New MoD guidelines?

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  • #2296
    Brentorboxer
    Participant

    Well said CP, I had come to this conclusion years ago when a self-imposed geocaching ban was placed on Roos Tor!

    #2297
    reb10
    Participant

    The phrase ‘don’t rock the boat’ comes to mind. As i understand it normal rights of way and access laws do not apply to land that is used by the MOD regardless if they own it or not, i think it comes under MOD byelaws. Which is why the three ranges on Dartmoor are not shaded like the rest of the access areas on the moor.
    The more people that contact the defence estate, the more peeved they will get, after all they have more important things to worry about than cachers.

    #2298
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Latest Update:

    I missed a call from Andrew Watson on Wednesday last week and he’s not back in the office until Monday or Tuesday. The DNPA are in contact with the MoD and they are going to attempt to negotiate a local agreement with the MoD on Dartmoor. I think we should all be patient and see what progress is made. I don’t think any individual contact with the local MoD will be helpful. I will continue to speak to Andrew who I believe is taking this very seriously. If you look at the DNPA 20 year plan “access” is hugely important.

    I will try to get involved with this, Andrew and I came up with the SSSI agreement last year. The biggest problem may be the reviewers but if we can get the written permission we need they will have to accept it. If not we can ALL appeal to Groundspeak, but we need the written permission first.

    #2299
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    Thanks for the hard work, Dave.

    I have no doubt that through the hard work of certain individuals and the facts of the case that we will eventually be caching on the ranges again (including Willsworthy).

    My correspondence with Groundspeak is currently about how this situation came about, that it should never happen again and how the reviewers have inflated the situation massively.

    I am also questioning why the Roos Tor ban is so huge and unnecessary, and if anyone has followed upon the Spitchwick Commons ban.

    I agree that the DNPA are the ideal body to get this matter sorted, and I’m sure we can all petition the MoD if no progress is made.

    #2300
    dartymoor
    Participant

    reb10: That boat’s already rocking, that GAGB saw to that!

    DD: Good. I’ll back off the GAGB and Reviewers a bit, I’m sure they’re all sick of me now anyway, and there’s probably little ground I can make there so very pleased to wait until proof can be gained (even though no proof was needed to impose the ban – and if the MOD can’t supply maps, they can’t expect a ban to be upheld by others).

    CP: Good, too! Anyone reading this would think we’d coordinated together, but it seems we’ve each taken independant routes that haven’t conflicted by accident!

    The Roos Tor ban is clearly ridiculous, and once this bigger issue is dealt with I hope to dig into that a little too. Brentorboxer has clued me into some of the history there.

    Spitchwick seems a little more clear-cut, since it also bans letterboxing. Personally I avoid that area at any time other than winter because it’s usually overflowing with radios, bbq’s and kids and I like my peace and quiet out on the moor!

    I wonder… If there might be some scope in the future for approaching Groundspeak about “National Park Reviewers” – individual volunteers who are regular reviewers but have personal knowledge about these very special places that really aren’t like the rest of the UK?

    #2301
    Brentorboxer
    Participant

    Letterboxing banned on Spitchwick???? Has anyone told the letterboxers? LOL

    #2302
    Brentorboxer
    Participant

    Come to think of it I am sure there is a charity walk up there with permission of the DNPA.

    #2303
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    Spitchwick Commons is unfortunately not just Spitchwick, it includes all the common land around Sharp Tor, Aish Tor, Mel Tor, Luckey Tor, Yar Tor and Corndon Tor, and all along the river to Dartmeet. 883 ha (8.83 sq km).

    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=http://www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk/overlays/spitchwick.kmz&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=12.165846,39.506836&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=12

    The landowner said he may review his position in a few years, and seeing as letterboxing is absolutely huge in this area I don’t see why he would say no. It can’t hurt to ask.

    Why haven’t the GAGB ever re-contacted with the landowner, when they were the ones who drew up the agreement (ban)??

    #2305
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Does anybody know what the relationship is between Groundspeak and GAGB? And between GAGB and the Groundspeak UK Reviewers? GAGB really do seem to be the main problem with everything. They claim to represent us but I can see no Added Value that they provide, in fact just the opposite. Maybe the campaign with Groundspeak should be to persuade them to ditch GAGB who seem to be totally self appointed and clearly do not represent the members who pay their dosh to Groundspeak.

    #2308
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Oops, guess I mis-remembered Spitchwick’s details!

    I don’t know that GAGB have any powers with Groundspeak themselves other than a community group that petitions and then publicises (bad news). My concern more is the influence they have over the UK Reviewers.

    Unless you’re a member I doubt you can influence their actions at all, they do seem very closed ranks and quite unwilling to enter into discussions – perhaps as a result of criticism from those such as me – but my view is they take themselves far too seriously and see themselves as saviours of geocaching, without actually fighting our corner at all. (Just a personal view, which may change)

    I don’t see anything stopping individuals or other groups approaching anyone in the name of geocaching to negotiate permissions and then publicising the findings. The reviewers should accept decent proof as per groundspeak’s rules, even if it doesn’t come from the GAGB (as they did with Dave’s SSSI agreement)

    #2358
    finderman
    Participant

    It’s gone a bit quiet on this topic recently. What’s the current state of affairs? Any new developments? Are new caches permitted/likely to be permitted on the mod areas of the moor soon?

    #2361
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I have tried to contact Andrew Watson for an update but I haven’t yet been able to speak to him. I will try again on Monday. So, unfortunately no change, so no new caches yet 🙁

    #2372
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Posted today on GAGB’s Facebook page (although not yet on their website), some rather important news;

    <i>
    We have received a written statement from MoD following the recent GAGB/MoD meeting. In summary, Physical caches on MoD owned estate (freehold/leasehold) are NOT permitted and if currently in place then MoD request that these are removed. Virtual caches (including Earthcaches and virtual stages of multi-caches, Puzzle and Wherigos) are permitted on MoD estate where the public has access. Cache pages should give any appropriate safety messages.

    Where MoD is not the owner/leaseholder, then they advise that they have no control over geocaching or other recreational activities and that it remains the landowner’s decision to allow geocaching. Dartmoor is an example of such an area.

    We understand that MoD are intending to remove containers from their estate, whether geocaches, letterboxes or others. Therefore geocachers owning affected caches are requested to recover these where appropriate.

    Please see the letter from MoD on the GAGB forum, follow the link below.

    If you have any questions about this or the letter from MoD then please ask them in the thread on the GAGB forums before the end of September so that we can collate them and pass them on to the relevant person.
    </i>

    Link: http://gagb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=5151

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by dartymoor.
    #2374
    Brentorboxer
    Participant

    Looks like it is just Willsworthy then. Must make a note to myself must hide letterboxes really well to stop them being found by the army, you would think they would have better things to do!

    #2375
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Simon, Many thanks for that, it is probably as good a result as we could hope for. Looks as though we have lost Willsworthy but can keep the other two ranges which are the most important as they are the biggest by far. It will be interesting to see if our reviewers are going to pick this up and allow the caches immediately. It will also be interesting to see if the letterboxing community will remove their boxes – I very much doubt it, but I don’t think it is in our best interest to do other than accept this and allow the boxers to continue as they always have. After all we can always place a letterbox there 🙂

    #2376
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    Thanks for the update.

    It is sad that it has come to this, but if it is land that they own there is not a lot we can do.

    We were all aware that the MoD had no legal basis to restrict caching on most of Dartmoor months ago (and made this point to the reviewers). This really does show that the reviewers were far too eager to slap a ban down, contrary to local information, and denied placing caches on a huge part of the moor for the main summer season.

    I am glad that this stupid and pointless ban will now be lifted for the two main ranges, although it is a shame Willsworthy has been denied, especially since it is connected to the other two ranges and as such I doubt anyone on the MoD will actively be looking to remove geocaches or letterboxes from the area.

    Lets get back on the ranges!

    #2377
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Could always do a Wherigo or Multi at Willsworthy Range, just be sure to put the final physical just outside 🙂

    #2378
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I wonder if a letterbox can be used as a virtual waypoint 😉

    #2379
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    So, on the basis of this new information I tried to get my long-suffering cache Knattaborough Tor (not even in the range but that’s another story) published.

    I explained the letter from the MoD, and gave a link.

    The reviewer then wrote out an edited version of the letter (intentionally excluding parts, including the bit about Dartmoor) and stated “Until you can supply a ruling from the MoD that superceeds this, your cache cannot be published at this location.”

    So I replied, thinking they had missed the most important paragraph and the fact that this was an MoD letter, and stated it was an MoD letter and quoted the paragraph:

    “There are a small number of training areas that the MOD do not own or hold under leasehold arrangements. These are areas where the MOD is licensed to train but are not the primary occupier. In these circumstances the MOD has no control over geocaching or many other recreational activities and thus it still remains the landowner’s decision to allow the placing of geo-caches e.g. Dartmoor Training Area with the exception of Willsworthy Range which is owned by the MOD. ”

    Clearly, this is an official MoD letter, from the GAGB site (the site they based the ban on in the first place).

    The result? My cache has now been archived so I can’t complain or ask for it to be reconsidered, pretty disgusting in my opinion and very disheartening. No explanation.

    Clearly this ban is not over while the reviewer wants to play God. He clearly has an issue with me (I’ve been civil throughout) but what is the point in appealing when the reviewers are so powerful. They can, and will, do what they like.

    #2380
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I was very disappointed to read clownpuchers post above and immediately wrote to Lindinis to see what was going on. It appears that Graculus has ruled that the ban has NOT been lifted, and that he doesn’t know where the boundaries are between the ranges. He describes them as “arbitrary” which is ludicrous. It was these “arbitraty” boundaries that they used to ban new caches in the first place, but they appear unwilling to use them to lift the ban 🙁

    As for Knattaborough Tor, this cache was never inside the range anyway (I walked there and took photographs to prove it) but it is now over 8km outside Willsworthy Range – so why can’t it be published now?

    I have written to both Lindinis and Graculus to ask them to apply some common sense to all of this and we shall have to wait and see. It would obviously be helpful if others could add their opinions both on the various forums and directly to the reviewers.

    #2381
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I’ve now had at least half a dozen emails back and forth with both Lindinis and Graculus but they are adamant they won’t lift the Dartmoor bans yet. They really have no argument at all. The letter from the MoD is very clear, the ranges are clearly marked on the maps, but none of this is good enough for our reviewers. Either we wait or put in official complaints to Groundspeak – individuals will have to decide.

    #2382
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What reasons did the reviewers give for not lifting the MOD ban, I feel for sure that both Lindinis and Graculus would have given a reason for not lifting the MOD ban, maybe you could share those reasons.

    #2383
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    It would appear that Lindinis just defers to Graculus who appears to be the one who makes all the decisions. His reason is that he wants to get the complete picture (i.e. all the maps for all the areas) before he does anything. He seems to want to take no action re Dartmoor even though the MoD specifically mentioned it in their letter.

    In my opinion NO action should have been taken until such time as the MoD identified their land. But the reviewers seem very keen to stop geocaching activity for any excuse at all. They seem to think they represent the landowners and not the cachers or Groundspeak and I have to agree with the last sentence of clownpunchers post above.

    #2384

    Lindinis on the fence? Never!!!! Oh sorry did that come out loud for all to hear? I suppose we are all allowed freedom of speach. Power is not knowledge and shouldnt be used as such, just as knowledge is not power. Sorry for the rant it just gets my goat!!!

    #2385
    finderman
    Participant

    I feel very sorry for clownpunchers. The whole thing stinks. We should have a vote of no confidence in the gagb and Lindinis and graculus. We need reviewers and representatives with a backbone and some common sense. Not clueless buffoons.

    #2386
    dartymoor
    Participant

    For the benefit of those not on facebook (which, whatever you think of it, is a useful tool for asking a public question)

    Apologies for crappy quoting;

    (From me)
    Question for the Southwest reviewers; Now that GAGB have posted the letter from the MOD explicitly saying they claim no control over areas not owned by the MOD (ie, everywhere but Willsworth); has the temporary ban on listing caches in Okehampton and Merrivale ranges been lifted? (If there’s any confusion amongst reviewers which are is which, I’d be happy to advise)
    Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · 22 hours ago

    Chris Dale No is the answer, the ban stays for now. If you look at the OS map of Dartmoor, the Willsworth range (MOD owned) has no obvious clear boundary to the Okehampton range to it’s east or the Merrivale range to the south. The whole area of all 3 ranges is outlined with red triangles. That is all we have to go on. We need the maps from the MOD to show exactly what is MOD estate and what is not. At the moment the ‘ban’ we imposed is just to stop new caches being placed until such time as know for certain where things are. Can you imagine the outcry if we used this arbitrary boundary to say which caches had to be removed and which could stay?
    20 hours ago · Like

    (Me) Well, actually – Willsworthy is a bit special. It was gifted to the War Department for their use, and the exact boundary is clearly defined by marker stones carved “WD”. Its boundary is one of the clearest defined, as it has both those *and* the modern plastic range warning poles.

    I understand your reasoning though, from the perspective of somebody without local knowledge.

    But… It’s clear the original widespread ban was not required, so surely a lifting of all areas would be fairer and allow the game to continue, whilst making it clear that when the MOD *do* officially ban it, with accurate mapping to that effect (and they can’t expect any ban to be applied without that information), that all geocaches on that land, including the eight historical geocaches within Willsworthy and any that fall within these grounds, will be archived? As it is, the reviewers don’t have enough information to apply a ban, other than what seems to be an over-reactive “Let’s ban everywhere on Dartmoor the MOD goes” even after the MOD have stated very clearly they cannot ban the majority currently banned.

    Those original maps were both inaccurate and premature, and in my mind, need ignoring soonest as it gives entirely the wrong impression that geocaching.com do not want us using Dartmoor (against the statements of both the landowner (Duchy) and the principle land manager (Dartmoor National Park) – both of whom actively encourage it)

    If you wanted to hedge safely on the OKehampton range boundary, why not just restrict anything within, say, a mile of that? It would go a long way to restoring faith in the fairness of this system, which has been quite dented of late.
    13 hours ago · Like

    Chris Dale The Willsworthy range is the only one the MOD mentioned that they own. There are many, many more areas around the whole country that they have not mentioned. Can you imagine the outcry if we ‘opened’ the Merrivale and Okehampton ranges to cachers but not any others? I don’t think that would restore fairness in the system at all, would it? It is best to wait until the MOD gives us the maps then it can all be done nice and tidily.
    12 hours ago · Like

    Simon Avery That logic makes no sense. That land is not owned by the mod, its not fair to restrict it in their name. I genuinely don’t understand your viewpoint, this is like banning geocaches in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset because of a decision pending in Cornwall.
    11 hours ago via mobile · Like

    Peter Bowyer No, it’s like making sure all of the detail is to hand, triple-checking everything, and making a decisive move. One which will stick and not be liable to variation or mis-interpretation. Which is a very sensible thing indeed. No lives are at risk if some areas of Devon do not have any new caches deployed for a few weeks more.
    10 hours ago · Like · 2

    Fil Northerner I’m with the reviewers here… What is the rush to publish new caches ? Locations can be scouted out while the ban is in force – and then they can be published when there is a definitive map of MOD land holdings available – assuming that the MOD don’t own the land you want to put a cache on

    #2387
    dartymoor
    Participant

    I find this very frustrating.

    Graculus appears to revel in his role of “Bad News Fairy” far, far too much, and does not represent UK geocachers. The other reviewers seem to (at least publically) support each other without question, and the public generally respect and support them too. When a wrong decision is made (inevitable with any organisation) toes are dug in and there is never any bending or consultation.

    This is bad for geocaching. CO’s don’t feel supported or nurtured – reviewers are there to say no.

    In this particular case, there is no MOD ban. Without a land owner identifying the land affected by that land owner, no ban could reasonably be expected to be enforced. Again, we come back to one reviewer running around shouting “You can’t cache there! No! No!” and drawing up their own, inaccurate maps without any consideration, consultation or notification – and without ANY NEED.

    My guess at the motive is simple attention-seeking. Maybe there’s another, or I’m entirely wrong.

    Whatever, this arrangement is not normal, balanced or fair – nor does it represent geocaching well.

    finderman – as reviewers choose those they want to join their ranks, once a group evolves into something like this, the chance of it changing doesn’t seem to be very high. They’re not going to ask people to join who challenge them or ask difficult questions, it’s “Them and us”.

    We’re the dumb sheep who should just graze quietly under the watchful eye of the shepherds who, of course, have our best interests at heart.

    #2388
    Brentorboxer
    Participant

    Like the comment “no obvious clear boundary to the Okehampton range to it’s east or the Merrivale range to the south.” someone who has so little knowledge of the area has no business interfering with Dartmoor Geocaching, perhaps we could organise a range pole walk for the reviewers, they can take a GPS reading of every pole and make up their own map! Anyone remember my old cache The Fat Range Pole, it was at Western Redlake at the only point on Dartmoor where all 3 ranges meet.

    #2389
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    I have to conclude that it is probably time for some official complaints to Groundspeak. I cannot believe they understand the damage that is being done to their business by both GAGB and the UK Reviewers.

    #2390
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    Thank you all for the kind words and effort being invested in this.

    A few points really – if these boundaries are so “arbitrary” why were they being enforced rigidly for over a month?

    I offered an official MoD map of the land ownership to Lindinis at the start of this saga and to say he wasn’t remotely interested is an understatement. Granted, I could have made it up, but why not look and then he would have realised it is clearly official and extremely detailed, from an official MoD publication. Ironically, it is also fairly easy to find online so they clearly can’t be investing too much effort in determining the boundaries.

    Unfortunately, they are right that the land ownership and the Willsworthy Range are not 100% correlated. For example, they also own Standon Hill to the South, but not all of Willsworthy Range. It is also quite clear, however, that they do not own ANY of the land inside the other two ranges at all.

    There are also boundary posts on the ground and I would imagine quite a bit of literature on the subject of this historic land ownership online. It is quite clear to me that no work is being done on the reviewers part to determine the boundaries.

    My cache is a ridiculous case in point really, these “arbitrary” boundaries meant it was refused for being in the range, when it quite clearly wasn’t. Dave even took pictures when he was in the area, as well as co-ordinates of the nearest range poles. Common sense did not prevail, they did not want to be wrong so simply ignored the blinding evidence.

    Other cachers sticking up for the reviewers are clearly not aware of the scale of the ranges, how long this “ban” has been ongoing, the attitude of the reviewers and probably only cache in cities. Why comment on something you know nothing about?

    A huge part of the North Moor has been out of action for placing caches for the entire month of August, Dartmoor’s busiest season, which also coincides with guaranteed public access (the MoD are not allowed to close the ranges at all during August). Ridiculous.

    I am not sure how good the appeals process is, I would like to complain but think we would likely be ignored. I appealed against my cache waited days and it was rejected, with a few words. Pointless. No feedback.

    The “red triangles” comment is especially amusing, has he looked at the Dartmoor map?? The ranges are clearly marked by their boundaries on the map, not a child throwing a crayon at it. To not mark the range boundaries accurately in this way would be extremely dangerous.

    The “lives at risk” comment is also perplexing, does placing a cache on Willsworthy Range now pose a threat to life? Are the army waiting to shoot us if we dare to put a box under a rock? Someone being proved wrong and not accepting it.

    I don’t think the reviewers are purely attention seeking, I think it is power-based as well. They must get their kicks from being able to stop geocaching in an area with a single word.

    The fact they self appoint is ridiculous, there is no accountability.

    Lift the ban!

    #2391
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    Clownpunchers,

    I really think you need to be making these points to both Graculus directly and to Groundspeak. You may use my photographs and my coordinates (which I did supply to Lindinis). These comments on Facebook, GAGB and Groundspeak forums will probably attract much support.

    The amazing thing is that the MoD have now documented that they have no control over Merrivale or Okehampton, but still Graculus won’t budge. It has to be taken over his head. All the reviewers seem to be “jobsworths” who can see nothing objectively.

    #2392
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    It is a ridiculous situation.

    I have made my point repeatedly to Lindinis, I can’t see where else I would get any joy.

    #2393
    muddypuddles
    Participant

    There are a number of issues raised here which I myself encountered a while back, and I’m afraid to say they have soured my enjoyment of geocaching, and have contributed to me giving up owning a lot of my caches.

    The main problem with all of this is the question of cache ownership: don’t forget that it’s WE who own the caches. We think them all up, we put together the containers, we trek out to somewhere nice and hide them.

    GC.com is a cache listing site only. The caches are not theirs. Somewhere along the line the organisation has lost sight of the fact that without us there would be no caches, and no need for a site on which to list them.

    There seems to be an increasing attitude from GC.com that they musn’t be seen to support the placing of caches that are in any way risky, again forgetting that it’s US who places the caches in their physical locations, not them. So why do they persist in seeing themselves as accountable for the physical caches? How long before 5T caches are banned for health and safety reasons? Hell, that’s probably given them an idea.

    Another problem is that the review process generally is flawed in so many ways, and I feel is no longer fit for purpose. I think that there are many ways in which the publication process could be improved, which would benefit everyone. It is tedious in the extreme when we have devised and set our caches to have them turned down, often for arbitrary reasons, and here’s what really gets my goat: for reasons that are not even consistently applied.

    There are many examples of this, but I shall give you just one here which highlights this problem. I thought up a challenge cache which admittedly would be very challenging indeed (see dictionary definition of “challenge”, and no, it doesn’t mention anything about frogs), and would keep most local cachers busy for a couple of years at least. It was turned down on the basis that not many people would achieve the target, and that most caches should be able to be visited by many. Various emails went back and forth between myself and one of our reviewers, and I have to say that the last one sent to me was pretty offensive. I complained to GC.com at the time and received an apology from them, but not from the reviewer (Oh really? I hear you ask, that’s not like them at all!).

    Anyway, a few months later, the same reviewer published a challenge cache which required the finder to have found thirty 5/5 caches in order to log a find. Hello? Anybody home?

    It’s a fair cop when caches are turned down because of a miscalculation on the part of the setter, such as proximity infringement, or land use agreements, etc, but the reviewers’ general aloofness and unwillingness to enter into dialogue, along with their lack of accountability to us, the cache owners, needs to be challenged.

    The other comments in the facebook exchange are correct but mssing the point entirely. No, we won’t all die if no more caches are placed on Dartmoor, and yes, a definitive ruling by the MoD was needed before a decision could be made. It’s us being at the mercy of these martinets that has got everyone’s backs up.

    Guess who’s not going to be asked to be a reviewer then?

    Ha ha!

    #2394
    finderman
    Participant

    Very well put muddy puddles. I think part of the problem is the reviewers are too busy. They probably work. They probably cache and they probably have too big an area to act as reviewers for. Someone locally and I mean in the general area of Dartmoor needs to become a reviewer for ground speak. They need to grant all caches within the national park!

    #2395
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    The reviewers would be less busy if they didn’t take on work they shouldn’t be doing. No action was needed on this ban until the MoD identified the areas they owned and asked for caches within those areas to be banned. Until that time no action was needed. But as we all know our reviewers look for any excuse to refuse caches and what could be bigger than banning all caches that might in any way be associated with the MoD.

    #2397
    dartymoor
    Participant

    Pretty sure I’m off the christmas card list too, MP!

    It stinks, but they hold all the cards. It’s been pointed out that Graculus is liaison for the reviewers, so perhaps he truly speaks with the voice of all and that every suggestion put forward and fielded by him is taken before the group and discussed and a democratic decision formed.

    But given the speed of the “No” responses, I do feel that once a decision is made, there’s no discussion, no negotiation, no movement. What’s decided is what will happen, because it’s beyond doubt it is the right decision and if you disagree, you are being unreasonable.

    I think this is bad for geocaching, but I don’t think groundspeak care very much, or monitor reviewers activities. Certainly they, and the reviewers as a body, are a long way from transparent.

    But… It’s a great hobby and has enough inertia for such bad management at all levels not to massively affect it. What is a shame is that frustrations like this force out so many great cache owners, and has been pointed out, without these the hobby suffers.

    I shouldn’t care about the unfairness so much. But I like setting caches, sharing a nice walk, maintaining them and enjoying the feedback I get from the cachers. If I wasn’t a CO I certainly wouldn’t care so much and I totally understand muddypuddles’ decision to revert. Maybe that’s the key to being a happy cacher – just stop giving back into the hobby and focus on the finding?

    #2398
    clownpunchers
    Participant

    The reviewing process is complex, with no accountability, unfair and relies too much on a single persons (stubborn and biased) opinion. The appeal system is worthless too.

    If you upset the reviewer by not simply accepting a ruling, your caches are not going to get published!!

    If you ask for them to re consider, they archive your cache so they don’t have to talk with you. Very rude, as you quite rightly point out, seeing as it is my cache and not the reviewers. I too have experienced arrogance and rudeness from the reviewers, but I simply can’t see anything changing.

    It’s a very sad state of affairs, but I would imagine that the majority of geocachers are finders rather than placers and would not have had experience of this. Walking for hours to place a cache on Dartmoor is a lot different to driving to place an urban cache.

    The state of some caches I’ve found is ridiculous, and yet these still get published!!

    #2399
    Jaughan
    Participant

    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.

    #2418
    finderman
    Participant

    How much longer are the wilsworthy caches going to be available for? I’d really like to find them. Is there a deadline?

    #2422
    Dartmoor Dave
    Keymaster

    We haven’t been asked to archive any caches yet, but even if we do there will be no rush out there by me to remove mine. I cannot speak for the other owners but I know that no letterboxes will be removed so there is no logical reason to remove the caches. They could be listed on another site to keep them alive, but in any case you can still find archived caches and log them and they will count in your numbers.

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