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Thread: Caches in Graveyards [Church or Standalone] a change in Reviewing Policy in the UK

  1. #1

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    Exclamation Caches in Graveyards [Church or Standalone] a change in Reviewing Policy in the UK

    As I've recently had to Archive a couple of caches in Graveyards, after Groundspeak received a official complaint about them being located without permission.

    From the email received

    My anxiety about this is that, in looking for them, people will necessarily be rummaging around, even walking over graves. This is obviously a bit insensitive for those who have loved ones buried in the churchyard
    as these have not been the first ones in such locations which have been archived after a complaint was received.

    I have after careful consideration after dealing with the current caches have decided to treat caches submitted for Review in Graveyards, in a similar way to caches in Nature Reserves or on National Trust/Forestry Commission land where no Blanket Permission Agreement is in place.

    Any cache submitted which which has a Physical component within a Graveyard The owner will be required to submit proof of permission to place the cache, before the cache will be Published.

    Any cache already published with a physical component within a Graveyard is of course Grandfathered in.But my advice if permission has not been obtained would be to obtain Permission to avoid the risk of the cache being archived, due to a landowner complaint to Groundspeak.

    Once again to make it clear. I'm not refusing to publish caches in Graveyards, just requiring proof of permission before publication.

    Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer Geocaching.com
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  2. #2

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    Thumbs up Gets my vote (if I had one LOL)

    A measured and well thought through course of action. I don't think anyone has any cause to complain about this one as it just re-inforces the permissions rules.:cheers:
    "I Cache, therefore I am"

  3. #3

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    I'm all for it too, I have always felt uncomfortable caching in graveyards, I don't mind gathering clues as me looking at the headstones is no different then someone researching thier history, but to find a cache when you can't be certain that permission has been granted especially if it's difficult to find isn't so nice. Any that are published now I'll be much happier to search for as I know the permissions have definitely been sought.

  4. #4
    molfrew-mosstoad Guest

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    Totally agree, Im not a fan of church caches, partly for that reason.

  5. #5

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    I actually enjoy doing caches in churchyards, though I have sometimes felt uncomfortable when the cache has been amongst the graves and I've not known whether it's got permission. So that new approach sounds great to me, Dave!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  6. #6

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    I agree with the decision - like others I have never been overly comfortable caching in graveyards. Don't mind getting a clue for a multi etc as long as it does not involve leaving a path.
    Once again its common sense and a sense of reverence. You shouldn't go round like a bull in a china shop.
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  7. #7

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    As I said "elsewhere", I wholeheartedly support Dave's take on this and he should be congratulated for his measured response to what could be a tricky issue.

  8. #8

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    I have been in discussion with the church council re placing a cache in a churchyard and the vicar is for it, we have only the finer details to sort and once the "reviewer" situation has eased we shall put it up for review, until then we have allowed this cache to "rest in peace".
    Who's had the accident!!
    Who called the doctor?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DR. Ape View Post
    I have been in discussion with the church council re placing a cache in a churchyard and the vicar is for it, we have only the finer details to sort and once the "reviewer" situation has eased we shall put it up for review, until then we have allowed this cache to "rest in peace".
    Just post a reviewer note stating permission has been obtained off the Reverend and church council and submit it . Thats one ess issue for me to have to pull you about

    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  10. #10

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    Gentle bump due to another thread.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  11. #11

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    Sorry to appear to be the doubter yet again.

    But how will getting permission prevent the rummaging and insensitive trampling? Is such behaviour OK as long as the vicar knows about it? Or is it merely to protect Groundspeak and not about sensitivity at all?

    I would have thought that a better course of action is to refuse to list churchyard caches unless there are clear and detailed directions as to the position of the cache, appropriate warnings about not straying from the path, and reminders about behaviour in the presence of mourners. Much though I like the churchyard cache, I agree that it's not the place to rummage around so GPS coordinates are not enough for this type of hide.

    If the description passes that test, THEN it might be worth reminding the submitter that specific permission should be sought; if only to protect cache seekers from embarrassment should they come to the notice of church officials (when that has happened to me, I confidently declared that "I'm looking for the geocache" - it's not my problem if the official hasn't a clue what I'm talking about!).

    There are big weakness in the "permission solution". One is that the vicar may indeed grant it at the time, but two years down the line the new vicar may have no idea about the cache. Or, the complainant may not be the vicar but some other official who knows nothing about the cache or permission. Or, permission might be in place but no-one has any documentary proof. Or, as the vicar is unlikely to be the landowner, does he/she actually have authority to give permission? And what is permission for anyway; as far as I know these places have full public access granted and there's nothing to stop people trampling about.

    And, as I said at the start, it doesn't stop the trampling and rummaging (which is all the complaint was about, after all!). But having a better cache description might just help some people keep their behaviour at the appropriate level.

  12. #12

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    Just to throw another boulder into the pond, here is a quote from a recent BBC news item
    The 1977 Local Authority Cemeteries' Order, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales, sets down some basic laws of conduct. Creating a disturbance in a churchyard, committing a nuisance, wilfully interfering with burials or graves, or playing games or sports, are all finable offences.

    (The bold is mine)
    So we come back to the old question of "Is it a game, a sport or an addiction etc."

    The full news article can be found here

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Roger View Post
    So we come back to the old question of "Is it a game, a sport or an addiction etc."
    That is answered by groundspeak and their catchphrase.

    " The sport where you are the search engine "

  14. #14

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    It's all about stopping the Priest/Vicar/Reverend contacting Groundspeak and requesting that the container is removed, as the owner of it had not obtained his/her permission. I personally and not Groundspeak, brought in the Proof of Permission Requirement [at that time I was the sole UK Based Reviewer]. After having to deal with a No of such requests, 2 caches at separate locations coming under the management of one person. Who stated as I originally quoted

    My anxiety about this is that, in looking for them, people will necessarily be rummaging around, even walking over graves. This is obviously a bit insensitive for those who have loved ones buried in the churchyard
    Since the restriction has been brought in, I and my colleagues have happily published a No of caches where permission has been given.

    Once again to make it very clear, this is a restriction imposed by the UK Reviewers, with the support of Groundspeak. And not one imposed by Groundspeak. It is a local one by the people who in the end have to action complaints about such locations.

    In several states in the US, all forms of Sports/Games/RASH [Recreational Activity Sporting Hobby] is banned in cemeteries, whilst in others people regularly hold picnics. It's all about what is best suitable for the local community.

    Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer Geocaching.com
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  15. #15

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    Article 18 - Offences in Cemeteries

    (1) No person shall-

    (a) wilfully create any disturbance in a Cemetery;
    (b) commit any nuisance in a Cemetery;
    (c) wilfully interfere with any burial taking place in a Cemetery;
    (d) wilfully interfere with any grave or vault, any tombstone or other memorial, or any flowers or plants on any such matter; or
    (e) play at any game or sport in a Cemetery.

    Article 19 - Penalties
    Every person who contravenes -
    (a) any prohibition under article 5(6);
    (b) article 10(6);
    (c) article 18;
    (d) Part 1 of Schedule 2 shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding Level 3 on the standard scale (currently 1,000) and in the case of a continuing offence to a fine not exceeding 10 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction therefor

    Whether permission is granted or not, under the 1977 Local Cemeteries Order that permission isnt valid. I am sure that even if the Priest / Vicar / Reverend gives permission, he is not the Burial Authority for the area, and cannot legally give that permission.

  16. #16

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    If there was a complaint about geocaching in a church graveyard and it went as far as a court case (a bit hypothetical, I feel), the case would probably drag on for weeks as there appears to be no definition of "game or sport" that is still as valid in 2009 as 1977. The defence would probably argue that, as geocaching didn't exist in 1977 and the law doesn't mention "RASH"-type games in its prohibition, then it isn't prohibited by the Order.

    Games or sports as defined in 1977 are a different kettle of fish, and doubtless the 1977 Local Authority Cemeteries' Order was aimed at the likes of football, archery, hide and seek etc.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    If there was a complaint about geocaching in a church graveyard and it went as far as a court case (a bit hypothetical, I feel), the case would probably drag on for weeks as there appears to be no definition of "game or sport" that is still as valid in 2009 as 1977. The defence would probably argue that, as geocaching didn't exist in 1977 and the law doesn't mention "RASH"-type games in its prohibition, then it isn't prohibited by the Order.

    Games or sports as defined in 1977 are a different kettle of fish, and doubtless the 1977 Local Authority Cemeteries' Order was aimed at the likes of football, archery, hide and seek etc.

    It would only take the boys in blue to turn up and should one want to make an example, or, and i am not saying it happens, need to increase his conviction rate, then the law will stand. How many times have we read the paper or watched the news, and said how has that ever gone to court? havent they anthing better to do? Maybe its too hard to catch real criminals...
    Also isnt geocache a modern form of hide and seek?.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baddesley Bodgers View Post
    It would only take the boys in blue to turn up and should one want to make an example, or, and i am not saying it happens, need to increase his conviction rate, then the law will stand. How many times have we read the paper or watched the news, and said how has that ever gone to court? havent they anthing better to do? Maybe its too hard to catch real criminals...
    Also isnt geocache a modern form of hide and seek?.
    Going off the recent no of cachers who have been stopped and challenged by the Police. They seem to be more and more aware of Geocaching.

    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  19. #19
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    Your fears re the boys in blue is slightly valid. The public have demanded the government make the police justify themselves and the time they spend. The police forces have then had to produce figures to show what they have been doing and have sometimes arrested people for minor offences.
    However Ithink it unlikely that anything is likely to happen in this situation because even the most eager of newbie constable is unlikely to know of this specific offence unless a complaint has been made about people abusing the graveyard, we represent "normal" people who use the churchyards in a positive manner and in that fact discourage the undesirables.

  20. #20

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    After the introduction of the permission Dec has mentioned in his previous posts I decided to place the container for my "Norman Arch" cache outside the churchyard as it saved time and possible a**e ache, and as the arch is only a very short distance from the container, it didn't really make any difference to the cache at all.

    I have a puzzle cache nr Edinburgh, where the physical container is within the the graveyard, but placed in the such a manner that even the most thoughtless cacher would have a hard time trashing the place.

    I have a rule of thumb for placing all my caches, not just highly sensitive areas like churchyards........"what's the worst an idiot could do here?" If I have any doubt, I just don't place it in that spot........because let's face it, there's a tiny minority cachers who care more about the numbers and a lot less about the environment when it come to geocaching.

    IMO, placing caches in a moron proof way, goes half way to combating blanket bans and reviewers having to ask for additional permission, which ultimately doesn't make placers or reviewers lives any easier.
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

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  21. #21

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    I suggest a modicum of common sense be applied to this subject. As I see it, the intention of all the various regulations is to preserve the environment and sense of tranquility of cemeteries. I frequently wander around them looking at the inscriptions for family history research or simply to get a feel for the local history of the place. After all, inscriptions were placed there to be seen.

    If the local priest understands the implications of placing a cache in or near the graveyard and is willing to give his or her permission then if I were a reviewer I would be very happy to publish such a cache.

    I fully support Deceangi's well thought out and sensibly implemented policy. Such is the value of having a local reviewer sensitive to local customs and traditions.

  22. #22
    beefy4605 Guest

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    Something similar has been implemented in Ireland since January this year by our local reviewer .All I can say is - it's not a problem .Use the graveyard to collect "virtual stages" and place the final container outside the boundry. It's simple, it works - sure it may take a little more thought and as one Irish cacher said and I quote -"It occurs to me that in trying to get permission there's a good chance that you could also come across some really interesting factoids or stories about characters in the said graveyard - and this could be used either to make the information about the cache more interesting or to provide some virtual stages on a multi that wouldn't have been included otherwise."
    Now we all want interesting well thought out caches don't we?
    Well done Dave :socool:

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