Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Friday, 30 January 2015

Photo of the Month

Reflecting on the months activities, we have chosen to re-share the photograph taken by Adrian Wintle on our trip to Swaledale as our ‘photograph of the month’.

It is a striking picture of contrasts taken as we exited Bunton Mine via the main horse level.

The hardness of stone against the softness of the white cleansing snow and gentle flowing waters; dark shadows up against the light of the reflected sun and a lacing of vegetation.

Food for thought as hardness & darkness meet cleansing & light bringing the emergence of colour and life …

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Outdoors ... But Not As We Know It!


The early part of 2014 saw us making the decision to try our hand at a spot of gardening, ordering a variety of seeds that we intended to plant at the appropriate time in a range of pots that could be found in the garden. 

‘Sowing season’ seemed to find itself in the midst of much busyness, and it could be said that our enthusiasm and attention to detail for this particular ‘outdoor activity’ was not on a level to produce any horticultural show first place rosettes!

With packets at the ready, two large prepared pots were brought into the house to make some Sweetcorn seeds warm and welcome.

Seeds in situ the days passed with watering taking place and bright sun aiding the gestation.

As the weeks rolled on, green shoots soon turned to small seedlings and then on to more established plants. 

One pot saw the realization of just one plant, and was duly transferred into the outdoors remaining in its same home.  The second pot had found itself giving birth to two very different plants, one very green and robust, the other looking as if it would not live to see another day!  As the more established plant remained in its container the weak and sad looking candidate very nearly found itself heading for the compost heap!

Rescued from its fate what seemed like a mansion, for this scrawny seedling to live in, was found and its roots embedded in some fresh soil.

So what happened as the weeks rolled into months? 

The plants began to establish themselves yet more, and slowly but surely it was becoming evident that ‘baby scrawn’ was becoming stronger and more fruitful than we could have ever imagined, even to the point of overtaking its ‘siblings’! In fact the only ‘fruit’ from our Sweetcorn sowing came from the very plant that at one point had looked like it could produce nothing.


Sitting in the sun and being overwhelmed by the progress that had been made we found ourselves relating what we saw to life.

Do we sometimes feel weak and inadequate; finding it hard to produce anything of purpose and character? All the good in us drained by, the confinement of circumstances and situations or the other ‘plants of life’ surrounding us, sapping us for their own benefit and promotion.

Could it be time to ‘replant’ ourselves into an environment, where the ‘soil’ of new thinking will feed, water and nurture the good in us;  the bigger ‘container’ inspiring us to try something new and different to gain confidence and strength, producing a life that has meaning and value?

Our minds reminded of the account of a story told by Jesus:

‘…The seed that fell on the fresh soil represents the person taking in and understanding the goodness of My words, and producing a harvest beyond all wildest dreams…’ (Matthew 13 v 23)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Spot Holing

Winter is still here! Life and work though are preventing us from getting a really big high day in. However, today we were able to combine a visit to our friends at Inglesport to collect some new caving equipment with a walk in West Kingsdale. This is one of my favourite caving areas with great adventures having been enjoyed in venues like: Simpson's Pot; Rowten Pot; Bull Pot Kingsdale; Jingling Pot; Aquamole and Yordas to name just a few - all that said I've never walked in the area so it was great to take the opportunity in windless conditions to visit the "Cheese Press" Stones and do a bit of "Spot Holing"

Incredible Winter Morning

Beautiful in the Yorkshire Dales

Wintry on The Turbary Road

Glacial Erratics - The Cheese Press Stones

Scale of The Cheese Press Stones

"Spot Holing" Swinsto Hole?

"Spot Holing" The Abyss of Rowten Pot

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Winter has finally arrived in the North of England.

We've taken a couple of opportunities over the last few days to get out and walk in the snow, as yet we've not been really high but its been very enjoyable and good to see!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Underground So Far....

A couple of trips underground so far this year and an exploration of Scaleburn Vein at Nenthead planned for later in the week will produce a subterranean start to 2015.

Last Saturday saw a return to Bull Pot of the Witches for the first time for several years. It was good to be back in the Yorkshire Dales and after breakfast at Inglesport we entered the pot hole via the chimney climb and took an abseil down the cat hole to access the passages below, a brief exploration of these long dry galleries and a visit to the gour pools rounded off a nice beginning to the New Year underground. There are some photos from this trip in the previous post.

Thursday was a day with a difference as a group of eight of us, one or two old friends and several new acquaintances, headed for Greenside Mine at Glenridding. It was a trip led by CATMHS entering the mine at the Lucy Tongue level. What an excellent day - this mine has long been on my "to do" list its a real gem so a big thanks to Warren for making this possible. There are a few pictures below and maybe one or two more to follow.

Monday, 5 January 2015

2015: Getting Started

After an enjoyable Christmas & New Year it was great to get started again with a visit to the Yorkshire Dales & a day underground on Saturday!