Nigel Atkins

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Nigel Atkins Caver Training Services is run under license by the Pennine Organisation ltd.



Nigel has been at the leading edge of caver training in the UK for over 21 years. As a trainer and assessor to the British Caving Association scheme, he is able to offer a wealth of experience and advice on most areas of caving. As a demonstrator, he is also able to share ideas and experiences of other equipment and caving techniques from around the world.

     Nigel Atkins

Nigel is a unique character in that he is one of those people that once you meet, you never forget! He has that dynamic enthusiasm to anything he puts his hand to and attracts people to him like a magnet, entertaining and charming them with an art long since practiced by the court jesters of a forgotten era.  

     'Inverted Prussiking', Birmingham NEC

Affectionately nick named by the World famous rock climber and Chairman of the Derbyshire Caving Association Bob Dearman, as ‘The Electric Ferret’, Nigel is an extremely popular instructor and is unquestionably one of the best known cavers in this country.

Nigel’s introduction to the underworld was around the mid seventies as a keen Egyptologist with a desire to discover tombs of lost kings. In 1977 he enjoyed exploring the old mines around Matlock so much, he turned his attention to Ecton and Manifold Valley areas of Derbyshire. Joining up with the Trent Valley cave Exploration group based in the Manifold at Wetton Mill was a boost for them as Nigel has one of those thin frames and is able to negotiate the impossible. It was one of those pushing trips that he nearly lost his life when trapped in a tight rift close to the river.

Two years later he joined the Eldon Pothole Club in Buxton, a much larger club geared up for the bigger systems of the Yorkshire Dales and expeditions to other countries. It was at this time when Nigel invented the ‘swing & sing’ technique that he is now famous for when descending large vertical shafts. It was this time that he found pleasure in training vertical techniques to cavers. In 1984 he teamed up with Peter Revell at Bagshawe Cavern and worked as a guide leading both show cave and adventure caving trips. It was here that Nigel got the bug to teach caving to others.

  "Hey.. carry this sack for me will you", Mexico

This year Nigel is also celebrating his 25th anniversary as a guide at Bagshawe Cavern.


Other caving activities and contacts are available through the British Caving Association:

Forecasts are now available from the Met Office website at