Geocache Cycling Trail – The Flitch Way


[EDIT: I’ve edited this blog post as a few people weren’t too happy with my opinions on the cache containers hidden along the trail. Really that was the only negative thing I emphasised and I did have a bit of a moan (I’m female after all!) I didn’t realise that people would view my comments as being as harsh as they possibly sounded so I have removed the negatives and just left the positives about a very enjoyable days caching. I also didn’t expect so many visitors to the site! So Hello!!!]

Hooray! At last another geocache trail that we can can bike! We decided to go along the “Flitch Way” from Little Canfield to Braintree. It goes all the way from Bishops Stortford, however the caches don’t go all of the way along. The old railway used to run along the Flitch Way and instead of letting it overgrow they turned it into a long distance footpath/cycle path! Brilliant!

You can still see soot on the top of the bridge from the old steam trains

On the way there we stopped at the Takeley Heathen Stone Geocache (GC1VBN7) Essex is a bit famous for its random large bolders scattered here an there, especially the Hertfordshire “Puddingstone”. There are quite a lot at road junctions, and along church walls, etc. there’s also a theory that they stretch along to stone henge as part of a trail. I’m quite interested in them actually, so it was good to find one.

Me at the stone

After this we went onto the trail. The weather was pretty kind to us and we managed to get along most of it without even a splatter of rain. The rain came at the end along the big stretch back, however managed to stop in time to let the wind dry us out!

A lot of the caches along the Flitch way have been placed by a user employed as a ‘Professional Geocacher’ to increase the knowledge of County Parks in Essex. The project is funded by funds from the National Lottery.

We found 39 caches in all and about 35 were along the Flitch Way stretch. The majority were placed by this Essex County Parks scheme but the caches placed by other cachers did have ‘the edge’!

Mushrooms at GZ

You can see for miles...

One of the two highlights of the day was ‘find the log & log your find Flitch way 2#‘. The container was a piece of plumbing pipe. I know it’s not majorly exciting but it was different. Inside was a note from “Flitch Way Doggy Walker” apologising for taking the container. They said that they have put it back now and hopes our searches can continue. Haha! I guess someone took it and didn’t realise what it was. At least it’s safe and sound!

Different!

And the major highlight of the day was BUNKER (I’m not giving the link or GC code as this is a bit of a SPOILER). We spent quite a while searching for it. It ended up being a big chunk of concete with a plastic jar inside. It was created to match the theme of a world war bunker. It was stuck in the ground and I only managed to find it when I saw the little Geocaching logo peeking out at me!!! What a great idea!

Peek-a-boo!

The container

It was a great day’s caching. I would highly recommend this stretch though and it was one of my most favorite Geocaching days out just for the cycle ride and the adventure. So if you’re ever in the area give this one ago. I’d be interested in seeing what other cachers honestly thought about some of the containers…

The sign pointing us back to the car. Quite a way to go...

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5 Responses to “Geocache Cycling Trail – The Flitch Way”

  1. mcwomble Says:

    Ah! How to win friends and influence people!!

    Exactly how much money do you think has been made available for the position?
    Whilst it’s a profession, I imagine it’s on a pittance and on a part-time basis too.
    From what I gather a lot of the grant money was spent on providing GPS for public hire and Michelle (that’s SxParx BTW) is primarily to provide assistance at *all* of the parks introducing joe public to caching itself.

    I’ve not done any of the new Flitch Way caches so I can’t comment on the quality and/or quantity of the new caches.

    Personally I’d rather they were all micros as I don’t bother with swag, but hey we all play the game to our own interpretation of the rules.
    Some stop to smell the flowers and admire the scenery along the way, others just want a power trail and bemoan the extra 5 minutes it takes to extract a tricky log – after all it’s cutting into their hourly caching rate.

    If you want truly *awesome* cache hides, then look no further than the Bassett caches in Southwold; only 6 caches per set, but possibly the pinnacle of cache hide ingenuity.

    • geocass Says:

      Hey mcwomble,

      Apologies if you thought my comments on the SxParx cache trail along the flitch way were a bit out of order, they weren’t meant to cause any ill feelings. It is of course just our opinion that I was expressing, nothing was meant to be taken personally. I did say that we enjoyed the adventure overall and the containers were our only quibble. I perhaps put it across wrongly. It’s not the person that I thought put out bad containers, it was the way the funds were possibly allocated. I guess they would have allocated a certain amount of money to the containers and the person was only using what they had. If new cachers were being introduced to caching I’m not sure what they would think if they found a few of the little bottles as their first finds. The vial containers were good though!

      The job was advertised here: http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/ned.jsp?channelOid=124288&guideOid=124161&oid=144399
      So £50,000 is what i expected would be allocated! I saw it after it had been taken, and after reading it through a couple of times I guess it just gave me false hopes of what to expect… The advert does make it sound too good to be true! I’d also heard an interview with Geoff on the Geotalk podcast. He did make it sound damn good!!!

      I’ll amend my entry to stop it sounding like a personal attack on Michelle. It’s not! It wasn’t the time that it took to extract the log that bothered us, it was that it attracted some unwanted muggle attention whilst doing so. We tried to be discrete but it was a little harder than usual. A few crept up on us whilst we were trying to extract and we didn’t want anyone to muggle the hides!

      Anyway, hope I haven’t caused any hard feelings with my comments. As I said I’d read the job ad and heard the podcast before hands and just was expecting something a little different! The trail itself was most enjoyable! 🙂

      Cass

  2. BU4435 Says:

    Hi,

    I found this blog an interesting read. However I thought it a bit harsh on the “professional” geocacher because i don’t believe you realise what their job entitles. They are not paid to put caches out they are paid to generate interest in geocaching through organised meets and events and to encourage people to get out and explore their local countryside. I know she has recently run a programme to encourage disabled people into the sport. This is also why the caches are not particularly difficult because they’re designed to encourage people into the sport. I believe that if you can’t already hire GPS’s then you will very shortly from the discovery centre. She is not paid to design bespoke caches. She is paid for a 20 hour week but i know that she has been doing 40 hours regularly for weeks. . I would also suggest that putting photo’s of people ingenious hides on a website isn’t a brilliant idea as it gives the game away for others. I notice that you’ve only recently set your own first caches out so perhaps you’re not in the best position to comment on peoples choices of location and hides.People should be encouraged to place caches otherwise there will not be any new ones for us to find in the future. This is my rant over.

    • geocass Says:

      Ok people seem to be getting a bit annoyed about this. Like I said it’s not a personal attack and yeah you’re right I don’t know what the position entails! The job ad makes it sound great and that’s all I’m going on. I guess the commenters have met her and I’m sure she’s lovely. It’s not a personal attack! It’s just an opinion! I wasn’t criticising the location, nor the hides simply the bottle containers!

  3. An eventful evening – An apology « GeoCass UK GeoCaching Says:

    […] on (I know, I couldn’t believe it either! ). On Saturday I posted the blog entry ‘Geocache cycling trail – The Flitch Way‘ about our cache adventure along the Flitch way in […]


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