Despite covid restrictions continuing to affect the uncertainty of foreign expeditions, five applications received GPF grant aid during the latest round of funding. The GPF Committee allocated £5,650, plus 5 Alex Pitcher awards of £100 each for young cavers going on their first expedition abroad.
Browse the archive map to find out more about the funded expeditions’ objectives.
Since its creation in 1973 GPF has had charitable status as a sub-charity of the British Caving Research Association (BCRA) even though its funds and committee and management were completely separate.
In 2018 the GPF trustees decided that the Foundation should gain charitable status in its own right and this process was completed in September 2019. GPF’s charity number is 1185385.
Having its own charitable status has advantages in terms of simplicity, reporting and financial controls. For practical purposes, links with other UK caving bodies such as BCRA and BCA remain unchanged.
In recognition of the uncertain times we live in and their impact on grant applications for caving expeditions to take place in 2021 Ghar Parau Foundation committee have agreed to relax some of the criteria for 2021 applications and take a more lenient view than normal.
The criteria being relaxed are for the dates of the expedition to occur in 2021 and also a detailed list of expedition personnel. An approximation for each will be accepted.
However that does not excuse sloppy applications. The objectives of the expedition, references and other back up information necessary for the committee to evaluate the application need to be as good as can be reasonably expected and if not the grant award will be reduced accordingly. GPF is a charitable concern and as such certain basic standards must be adhered to.
GPF Committee hope that the relaxation of the above criteria will encourage more applications from UK cavers in 2021, even if there is a vagueness to timing and expedition size.
2019: There have been British caving expeditions to the Dachstein plateau, high in the Austrian Alps, for over 50 years. In 2018 the expedition made the historic connection between WUG Pot, high on the plateau, with the monster 112 km Hirlatzhöhle system, yet the search for a higher entrance to WUG Pot continues. Read more, and on the successful use of the GPF-funded Cavelink set for making deep trips safer.
2019: The objective was to explore virgin cave passages both underwater and above, using advanced cave diving and caving techniques. The expedition had three exploratory dives, with 601 m of new cave passages discovered. The total length of the cave is now 1.5 km, of which 1,125 m has been discovered by this team.
2019: The 3rd largest cave in Armenia has been found! Furthermore, three regions were assessed for their speleological significance for a future expedition and relations with a newly formed club the “Armenian Speleological Team” were fostered.
2019: With the Ghar Parau Foundation now being an independent charity, the GPF needs an identity (i.e. a logo). Therefore we are starting a logo competition, looking for a design that reflects what the Foundation does or its link to the cave Ghar Parau. The winning logo will win a heavy duty Warmbac oversuit! Entry details can be found here.
2019: The Scurion Raffle at Hidden Earth, won by Phil Hawcroft, raised a total of £1,229 in aid of the the GPF! Thanks go to Maxine Bateman and Meg Gorry for their relentless selling tactics. A further £351 was raised by the silent auctioning of the silver Caver’s Cup, crafted and generously donated by Sam Drake.
A big thanks from the GPF to Sam, Rolf, Ceris and everyone who bought tickets.
Scurion has generously donated another lamp to raffle at Hidden Earth in aid of The Ghar Parau Foundation. It is a Scurion basic 1500 set with one battery-module worth £625.
More details here.
Samantha Drake has spent a long time making a Silver Cavers Cup, which she has generously donated to the GPF. It is a fantastic, hallmarked one-off piece. The cup will displayed at Hidden Earth 2019 in the Art Salon and be sold by Silent Auction, subject to a reserve price. We hope people will like the cup and support GPF by bidding for this fantastic, one-off piece of caving artwork. Tickets and more pics.