Gloucestershire inland dive-site the National Diving & Activity Centre (NDAC) has closed permanently, following enforced periods of inactivity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are not taking bookings for leisure activities or public diving,” reads the announcement released yesterday (18 February). “We’d like to thank all our customers for their support over the years.”
The centre, based at Tidenham, Chepstow near the English-Welsh border, was a former limestone quarry that had been flooded in 1996. It opened as NDAC in 2003, and while owner Darren Bryce was able to offer visitors a range of above-ground activities and overnight accommodation, the location was best known for its many underwater attractions, installed at a range of depths down to 76m.
The quarry’s maximum depth of 80m had made the location popular not only with recreational scuba divers but also with technical, free and military divers. On-site training had been provided by ScubaQuest, and many divers had learnt to dive and gained additional qualifications at NDAC over the years.
A guide to all the main English and Welsh inland dive-sites was published on Divernet one year ago (20 February) in the middle of lockdown, and continues to provide the most up-to-date overview of 15 possibilities for divers seeking an accessible freshwater venue. See the Inland Sites Diver’s Guide 2021.
Steve has been a scuba diver for 30 years and became editor of Diver magazine in 1996, following 10 years with BBC World Service and the 10 before that in motoring journalism.