COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Access permitted to OFD

Following changes in the COVID restrictions in England and Wales, the keys for Ogof Ffynnon Ddu are now available to Permit holders who are residents of Wales and England. From the 26th April, this will also include those in Scotland. 

Whilst the issue of permits is as previously, the system for issuing keys and recording trips is very different. Please read the Interim Access Guidelines and Procedures before travelling to SWCC and OFD.

Please note that SWCC is currently unable to offer a cave rescue call out service. Cavers will therefore need to make their own call out arrangements when visiting OFD at any time.

Further information about the access arrangements to the SWCC HQ can be found on our COVID-19 page.

Thank you,


If you were looking for the OFD Cave Management Committee, you have been redirected here. This is because, following a reorganisation in Natural Resources Wales, the OFD Cave Management Committee has been wound up. At the wishes of NRW, SWCC now manage access to the OFD cave system. In addition, a new body, the OFD Cave Advisory Group, has been established to enable wider involvement in the management of OFD.

Access to Ogof Ffynnon Ddu I, II & Cwm Dwr

The entrances to OFD I, II and Cwm Dwr are located on land owned by either Natural Resources Wales or South Wales Caving Club. Access to these entrances is administered by SWCC by means of a permit, which must be produced when collecting a key from SWCC HQ. Unless you are a member of a club with an annual permit, you will need to arrange this in advance by applying for a permit. You should allow a minimum of two weeks between your application and your planned trip.

Apply for a Permit

You can apply for a permit by contacting the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Before applying for a permit, please ensure you read the following documents:

For any queries regarding permits, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that this is a voluntary role and emails are not monitored 24/7. If you do not receive a response within three days, it is possible your email has been incorrectly identified as spam; please email again.

If you are caving when it is anticipated that no one will be at the club, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 1 week in advance of your trip to obtain the changing room and cave key codes.

Annual Permits

Permits are normally valid only for a specified date/short period of time. The SWCC Permit Secretary will consider applications for permits that are valid for one year but such permits are normally granted only to clubs that visit the cave frequently and have, over a significant period, demonstrated a responsible attitude to safety and conservation. For further details regarding annual permits, see the Access and Entry Conditions, Procedures and Rules document.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu I Access Routes - PLEASE READ


Ogof Ffynnon Ddu Streamway

The streamway can be dangerous in wet or unsettled weather and it is therefore recommended that novices should NOT be taken into the OFD II streamway. 

Columns Access

Access to the Columns (in OFD II) has been restricted since 1978 following a number of incidents of wanton damage in the area. The Columns and adjacent floor are particularly vulnerable because, being form from limekiln seepage, they are much more fragile than conventional calcite formations. Therefore, all parties visiting the Columns must be accompanied by a Warden. Wardens will normally be available to accompany parties on the Sundays of the Easter, May Day, Spring and August Bank Holidays, and New Years Day itself.

Parties wishing to visit the Columns at these times do not need to make any prior arrangement, but should hold a valid permit for OFD II and should make themselves known to the Warden by 10:00 on the day, either in person or by phone (01639 730613). Wardens will normally be available at The Columns between noon and 15:00 each open day. It is noted that it is not the job of the Warden to lead parties to The Columns, only to meet by arrangement. Parties wishing to use the upper entrance must be suitably prepared with either ladders and lifelines or SRT kit. Please read the Access Conditions before applying.