A FLOODED mine dubbed a 'car graveyard' is being trashed by instagrammers, a group of local cave explorers have said.

Gaerwen slate mine shot to internet fame around a six years ago after images of a 'car graveyard' were posted online in the Cavern of Lost Souls.

Unfortunately, the attention has drawn several thrill seekers who have left graffiti, rubbish and several rubber dinghies in the cavern, leading local cave explorers to dub it the cavern of lost filth.

Anthony Taylor, from Aberystwyth, along with friends, spent hours cleaning the cavern recently and said: "It's really sad and disheartening really.

"The whole reason people want to visit a place like this is because they have seen it on the internet and think that's an amazing place to go and see. So why trash it.

"How often do you see hundreds and hundreds of cars underground with a huge pile of light coming onto them from the sun.

"It's a bizarre environment. It is a bizarre sight. It is probably the only place in the world you would see a sight like that, so why break it. Why destroy it for everyone else?"

The group retrieved around 30 rubber dinghies from inside the cave and spent hours cleaning graffiti off the slate walls.

The rubbish in the cavern (Gerard Carlton)

Gaewern slate mine is on private land near Corris Uchaf. Mining began in 1820, and continued after a merger with nearby Braichgoch slate mine until the 1970s, employing 200 at its peak.

After its closure, the mine was used as a dumping ground, with around 100 cars thought to have been pushed into the cavern, which led to spectacular images being posted of the car graveyard and drew attention to the cavern.

To get to the cavern, Mr Taylor and fellow cavers first had to pass an entrance littered with discarded bin bags that visitors had used to try to keep their feet dry.

He said: "From about 30ft in, the spray painting starts, and it was awful.

“The graffiti gets worse in the main chamber towards the cars with more rubbish on the floor, including discarded glow sticks and human faeces.

"When you get to the end, it was just a sea of boats, inflatable dinghies everywhere.”

He wants to educate people about the value of old mines, and fears sites like Gaewern could one day be sealed off.

"If these things keep happening, it's going to be lost to everyone forever."