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Thread: New Forest & The Forestry Commission

  1. #1
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    This thread on GC.com looks like a job for the GAGB... Thanks Eckington!

    I guess somebody needs to do something here before we are banned from FC land. I'd already heard that the FC had issues with us... from caching and other sources, and it seems it's getting worse. Don't want to re-state what's been said on GC.com so will just leave it at that for now.

    Cheers,
    Neil.

  2. #2

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    I mailed T&J (as they are now chair&#33 yesterday and am currently awaiting their reply .
    Sarah xx

  3. #3

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    For completeness, I'll repeat our post from GC.com here.


    This situation is going to be difficult to resolve.

    Some months ago we were in negotiation with Forest Enterprise (who oversee The Forester Commission, we are told) and were at the final stages of blanket approval on their land provided we stuck to the guidelines (very similar to HCC with a couple of minor additions). At the final hurdle the head honcho's quoted the UK forum (this thread) where some cachers were saying that alcohol food etc were okay in caches despite what the guidelines say (not quoted verbatim so please read the thread). Sorry to bring that up again ! The result was posted in this thread.

    Please read/re-read those threads carefully, a lot is explained.

    This was partly the reason the GAGB was formed. If we could get cachers to agree sensible guidelines could we approach land owners ? . . .

    We have tried to talk to the Forestry Commission in Lyndhurst, but they are not very helpful. I have heard of discussion (cannot find the pages on the web now) where the FC in the New Forest wanted to ban dog walkers, so I think there is little chance that we will get very far. Head office seems to be the only way to go.

    In speaking to a member of the Verderers Court (peculiar to the NF) He said of the local FC as "Humpf! Tin Gods", wouldn't waste my time talking to them".

    The problems caching faces in this sort of area are compounded by more recent posts where cachers still proclaim theat they do not want rules and guidelines.

    To be fair, if you were a land-owner and somebody asked you, then you looked at the forums, what would you say ?

    "Oh yes, I can see that you cannot follow your own guidelines, but that gives me confidence that you will follow our ours, so go ahead !"
    I don't think so !


    Anyway, for the time being, I guess the only way to put a cache in the New Forest is to make it "members only" until the situation is resolved. Alternatively, make it a big and very difficult multi so it takes all day to do, cachers might do it, but I doubt if a Ranger would spend all day doing it.
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  4. #4
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    Hmm...glad I&#39;ve not got around to planting "A View from a Ridge" yet&#33; I did originally consider making that a multi, perhaps I&#39;ll return to that - although Be Prepared has been confirmed missing by the owners and that was a multi.

    Interestingly, No Tree Cover (New Forest) Part S is one of the ones reportedly missing (unconfirmed at time of typing) - although it&#39;s part of a New Forest based multi, it is itself some way outside the forest boundary.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Motley Crew Guest

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    Originally posted by Paul G0TLG@Sep 24 2003, 03:20 PM
    Hmm...glad I&#39;ve not got around to planting "A View from a Ridge" yet&#33; I did originally consider making that a multi, perhaps I&#39;ll return to that - although Be Prepared has been confirmed missing by the owners and that was a multi.

    Interestingly, No Tree Cover (New Forest) Part S is one of the ones reportedly missing (unconfirmed at time of typing) - although it&#39;s part of a New Forest based multi, it is itself some way outside the forest boundary.

    Paul
    It seems someone has an idea of what has been going on. Take a look at this post on GC.COM
    Posting

    Now how somone in Warwick should be aware of this intrigues me ......

  6. #6
    Motley Crew Guest

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    It seems the New Forest aims are very similar to ours. Look here Caring for the New Forest

    I think th following quote is rather apt.
    We want you to explore and share the fascinating treasures safely locked away in the forest; once discovered you fall under its spell.
    This is also interesting (quoted from New Forest Pride Week. )
    Join the big 30th birthday for New Forest Pride Week


    Can you help out with one of the biggest annual litter campaigns in the South of England?

    If you love the New Forest, there’s a way you can give something back, by joining in with New Forest Pride Week from 4 to 13 April.

    2003 is the 30th birthday of this successful event, and there are bound to be some special celebrations.

    Coordinated by New Forest District Council and the Forestry Commission, New Forest Pride Week gives everyone a chance to do their bit for the environment by clearing up discarded litter and rubbish.

    Volunteers with some spare time and lots of enthusiasm are welcome to take part in the collections, with sacks and gloves provided.

    People with a good knowledge of local organisations in their community are also needed, to coordinate groups to litter pick in villages or towns.

    “Many people have helped out with New Forest Pride Week in the past, and we hope that many more will do so in this special anniversary year,” said Councillor Paul Woods, NFDC environment portfolio holder.

    “We all love the unpolluted beauty of the New Forest and it’s commendable that local residents are willing to give up some of their free time to help keep the Forest attractive and litter-free.”

    To find out more about New Forest Pride Week 2003, please contact Emma Cookson, waste and recycling officer, New Forest District Council, on 023 8028 5938 or Alexis Reeve at the Forestry Commission on 023 8028 3141.
    An example of Cache In Trash Out - too late for this year but maybe cachers would like to help out next year IF some common ground for cache placement can be agreed :P .

  7. #7
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Originally posted by Tim and June@Sep 24 2003, 01:39 PM
    Anyway, for the time being, I guess the only way to put a cache in the New Forest is to make it "members only" until the situation is resolved. Alternatively, make it a big and very difficult multi so it takes all day to do, cachers might do it, but I doubt if a Ranger would spend all day doing it.
    With respect, would planting any caches in the forest be a good idea? It seems that right now they don&#39;t want us to do this, and thus we will be breaking the game&#39;s guidelines when it comes to seeking landowner permission.

    As their objection to us was down to us not being able to follow our own guidelines, I feel that the GAGB should be seeking landowner permission before anybody plants another cache. If we place multis that take a long time I too doubt that they will follow them and remove the boxes, but I also feel that them being aware of them will be enough to have us met with a brick wall when we go to negotiate with them.

    As already stated, there&#39;s a very similar game, letterboxing, that is very active in the forest, and maybe we could get a similar approval to them. Maybe we can ask TPTB in letterboxing for a look at their (his) agreement with the FC and draft out something very similar to approach the FC with?

    Neil.

  8. #8
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Sep 25 2003, 06:01 AM
    With respect, would planting any caches in the forest be a good idea?
    NattyBooshka&#39;s right...we have a route now, to someone who seems to know what&#39;s going on. Let&#39;s not upset any potential apple carts by planting new caches now, when maybe this could all be resolved fairly quickly IF we go about it the right way.

    Paul

  9. #9

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    Oops &#33; Guess I didn&#39;t word that too well, perhaps I should have said "If you are determined to place a cache in the NF ... "

    Sorry &#33;


    As already stated, there&#39;s a very similar game, letterboxing, that is very active in the New Forest, and maybe we could get a similar approval to them. Maybe we can ask TPTB in letterboxing for a look at their (his) agreement with the FC and draft out something very similar to approach the FC with?
    That would be a very good idea except it&#39;s not just the FC we have to be concerned about. We have had some resistance from the letterboxers who do not want us in the forest. Perhaps they are afraid of loosing their own status quo with the Forestry Commission. Form our discussions, we are unlikely to get any help from them.

    The way we two see it, is that if they have permission to place ‘micro’ containers in the forest why should we not be able to place ‘micros’. ( I feel something about Human rights and discrimination coming on here.) More importantly, as most cachers will know (and the letterboxes who have cached) regular sized caches usually result in much less disturbance of the area than a micro or film canister does. Another important point is that we restrict the number of caches to .1 mile between them. I read/was told of a letterboxer who sat on a rock to eat his pic-nic, and then realised that there were 3 lotterboxes under the rock he was sat on &#33; OK, I guess it must have been a big rock.
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  10. #10
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Letterboxers are not against us... I just feel that they don&#39;t want to go through this whole approval thing again. One of their guidlines was NO PUBLICITY, so I guess we can&#39;t match that for an internet moderated game. So yes, they can place and we cannot... not descrimination, just that we publicise it, and thier guidleines prohibit this. No way round this... a members only cache is still very much publicised&#33;

    I&#39;m sure that there is the odd letterboxer who is totally against what we do, but they are a very small minority. Likewise, I&#39;m sure that we have cachers who are opposed to letterboxing.

    I assume that the FC are removing the caches, and that they are logging onto GC.com to get the co-ordinates. Is it not, therefore, a good idea for GAGB to be seen to be saying that their members should not place in the new forest. I feel comments along the lines of let&#39;s hide it from them, even if qualified with "If your absolutely determined..." will not do geocaching or GAGB any favours if seen on the forums. I&#39;d suggest that any official comment from GAGB needs to be made very soon and must, in my opinion, be worded very strongly. I&#39;m not having a go here Tim, I just feel that your words could be misread by the FC and as our chairman could mean that the FC would be unwilling to discuss this matter with us.

    Neil.

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Sep 25 2003, 01:20 PM
    I assume that the FC are removing the caches, and that they are logging onto GC.com to get the co-ordinates. Is it not, therefore, a good idea for GAGB to be seen to be saying that their members should not place in the new forest. I feel comments along the lines of let&#39;s hide it from them, even if qualified with "If your absolutely determined..." will not do geocaching or GAGB any favours if seen on the forums. I&#39;d suggest that any official comment from GAGB needs to be made very soon and must, in my opinion, be worded very strongly.
    On the whole, I would agree with you. The problem seems to be that the FC in the New Forest have shown in the past that they are not too willing to open much of a dialogue. We have made a number of attempts and met with evasive and closed replies. Each time the person we speak to falls back on the local bylaws and says something along the lines of "No, you can&#39;t do that because of the bylaws." And when asked to elaborate, they can&#39;t. When asked about obtaining a copy of the bylaws that they are using, "don&#39;t know", "can&#39;t help".

    A prime example of this is parking in the New Forest at night. We approached the local FC on the subject because a letterboxer had made a complaint to the placer of a cache quoting the bylaw which says
    "No person shall on the lands of the Commissioners:- park or leave unattended motor vehicle between the hours of sunset and sunrise except by the side of the highway for a stop of reasonable duration for refreshment or other reasonable cause"
    Approach was made to FC locally which was met with evasiveness and a simple "NO", no opportunity to open a dialogue. As it turns out, this bylaw applies to all land managed by the Forestry Commission, so I contacted head office and spoke to a person who was much more receptive and helpful. The reply indicated that there are many reasons to stop parking after dark, the obvious one being poachers, (also of course caravans and camper-vans staying the night). However there are also many reasons why people might like to park up and walk away from the roadside, watching nature and the stars (avoiding light pollution) are just a couple. He could see no problem provided cachers did not appear to be poachers or attempting to stay overnight etc. and the car parks were considered part of the highway.

    Another example: A question over placing caches in disused animal holes. We were told (by a letterboxer) that the practice was illegal in the New Forest (we have since found out that this is a criminal offence nationally for MOST animal holes see see this page). Approach to FC was made to try to: A ). confirm the situation and B ). find out more so we could advise cachers.

    FC
    "No, you can&#39;t do that it&#39;s against the bylaws".
    T&J
    "Oh, thank you, can you tell me which one, I have read as much as I can but cannot find any reference."
    FC
    "No person shall in or on the lands of the commissioners dig up, remove, cut or injure any tree, shrub or plant whether living or not or remove the seeds thereon or dig up or remove any soil turf, leaf mould, moss, peat, gravel, flag sand or minerals of any kind."
    I guess that what this all comes down to is that the local FC is difficult in the extreme to deal with, unwilling to listen and unconstructive etc. If the GAGB or any other body for that matter simply accepts this, then the status quo will continue. We will have no further room to advance because we have been seen by them to accept the situation and we will continue to accept it.

    However, if we can reach an agreement with the FC, the GAGB will fight tooth and nail to defend and maintain that agreement.

    There is still, even at this stage, work continuing on a local level. As soon as we can make any announcement, we will, but this is very tentative and publicising too much too early could interfere with that (its happened before).

    There is the other side of the coin here. If there are caches in the NF and they can see that there has been no damage or significant disturbance to the location . . .

    We are both (T&J) willing to accept that we could be wrong in the above considerations, and once the committee is sorted out, this will be one of the first things to be dealt with. Till then, our apologies if our thoughts do not coincide with those of the members.

    I&#39;m not having a go here Tim, I just feel that your words could be misread by the FC and as our chairman could mean that the FC would be unwilling to discuss this matter with us.
    Of course you are not "having a go" Neil, understand completely what and why you are saying that, and thanks for your thoughts. (but don&#39;t forget June, &#39;cos we are a "team".)

    I guess it is also true to say that our post could have been a little out of order though.
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  12. #12
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    HEHE Sorry... not having a go at June either&#33;

    Hopefully we can sort out this sorry mess... if not I&#39;ll just be letterboxing when down in the NF next... would love to do both.

    Neil.

  13. #13

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    Here is an idea for you all to consider at this time. Why not change all the caches in the FC area to Virtual Caches. i.e Wilverly Oak can be changed to supply a photo of GPS etc near to the tree remains, Little Portugal can use the Potuguese Fireplace the same way.
    Also if no publicity is sought instead of changing to members only caches, which at this time seems to be a bit expensive when I have only seen two so far in my area. Or change the GC.com to Password Only access after a nominal fee has been paid, That way it can only be seen by people playing the game and not by the general public (muggles).
    Colin & Daphne aka The Wobbly Club

  14. #14
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    Originally posted by The Wobbly Club@Sep 27 2003, 04:31 PM
    Here is an idea for you all to consider at this time. Why not change all the caches in the FC area to Virtual Caches.
    I was wondering the same thing myself...but since we currently have our chairman trying to resolve the whole issue, we need to be careful not to antagonise the FC. If we&#39;re SURE their objection is only to having things left in the forest, and don&#39;t object to virtuals, then great. If they&#39;re concerned about loads of people visiting sensitive areas (there are some in the NF), having virtuals in those areas won&#39;t help.

    I&#39;d certainly support Little Canada, Little Portugal, and They Flew From The Forest all being made virtuals if necessary: These caches are all close to monuments to the fallen, and these places deserve to be visited.

    Paul

  15. #15
    Motley Crew Guest

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    I was wondering the same thing myself...but since we currently have our chairman trying to resolve the whole issue, we need to be careful not to antagonise the FC. If we&#39;re SURE their objection is only to having things left in the forest, and don&#39;t object to virtuals, then great.
    Short of removing the referenced item I cant see how &#39;they&#39; can object to viruals let alone stop them.

    If they&#39;re concerned about loads of people visiting sensitive areas (there are some in the NF), having virtuals in those areas won&#39;t help.
    If &#39;they&#39; are concerned about sensitive areas then surely the area should be fenced off so that no one can interfere. The way things are going it seems certain people consider the whole place to be a &#39;sensitive&#39; area, perhaps it should all be surrounded by barbed wire fences and become a total exclusion zone thus giving the rangers their own private playground.

  16. #16
    Paul G0TLG Guest

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    Originally posted by Motley Crew@Sep 28 2003, 08:11 PM
    If &#39;they&#39; are concerned about sensitive areas then surely the area should be fenced off so that no one can interfere.
    During a sizable chunk of the early Summer, large areas of the forest are marked off as the habitat of ground-nesting birds, and visitors asked to keep to paths, or keep off the area altogether. Certainly "No Tree Cover part W" and "Down to the Woods" are / were in such areas.

    My real concern in my earlier post (which I didn&#39;t express very well) was that if all New Forest caches are converted to virtuals, and it&#39;s done in a way that the Forestry Commission think we&#39;re implying "Hah, we got one over on you", then we&#39;d be doing no good to the long-term chances of getting permission for physical caches again.

    Cache on&#33;

    Paul

  17. #17
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Originally posted by Motley Crew@Sep 28 2003, 08:11 PM
    The way things are going it seems certain people consider the whole place to be a &#39;sensitive&#39; area, perhaps it should all be surrounded by barbed wire fences and become a total exclusion zone thus giving the rangers their own private playground.
    Well.. as Paul has alread said some parts of the forest become sensitive areas at certain times of the year. They allow these areas to be used by the public most of the time.

    The objection, as far as I can see, is not what we do but how we do it. A hidden lunchbox is a hidden lunchbox, so a letterbox and a cache are the same as far as what we do is concerned. The FC objection must, therefore, be on the grounds of how we do things... as previously mentioned, unwillingness to follow guidelines, publicity, no closed seasons to protect wildlife. These are all issues that letterboxing doesn&#39;t have, and they have approval. We need to work on this, and negotiate not argue with the FC or try to dictate to them.

    We cannot say "letterboxing is allowed and we&#39;re similar so we must be allowed" or words to that effect. We must work out how we can play our game within their rules, or else we must forget about playing the game in the forest. Simple as that as far as I&#39;m concerned. I feel instead of saying "letterboxers do this, walkers do that and so we can do the other" we need to go to the FC and say "this is what we do... how do we need to modify that to do it in the forest?" Then maybe we&#39;ll get an answer/set of dictated guidelines from them and be allowed to play. We will have to stick to their rules 100% or we will again see caches removed. Placing any geocache right now would be bad for our reputation, especially as October is one of the restricted times in the forest.

    Furthermore, if we lose out in negotiations with the FC and then go ahead and place caches, we will find the National Trust and other such organizations banning us from their land as well. If we get the answer "no" we have to accept that, not work out how to get around it. The New Forest is a lovely place, but there are lots of other great locations around. If we lose one potential area we can play elsewhere... if we lose many we&#39;re a dying game.

  18. #18
    Dean&amp;Abi Guest

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    So many forums... so little time&#33;
    As we posted on GC.com, we were also worried about the forestry commission on a greater scale. There are a number of FC administered areas around Mid Sussex, which we were looking to use as Cache sites. We were planning to approach the local rangers et al for permission after seeing the New Forest issues, but were looking for a little guidance as to whether we should do this, or if we should wait until this is resolved?

  19. #19
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    As far as I know... it&#39;s the local FC people you&#39;d need to speak to. The NF has a committee that governs it, regardless of whether they fall under the jusristicion of a national body, these are the people that I would talk to first. Not sure if all FC lands are governed the same way. I don&#39;t see how it can hinder to start a discussion with another local FC body though.

  20. #20
    Motley Crew Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka+Sep 29 2003, 12:49 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (NattyBooshka @ Sep 29 2003, 12:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin--Motley Crew@Sep 28 2003, 08:11 PM
    The way things are going it seems certain people consider the whole place to be a &#39;sensitive&#39; area, perhaps it should all be surrounded by barbed wire fences and become a total exclusion zone thus giving the rangers their own private playground.
    Well.. as Paul has alread said some parts of the forest become sensitive areas at certain times of the year. They allow these areas to be used by the public most of the time.
    [/b][/quote]

    The areas that the 3 &#39;removed&#39; caches that I visited were open to all members of the public. My point was why are Geocachers being singled out as &#39;undesirables&#39;.


    The objection, as far as I can see, is not what we do but how we do it. A hidden lunchbox is a hidden lunchbox, so a letterbox and a cache are the same as far as what we do is concerned. The FC objection must, therefore, be on the grounds of how we do things... as previously mentioned, unwillingness to follow guidelines, publicity, no closed seasons to protect wildlife. These are all issues that letterboxing doesn&#39;t have, and they have approval. We need to work on this, and negotiate not argue with the FC or try to dictate to them.
    Herein lies the crux, we don&#39;t know what &#39;the problem&#39; is, &#39;they&#39; seem to be uncommunicative - the silence from &#39;them&#39; is deafening. Perhaps instead of &#39;lurking&#39; an opening of discussions would help people understand what precisely is wrong and we&#39;d know how to improve our potential acceptance.

  21. #21
    Motley Crew Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka+Sep 29 2003, 11:18 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (NattyBooshka @ Sep 29 2003, 11:18 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>As far as I know... it&#39;s the local FC people you&#39;d need to speak to. The NF has a committee that governs it, regardless of whether they fall under the jusristicion of a national body, these are the people that I would talk to first. Not sure if all FC lands are governed the same way. I don&#39;t see how it can hinder to start a discussion with another local FC body though.
    [/b]


    Perhaps, in view of T&J&#39;s earlier post in this forum (see below) it would be advisable to have just the single point of contact for the time being and see what transpires.


    <!--QuoteBegin--Tim and June
    @Sep 26 2003, 08:22 AM
    There is still, even at this stage, work continuing on a local level. As soon as we can make any announcement, we will, but this is very tentative and publicising too much too early could interfere with that (its happened before).[/quote]

  22. #22
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Crew,Sep 30 2003, 07:58 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by NattyBooshka,Sep 29 2003, 12:49 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Crew,Sep 28 2003, 08:11 PM
    The way things are going it seems certain people consider the whole place to be a &#39;sensitive&#39; area, perhaps it should all be surrounded by barbed wire fences and become a total exclusion zone thus giving the rangers their own private playground.
    Well.. as Paul has alread said some parts of the forest become sensitive areas at certain times of the year. They allow these areas to be used by the public most of the time.
    The areas that the 3 &#39;removed&#39; caches that I visited were open to all members of the public. My point was why are Geocachers being singled out as &#39;undesirables&#39;.
    [/QUOTE]
    The only people with an agreement to hide & seek lunchboxes in the forest, so far, are the letterboxers. The whole forest is off limits to letterboxers for two months of the year. Letterboxing cannot go on during these two months, no matter how public the area is. One of the months is October. If you can tell me how allowing letterboxers to go ahead (with approval) and not allowing geocachers (without approval) is singling us out, I&#39;d be interested.

    The way I see it, we didn&#39;t ask permission for the caches there, so from all points of view the landowner can remove them. Hopefully we can get an agreement to cache in the NF, but right now I don&#39;t see how. I have read the letterboxing guielines again recently, and we cannot match them. The FC have protected the NF for many years, and we&#39;re not the first group they will have had issues with... we&#39;re not being picked on, singled out, discriminated against, or anything else here. From what I&#39;ve read, it it wasn&#39;t for a few posts on the forums, we&#39;d have approval to play in the forest.

  23. #23
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Perhaps instead of &#39;lurking&#39; an opening of discussions would help people understand what precisely is wrong and we&#39;d know how to improve our potential acceptance.
    I argee... maybe we could goto one of their public meetings? You have the right to go, and there is the opportunity to raise issues.

    I see a lot of sticking points though, not least our attitude.

  24. #24
    stu_and_sarah Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Sep 25 2003, 01:20 PM
    Letterboxers are not against us... I just feel that they don&#39;t want to go through this whole approval thing again. One of their guidlines was NO PUBLICITY, so I guess we can&#39;t match that for an internet moderated game.


    I only have experience with letterboxing on Dartmoor, but despite the "no publicity" clause, after a letterboxer has found 100 letterboxes, they can join the letterboxing club which send out newsletter giving clues as to where the letterboxes are. I imagine members only caches would be the equivalent of "the 100 club" newsletter.

    Sarah
    --

  25. #25
    stu_and_sarah Guest

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    Originally posted by Tim and June@Sep 26 2003, 08:22 AM
    Another example: A question over placing caches in disused animal holes. We were told (by a letterboxer) that the practice was illegal in the New Forest (we have since found out that this is a criminal offence nationally for MOST animal holes see see this page). Approach to FC was made to try to: A ). confirm the situation and B ). find out more so we could advise cachers.

    Dartmoor letterboxes have to be hidden in "natural cavities".

    I&#39;m assuming this must be due to the bylaw you mentioned. Letterboxes are never in animal holes, or buried.

    Occassionally there is a rock placed over the entrance to a natural cavity under a rock, but in my very limited letterboxing experience, they aren&#39;t covered in any leaf litter or sticks.

    Sarah
    --

  26. #26
    stu_and_sarah Guest

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    Jut done a bit of googling.

    http://www.ashurstandcolbury-pc.gov....articleid=1718 explains about the Verderers who make the bylaws for farming on the new forest.

    The Verderers homepage is at http://www.verderers.org.uk/

    Might be someone who can give a hint as to where to get copies of the other bylaws?

    Sarah
    --

  27. #27
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Originally posted by stu_and_sarah+Oct 1 2003, 09:39 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (stu_and_sarah @ Oct 1 2003, 09:39 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--NattyBooshka@Sep 25 2003, 01:20 PM
    Letterboxers are not against us... I just feel that they don&#39;t want to go through this whole approval thing again. One of their guidlines was NO PUBLICITY, so I guess we can&#39;t match that for an internet moderated game.


    I only have experience with letterboxing on Dartmoor, but despite the "no publicity" clause, after a letterboxer has found 100 letterboxes, they can join the letterboxing club which send out newsletter giving clues as to where the letterboxes are. I imagine members only caches would be the equivalent of "the 100 club" newsletter.

    Sarah
    -- [/b][/quote]
    Letterboxing on Dartmoor doesn&#39;t have a no publicity rule... it has webpages, books, and is very easy for the tourist to get into whilst visiting. I was refereing to NF letterboxing, which has no publicity, and wouldn&#39;t be that easy to find if you didn&#39;t know where to go.

  28. #28
    stu_and_sarah Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Oct 1 2003, 12:27 PM
    Letterboxing on Dartmoor doesn&#39;t have a no publicity rule... it has webpages, books, and is very easy for the tourist to get into whilst visiting. I was refereing to NF letterboxing, which has no publicity, and wouldn&#39;t be that easy to find if you didn&#39;t know where to go.
    From our experience of Dartmoor letterboxing, the tourist information centres are very unhelpful when asked about it, and so are the books which you can buy there. They usually only mention the history of the boxes as opposed to how to find them as do the majority of the webpages.

    Due to our problems finding information on where they actually were until you have proved yourself and found 100 of them, I assume that no publicity was their clause too.

    Apologies if this is not the case,

    Sarah
    --

  29. #29
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Not sure if Dartmoor have any guidleines... old books were good at getting you started, maybe times have changed. As the guy who runs it has a webpage up, I can&#39;t see that they have a no publicity clause.

  30. #30
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    OK... hate to ask this, but were we ever in possession of the letterboxing guidelines? It&#39;s now October, and we have active caches (see earlier posts.) Whilst I know we are not signed up to those guidelines, they are there for the protection of the forest&#39;s wildlife. Are we, as cachers, not bothered about that? Or are we ignorant of the letterboxing guidelines? I think that we are in possession of them.. and so I can see the FC now thinking that we have given them two fingers... how sad... I guess now we will never gain approval.

  31. #31

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    I do hope that nothing gets said here which could be "used in evidence against us".

    :angry:
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  32. #32
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Hey, not accusing anybody of anything... just trying to understand this... something here doesn&#39;t add up, but I don&#39;t want to add 2 and 2 and get 5

    I want to see letterboxing and geocaching flourish in the forest... it saddens me that the latter doesn&#39;t look like it will, due to the actions of some of the membership of this very association

    I guess though, that if anything is to be "used in evidence against us" it will be the existance of caches in the forest without permission, them being in sensitve areas, them being open this month, etc etc... I find it difficult to believe that anything I say here could make things worse&#33;

  33. #33
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    OK... was the question as to whether we have seen the letterboxing guidelines too difficult? I guess it&#39;s a yes or no answer that&#39;s needed.

    Following this, why are we not abiding to the guidelines of the forest, that ALL other similar groups abide to... namely no activity in June or October? It seems shocking to me to see that we are, as an association, not practising what we preach.
    by Tim & June in This thread on GC.com
    As far as we can tell, the additional guidelines they would like to see implemented were along the lines of:

    Stay away from undergrowth during the month of June when deer give birth and leave their young in the undergrowth.
    During the month of October deer culling takes place, play safe and stay away.
    Do not wrap your cache in a plastic bag.
    Do not place your cache in disused animal holes (this is a criminal offence at least in some parts maybe everywhere)
    Plus of course the other things already in our guidelines.


    Perhaps we should take these on board anyway.
    So can I ask why...
    a: The cache you have in the New Forest is now members only when it used to be open?
    b: Why the cache is active in October?
    c: Why you placed the cache just before June... 6 days before one of theses no go times... and why it stayed active throughout?
    d: Suggested on both forums that we place members only caches so they can&#39;t see them, or virtuals, or very long multi&#39;s.
    e: Why you have stated that letterboxers place micros? They do NOT
    f: Why can we not get a straight answrer on any issue?

    This is supposed to be an association, but I get the feeling that people have wanted me to drop the subject, go away and be a good boy. Well, I&#39;m not going to. I love geocaching, and I love letterboxing... I will not allow one to put the other in danger... and that could happen here. I know that you have been around a long time T&J and I know that you have done a lot for this sport, but please can you tell me how you expect a person/team who have done a - d above be taken seriously by the FC in negotiation? If I was them I wouldn&#39;t let you through the front door. I still believe that we are talking to the wrong people.. and I also belive that we have, at least from their current perspective, the wrong people representing us. Do you really think that they can&#39;t see a members-only cache? I doubt that £2 will break their bank. If they want the caches out, they will get the caches out.

    Are we trying to promote geocaching and to hell with all other activities? It seems we are, we can do a lot of damage to all other activities in the forest by what we have done this year. The FC will now be less trusting of the next group who comes asking for permission. So when the FC ban us from all their land, and then the NT and lots of councils follow suit, we&#39;ll all come down to Hampshire as it&#39;s OK there. Not much fun for those who can&#39;t though.

    Emily & Neil.

  34. #34
    Motley Crew Guest

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    Originally posted by Tim and June@Oct 2 2003, 02:39 PM
    I do hope that nothing gets said here which could be "used in evidence against us".

    :angry:
    I agree. Perhaps the time has come to lock this thread and, as I suggested earlier, to allow T&J to continue their background work. See below:

    (Tim and June @ Sep 26 2003, 08:22 AM)
    There is still, even at this stage, work continuing on a local level. As soon as we can make any announcement, we will, but this is very tentative and publicising too much too early could interfere with that (its happened before).

  35. #35
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    oops... double post

  36. #36
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Originally posted by Motley Crew@Oct 2 2003, 08:13 PM

    I agree. Perhaps the time has come to lock this thread and, as I suggested earlier, to allow T&J to continue their background work.
    Sure... why not... let&#39;s not be allowed to talk about issues that are affecting the game

  37. #37

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    OK, I did try to stop this thread diplomatically, as I have done before on other threads and failed.

    There are times when it is better to work carefully and slowly, we were getting there, sorry it took too long for you.

    How on earth anybody can expect an association to operate before the comittee is established I have no idea.

    time to call it a day.
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  38. #38
    Omally Guest

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    Fair play to you both.

    Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

  39. #39
    Motley Crew Guest

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    Originally posted by Tim and June@Oct 2 2003, 09:59 PM
    OK, I did try to stop this thread diplomatically, as I have done before on other threads and failed.

    There are times when it is better to work carefully and slowly, we were getting there, sorry it took too long for you.

    How on earth anybody can expect an association to operate before the comittee is established I have no idea.

    time to call it a day.
    I was afraid that this would happen.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery June, and thanks to you both for your efforts, much appreciated.

  40. #40
    NattyBooshka Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Tim and June@Oct 2 2003, 09:59 PM
    OK, I did try to stop this thread diplomatically, as I have done before on other threads and failed.

    There are times when it is better to work carefully and slowly, we were getting there, sorry it took too long for you.

    How on earth anybody can expect an association to operate before the comittee is established I have no idea.

    time to call it a day.
    Diplomacy involves talking to people... if I had recieved an email with an explanation as to why you didn&#39;t want me to continue down the road this thread was going, I may well on reading it have decided that you had a good point. However I got no such mail. I do not want to see another log saying, for example (not on a T&J cache) "almost stepped on a deer" especially when said log was during a month that all other groups are inctive (or at least restricted.) Furthermore, I believe that we should not be placing micro caches in sensitive areas... the sighting of a couple that have been recently placed in the NF is alarming, especially as we are now in another month where we should not be playing the game.

    I meant nothing personal by my words and I stand by them. For the good of the game, I urge all NF cache owners to mark them inactive for the remainder of the month, to fall into line with all those other groups in the forest. Better still if they could remain inactive until we have some kind of permission to do so. Instead of this I see lifted caches being replaced by micro-caches... this will not help the game, and making any "illegal" caches harder to find will not stop them being lifted, it will just infuriate the FC. Right now, we should cease all activity in the NF, including physicals, micros, multis and virtuals. I also, wanted to suggest that negotiations with the NF would be better left to someone who does not have a cache already on their territory, as this puts the GAGB on the defensive from the start. If negotiations are carried out by somebody that the FC do not have an issue with, then they have a better chance of success.

    Apologies are probably, however, due to T & J for causing any offence/hurt. I am not sorry that I highlighted the issue, but I don&#39;t like hurting people and for that I am truely sorry. I&#39;ve met you both, at HCC, and thought that the discussion we had, especially re: micro-caches in sensative areas, showed you to be very caring for such environments. I was therefore, shocked when you advocated micros being placed in the NF at this time.

    June, I had no idea that you were not well and I wish you a speedy recovery.

  41. #41
    Geoff &amp; Bonnie Guest

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    NattyBooshka makes a lot of sense. We should act now and voluntarily follow the other groups&#39; guidelines regarding June and October. If we are not seen taking some action or worse still, *trying to buck the system*, negotiations will never succeed.
    Geoff

  42. #42

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    One major problem with those two posts above.

    Have you seen the crap we got thrown at us when we said that alcohol, food, matches etc should not be put in caches ? The crux of the matter seemed to be that cachers did not want any extra guidelines.

    It was all the furore over that which caused our trouble last time.

    We thought we would try a different approach knowing that if a land owner said this is what we had to do, then cachers would eagerly agree to them.

    Same crap, different depth &#33;
    <span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:green\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>totally brassed off </span></span></span>

  43. #43
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Originally posted by Tim and June@Oct 3 2003, 02:49 PM
    One major problem with those two posts above.

    Have you seen the crap we got thrown at us when we said that alcohol, food, matches etc should not be put in caches ? The crux of the matter seemed to be that cachers did not want any extra guidelines.

    It was all the furore over that which caused our trouble last time.

    We thought we would try a different approach knowing that if a land owner said this is what we had to do, then cachers would eagerly agree to them.

    Same crap, different depth &#33;
    Well... those aren&#39;t extra guidelines are they? I saw the discussion, and I understand its impact. I do understand that some geocachers don&#39;t want to play by any rules, let alone new ones, but if that is the case then I applaud the FC for stepping in and removing the caches.

    We have to face the June and October issue sometime, and I originally thought (still do) that September was a better time to discuss it than, say. December.

    As you have probably read, we did have a problem in June (maybe more, but one logged) with a cacher nearly standing on a deer. I figure that if the cache is active, people will go and find it, so I don&#39;t blame the person concerned. I do, blame the placer of the cache (if they were aware of the June/October issue) and I blame those who knew about the issue (myself included, if they were not fully informed about it.) I was horrified to see this was happening, and wanted to see it discouraged. I would have picked up on it at the time, but being up north, NF caches dont appear in my normal PQs. To not address this issue amongst ourselves and try to lessen the impact (sure there are those who won&#39;t listen) is not an issue for me, as for several years I enjoyed walking and other activites in the forest and feel that we as a group (GAGB or cachers in general) should not spoil the place for everybody.

    Restrictions are there for a reason. I see the fox hunt doesn&#39;t advocate speeding to catch it... why should we then advocate geocachers breaking the restrictions beacause they don&#39;t like them? I see your point that some won&#39;t comply... and I also see that currently you are one of the "some," which I found more than disappointing and wished to ask you about that. I decided, possibly unwisely in retrospect, to do this on here as it is by no means the only cache in the area. I don&#39;t think as a group we can use the "some won&#39;t comply" arguement unless we do comply with know guidelines. I assume from the refusal to admit having the &#39;boxers guidelines that you have got them, and so knew about this issue. It would have been nice if a GAGB representative, or a local and respected cacher, could have tried to talk with the owners of these caches individually, but the thread on GC.com started and so did the discussion on all matters related to it.

    I don&#39;t feel that I have done anything wrong here. I am still a little confused, and some things still don&#39;t add up, but I will not bring anything new to this discussion as my words have brought enough upset already.

    For me though, the welfare of the forest and its wildlife must come before the possible approval of our game.

  44. #44
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Oct 2 2003, 08:12 PM

    a: The cache you have in the New Forest is now members only when it used to be open?
    b: Why the cache is active in October?
    c: Why you placed the cache just before June... 6 days before one of theses no go times... and why it stayed active throughout?
    d: Suggested on both forums that we place members only caches so they can&#39;t see them, or virtuals, or very long multi&#39;s.
    e: Why you have stated that letterboxers place micros? They do NOT
    f: Why can we not get a straight answrer on any issue?
    I have to say this worries me too ... let&#39;s just stick knives, matches, booze and food in caches as long as they are members only or long multis.

    It&#39;s been said many times before that things posted on the firums are read by land owners - in that case, the advice from T&J was wrong. Sorry.

  45. #45
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by BugznElm&#39;r+Oct 3 2003, 03:28 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (BugznElm&#39;r @ Oct 3 2003, 03:28 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--NattyBooshka@Oct 2 2003, 08:12 PM

    a: The cache you have in the New Forest is now members only when it used to be open?
    b: Why the cache is active in October?
    c: Why you placed the cache just before June... 6 days before one of theses no go times... and why it stayed active throughout?
    d: Suggested on both forums that we place members only caches so they can&#39;t see them, or virtuals, or very long multi&#39;s.
    e: Why you have stated that letterboxers place micros? They do NOT
    f: Why can we not get a straight answrer on any issue?
    I have to say this worries me too ... let&#39;s just stick knives, matches, booze and food in caches as long as they are members only or long multis.

    It&#39;s been said many times before that things posted on the firums are read by land owners - in that case, the advice from T&J was wrong. Sorry. [/b][/quote]
    When we were in Germany on holiday, at one cache we DID find a knife and some alcohol.

    Not having "local knowledge", ane being visitors there, we said nothing, but we did remove the small bottle of alcoholic "bitters".

    It it had been in England, I would have taken both, and posted a note explaining why. In addition, I would have tried to find who placed the items & contact them too.


    Now, on the subject of "things happen behind closed doors" (eg negotiations with FC): everybody had better get used to the fact that THAT is how committees, government, businesses etc work&#33; I am involved with Hospital Radio, and am on the Committee (which also means I am a TRUSTEE for that charity).... there are PLENTY of things we have to discuss that never gets minuted, nor reported back to the members. If it were, then we would probably get the same level of **** that gets thrown around here.

    Now, IF I get elected to the GAGB committee, there will be times that I will not be divulging things: if you find that a problem then I suggest that [a] you do not vote for me; [b] you seriously consider resigning your GAGB membership; [c] you find another hobby&#33;

    I think that, once GAGB gets going, there will be some tough (behind doors) discussions happening, and they WILL change, in some way or another, the way we do caching... for example, it has already been suggested that caches could be marked as "meets the GAGB guidelines: I will lay a fiver that such a requirement is VERY LIKELY to become a REQUIREMENT. It happens in other countries / US States already, and there is no reason it won&#39;t happen here.

    You&#39;d better get used to it&#33;


    Paul

  46. #46
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    I hear what your saying Paul... and I assume if anybody is discussing anything which may conflict with negotiations, that you would send them an off-forum message stating your case to ask them to drop it, instead of diplomatically trying to end a thread by saying nothing?

  47. #47
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    I understand how the "committee" will want to keep the details of discussions such as those thie the FC under their hats until complete... but can anybody tell me who we are talking to?

    Much work has been done at head office level rather than local which has
    even involved government bodies. We were asked to not discuss the matter
    further until later down the road. We would always respect such requests
    100% because those involved were helping US
    ok... understand that... now...
    There is still, even at this stage, work continuing on a local level. As
    soon as we can make any announcement, we will, but this is very tentative
    and publicising too much too early could interfere with that (its happened
    before).
    ... see? Here I get confused. Are we talking to locals or head office? This is one of the things that just doesn&#39;t add up. If we are talking to both then why say "...rather than local" One of these comments is, therefore, inaccurate at best. Can someone please explain what is actually going on?&#33;

  48. #48
    Kouros Guest

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    It seems to me (and this is only a guess) that the statement "There is still" precludes the presumption that the only discussions going on are at a national level.

    I would surmise that the contradiction is intentional and inherent - while on one hand some work has to be done at a national level to make any ground, there is still work going on at a local level.

    Just my thoughts, and open to be disputed.

  49. #49
    Teasel Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Oct 3 2003, 07:31 AM
    Better still if they could remain inactive until we have some kind of permission to do so.
    What proportion of caches have the blessing of the landowner? Before T&J&#39;s successful negotiations with HCC, I&#39;d guess a dozen? Maybe two? Out of 2000. If we go down the line of proactively making caches inactive until landowner negotiations are complete, we&#39;d have none left&#33;

    I do not support the idea that geocachers should take extra restrictions upon themselves, but believe we should wait until requested by landowners. For example, I personally see nothing wrong with a can of coke being left in a cache. But if some landowners explicitly say that they do not want foodstuffs of any kind, then I will respect that, and would expect everyone caching on their land to do likewise.

    Negotiations were in progress, so if the FC had asked that all NF caches be immediately deactivated pending further discussion, then no doubt this request would have been passed on to the relevant cache owners. I&#39;m sure the FC can negotiate for themselves, without the "assistance" of the letterboxing community&#33; Let&#39;s face it, the FC must now be aware of the locations of all the caches in the NF and if they explicitly demanded their removal, I can&#39;t see anyone refusing (whether or not it&#39;s a long multicache&#33.

    Experience shows that T&J are quite capable of successfully negotiating with landowners, when allowed to do so without undue scrutiny and argument in the forums. OK, not having the chance to publically scrutinise negotiations may run the risk that rules will be agreed which are not supported by the geocaching community as a whole. But there is little evidence of this so far, and the creation of GAGB allows members the opportunity to lay down the groundrules under which the committee is permitted to negotiate. Unless our appointed negotiators request people&#39;s opinions on a matter, we should let them do their job without interference&#33;

  50. #50
    Omally Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Oct 4 2003, 12:00 AM
    Unless our appointed negotiators request people&#39;s opinions on a matter, we should let them do their job without interference&#33;
    Well said.

    So, would anyone be upset at our committee negotiating on our behalf, even behind closed doors?
    As far as I can see, T n J were democratically voted in as Chair Bods, which means every one of you reading this had the chance to decide who you wanted to do this on your behalf. You chose T n J (wisely IMHO, yet no disrespect to Pharisee, the only other person willing, albeit with reluctance, to stand up and be counted as chief), who have most certainly NOT been idle. Your vote means you trust them to work on your behalf, even behind closed doors. The thanks they have recieved for this is, quite frankly, staggeringly minimal yetI daresay the vote may well have been influenced by the knowledge that T n J had already been working hard to get the FC to like us.

    It is a shame that T n J have tendered their resignation yet I, among many others, admire their efforts, nay, devotion towards Geocaching. I particularly admire the fact that T n J are still graceful enough under fire to allow this site to continue breathing whilst it is yet populated by ingrates. Most folks would have pulled the plug, myself included.

    Despite the pettiness that has infected this place, I still have faith in the GAGB. I believe something can still be made of Geocaching in this country, as long as we can all muck in together and make it work.

    If you do decide to email me with your comments/queries, please be polite and mindful of the salient fact that I am not naming any names nor casting aspertions on any particular individuals.

    Thankyou.

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