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Thread: New Forest Landowner Agreement. Temporary Publication Ban by GC's UK Reviewers

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    Exclamation New Forest Landowner Agreement. Temporary Publication Ban by GC's UK Reviewers

    The New Forest Landowner Placement Agreement is up for it's annual renewal. On checking the No's in preparation for renewing it, the GAGB Committee [with whom the Agreement is with] has discovered that we have reached the maximum No of Permitted caches [100 caches] .

    As such GC's UK Reviewer Team have no option but to place a Temporary Ban on Publishing New Cache Submissions, to comply with the requirements of the Agreement. [I hope that both Navicache and Terracaching will follow suit, as the Agreement is not Listing Site specific]

    In the mean time the GAGB Negotiator will reopen discussions with the New Forest regarding increasing the permitted No of caches allowed. As there is a good working relationship between the NF and GAGB, it is hoped that these negotiations will be successful

    As soon as the negotiations have reached their conclusion, the GAGB Committee will make a official announcement about the outcome of the negotiations

    Deceangi

    on behalf of GC's UK Reviewer Team
    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

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    Pinning this thread.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


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    Default New Forest Caches

    With the formation of The New Forest National Park Authority, with whom is the agreement? Is it specific to some land owners within the National Park, and if so how would a cacher know who owns what parcel? For example, I have an authorised cache on Woodland Trust land in Wiltshire which is also in the New Forest National Park.
    If we are to be artificially limited to 100 caches for the vast area of the New Forest National Park, we better make sure they are good ones, not a load of micros in car parks.
    Geocaching is becoming far more popular than "The Ancients" predicted. It has a place within the future exploitation of the National Park as a ecological and recreational resource for the nation and a mere 100 caches will not be adequate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juliadream View Post
    With the formation of The New Forest National Park Authority, with whom is the agreement? Is it specific to some land owners within the National Park, and if so how would a cacher know who owns what parcel? For example, I have an authorised cache on Woodland Trust land in Wiltshire which is also in the New Forest National Park.
    If we are to be artificially limited to 100 caches for the vast area of the New Forest National Park, we better make sure they are good ones, not a load of micros in car parks.
    Geocaching is becoming far more popular than "The Ancients" predicted. It has a place within the future exploitation of the National Park as a ecological and recreational resource for the nation and a mere 100 caches will not be adequate.
    As a lay cacher our present understanding of the Agreement in the New Forest is that it is for lands managed by the New Forest Forestry Commission .
    So by that our understanding your cache on Woodland Trust managed land wouldn't count as one of the 100 permitted "containers " .
    The Agreement presently states "containers " so our interpretation is that a multi with containers at each stage plus a container at the end would be counted as more than one .
    Have we got it wrong ?
    We like Greens

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    Just to give a perspective on cache numbers, the Isle of Man is 572 sq km in size and currently has 189 caches. It's nowhere near saturation point, and we don't seem to have much trouble with overburding the infrastructure with visitors.

    The New Forest is the same size (571 sq km). So if the new agreement is to have an increase in cache numbers, I would say that another 100 or so wouldn't be a problem as far as density is concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.a.folk View Post
    As a lay cacher our present understanding of the Agreement in the New Forest is that it is for lands managed by the New Forest Forestry Commission .
    So by that our understanding your cache on Woodland Trust managed land wouldn't count as one of the 100 permitted "containers " .
    The Agreement presently states "containers " so our interpretation is that a multi with containers at each stage plus a container at the end would be counted as more than one .
    Have we got it wrong ?
    That's right.

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    I'm in negotiations with the New Forest Forestry Commission and will post when I have news.

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    Originally Posted by t.a.folk
    As a lay cacher our present understanding of the Agreement in the New Forest is that it is for lands managed by the New Forest Forestry Commission .
    So by that our understanding your cache on Woodland Trust managed land wouldn't count as one of the 100 permitted "containers " .
    The Agreement presently states "containers " so our interpretation is that a multi with containers at each stage plus a container at the end would be counted as more than one .
    Have we got it wrong ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    That's right.
    That's right... we have it all wrong?
    We like Greens

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.a.folk View Post
    That's right... we have it all wrong?
    Your statements were true - apart from the one which said you were wrong

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    You've lost us with words that we know not the meaning there-of .
    Game set and match to you Dave :lol:


    Starting again trying as best we know how NOT TO BE AMBIGUOUS
    Originally Posted by ta folk

    As a lay cacher our present understanding of the Agreement in the New Forest is that it is for lands managed by the New Forest Forestry Commission.
    So by that our understanding your cache on Woodland Trust managed land wouldn't count as one of the 100 permitted "containers " .
    .
    Is this phrase in quotes above correct or incorrect ?

    The Agreement presently states "containers " so our interpretation is that a multi with containers at each stage plus a container at the end would be counted as more than one .

    Is this quote correct or incorrect ?
    We like Greens

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    As a lay cacher our present understanding of the Agreement in the New Forest is that it is for lands managed by the New Forest Forestry Commission.
    So by that our understanding your cache on Woodland Trust managed land wouldn't count as one of the 100 permitted "containers
    Correct


    The Agreement presently states "containers " so our interpretation is that a multi with containers at each stage plus a container at the end would be counted as more than one
    Correct


    Now can I have one on Science and Nature?

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    The first post of this Thread informed us that the GAGB Negotiator will reopen discussions with the New Forest regarding increasing the permitted number of caches allowed. As there is a good working relationship between the NF and GAGB, it is hoped that these negotiations will be successful”.
    We have seen on the other Forum that some people believe that 100 is enough.
    We live close to the New Forest, have found most of the caches there, and have 12 placed there ourselves.

    Here is our view.
    100 caches in the New Forest is not enough. The Forest is not full of caches

    If you consider that some visitors prefer to go to explore remote areas of the Forest, there are still several remote areas that have no cache.
    Some visitors prefer to ride on the many kms of designated cycle track. A long Series of caches could be placed close to these cycle tracks.
    Wheelchair users and cachers pushing buggies should be considered, with caches available for them.
    What about the Historians. You just need to look at a detailed map of the New Forest and you will see numerous historical sites that are worthy of a cache.
    Ok. Some of the readers will be saying “Why don’t we put caches on the cycle tracks or near the historical sites etc?”. We will if we can.

    Don’t forget this:
    The “100” is containers, not stand alone caches.
    So yesterday we went to the New Forest and found a Multi Cache. If the limit remains at 100 containers then there could only be 16 caches in the whole of the Forest.

    There is a fair mix of caches in the New Forest now, but as more people take up geocaching, they will also want to place their own caches. Do they have to wait until a current cache owner archives their cache? If the limit remains at 100 then some people will never be able to place a cache here.
    If the Forestry Commission is concerned about the impact that we as cachers make, then they should also consider the fact that a lot of people come to the New Forest with the sole intention of finding some caches. It is good for the Tourist industry. People come and camp in the Forest and go caching. The more caches, the more visitors.
    Hopefully, the permitted numbers will be increased.
    Perhaps the ‘limit’ could be removed.
    Perhaps the way ahead may be to remove the limit but increase the proximity distance to 500 metres. This would allow many more caches to be placed but spread them around more evenly.
    Perhaps some control should be taken over the type of cache being placed. 100 traditional caches might be better than less than 20 multi caches.
    Perhaps ‘offset’ caches should be used rather than multi caches with several stages.
    Anyway, we hope that Dave (Wombles) can get the permitted number increased.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Last edited by DizzyPair; 27th November 2008 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Typing!!!

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    Good post, DizzyPair. Although I only know the New Forest a little, I'm pretty sure that your assertion is correct that 100 caches is too low a limit. See my IOM comparison above: two similar areas.

    Perhaps not directly relevant to this issue, but as a preamble; I have experience of cache restrictions in US State Parks, and quite frankly it brings the whole "permission" system into disrepute. We spent an hour looking for a micro in a State Park. Never did find it, but we found several dozen beer cans, a few bottles, half a dozen electric boxes, an area used as a toilet, a vast swathe of tarmac, several large utility poles, hundreds of passing cars (and so on). We never had to leave a gravel/tarmac area (no, it wasn't a Walmart car park!). Visitors? About one a week, I guess all car-borne (good parking on a side road). We saw about half a dozen random cars pull off onto the verge in our vicinity while we were searching, which puts the impact of the cache into perspective.

    A fortnight later it was forcibly archived, as someone had reported the cache for being inside the State Park boundary.

    You could have hidden a hundred film containers within a quarter of a mile of the spot and only geocachers would have been inconvenienced.

    I know we can't just chuck caches around willy-nilly, but it's my belief that land managers frequently misunderstand the game (perhaps deliberately) and make the cache density into a big issue, when in reality it's not going to matter at all. I really can't see that if you have a series of small or micro caches placed sensibly at intervals along popular footpaths, that it should be worth the management bothering about the occasional passing geocacher having a quick halt and log. If a cache is a bit obvious, or if it's clearly in a sensitive area, then it will get found and muggled away pretty quickly anyway. I think that letterboxers have been tolerated for a lot longer than geocachers in this part of Britain.

    After that minor rant, can I make a positive suggestion? I've seen locations where logbook-only caches are the rule, and this has led to a relaxation of restrictions on cache numbers. This is useful where the land is sensitive from a flora and fauna point of view, in that there's seen to be a reduced chance of causing problems with animals (attracted by smelly things left in the box and damaged by discarded litter) and plants (trampled by excited kids rummaging through the contents for twenty minutes a time). Could there be something along these lines negotiated, i.e. the current caches are left as they are and further caches are to be strictly logbook only? I believe that the reason that letterboxes are tolerated more easily is the lack of swap items.

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    I have positive indications from the FC for an increase but don't expect a huge increase and they expect us to manage the numbers in the future. They haven't actually said that they won't ever increase the numbers in the future but it's clear we won't be able to go back again in the near future.

    Consequently, I'd like to get peoples' ideas on how the numbers should be managed. For example, we are limited to the total number of physical containers, how would people feel about a rile of one container per cache? How about a limit on the lifetime of a cache? Dizzy Pair suggested a 500m proximity rule? Any other ideas?

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    Thanks for asking.
    But...
    before off-target suggestions start rolling in, perhaps you could let us know what they're concerned about? Is there a reason for the limit? Would there be more tolerance if caches were placed within reach of hard surfaces (for instance)? What about logbook-only caches as per Canadian National Parks? Do they prefer micros? Is it the wear and tear to the grass by three cachers per week that causes them to worry? Or danger to wildlife?
    And so on.

    If we don't know the problem, it's difficult to suggest sensible solutions.

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    Their concern is about the impact of any one particular activity. In our case that means (for example) potential damage to flora and fauna and impact on other visitors. The limit is in place because they don't want geocaching to accelerate out of their control. They limited the size of boxes and material in the original agreement (3L and plastic) because of those concerns. They wouldn't care if they were logbook only.

    The sort of solutions which I've mentioned above are the ones which I think are the best balance between geocachers enjoying the woods and providing the FC with some reasonable reassurance and control. Some comment on these would be very welcome at the moment.

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    I think we have to have a rule of one container per cache, with multis only allowed if the early stages are virtual. Whatever the new limit, it isn't going to be huge, and I don't think we can let it be eaten into by stages of a multi, however enjoyable that cache might have been to do.

    The proximity limit sounds like a good idea, and would hopefully ensure a reasonably even distribution of caches in the Forest.

    I don't like the idea of a limit to the lifespan of caches, as that's probably eventually going to lead to forced archiving. However, I think it's something we're going to have to implement - whatever the limit, it'll be reached, and without a limited lifespan rule we'd then be in a position where placing caches in the Forest would effectively be prohibited.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


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    Whatever method is used to control the type of caches and quantity should be a simple one, so that people placing caches can understand it and when caches are submitted for publication, the reviewer has a set of cast iron rules to consider.

    The reason we suggested 500metres proximity was to spread the caches about the whole area. If the current 160 odd metre rule was kept then it is possible that if all caches were to be placed at this minimum limit, then only a small area would have caches and of course the impact on the environment etc would be condensed into that area. Maybe 500 metres is too small a distance. How about 6 or 8 hundred?

    Having a cache in place for a limited amount of time could be a good thing. As it is now we have done all the caches in the forest apart from a couple of puzzle caches that we cannot crack. So this means that we have no ‘geocaching’ reason to go into the forest except to look for areas to place a cache.

    We think that having a regular turnover of caches in the forest would be a good thing. When people come here on a caching holiday, they would have the opportunity of finding several one year, then several more when they come back again.
    But. When a cache’s life ‘comes to its end’ the box would have to be removed. This must be considered as an important factor. Just archiving a cache would create litter.

    The quantity of caches that a single person places should also be considered. If the limit is for example 150 caches, and 15 people put out 10 caches each. Is that fair?
    At the moment we have 12 caches in the New Forest and we placed them there to attract people to the Forest. If more people wanted to place caches in the area we would be more than willing to surrender several caches to let others place theirs.


    So that is our view and ideas.

  19. #19
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    I would agree on a time limit, I've numerous caches in the Forest and would quite happily be the first to set an example as it were by archiving some of mine. How long or do we say that when there are only "X" numbers of cache places left the oldest 10 are archived???
    A personal limit would also be useful as would ensuring that all caches in the forest only use an allocation of one ie multis are virtual until the final, this will prove difficult in some cases but i'm sure not impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Their concern is about the impact of any one particular activity. In our case that means (for example) potential damage to flora and fauna and impact on other visitors. The limit is in place because they don't want geocaching to accelerate out of their control. They limited the size of boxes and material in the original agreement (3L and plastic) because of those concerns. They wouldn't care if they were logbook only.

    The sort of solutions which I've mentioned above are the ones which I think are the best balance between geocachers enjoying the woods and providing the FC with some reasonable reassurance and control. Some comment on these would be very welcome at the moment.
    Sorry to be a pain, but could you explain further?

    What do they mean by "accelerate out of their control". Is it that they go out and have a look at each individual cache placement, and wouldn't be able to do that if there was a new cache every week (say)? If so, perhaps a local volunteer cacher could help.

    On "potential damage to flora and fauna", I'm not sure how an ammo box is worse than a plastic container, or how a Bison tube is worse than a Tupperware box. For instance, I'd argue that an ammo box is better as it seals better and is unlikely to lose its lid.
    The reason that some places have a 'logbook only' rule is to discourage unsuitable swaps which attract wildlife.

    If we're talking about impact of visitors, perhaps new caches should be placed within reach of a footpath (so nil impact). Do they know how minute the general impact is of geocachers in comparison to other visitors? I would venture that the annual impact of geocachers is similar to having an extra pony in the forest. The impact of other visitors is similar to all the ponies, plus several herds of elephants and a tank regiment thrown in for good measure. Particularly when you take into account that many local cachers would regularly visit the area with no caches at all to find.

    Archiving existing caches: perhaps this could be considered in cases where there are more than a hundred visits per week, or where there are more than (say) twenty per week but the cache is in a fragile area well away from paths. If there's only one visit per week it wouldn't be worth the extra impact of going out and retrieving the box.

    This one baffles me: "impact on other visitors" - what is that?
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 3rd December 2008 at 10:22 AM.

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    HH, please remember the background to this one. They removed all the caches from their property (none of which had permission) and I then spent almost exactly a year negotiating a turn round which saw the return of those caches and a permission to place caches which has served us well for four years, was extended to Dorset and has formed the basis of most FC permissions since.

    In the process of the negotiation there is always some give and take and must accomodate the landowner sensitivities which in this case are about the potential impact of the activity. There may be disagreement about this impact but we must acknowledge their concerns in order to move forwards.

    We are asking for an addition to an existing arrangement. This doesn't put us in a strong negotiation position. Fortunately we have built a good relationship with the FC and I think this can be brought to a positive conclusion. However, I am cautious about pushing this too far and upseting the progress made to date.

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    Dave,
    As you can see from my last post, I'm merely asking for clarification. The suggestions I made may be more or less useful; but without knowing what the FC mean with their concerns it's a bit difficult to come up with helpful ideas that are focussed on the actual problem.

    For instance, Nobby's offer to archive caches may be a total waste of time if he archives ones that are perfectly suitable in favour of new ones that are less so. But we're only speculating what could be wrong with his existing ones.

    The problem with issues that are in the mind of the land management and (possibly) based on misunderstandings rather than logic and common sense is that we have to know exactly what the issues are deemed to be as we can't deduce them.
    Any ideas we have based on our caching knowledge may be wide of the mark.

    So I might think that a micro hidden in a parking area should be fine. But the FC might see that as the worst kind of cache.

    If they say that a plastic container is preferred because .... (whatever the reason is), then we can comply with their wishes in the knowledge that they're aware of the strengths and weaknesses of various types of container and we can see the logic in their choice. Makes it easy to think how to work with the limitation.

    If I knew why they thought geocaching might get out of control, I might think of a way of preventing this, in a way that they would be pleased with (e.g. my previous suggestion).

    If they're worried about visitor impact; well, perhaps you've given them the facts and figures and they're still worried. So I can't speculate what sort of suggestion might help with that. Perhaps the ones I gave above are good; perhaps not. It depends what the FC mean.

    You see, I'm trying to come up with suggestions to make this less difficult for them to accept (you did ask for ideas!), but you have the advantage of knowing what was said by both sides whereas we're in the dark somewhat. Or I am, anyway.

    I don't intend to try and knock down their arguments; after all, the FC are duty bound to improve access to these areas and encourage more visitors, so they'll be reluctant to put obstacles in the way. But I'd really like to see a detailed explanation of their main problems with caching, so that we can focus on the most important ones first and see if we have some ideas about how to expand caching within the necessary constraints.

  23. #23
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    From a local perspective I know the forestry commision could be much more strict and I'm personally hopefull that the new national park authority doesn't take an interest.
    They have been much stricter and are talking about banning dogs from certain areas, limiting other users to the area for other reasons.

    At the end of the day as the land owners they are quite within their rights to impose any restrictions on us that they see fit without any explanation.

    I think that they have a misconception of our hobby but that is a strongly held misconception probably not helped by how they originally came accross us ( numerous caches placed with no permission).

    So basically they have imposed a limit on the number of caches. We have to live with that and find ways of continuing caching within that criteria.
    That means that we could just leave it as it is and allow the maximum number of caches to exist and then tough luck on anyone who comes along wanting to place one. Or we could place a time limit on caches. Or limit multi caches to only one physical stage. or.............

    I'd archive some of mine as they've been out for a while and chances are most locals have done them, means i could place some more and someone else could as well.

    I'm personally not in favour of increasing the minimum distance. there might well be two spots well worth a cache at the current minimum distance, increase it and one can't be done but a magnetic on the back of a dog poo bin 300 metres further away could be.....

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    HH, I've explained caching to the FC and they have described their concerns in the terms I listed above. They removed caches of all sizes and materials before they decided on plastic 3L containers. I have described the GAGB guidelines which cover swap types which you mentioned. I have talked about visitor numbers on the average basis of one/fortnight (see standard GAGB letter).

    However, the important point is that I'm not looking for negotiation ideas but rather how we will manage cache numbers within their limit in the future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    From a local perspective I know the forestry commision could be much more strict and I'm personally hopefull that the new national park authority doesn't take an interest.
    Elsewhere, National Park Authorities have been instrumental in opening up access to areas where landowners have been difficult (in other activities apart from caching). It could be worth getting them to lean on the FC rather than worry about them making it more difficult.
    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    At the end of the day as the land owners they are quite within their rights to impose any restrictions on us that they see fit without any explanation.
    Absolutely not! If that was true I'd leave the British Isles forthwith.
    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    I think that they have a misconception of our hobby but that is a strongly held misconception probably not helped by how they originally came accross us ( numerous caches placed with no permission).
    No doubt you're right there, but this looks like the main area that effort should be concentrated.

    And.. good post, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    However, the important point is that I'm not looking for negotiation ideas but rather how we will manage cache numbers within their limit in the future?
    OK, understood, thanks. Keep on caching!
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 4th December 2008 at 07:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    So basically they have imposed a limit on the number of caches. We have to live with that and find ways of continuing caching within that criteria.
    That means that we could just leave it as it is and allow the maximum number of caches to exist and then tough luck on anyone who comes along wanting to place one. Or we could place a time limit on caches. Or limit multi caches to only one physical stage. or.............

    I'd archive some of mine as they've been out for a while and chances are most locals have done them, means i could place some more and someone else could as well.

    .....
    Do caches owned by cachers who haven't logged on for ages deserve to take up some of the permit number quota when there are more active cachers who want to place?


    We know of two N.F. caches owned by cachers who haven't logged on since Nov 07 and Feb 08 .
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    I'm delighted to announce that the New Forest Forestry Commission have kindly agreed to increase our cache limit from 100 to 150 physical caches with effect from 1st January 2009, our agreement renewal date. I'd like to thank them for this.

    Discussion with the FC has highlighted that the caching community will need to manage numbers within this total so any other cache management ideas / discussion can be posted here.

    The temporary ban will remain in place until 1st Jan 2009. We hope that it will be possible to come to agreement about future cache management arrangements, but failing this the committee will make a decision and announce this in advance of 1st January.

    I'd also like to thank everyone who helped with suggestions and has provided support to achieve this success.

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    Thumbs up

    That's good news Dave.
    Thanks for all your work and let us know if we should archive or change any of our caches.


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    I'm delighted to announce that the New Forest Forestry Commission have kindly agreed to increase our cache limit from 100 to 150 physical caches with effect from 1st January 2009, our agreement renewal date. I'd like to thank them for this.

    Discussion with the FC has highlighted that the caching community will need to manage numbers within this total so any other cache management ideas / discussion can be posted here.

    The temporary ban will remain in place until 1st Jan 2009. We hope that it will be possible to come to agreement about future cache management arrangements, but failing this the committee will make a decision and announce this in advance of 1st January.

    I'd also like to thank everyone who helped with suggestions and has provided support to achieve this success.
    This is fantastic news... thank you for ensuring this....

    As fairly new cachers... wlthought we have now found 50! We would love to put our own cache out in the New Forest - and we would really welcome help in explaining how do go abput this in the right way... we understand that the container has to be plastic and 3 litres or less... but would like the know how on how to go about it!

    We have really enjoyed the ones we have found so far... and would now love to create our own to monitor... please help!

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    Further details on the new agreement can be found above in http://gagb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1580

  32. #32

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    24

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    Thank You to the Committee for getting this done.

    Now that they have done all the hard work, get out there the rest of you and get those caches placed.

    And a Happy new Year to All.

    Dave and Pauline (DizzyPair)

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