Removing Letterboxes

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    Avatar photodartymoor

    Because using the cache description isn’t the best place, and this opens to a wider discussion that doesn’t interfere with the cache. These are just my thoughts and no offence is intended.

    Catching up on my notifications t’other day, I saw a note from Dave on one of his own caches;

    Having read some of the recent logs it appears that several unmaintained and saturated rubbish boxes have reappeared around Hound Tor. If you find one of these you will be doing everybody a favour if you remove it. Obviously don't remove any proper letterboxes which will contain a rubber stamp, but please remove unmaintained ice cream boxes and similar containers as they are no more than litter.

    I was a little uncomfortable when I read it, but real life distracted and I forgot – but today another notification came through (I receive notes in a radius of home, sometimes quite interesting!) from brentorboxer and it reminded me;

    If the cache owner has a problem with un-maintained letterboxes |I suggest he or anyone else who finds one should contact the owner if this is not possible report it to the DNPA, removing a letterbox without the owners permission will be seen as theft, it is not up to a geocacher to decide whether a letterbox should remain on the moor or not, if letterboxers are aware their boxes are being removed by geocachers it could cause no end of trouble for the geocachers as all the co-ords are online for anyone to see. Live and let live!

    I must admit, I agree totally with that point. I would also extend it by respectfully suggesting that relocating a box that’s on a honeypot tor a little away from it might also prevent confusion from kiddy boxes.

    We as geocachers should not rattle the cages of the letterboxers – as a whole I’ve found them sometimes quite anti-geocaching and I’m sure a minority would leap on words like the above to complain about caching, or worse, start a tit-for-tat. (Certain personalities on the letterboxing forum made me stop visiting it)

    I am aware that many letterboxers also dislike the “kids boxes” that do indeed litter many of the tors, but one major point here is that some geocachers know little about letterboxing, and may not know the difference between that and a geniune registered/WoM letterbox – take the accidental removal of stamps as swaps as proof. And yes, I’ve found genuine (and quite old) letterboxes that were in ice-cream containers too, and those that were saturated. Some that were well over a decade old with original logs which could also be classed as “unmaintained”. My point is it takes a lot of experience to make that call and many cachers don’t have it.

    We should live together peacefully, after all the hobbies are almost identical, and should be careful to respect the others’ viewpoint and what we write which could be misunderstood – especially when speaking as a geocacher and representing us all…

    Avatar photoDartmoor Dave

    I certainly do not wish to upset any letterboxers and totally respect their hobby as I hope they respect ours. In fact many participate in both hobbies and I agree with the “live and let live” sentiment.

    I have never advocated that anybody should remove a genuine letterbox from the moor but I do maintain that the very obvious rubbish boxes, often ice-cream cartons and saturated, should be removed as they are litter. Surely it is up to all of us to look after the moor we love and to remove litter whenever we see it.

    As for reporting these boxes to the DNPA, that is not sensible. They point out on their web site that they are not responsible for litter removal, but do so unofficially. They clearly have no resources for this aspect of maintaing the moor and it is up to all those who love the moor to clear litter when they see it.

    I will be interested in seeing other replies to this topic and will be very happy to amend or delete that note on my cache if that is the general consensus.

    Avatar photoreb10

    I was speaking to someone a few years ago who used to letterbox with his children and placed about 200 letterboxes on the moor. Once the children had become adults all interest in letterboxing ceased but the boxes were left on the moor.
    At least with caching caches can be archived and (hopefully) removed from the moor, but in my opinion too many letterboxes are just left in place after the owner has long lost interest in them.
    Well maintained letterboxes and caches should be left in place, but any that are in a bad state and clearly not being cared for should be removed.
    I do agree with Dartmoor Dave’s comment that it is up to us all to remove litter when we see it, on our last walk on the moor we picked up a ribena bottle, a milky way wrapper and a mars bar wrapper. Unfortunately litter of all sorts is becoming more common on the moor.

    Avatar photoreb10

    Slightly off of Dartmoor but we did the “Memories of Diptford” series today and while looking for no.8 (GC54BBV) we came across a letterbox, the last logs in it were dated 1999, there was still a stamp in the box although we couldn’t make out what it was except it was something to do with Diptford, perhaps a celebration of the millenium.
    Does any one know anything about the letterbox, it does seem strange that it has been there for 15 years with no finders.
    We didn’t find the cache but this was a surprise find.

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