Marble Arch Caves to mark International Year of Caves and Karst (IYCK)  

1st February 2021

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The world-renowned Marble Arch Caves is set to mark the world’s first International Year of Caves and Karst (IYCK) with a number of special events and activities throughout the year.

The International Year of Caves and Karst is organised by the International Union of Speleology, a worldwide organisation of cave and karst explorers, scientists, managers, and educators.  The IYCK will be the largest ever event showcasing caves and karst landscapes across the world.

To celebrate the world’s first International Year of Caves and Karst, the Marble Arch Caves will host several events and activities throughout the year to highlight the global importance of caves and karst as physical, ecological and cultural systems and the uniqueness of the cave and karst landscape surrounding the Marble Arch Caves – a natural underworld system of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages, and lofty chambers.

To kick off the programme of activities, ‘Delve Into the Deep’ education resource packs will be available to download from the March Arch Caves website, from 8 – 12 February 2021.

Suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils, the education resource packs have been created by the Marble Arch Caves development team to support teachers and students to understand why and how our wonderful underground landscape formed, the three creative experiments; Fantastic Formations, Raging Rivers and Slippy Sinkhole activities, captivate the imagination and help students gain a greater understanding of cave environments.

The 4-star Tourism NI visitor attraction is managed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. Speaking about the programme, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong, said:

“Under the vibrant green hills of Fermanagh lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and subterranean rivers. Amongst them is the Marble Arch Caves one of Europe’s finest show caves. The ‘Delve Into The Deep’ education resource packs tell the fantasticating story of our cave and karst landscape of Fermanagh in a fun and imaginative way. It highlights the importance of this unique landscape and the creative experiments will captivate the students to learn more about this remarkable landscape.”  

The Marble Arch Caves, set within the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark, are among the finest show caves in Europe and the only show cave in Northern Ireland. Spanning a total length of approximately 7.1 miles it is the longest cave system in Northern Ireland with over 1 mile accessible to the public on a guided cave tour. More than 2 million people from 100 countries have delved into the stunning underground world of subterranean rivers, winding passages, lofty chambers and delicate cave formations since the show cave first opened to the public in 1985.

The launch of the ‘Delve Into The Deep’ education resource pack is the first in a programme of events and activities organised by the Marble Arch Caves to mark the International Year of Caves and Karst (ICYK). Details of further events and activities will be announced closer to the time.

For further information on the Marble Arch Caves or to download the ‘Delve Into The Deep’ education resource pack please visit the Marble Arch Caves website at

Please note, the Marble Arch Caves is currently closed to the public in line with Covid-19 restrictions.