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Thread: North East Forestry commission

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Thumbs down North East Forestry commission

    Tried for several weeks now to get permission to place some caches in Hamsterley Forest, NE England. The initial contact with the FC rangers was really positive, however when the 'pen pushers' got involved everything changed.

    FC reply to my letter - 'Yes, we are happy for you to lay some Geocaches in Hamsterley Forest, subject to receipt of a map with locations and as long as the geocaching code of conduct is followed. Permission will be granted via a formal permit, the cost of which is 25 plus VAT'

    After further consultation and various emails back and forth, debating the cost issue, the FC have pulled the plug on the permit.
    I quote - Dear Mr ***** thank you for your email I have discussed the matter with the Recreation Manager & write to inform you that North East England Forest District stand by the decision to charge an admin fee on all permissions I am therefore cancelling the permit.

    If anyone can help please let me know, as I seem to have come up against a brick wall.
    There is NO job in the Field Artillery for the weak, the timid or the indecisive...........

  2. #2

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    Unfortunately the FC are within their rights to ask for payment for their permission to cover their admin. This is the only FC area which has chosen to do so and GAGB does not recommend this permission and is vehemently against the precedent of paying for geocaching permissions.

    We hope that in due course this FC area will support geocaching in the same way as all the others because it is in line with their Government responsibilities and is supported by numerous other Local Government organisations, Government Agencies and Charities such as the NT and Woodland Trust without this payment.

    We are also keen to promote the responsible side of geocaching without causing ill feeling to such organisations in the hope that in due course we can foster sufficently good relations to make a free permission possible. Thanks to Belliscan for taking this very positive approach to the subject.
    Last edited by The Wombles; 24th December 2008 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Clarity

  3. #3

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    NW England Forestry Commission used to charge 50 for a permit- do you know if this has now stopped? I noticed a while ago that their geocaching web page describing their support (and charge) for geocaching had disappeared. I rang Delamere Forest office to find out what was going on but didn't get a satisfactory answer on policy other than they don't think that Delamere Forest is big enough to support a cache (!)- although one was actually published in it this evening.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pieman View Post
    NW England Forestry Commission used to charge 50 for a permit- do you know if this has now stopped? I noticed a while ago that their geocaching web page describing their support (and charge) for geocaching had disappeared. I rang Delamere Forest office to find out what was going on but didn't get a satisfactory answer on policy other than they don't think that Delamere Forest is big enough to support a cache (!)- although one was actually published in it this evening.
    Neither the UK Reviewers or the GAGB Committee have any confirmed information that the FC NW area has withdrawn the fee for a permit to place a cache on their land.

    The cache in question when checked against both 25,000 & 50,000 OS Maps apeared as being outside the boundaries. The issue is now being dealt with.

    Currently we're in the middle of the Holiday Placement Silly season. Given the No's we're currently dealing with each day, mistakes will happen as we are only human.

    And before anyone comments we need more team members, the period between Christmas Day and New Years Day is not refered to as Holiday Placement Silly season for nothing. New members and experianced members with new GPSr's or a itch to go and place one or more than one. And the time to be able to do it.

    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

  5. #5

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    As Dave says, the charge still stands. A cacher dropped plans to place a cache on their land just a few weeks ago in order to avoid setting a precedent by paying that charge.
    ​​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 did send a message to my old contact in the FC NW to find out if we can reopen negotiations; he is on holiday until next week.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    I did send a message to my old contact in the FC NW to find out if we can reopen negotiations; he is on holiday until next week.
    I was going to email you in a couple of weeks asking if there was any chance of going back to the FC NW - it's surprising how much open fellside they own around here (West Cumbria), let alone the bits with trees on. Good luck!

  8. #8

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    I hope that the cache I mentioned is OK and that negotiations with the North West Forestry Commission go well as it is a shame that an organisation that generally is trying to get people out into the countryside and indeed supports the concept of geocaching doesn't match its words with it's actions.

  9. #9

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    I know this is no consolation to those in the NE who want to put caches onto FC land in that region, but we had an excellent response from the local FC manager in the Lower Wye Valley (west side) when we approached him regarding placing a couple of caches. We gave a brief explanation about it and he said, "Fine with me, go ahead, place it then come back and tell me exactly where it is and any special details about it..." We queried whether it would be OK to put one nail into the side of a very mature tree to attach a container - sure, no problem.

    He was very active in the local Walking for Health group and was of the opinion that the more people who could be encouraged to walk in FC woodlands the better.
    Last edited by Mrs Blorenge; 2nd January 2009 at 12:11 PM. Reason: letter E disappeared from my keyboard - it's back now.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Blorenge View Post
    I know this is no consolation to those in the NE who want to put caches onto FC land in that region, but we had an excellent response from the local FC manager in the Lower Wye Valley (west side) when we approached him regarding placing a couple of caches. We gave a brief explanation about it and he said, "Fine with me, go ahead, place it then come back and tell me exactly where it is and any special details about it..." We queried whether it would be OK to put one nail into the side of a very mature tree to attach a container - sure, no problem.

    He was very active in the local Walking for Health group and was of the opinion that the more people who could be encouraged to walk in FC woodlands the better.
    I've struggled to get any reponse from the folks in the Wye Valley, this sounds like a good lead. Mail on it's way!

  11. #11

    Join Date
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    Thumbs down

    Further update on the original thread of placing a cache in Hamsterley Forest. Wrote to the FC main office again, explaining that other FC areas allowed geocachers to place cahes in and around their areas, even quoting a few examples. The guy in charge, Richard, did genuinely seem interested but stated that a permit would still have to be purchased - now 35!!!! - before any caches could be placed. I will keep on badgering the fella but it looks like this is going to be a "cache black hole" for the considerable future.
    There is NO job in the Field Artillery for the weak, the timid or the indecisive...........

  12. #12
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    Thanks for your persistence. Hopefully they'll finally see sense.

  13. #13

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    Well done for keeping on plugging away. It seems rather baffling that they want to charge for someone else to set up what amounts to an electronic guided walk. Looking at the http://www.forestry.gov.uk/hamsterleyforest website, it appears that they already encourage people to visit the forest. Surely a handful of extra visitors every month doesn't require any extra admin? In fact it's more admin to keep on refusing permission.

    In my experience, managers of similar land only put up resistance when they don't understand what I'm asking for (I'm not suggesting that this applies in this case, although it could be worth investigating what category they place geocaching under). In all the cases where I've managed to explain fully about geocaching, the response has been positive. What's more, they never ask for details of precise cache locations, nor are they at all bothered about future reviews or any formal paperwork. Nor have they ever had cause to regret being so understanding! I'm sure that most cachers have this experience with cache permission, so it's odd to come across someone seeming to place hurdles in the way.

  14. #14

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    Default Letters / e-mails

    Would it be worth writing a few letters / e-mails to their Commissioners and their Ministers pointing out the benefits of getting more visitors, and why they should scrap the charge...

    anyone think this is worth a try? opcorn:
    Last edited by 11011100; 28th April 2009 at 07:02 AM. Reason: spelling mistaek

    "Finding oneself is the quest of life...

  15. #15
    FourQ Guest

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    Those who know me will know my acutely overactive sense of mischief is never acted upon but the following was inspired by the 50 admin charge set by the Forestry Commission. (see //is.gd/2fqTd)

    "In closing please forward your response to the GAGB committee. We regret that a recent 1,500 processing charge for each declination must be enforced but this is solely due to the absurd charges implemented by some forestry commissions.

    GAGB is a non-profit organisation and we need to break even somehow.

    Regards

    A Cacher"

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