About WCMS

Download our information leaflet

Our History

The Wealden Cave & Mine Society was founded in 1967 as Unit Two Cave Research and Exploration by a small group of young people interested in exploring the old mine-workings in Surrey, and caving more generally. Since then the club has grown in size and become a registered charity responsible for looking after many underground places in Surrey, and encouraging the sport of caving more widely.

What We Do

We have the exclusive use of a recently restored 19th century cottage in South Wales which is close to some extensive caves. Our cottage can accommodate 20 people, and is family-friendly, comfortable, and in a superb mountain location. The cottage also has some camping accommodation.

The WCMS caving cottage in South Wales.

From time to time, we visit other cave regions to get underground, like Somerset, or the Peak District, and mining regions like the North Pennines, and North Wales, for example.

In Surrey, we are very active exploring and studying a number of old mines worked for sand and building stone. Most of these are gated and locked to protect landowners from liability and members of the public from putting themselves at risk. However, many sites can be visited by contacting us. For non-cavers the BCA (British Caving Association) runs a “Try Caving” scheme that facilitates getting underground in such cases. We also open the Reigate Caves five times a year for public visits.

Deep in a Surrey mine.

Affordable Membership

Our annual membership fees (2023) are split into two parts:

BCA – All members are required to be members of the British Caving Association, which can be arranged through us. If you are already a BCA member by other means, you do not need to pay this element. This costs £20 for an active adult caver. For non-active and younger or student cavers, there are reduced rates which we can provide on request. BCA membership provides you with third party liability insurance cover.

WCMS – has three categories of membership:

  • Single Adult Member : £20
  • Joint Adult Members : £30
  • Junior members (Under 18 children of adult members only) : No fee.

Our membership year runs from 1st January. When you renew, we offer an early renewal discount of £4 for Single members and £6 for Joint members, so it’s even cheaper.

We publish newsletters and an occasional research journal, we have a busy diary of caving and social events, we have the exclusive use of a rope techniques practice wall, and a lot more. If you would like to know more about us before signing up, please use our contact page to ask.

How To Join

If you wish to apply to become a member, please use the contact page to let us know who you are, and select the option “Membership Enquiry” in the drop down list. Add some basic details and send us a message. We will then be in touch to provide more details of the process, and what the next steps are.

Deep under South Wales.