cave environment by reducing heat output and inhibiting the growth of algae.

As well as the Christmas grotto in the cave every December, in 2017 we piloted a Hallowe'en themed section of the cave throughout October. This has been a success and will be repeated in October 2018.

Since 2017 a new system for managing outflows from the underground river has been in operation. The cave is a member of the International Show Caves Association.

15 Figure On Rockswaterfall 04Â
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