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Anne Hopkirk


Membership - NMCS will organise your BCA Insurance

Membership - I get my BCA Insurance via another club or directly

Friend of NMCS- no BCA Insurance required

Expires 31/12/2024

Membership requires approval

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Welcome to Nenthead Mines Conservation Society

Thank you for your interest.

Nenthead Mines Conservation Society is a volunteer charity with approximately 150 members who support the work of looking after, maintaining and renovating this historic site at Nenthead, near Alston, in Cumbria, UK.   Lead and Zinc were historically mined here and the Nenthead Mines site has mine entrances, watercourses, dressing floors and renovated mine buildings.

The site is famous for its geology - we are in the The North Pennines AONB UNESCO Global Geopark (https://en.unesco.org/global-geoparks/north-pennies).

We are also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the geology of the area. [ Go to https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/  and a search page will show.  Type in Smallcleagh Mine, SSSI, Cumbria to the 3 boxes for more information]

Part of the site is Calaminarian grassland and home to some rare plant species.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calaminarian_grassland)

Most of the valley has been classed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument by Historic England. (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/scheduled-monuments/)

We are funded by membership fees, donations and Bunkhouse fees.  We have recently taken ownership of the site from Cumbria County Council - this enables us to apply for grants, such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  If successful, this will enable us to do some bigger projects than we could previously tackle - and there are quite a few projects on our list!!!

Do come and join us - the countryside is beautiful;  the site is full of interesting places to explore and it's a fun place to be.  Members are encouraged to get involved in, as much or as little as they like, of the work we do to run and look after this amazing site.

You can become either a Member or an Friend of NMCS (formerly known as an Associate).


  • Members can participate in member activities at Nenthead or elsewhere organised under the auspices of the Society.

  • Members must be insured for participation in NMCS activities under the terms of the Society’s insurance package which is arranged via the British Caving Association (BCA)

  • Members have full voting rights at all General and Annual General Meetings  of the Society.

  • Members receive communications from the Society and can join the online Facebook Group, “Nenthead Mines Conservation Society Members & Associates.

Friends of NMCS:

  • are those who wish to support the Society, but do not normally wish to take part in any of the activities organised by NMCS on the site. 

  • Friends can visit the Nenthead site on privately organised visits to the Society or on the Society’s Public Open Days, but cannot participate in 'Member Only' activities except on 4 occasions as 'Prospective Members'. This is a lifetime total.

  • Friends receive communications from the Society and can join the online Facebook Group, “Nenthead Mines Conservation Society Members & Friends.

  • Friends can neither attend nor vote at any General and Annual General Meetings of the Society. 


Please choose which type of membership you would like above.  If you are joining as a new Member, there is an approval process which takes a couple of days.  You will receive an email once it is completed.  

If you require NMCS to organise BCA Insurance for you, we can collect the Insurance fee and pass it to the BCA.  Current annual fees are £20 for Full Insurance (required if you are going to take part in any activities on site - both surface and underground) ; £6 for Social only (Social events and in person meetings e.g. AGM).  There is a reduction if you are new to the BCA.

Come and join us! 



(Membership Secretary, NMCS)