With Tav and Jake.
Our usual meeting place at the Hunter’s Lodge car park was overrun by cyclists who were taking part in some organised event. Unfortunately this caused Tav to miss us at the car park and we met up a bit later at the farm. The grass is getting long in the hay meadow and it requires some effort to walk through, especially as it was raining. Tav and colleagues have been doing some clearing out at Balch’s Cave so we had some clean bags to take underground with us, much lighter to carry without the mud. At the end with both Tav and I digging the bags were filled quickly, Jake stacking them at the ‘T’ Junction. We can stand up in the rift chamber now and dig with the spade. Progress downwards in the rift is relatively easy and there appears to be space alongside the solid east wall leading north under the bedding. We then shifted around to haul the filled bags out to the surface to be emptied. At the surface we had an audience of inquisitive cattle that had come over to see what was going on. All done, cave secured, the now obligatory slide down through the wet grass and on to the Hunter’s Lodge Inn.