I have followed all this with interest. On the whole, I am content that caches are reviewed so that they don’t cause problems when published. And that the review process is stringent. However, one initial problem is that the reviewers are the type of person who when driving through a 30mph speed zone at 30 mph, slam the brakes on to pass the speed camera at 20 mph. Just in case.
Here in Wales where 80-90% of the moorland is SSSI, we have to get permission off the landowner to place a cache and all details including name and contact number forwarded to the reviewer if the cache is in a SSSI. All because someone tried once to place a cache beside a Snowdon Lily ( a very rare plant on the highest Snowdon peaks). Do w have this lily in South and mid Wales? No we do not but we are constrained by this rule. And some landowners refuse all requests to place a cache. It is much easier to place a cache on farmland where no permision is required or even in a layby where no one seems to care.
The net result of this is that geocaching is becoming an increasingly sedentary activity. A trail appeared through the western beacons this spring: 45 caches in laybys. If you walk more than 450 metres to do all 45 caches, you’re an incompetent parker. And all in some of the grandest walking country in the UK…
Another aspect of this is that the reviewers seem to pay little attention to the exact location of caches beside roads. One cache was placed at the bottom of a garden last year- just outside the garden wall but when cachers started looking amongst the wall, the house owner got upset. Not surprisingly. The cache owner blamed the cachers looking for the cache but it wasnt their fault- it was his. Eventually the cache was archived. But not before the rumpus echoed through other surrounding caches.
So my feelings are that the balance needs to be changed. That it should be possible to place caches in low-grade SSSIs (lets have an agreement with the country agencies to sort that out). That more attention should be paid to caches (and questions asked) in review which are near houses. There are other similar questions they should be asking but are not.