Mining and Cavities

The presence of cavities whether natural or man-made poses a risk to development because of the presence of voids or soft or loose infill materials.


In some parts of the UK around 20% of the land area had been subject to mining. Mines may take the form of drift mines, adits, surface workings or shallow and deep mine shafts. Often mines were started speculatively and shortly afterwards abandoned with little or no records of working.

Mining could take the form of workings for coal, ironstone, sandstone, limestone, chalk, metal and clay. In South East England historic features known as Deneholes are frequently found. These are vertical shafts, excavated by hand to facilitate small scale extraction of chalk and flint.

SubsidenceNatural Features

Solution or dissolution features occur in chalk and limestone. These features often known as Sink Holes, often comprise loosely infilled structures or cavities formed as a result of preferential chemical weathering.

Gulls are features associated with the development of valley bulging and cambering in distinct geological conditions in Kent, Sussex and Northamptonshire. Gulls are steeply inclined fissures or joints that have been partially or wholly infilled with overlying material.

We have access to national databases of natural cavities and mine workings. With our extensive ground investigation experience you can ensure that such features are identified during the site investigation and appropriate measures implemented to ensure the suitability for site development.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about our services or would like to discuss how we could help you, please get in touch using our contact form below. Please provide as much information as possible about the nature of your enquiry, particularly the purpose of the investigation, the site address and postcode.

Any existing or proposed site plans are useful and can be attached beneath the message box. Please provide a contact address, email and telephone number. We will get in touch as soon as possible.


We use cookies, just to track visits to our website, we store no personal details. ACCEPT COOKIES What are cookies?

Southern Testing are continuing to work through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, including carrying out site work where it is safe to do so.

The Government have given express support to the Construction sector and have issued specific guidance for working on site. The Construction Leadership Council have also issued guidance.

We have revised our travelling and working practices to ensure that our staff are protected, and to meet the particular requirements of the guidance as well as our own risk assessments. The guidance and our working practices are under constant review.

Most site investigation work can be undertaken safely under the current restrictions.

We are committed to helping all our clients, old and new, during this difficult time. Should you have any site investigation requirements, or wish to discuss a particular project, please do not hesitate to contact us.