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Thread: Clarification please

  1. #1

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    Default Clarification please

    1. I was led to believe that any person/geocacher was eligible to be elected to the GAGB committee. People who disagree with the way GAGB is run, or the guidelines it creates, have an equal right to be elected to the committee and affect, democratically, any decisions the committee makes. I also believe the advent of the election, and proposal of candidates, was advertised sufficiently in advance to allow anyone with an interest in GB geocaching to get themselves to be proposed for election to the committee.

    Why then all the angst, post election, from those who disagree with the direction and policies of the GAGB? Why did they not attempt to get elected to the committee and try to change things? (If they thought it was a waste of time, why complain now?)

    2. As an original member of GAGB why am I now only a Forum member?

  2. #2

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    I think there was a problem with the membership database when servers were transferred. It is being worked on at the moment.

  3. #3
    Icenians Guest

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    Is it not right that any elected body come under some sort of scrutiny during it's term in office?

  4. #4
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    1. I was led to believe that any person/geocacher was eligible to be elected to the GAGB committee.
    Then I suggest that you were misled. Clauses F & G of the constitution say to me that the committee must consist of [GAGB] members.

    However, as with some other members you miss the point of why I and others "disagree with the direction and policies of the GAGB". If that direction and those policies affected only members of the GAGB then I wouldn't give two hoots about them. But GAGB and Groundspeak think that all GB cachers are bound by GAGB's rules. Rules which, let's remember, have been formulated by a handful of GAGB members and approved by not many more. I say that GAGB is not representative of GB cachers and non-members are not bound by GAGB's rules.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post

    As an original member of GAGB why am I now only a Forum member?
    As Tony's said, there's a technical problem. You are a member of GAGB, but if the online form for checking is telling you that you're not, it's because, probably as a result of the recent move to new servers, a bug has reared its ugly head, and some people are getting false positives or false negatives. As our webmasters are restructuring the membership database anyway the matter will hopefully get sorted of its own accord.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    ... I say that GAGB is not representative of GB cachers and non-members are not bound by GAGB's rules....
    Fine, why then do you visit this forum? If you, as a non member, are not bound by GAGB's guidelines, (not rules), what are you trying to achieve?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    Fine, why then do you visit this forum? If you, as a non member, are not bound by GAGB's guidelines, (not rules), what are you trying to achieve?
    Sorry if I'm wrong, but you seem to infer that you'd rather Alan didn't visit the forum. I remind you that this forum was offered as a free and easy alternative to the increasingly restricted discussions on the Groundspeak one.

    Perhaps you should clarify your motives first, before demanding that people justify their motivation for discussing their hobby with others?

    Personally I welcome all and sundry to offer their views on here, whether I agree with them or not. A bit of healthy debate shows that there are people that care about the game.
    But I'm starting to think that the only happy forum is an empty one!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Then I suggest that you were misled. Clauses F & G of the constitution say to me that the committee must consist of [GAGB] members.

    However, as with some other members you miss the point of why I and others "disagree with the direction and policies of the GAGB". If that direction and those policies affected only members of the GAGB then I wouldn't give two hoots about them. But GAGB and Groundspeak think that all GB cachers are bound by GAGB's rules. Rules which, let's remember, have been formulated by a handful of GAGB members and approved by not many more. I say that GAGB is not representative of GB cachers and non-members are not bound by GAGB's rules.
    GAGB Guidelines are guidelines and not rules. Since you oppose them so vehemently and consistently, then I am confident that you can formulate better ones with more than a handful of non-members and get them approved by many more.

    I would welcome the opportunity to scrutinise and discuss your guidelines and moreover when it is clear that your guidelines have greater merit and applicability than the current ones, I think you will find GAGB perfectly willing to adopt them.

    I am convinced that GAGB and its committee are motivated purely in support of our pursuit; the committee considers and takes on board views of non-members as well as members and makes appropriate changes accordingly.

    What it cannot do, however, is please everyone, when there is no consensus to follow. If a pragmatic and expedient solution agreed at local level with those directly affected does not meet with your approval then we'll disagree on that specific instance, however one swallow does not make a summer. I don't think that amounts to "direction and policies".

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    GAGB Guidelines are guidelines and not rules. Since you oppose them so vehemently and consistently, then I am confident that you can formulate better ones with more than a handful of non-members and get them approved by many more.

    I would welcome the opportunity to scrutinise and discuss your guidelines and moreover when it is clear that your guidelines have greater merit and applicability than the current ones, I think you will find GAGB perfectly willing to adopt them.

    I am convinced that GAGB and its committee are motivated purely in support of our pursuit; the committee considers and takes on board views of non-members as well as members and makes appropriate changes accordingly.

    What it cannot do, however, is please everyone, when there is no consensus to follow. If a pragmatic and expedient solution agreed at local level with those directly affected does not meet with your approval then we'll disagree on that specific instance, however one swallow does not make a summer. I don't think that amounts to "direction and policies".
    See next year, I'm voting for you...............................twice
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    2. As an original member of GAGB why am I now only a Forum member?
    Rectified, we are sorting out the problems on several accounts, your post here bumped you to the top of my priority list. :coffee:
    "I Cache, therefore I am"

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by studlyone View Post
    Rectified, we are sorting out the problems on several accounts, your post here bumped you to the top of my priority list. :coffee:
    Many thanks, and my vote goes to................:wacko:

  12. #12

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    To aid clarification, everyone who joined before 3rd May 2008 is a GAGB member. Those who joined on or after 3rd May 2008 are initially forum users only. You can check the status of your membership here: http://gagb.co.uk/gagb/membership/

    If you are not shown as a GAGB member you can join on the form.

    If you are shown as a GAGB member and you think this is in error, please contact the committee.

    What is showing currently on the forum is a glitch due to the forum migration and this as Ian says, is work in progress.

  13. #13
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    Fine, why then do you visit this forum? If you, as a non member, are not bound by GAGB's guidelines, (not rules), what are you trying to achieve?
    I am trying to get GAGB (and Groundspeak) to confirm that I am not bound by GAGB's rules. At the moment both organisations think that I am.

  14. #14
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    GAGB Guidelines are guidelines and not rules.
    Ah, not that old chestnut. We all know what they're called: they're just not treated as such. For example, to pick one close to your own heart, the "guideline" on SSSIs is interpreted as a blanket ban even though the GAGB guideline merely says "No cache should be placed in such a way as to risk damage or disturbance...". To pick another: Groundspeak are now refusing to publish caches in plastic bags. Still think they're just guidelines?


    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    I am confident that you can formulate better ones with more than a handful of non-members and get them approved by many more.
    I don't need to, as I wouldn't expect anyone - let alone all GB cachers - to abide by any guidelines I come up with. I have my own personal standards of sensible ways to place and seek caches which, not incidentally, don't include encouraging cachers to climb monuments.

    But since you ask, yes, I can see a way forward whereby the GAGB guidelines could be toned down to an extent where Groundspeak would be able to cease using them as a stick to beat cachers with, whilst still maintaining the intention of the guideline.

    For example, the plastic bags one could be reworded as: "It is best not to place caches in plastic bags as they trap water and thereby cause moisture problems for the cache and also attract snails etc thus making the experience unpleasant for cache seekers. Also, the bag will disintegrate over time thus causing litter and potential problems for wildlife. If you need to camouflage your cache, consider using duct tape or suitable exterior paint.". Worded this way, as a recommendation rather than a prohibition, prevents the guideline being interpreted as a rule and also explains the reason for it.

    Contrary to what you may think, I do actually believe that GAGB's guidelines are good in essence. The principal problem seems to be that, after many years of saying they wouldn't, Groundspeak are now using GAGB's guidelines as hard and fast rules. If that can be prevented then things will get a lot easier.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    I am trying to get GAGB (and Groundspeak) to confirm that I am not bound by GAGB's rules. At the moment both organisations think that I am.
    Of course you're not bound by our rules. Unless, of course, you choose to place or seek a cache on land owned by a body which permits caching on its land only if the participants abide by our rules.

    I've deliberately used the word "rules". Our guidelines are, in themselves, just that - guidelines. But obviously if a landowner chooses to make abiding by them a condition of caching on their land, then in that particular instance the guidelines do become rules.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    Of course you're not bound by our rules. Unless, of course, you choose to place or seek a cache on land owned by a body which permits caching on its land only if the participants abide by our rules.

    I've deliberately used the word "rules". Our guidelines are, in themselves, just that - guidelines. But obviously if a landowner chooses to make abiding by them a condition of caching on their land, then in that particular instance the guidelines do become rules.
    That's also exactly the way we see it .
    We like Greens

  17. #17
    Icenians Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    To aid clarification, everyone who joined before 3rd May 2008 is a GAGB member. Those who joined on or after 3rd May 2008 are initially forum users only. You can check the status of your membership here: http://gagb.co.uk/gagb/membership/

    .
    Yes and no.

    I joined years ago at the start, to be able to oppose via the forums at the time. Having got the changes I asked for, i.e. not to be represented, I asked the committee at the time to remove my membership. This was long before 2008.

    Before the recent elections I wanted to rejoin and found I couldn't. I suspect this was due to the way I had had my membership removed before. In the end I gave up trying as the committee just kept pointing me to the same old membership page which didn't work.

    However. I voted in the election and from what I can gather, the vote was excepted and cast. I then find on once again relinquishing membership that I neer was a member!

    It is strange that in this techie savvy game an association cannot come up with a simple membership database and, more importantly, a simple way of opting out of membership. Can I assume that this is in hand and that the GAGB at it's next negociation will be able to publish it's membership number?

    Kev

  18. #18
    StuartP Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icenians View Post
    It is strange that in this techie savvy game an association cannot come up with a simple membership database and, more importantly, a simple way of opting out of membership. Can I assume that this is in hand and that the GAGB at it's next negociation will be able to publish it's membership number?
    A simple membership database is indeed not that difficult. However due to the way that membership had been handled previously, and with the decision to disassociate membership of the gagb from membership of the forums, along with the upgrade to new forum software, the handling of membership renewal prior to the last elections was somewhat more complex than the simple use of 1 database, we had to make use of information in 3 databases. The solution for this was implemented in short period of time (remember please typically we all have day jobs), it simply wasn't possible to test the system to distruction, unfortionaly you were one of those cases that the system simply couldn't cope with.

    You can rest assurred that we are working to ensure that these problems don't occur again.

    Thanks

    Stuart
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  19. #19
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    Regarding SSSi's, we don't say that you can't place one.

    I've negotiated an agreement with the hampshire wildlife trust, basically you have to get the local ranger to come with you when you place the cache and they have to agree that it's location will not interfere with the SSSi.

    So a cache placed and the guidelines followed? or am i missing something.

  20. #20
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    Of course you're not bound by our rules. Unless, of course, you choose to place or seek a cache on land owned by a body which permits caching on its land only if the participants abide by our rules.
    Great. A confirmation, though a partial one. Can I now assume that if I, as a non-GAGB member, choose to place a cache in a plastic bag and ask Groundspeak to list it, that Groundspeak will not refuse to publish it on the grounds of a GAGB rule by which I am not bound?

    As for the exception, now I just need confirmation that, as a non-GAGB member, I'm not bound by any agreements that GAGB chooses to negotiate with land managers. This is simple legal stuff: you cannot, without my express consent, join me to any agreement GAGB has with anyone.

  21. #21
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    So a cache placed and the guidelines followed? or am i missing something.
    Yes. You're missing that Groundspeak interpret that rule as being a blanket ban on placing of caches in an SSSI.

  22. #22
    StuartP Guest

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    GS, list under "Off-limit (Physical) Caches"

    -
    Caches placed in areas which are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans (examples may include archaeological or historic sites).

    And an SSSI being defined

    - An SSSI may be made on any area of land which is considered to be of special interest by virtue of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features.

    My interpretation here is that the SSSI are covered by the GS Listing Guidelines. I would imagine that you don't want people trampling on sensitive fauna and flora.

    Where agreements do exist with organisations that have SSSI's that allow the placement of caches close to but not within an SSSI this can only help protect the SSSI, by increasing the awareness of the existence of SSSI.
    Last edited by StuartP; 24th January 2009 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Speeellings.

  23. #23
    keehotee Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Great. A confirmation, though a partial one. Can I now assume that if I, as a non-GAGB member, choose to place a cache in a plastic bag and ask Groundspeak to list it, that Groundspeak will not refuse to publish it on the grounds of a GAGB rule by which I am not bound?
    I would have assumed that that was between you and Groundspeak (or their reviewers), and nothing to do with the GAGB?

    As for the exception, now I just need confirmation that, as a non-GAGB member, I'm not bound by any agreements that GAGB chooses to negotiate with land managers. This is simple legal stuff: you cannot, without my express consent, join me to any agreement GAGB has with anyone.
    As any caches you place will have "adequate permission" already, I'm sure the land managers will be sure to take their knowledge of your cache into account when subsequently agreeing anything with the GAGB.....

  24. #24

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    With all the many discussions here there and everywhere about guidelines, rules, GAGB or not, I think people are losing sight of the fact that Groundspeak are bound to list the cache if the landowner has given permission. No ifs, no buts if you have permission your cache gets listed.

    All this angst seems to me to be part and parcel of trying to evade the need to ask permission of the person/body who owns the land where you're planning place your cache.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    ...Groundspeak are bound to list the cache if the landowner has given permission. No ifs, no buts if you have permission your cache gets listed.
    ...I'm not sure that I'm keeping up, but there seems to be an inference that if it's in a plastic bag or a dry stone wall, then it still won't be listed.
    I think that in the old days (2007!), the reviewer would list the cache but ask the owner to remove the plastic bag at the first opportunity.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    All this angst seems to me to be part and parcel of trying to evade the need to ask permission of the person/body who owns the land where you're planning place your cache.
    Rather than "angst", I take it as the usual pain involved with bringing a new sport into the world. Just think of all the rules of golf, which have been set out after decades of argument, deliberation and unforeseen incident. They now cover just about everything you can imagine, but it wasn't a simple or speedy matter to formalise them. The fledgling GAGB has made a fair stab at putting some guidelines/rules together, but they're pretty new and it's not surprising that there are some debatable points in there.
    Evaluating the relationship between cachers and land managers is, hopefully, part of the process by which the GAGB develops into something more like the BMC (for climbers), or the Ramblers (for walkers). Both of which I'm a member.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Great. A confirmation, though a partial one. Can I now assume that if I, as a non-GAGB member, choose to place a cache in a plastic bag and ask Groundspeak to list it, that Groundspeak will not refuse to publish it on the grounds of a GAGB rule by which I am not bound?

    As for the exception, now I just need confirmation that, as a non-GAGB member, I'm not bound by any agreements that GAGB chooses to negotiate with land managers. This is simple legal stuff: you cannot, without my express consent, join me to any agreement GAGB has with anyone.
    As keehotee has said, that's a matter for you to discuss with Groundspeak's reviewers.

    If a landowner stipulates conditions that must be adhered to by people using their land then obviously those conditions apply to everyone.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuartP View Post
    My interpretation here is that the SSSI are covered by the GS Listing Guidelines. I would imagine that you don't want people trampling on sensitive fauna and flora.

    Where agreements do exist with organisations that have SSSI's that allow the placement of caches close to but not within an SSSI this can only help protect the SSSI, by increasing the awareness of the existence of SSSI.
    Sorry if I'm missing your point, but I think we've established that there is no blanket ban on caches in SSSI's. One merely has to seek permission and this may be granted; but you will have to declare this specific permission to get your cache listed on GC.com. Other pastimes have access to SSSI's (even though there's a lot more trampling involved!), but access isn't unlimited and there tends to be restrictions attached.

  28. #28
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuartP View Post
    My interpretation here is that the SSSI are covered by the GS Listing Guidelines. I would imagine that you don't want people trampling on sensitive fauna and flora.
    I think, as so often, that it's a question of interpretation. The Groundspeak guideline will have been formulated in the context of the USA situation. I have no idea what that is so can't comment.

    In the UK there are many, many areas and many ways in which we protect flora and fauna. For tens of miles around where I live, including all the towns, is the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. I suspect that if the Groundspeak rule were taken at face value then there would be few places in GB where a cache could be placed because so much land is protected in some way.

    But protection doesn't necessarily mean prohibition. Many (most?) protected areas are open to the public. Indeed, the public are often encouraged to visit such areas as a means of furthering education, obtaining exercise, or even raising funds for the continued protection of the area.

    So the key to interpreting Groundspeak's rule is using judgement as to how its intention might be fulfilled in this country. But the real problem, as I said earlier, is the interpretation of GAGB's rule on SSSIs. This isn't GAGB's problem - in this instance it's difficult to see how the rule could be any better worded - it's a question of the interpretation by, in particular, Groundspeak's reviewers.

  29. #29

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    Don't know about anyone else but I would rather be out caching than reading this.

  30. #30
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee View Post
    I would have assumed that that was between you and Groundspeak (or their reviewers), and nothing to do with the GAGB?
    Then you would assume wrongly. Groundspeak use the GAGB rules as hard and fast rules that apply to all cachers in the UK regardless of whether the cacher is or isn't a member of GAGB. Therefore GAGB, in order to fulfil its objective to "enhance geocaching and to progress it as an activity" will want to ensure that its rules are not unduly restrictive and are clearly stated as applying only to members.

    In other words, GAGB's rules give Groundspeak another reason to not publish caches. But the upholding of GAGB's rules is the responsibility of GAGB's members not Groundspeak.

  31. #31
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    I think people are losing sight of the fact that Groundspeak are bound to list the cache if the landowner has given permission. No ifs, no buts if you have permission your cache gets listed.
    Come, Peter. You of all people must surely know that's not true. To use just a few recent examples we know that a cache will not be published by Groundspeak if it is in a plastic bag, mentions an historical event or commercial entity, or is a dummy bolt.

    Land manager permission is one aspect but it is not the only one or arguable even the most important one.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Come, Peter. You of all people must surely know that's not true. To use just a few recent examples we know that a cache will not be published by Groundspeak if it is in a plastic bag, mentions an historical event or commercial entity, or is a dummy bolt.

    In actual fact Alan, Peter and I (and I am sure the current reviewing team) know that this is true.

    I certainly remember a case where a dummy bolt was used to hide a stage of a multi.

    I asked the owner if they had the local council's permission to place the cache in this location. Had they provided documentary evidence to prove they had (as happened once with a dry stone wall location for another cacher) they would have recieved the "OK".

    And please do not tell me I am wrong as I would take that very personally

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Come, Peter. You of all people must surely know that's not true. To use just a few recent examples we know that a cache will not be published by Groundspeak if it is in a plastic bag, mentions an historical event or commercial entity, or is a dummy bolt.

    Land manager permission is one aspect but it is not the only one or arguable even the most important one.
    Come, Alan. I of all people most certainly DO know it's true. From my time when I had access to the reviewers'/Groundspeak's forum I well remember discussions about whether landowners' requirements took precedence over Groundspeak's guidelines/rules. I can assure you that at the time of my resignation it was agreed that a Landowner took precedence.

    I well recall the "dummy bolt" episode but I don't remember the highways authority (the barrier's owner) ever being approached for their express permission. If they had given permission, the reviewers at the time would have been delighted to publish the cache.

    As for the "historical" reference, my vague recollection was that was an "agenda" issue and nothing to do with permission. Of course I may be wrong. Hundreds of caches describe historical events and never cause a problem.

    Plastic bags - well at the time I was reviewing we used a standard template when publishing such a cache ASKING people to remove them. That seems to have changed now but even so, if I placed a cache in my own garden which was wrapped in a plastic bag I am sure that Groundspeak would publish it, in the same way that I know they would publish a cache which I had buried (on my own land).

    As I have stated elsewhere, it all boils down to Landowner's permission. If you want to plant a cache in my garden (unlikely I know but bear with me), then I can impose whatever restrictions I want. I can use the GAGB guidelines if I want, I can make up my own rules, but whatever I say, goes.

    The same principle applies to any other landowner be it NF, NT, BBOWT, an SSSI owner or whoever.

    Any other general restrictions imposed by Groundspeak's reviewers cover situations where permission is "assumed" (i.e. not specifically sought).

    Oops! Edit to say that I see Dave and I were typing at the same time.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    Plastic bags - well at the time I was reviewing we used a standard template when publishing such a cache ASKING people to remove them. That seems to have changed now but even so, if I placed a cache in my own garden which was wrapped in a plastic bag I am sure that Groundspeak would publish it, in the same way that I know they would publish a cache which I had buried (on my own land).
    As you say, that seems to have changed. Now, you won't have the cache published on GC.com until the bag is removed. The permission part is irrelevant in any case; all you have to do is submit the cache to assure the reviewer that you have "adequate permission", so the reviewer need check no further.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    As I have stated elsewhere, it all boils down to Landowner's permission. If you want to plant a cache in my garden (unlikely I know but bear with me), then I can impose whatever restrictions I want. I can use the GAGB guidelines if I want, I can make up my own rules, but whatever I say, goes.

    The same principle applies to any other landowner be it NF, NT, BBOWT, an SSSI owner or whoever.

    Any other general restrictions imposed by Groundspeak's reviewers cover situations where permission is "assumed" (i.e. not specifically sought).

    Oops! Edit to say that I see Dave and I were typing at the same time.
    You're correct as far as it goes, but I'd really like the GAGB to actually ascertain how far we're allowed to exercise our own rights in this area. If you're inferring that a farmer (for instance) can simply come up with any spurious reason he likes for banning caches, I'm not sure that he has the law on his side. Or at least, it's unclear that there's any law available to him to prosecute an errant cacher (assuming that access to the cache location is publicly available and that the land isn't under any special protection).

    Obviously, if it's in your garden you have the right to privacy.

    But farmland/moorland/heathland/forest is quite different from a garden; you can't just go "I own this land therefore I say what's allowed". You still need to take into account British law (which is why you can't build a house without permission because it's on "your" land, for instance). The public actually "owns" the land, in reality, to a greater or lesser extent, so the land "owner" has to come to our representatives to ask for permission.
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 25th January 2009 at 12:48 PM.

  35. #35

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    Do you own your garden, in England you don't you have a lease just as any other landowner, your lease may be for 999 years but it is still a lease.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    Do you own your garden, in England you don't you have a lease just as any other landowner, your lease may be for 999 years but it is still a lease.
    Eh!!!

    Some who buy property with a lease yes, the rest of us that buy our property freehold own it!

    So, my garden is most definatly owned by me.

    Kev

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    Then you would assume wrongly. Groundspeak use the GAGB rules as hard and fast rules that apply to all cachers in the UK regardless of whether the cacher is or isn't a member of GAGB. Therefore GAGB, in order to fulfil its objective to "enhance geocaching and to progress it as an activity" will want to ensure that its rules are not unduly restrictive and are clearly stated as applying only to members.

    In other words, GAGB's rules give Groundspeak another reason to not publish caches. But the upholding of GAGB's rules is the responsibility of GAGB's members not Groundspeak.
    Quoting the part in bold above.

    Now Alan, this is very interesting. I have not come across Groundspeak making this statement anywhere. Groundspeak being the organisation that owns the geocaching game we play and who are based in the USA. So perhaps you can point me to the place in their Terms of Use, the forums, news articles or perhaps personal communication you have had from them informing you they have categorically made this statement (which you clearly tell us they have). Here is a link to their website, you may wish to browse through it - http://www.groundspeak.com/

    Chris (Mr Blorenge)

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    Happy Humphrey wrote:
    You're correct as far as it goes, but I'd really like the GAGB to actually ascertain how far we're allowed to exercise our own rights in this area. If you're inferring that a farmer (for instance) can simply come up with any spurious reason he likes for banning caches, I'm not sure that he has the law on his side. Or at least, it's unclear that there's any law available to him to prosecute an errant cacher (assuming that access to the cache location is publicly available and that the land isn't under any special protection).
    To the best of my knowledge, there isn't any law available to a landowner to prosecute an errant cacher, provided of course the cacher hasn't done anything like causing criminal damage or whatever.

    If caches are placed without the landowner's permission the landowner is quite entitled to remove them, though. As many of you will know, that happened in the New Forest when every cache there (19, I think) was removed. That was what led to GAGB negotiating with the FC there to allow caching on their land.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    1. I was led to believe that any person/geocacher was eligible to be elected to the GAGB committee.
    And more besides - you don't need to be elected - or successful in the election - to be on the committee.
    People who disagree with the way GAGB is run, or the guidelines it creates, have an equal right to be elected to the committee and affect, democratically, any decisions the committee makes.
    Why is that limited to the committee? The committee aren't the GAGB, they are just the executive committe of the GAGB - which consists of it's members, and they would be powerless without the members. I think (hope) I'm right in thinking that most of the active members of the GAGB are members because they are interested in the way the GAGB is run, and the direction that caching is taken in this country. Democracy should not be a once a year activity at election time, and active debate should be a part of that democratic process.
    I also believe the advent of the election, and proposal of candidates, was advertised sufficiently in advance to allow anyone with an interest in GB geocaching to get themselves to be proposed for election to the committee.
    Precisely my point - those GAGB members elected to the committee were elected by the rest of the GAGB's membership to represent them on the committee.

    I don't actually disagree at all with anything the GAGB has done to date - I just like to argue the toss occassionally.
    I do, though, have a couple of questions that do concern me.....

    1. I am assuming that the committee only enter into negotiations with land managers where there has been difficulty gaining permission to place caches - or where caching has been banned. Can the committee confirm this - and are there any plans to push this out to all sizable land managers, regardless of whether there has been an issue in the past? (That's managers of sizeable areas of land - not, errm, large people that manage land.... )

    2. And apologies - this one's for Groundspeak, but I'm hoping a passing reviewer may be able to answer it. Is there likely to come a time when explicit permission (as opposed to adequate or implied permission) will be a requirement for publishing all caches in the UK?

    Thanks

  40. #40

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    Passing Reviewer answers point 2

    2. And apologies - this one's for Groundspeak, but I'm hoping a passing reviewer may be able to answer it. Is there likely to come a time when explicit permission (as opposed to adequate or implied permission) will be a requirement for publishing all caches in the UK?
    Not that I'm aware of unless Groundspeak specifically change the Guidelines to require so. Or Legislation is brought in by the UK Government. We intend to continue as we are at the present. Please note Specific Proof of Permission to Publish has been applied to different types of locations for valid reasons, not because we could do so. These just increase the workload, which is naturally increasing anyway, so why add to this workload if we don't have to

    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

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    keehotee wrote:
    1. I am assuming that the committee only enter into negotiations with land managers where there has been difficulty gaining permission to place caches - or where caching has been banned. Can the committee confirm this - and are there any plans to push this out to all sizable land managers, regardless of whether there has been an issue in the past? (That's managers of sizeable areas of land - not, errm, large people that manage land.... )
    No, we enter into negotiations for all sorts of reasons. Other than the ones you've mentioned, which are certainly applicable, cachers sometimes suggest to us that we might approach a particular landowner, there have been cases of landowners finding a cache on their land that they didn't know about, and the ensuing correspondence has led to an agreement, and so on. Sometime a potential problem in an area comes to light, and we try to get in first before anything blows up and the landowner puts a ban in place.

    There are so many sizable land managers that it would be difficult to know where to begin in pushing this out to all of them. Nonetheless, the database of permissions is steadily growing, and so far anyway there are very few prohibitions in there.

    Perhaps it's also worth reiterating at this point that not all the agreements in the database have been reached by GAGB. We aim to include all known major landowner agreements (and prohibitions) regardless of who negotiated with the landowner, and I think most if not all cachers who reach such an agreement inform us of it and are pleased to see it included.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  42. #42
    keehotee Guest

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    Thanks Deci and Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, there isn't any law available to a landowner to prosecute an errant cacher, provided of course the cacher hasn't done anything like causing criminal damage or whatever.

    If caches are placed without the landowner's permission the landowner is quite entitled to remove them, though. As many of you will know, that happened in the New Forest when every cache there (19, I think) was removed. That was what led to GAGB negotiating with the FC there to allow caching on their land.
    Bill,
    Thanks for that.

    Just to clarify, I'm not intending to drop a cache on land where permission has been refused, or to try and avoid arranging permission somewhere. I'm just interested in whether these notions about the need for permission are something that is set out in law, or whether it's more for politeness and good relations.

    Although it would seem, at first, common sense that a land manager can remove a cache if he finds one that was left without permission, can you confirm whether that is actually the case in a legal sense? Or at least, if it's legal for him to remove it, is he then obliged to return the property to the owner?

    In past discussions (I think with the U.S. cachers so it might be different here), I seem to recall that a viable cache cannot be kept by the person removing it; they have to return it to the owner even if it's a lot of trouble. It may not even be legal to remove it if it isn't causing damage and not interfering with the business.

    Which makes sense; after all, just because you farm a field doesn't mean that you can confiscate a bag that you see a passing walker cache under a hedge in the field. It would be stealing, just like taking a cache that someone deliberately left would be stealing. You might get away with explaining that you took it away for safekeeping, but it would probably be necessary to leave a note at the site, or demonstrate that you used some realistic means of contacting the owner.

    Are there "GAGB guidelines for landowners"? It might be helpful to come up with some (with the aid of your legal department ), giving the official attitude to such matters (what to do if you find a cache on your land / how to decide whether it has permission / options if not /how to get in touch with the owner / how to identify contact details / what you can and can't do with it... etc.).

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    Don't know about anyone else but I would rather be out caching than reading this.

    LOL, I was! :socool:

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    Bill,
    Thanks for that.

    Just to clarify, I'm not intending to drop a cache on land where permission has been refused, or to try and avoid arranging permission somewhere. I'm just interested in whether these notions about the need for permission are something that is set out in law, or whether it's more for politeness and good relations.

    Although it would seem, at first, common sense that a land manager can remove a cache if he finds one that was left without permission, can you confirm whether that is actually the case in a legal sense? Or at least, if it's legal for him to remove it, is he then obliged to return the property to the owner?

    In past discussions (I think with the U.S. cachers so it might be different here), I seem to recall that a viable cache cannot be kept by the person removing it; they have to return it to the owner even if it's a lot of trouble. It may not even be legal to remove it if it isn't causing damage and not interfering with the business.

    Which makes sense; after all, just because you farm a field doesn't mean that you can confiscate a bag that you see a passing walker cache under a hedge in the field. It would be stealing, just like taking a cache that someone deliberately left would be stealing. You might get away with explaining that you took it away for safekeeping, but it would probably be necessary to leave a note at the site, or demonstrate that you used some realistic means of contacting the owner.

    Are there "GAGB guidelines for landowners"? It might be helpful to come up with some (with the aid of your legal department ), giving the official attitude to such matters (what to do if you find a cache on your land / how to decide whether it has permission / options if not /how to get in touch with the owner / how to identify contact details / what you can and can't do with it... etc.).
    I can't provide evidence of this, but from previous discussions in forums and with landowners, I believe that whilst a landowner has no legal right to remove a cache there is also nothing in law that says they can't.

    I believe that in English and Welsh law they can remove the cache provided that they don't intend to permanently and dishonestly deprive the owner of the cache, and provided they hold it in safekeeping for a reasonable period of time to allow the owner to contact them. As far as I know there's no onus on the landowner to attempt to contact the cache owner.

    In Scottish law I believe the above paragraph holds, with this exception, "provided that they don't intend to permanently or temporarily and dishonestly deprive the owner of the cache".

    One would hope that all caches would contain a stash note providing the necessary contact information and so on, but of course some don't. Published guidelines for landowners is something that had never occurred to me - that's certainly something well worthy of consideration.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    I can't provide evidence of this, but from previous discussions in forums and with landowners, I believe that whilst a landowner has no legal right to remove a cache there is also nothing in law that says they can't.
    A very useful reply again, Bill.

    It does make me think of the parallel between a geocache and a bag that has been accidentally, or deliberately, left somewhere. It's easy to imagine that this doesn't matter too much for a geocache, as it's just a grotty little plastic box with a mouldy logbook inside and a few toys. But there may be geocoins and travel bugs in there, and perhaps the reason that it was found by the land manager was that it had only been there a few days so was not at all grotty. It might not be worth as much as (say) a camera, but the principle is the same.

    There seems to be an assumption that of course a land manager can simply remove a cache if he didn't give permission for it.

    But if you left a bag containing your camera under a rock (whilst you went climbing, for instance: this is common practice), the land manager spotted it and took it home, you might not automatically assume that he has the right to do this just because it's "his land". Should he fail to leave a note at the site (bag with camera found here, phone 343577 to recover, signed A. Gamekeeper), but you find out he'd taken it, you might have a case for the police to look into; even if the claim was "I was merely keeping it safe".

    Not exactly the same as a geocache, I know, but I think it makes the "landowner guidelines" more relevant.

    I imagine that in the New Forest case, the NF management collected the caches then immediately contacted Groundspeak or the GAGB to have them picked up, thus guarding against any accusation of having stolen them.

  47. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    A very useful reply again, Bill.

    It does make me think of the parallel between a geocache and a bag that has been accidentally, or deliberately, left somewhere. It's easy to imagine that this doesn't matter too much for a geocache, as it's just a grotty little plastic box with a mouldy logbook inside and a few toys. But there may be geocoins and travel bugs in there, and perhaps the reason that it was found by the land manager was that it had only been there a few days so was not at all grotty. It might not be worth as much as (say) a camera, but the principle is the same.

    There seems to be an assumption that of course a land manager can simply remove a cache if he didn't give permission for it.

    But if you left a bag containing your camera under a rock (whilst you went climbing, for instance: this is common practice), the land manager spotted it and took it home, you might not automatically assume that he has the right to do this just because it's "his land". Should he fail to leave a note at the site (bag with camera found here, phone 343577 to recover, signed A. Gamekeeper), but you find out he'd taken it, you might have a case for the police to look into; even if the claim was "I was merely keeping it safe".

    Not exactly the same as a geocache, I know, but I think it makes the "landowner guidelines" more relevant.

    I imagine that in the New Forest case, the NF management collected the caches then immediately contacted Groundspeak or the GAGB to have them picked up, thus guarding against any accusation of having stolen them.
    I do take your point about the bag that's been temporarily stashed by a climber, and I do think it's a very valid one. I think, though, that regardless of the ins and outs of it, and probably even regardless of the legality, landowners are in practice going to remove caches they find on their land and don't want there. The more we can do to avoid such situations, the better for all cachers in the UK.

    I genuinely cannot remember how contact was established when those NF caches were removed, but contact was made and the NF returned the caches to GAGB to try to reunite them with their owners. I believe we've still got a few unclaimed ones sitting in someone's garage.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    I think, though, that regardless of the ins and outs of it, and probably even regardless of the legality, landowners are in practice going to remove caches they find on their land and don't want there. The more we can do to avoid such situations, the better for all cachers in the UK.
    Indeed, but when it inevitably happens we shouldn't just say "the landowner has every right to dictate (etc.)". If a compromise is negotiated it should also involve the land manager realising that he may have overreacted, and may in legal terms even be the offender!
    Anyway, enough of this; back to the thread..

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by dodgydaved View Post
    In actual fact Alan, Peter and I (and I am sure the current reviewing team) know that this is true.

    I certainly remember a case where a dummy bolt was used to hide a stage of a multi.

    I asked the owner if they had the local council's permission to place the cache in this location. Had they provided documentary evidence to prove they had (as happened once with a dry stone wall location for another cacher) they would have recieved the "OK".

    And please do not tell me I am wrong as I would take that very personally
    I'm not sure who "Eckington" might be , but this is apparently how it used to work for bin bags (warning: Groundspeak link);
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...dpost&p=745964

  50. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by studlyone View Post
    Rectified, we are sorting out the problems on several accounts, your post here bumped you to the top of my priority list. :coffee:
    Not rectified, as of 11:15 this morning.

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