Thurston Outdoor Education Centre: Mine exploration policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Venue
  3. Staffing
  4. Equipment
  5. Operating considerations

Revised: January 2022


The village of Coniston and the surrounding fells have a rich history of slate and copper mining, with many disused quarries and mines. Cathedral Quarry is the only one which is available for exploration. Mine exploration offers an inspiring and challenging activity in which groups can engage in local history.


Cathedral Quarry and mine (Little Langdale).

Other venues subject to an inspection by a qualified mines inspector.


  • Ratio: The normal instructor / student ratio.
  • Leader should be familiar with venue, had suitable training and in house approval.
  • Relevant qualifications appropriate to the operating environment e.g. ML.


  • Adequate clothing and footwear for the conditions and terrain.
  • Careful consideration should be given to the use of helmets.
  • Adequate group equipment for the terrain and conditions.
  • The centre provides all specialist equipment.
  • Instructor must ensure they have appropriate lighting for the venue and objectives.

Operating considerations

  • Instructors should consider the groups adverse reaction to the mine environment e.g. claustrophobia, darkness.
  • If using candles, a clear safety briefing must be given on their use.
  • For Cathedral Quarry all staff must be aware of the National Trust's site specific guidelines.