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Cave painting

Create your own cave maps as you get familiar with the cave conservation code.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

Why the code?

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that caving can reveal an amazing world right beneath people’s feet, but there are some really important things people should know before they get stuck in.
  2. Everyone should think about how caves form – they form naturally over millions of years, so it’s important that people do their bit to help keep them safe and looking great.
  3. The person leading the activity should explain that the cave conservation code exists to tell people what they should think about when they’re caving. They should remind everyone that it’s also important to follow safety instructions from the group leader.

Cave painting

  1. The person leading the activity should make sure everyone can see a copy of the caving code. Everyone should read through it together, and people should ask any questions they have.
  1. Everyone should grab a piece of paper and something to draw with.
  1. Everyone should make their own fantasy cave map, full of features that they can use to show the different parts of the cave conservation code.
  2. Everyone should add any labels or instructions they need to make their map clear – how will it help people to follow the code?
  1. Everyone should decorate their cave maps with any other features people might find in a cave.
  1. Once they’ve finished their maps, everyone should get into pairs (or small groups). They should take it in turns to talk their partner through their map – what are the different features, and what actions should visitors take to make sure they’re following the code?

Example cave map

An example drawing of a cave map; with features including sand, water, bridge, stalagtites, a lower level and a cross section.

Reflection

This activity was all about valuing the outdoors and being responsible. Caves can take millions of years to form – how quickly might they be damaged or destroyed if people aren’t careful? Why is it important that people know how to value the outdoors? Part of being responsible is doing the right thing when no one’s watching. What would happen if people weren’t responsible while they were caving? When else might some of the principles of the caving code be useful? People might think about camping, when they have to make sure not to pollute the site or leave rubbish behind. They might also think about other activities, such as building fires or rock climbing, when it’s important to watch out for wildlife.

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.