Last Thursday we scouted out a new trail for our next set of hides. It was in a Forestry Commission owned woodland and therefore requires special permission from them for caches to be placed there. The same thing applies for SSSI’s and National Trust owned land. I think a lot of people are put off of placing caches in these sorts of areas, however just because they are owned by these organisations it doesn’t mean you can’t place caches there, in fact I think it’s a darn sight easier to get permissions to place caches there as you can easily get contact details from their web sites. You just need to ask […]
We went around the woodland and carefully chose very easy cache spots, bases of trees, bases of posts, etc. Not necessarily to make it an easy trail, but to ensure that the finder doesn’t have to go too deep into the preserved woodland or damage anything because of our placements. Causing ill effects to the area is the last thing I ever want to do. After this I created a .GPX file of the rough coords, used good old http://maps.the-hug.net/ (Love this site!) to plot the coords from the GPX file, did a bit of photoshopping to remove the lines drawn to show the route and saved my map. 🙂
The Geocaching Association of Great Britain (GAGB) has done a great job of maintaining a land agreements database for many areas including a lot of FC land. These are agreements mean that you don’t have to seek permission on an individual basis, but rather as long as you agree to the GAGB guidelines, and the rules in the agreement, you can place your caches there and the reviewer will email the contact to let them know of the placement. There are agreements for the East of England, and South East England. I wasn’t too sure where we fell under as there is also an “East Anglia” Forestry Commission. So I emailed the contact listed for the East of England agreement, sent the map, said that I understood the guidelines, and told them that caches would be placed very close to the path to minimize any disturbance to the woodland. She told me that she wasn’t sure which ranger was in charge of that woodland and would pass it to a potential ranger. Well, today that ranger got back to me and indeed it was a different person. It was a ranger in one of the Suffolk Woods. He told me that as it is a freehold wood (Not sure what that is, but apparently it’s the opposite to a leasehold wood!) then I am “welcome” to place the Geocaches as described. He said that no further information was neccesary (I offered to send precise coords, location details, and photographs – Yes I’m very prepared) as I have confirmed that I am following the national guidelines. At the end of the email he said “I hope it all goes well for you”. How lovely! 🙂 Not only did he say we were allowed, but he wished us luck!
We’re away up North next weekend, however when we get back we’re going to get the ball rolling and lay this trail along with the one that was found by mistake whilst searching for this FC forest (hehe!) Just got to hunt out all my tupperware. I knew there was a reason I stocked up on lots different sized tubs over the last few months 🙂
So the lesson here is ASK. Just because it’s special land doesn’t mean that you can’t place caches there. Some of these areas are particularly beautiful and it’s good to know that my caches will be bringing other cachers to this lovely little woodland. When we were looking for hiding spots we saw many deer in and around the wood and heard quite a few owls. It was quite spooky, but fun!