If it wasn’t for the email we would have assumed (as we did originally) that we had done something wrong and would have tried again but the email gave us doubts. The cache might still be there.
Yes the whole idea of geocaching is to use a gps but anyone venturing onto the moors or other wilderness should be able to use a map and compass, which is why i think it is a good cache.
But maybe a cache like this is too much hard work for most cachers just to get one cache.
So perhaps its a numbers thing, if there was a series of caches to be found along a route using just a map and compass i bet there would be more attempts.