Although holes in the ground can be fascinating places, the reader must remember the following:
1. Many of the sites mentioned in this book are on private land with no public right of access and, in some cases, the exact location has been withheld at the landowner’s request. If you wish to visit a site you must ask permission from the landowner first and NEVER trespass. If a site is protected by a fence or other barrier, you should NEVER damage it to gain access and must always ensure it is left in a safe condition to prevent accidents to people or animals.
2. If you are exploring the surface of an old mining site, you must beware of possible dangers and keep children and pets under control. Although subsidence of workings is unlikely, it is a possibility that should be borne in mind at all times. NEVER enter the crater of a collapsed shaft since it might open up. With an open shaft NEVER stand on the edge to look down since the sides may crumble and you could fall down. If you wish to look, lie on the ground facing the shaft and peer over the edge. Although it is tempting, NEVER throw stones down a shaft since they may cause damage and there may be explorers below.
3. Underground exploration can be fascinating but it is also dangerous if not carried out in a safe manner. NEVER go exploring if you are inexperienced — contact the Kent Underground Research Group for advice. A simple code of practice for underground exploration is available free of charge by sending a self-addressed envelope to:
National Association of Mining History Organisations
c/o Peak District Mining Museum / Matlock Bath,
4. In case of need the South East Cave Rescue Organisation has teams covering Kent and Sussex. To call them out telephone 999, and ask for ‘Cave Rescue’.