0489: Espino, Cueva del (M22 (SEAD))
Muela 30T 454068 4796611 (Datum: ETRS89. Accuracy code: M) Altitude 615m
Length 211m Depth 6m Vertical range -6 to +7m
Area position

Updated 17th October 2003; 10th October 2004; 1st February 2006; 7th June 2007; 21st December 2008; 25th, 26th September 2012; 8th January 2020; 5th May 2022

The cave is in a 20m high cliff face with bushes and has been marked M22 by SEAD. The entrance is 5 x 8m. A walking size passage lowers to a draughting tube which has been dug to lowish passage with straws and stal.

A sediment sample has been taken.

In the summer of 2003, the draughting eye-hole at the end of the 94 extension was opened up and a further extension made at essentially the same level. The extensions, by members of the Derbyshire Caving Club, are described on the DCC web site and summarised here.
The extension consists of a continuation of the main passage which is about 5 metres diameter and phreatic in origins. This has been filled with mud and calcite in various phases and in parts only the top section is accessible, hence the dig and two squeezes dug through. However, in the extension, two separate inlets have washed out the infill and left sizeable chambers. The passage continues after the second chamber but is filled to the roof and has no draught. The first chamber has a second inlet and both get too narrow. The best prospect is the outlet in the first chamber where the draft emerges. This has been dug briefly and a return visit would be worthwhile, especially as it hints at a deeper level for the cave. Between the two chambers is a low passage on two levels divided by a false floor. Above this is another inlet which has been explored for a short distance.
In the final chamber, the way on is blocked to the roof but there is also an aven and hole in the floor which were looked at in 2004. Work continues, but has the final pot been descended?

At Whit 2007 a side passage on the right just beyond the DCC memorial was opened up. This leads back to the cliff face but is blocked with a (possibly ancient) dry stone wall. There are bones on both sides of the wall and a possible continuation running parallel to the cliff after what appears to be an easy dig. (There were also a lot of fleas). In 2012, the "oval slot", with larger passage beyond, was found to be too tight but may be possible for a "youth with attitude".

Various Bronze and Iron Age items, including pottery, have been found in the entrance chamber. Details have yet to be published (Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008, p228).

In 2012, probable wild boar bones and teeth were identified at the start of the extensions and other bones noticed in the earlier sections including small carnivores and a large bird.

Reference Smith P et al, 2015 has a summary of the archaeological work carried out within 2004 - 2016.

References: material in file; anon., 1992b (logbook); anon., 1994b (logbook); Corrin J, 1994b (survey); anon., 1995c (logbook); anon., 2000c (Summer logbook); anon., 2003c (summer logbook); anon., 2004d (summer logbook); anon., 2005c (autumn logbook); Corrin Juan, 2005; Corrin Juan, 2006; anon., 2007c (Whit logbook); Corrin Juan, 2007a; Ruiz Cobo Jesús et al, 2008 (survey); anon., 2012d (summer logbook); Smith P et al, 2015; anon., 2022b (Easter logbook)
Entrance pictures : old :  new :  view from the entrance2003 DCC team in the entrance : photos from 2004 : April 2022
Underground picture(s): photos from 2003 : photos from 2004 :
Pictures around the wall on the right of the entrance, Whit 2007 : Probable wild boar, 2012 : memorial plaque
Detailed Survey : 1:1000 (1990 and 1994)   1:500 (with the 2003 extensions)
Line Survey :
Videos : by Nigel Dibben new exploration (5.6Mb)  digging (1.8Mb)
On area survey
Survex file : yes (Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid and coordinates altered to fit ETRS89 datum, April 2014.)