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Thread: Ban: Spitchwick Common, Dartmoor

  1. #1

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    Default Ban: Spitchwick Common, Dartmoor

    Sorry to report that a cacher has been refused permission for a cache on an SSSI on Dartmoor.

    Details are in GLAD http://www.gagb.co.uk/gagb/glad/agreement_view.php?p=80
    Last edited by The Wombles; 22nd January 2010 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Incompetency

  2. #2

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    That's refusal of permission for a letterbox, not a geocache ("I am concerned at the number of Letter boxes already on the Moor"). AFAIK letterboxes don't require permission (if they did, it would be a big job to remove them as they must outnumber geocaches by hundreds to one!).
    Also, does this landowner control a substantial area? It might be useful, if this is really a "ban", to outline the boundary of the area in question. On the map it looks like it might be only a tiny part of the moor. How many letterboxes are already on his land?
    Plus, I would have thought that some negotiation would have been possible, for example to re-site the cache so that it's on a public footpath (Dartmoor Way) and to use a small or micro container with a clear description of the exact position. Or even at the side of the road above / below Sharp Tor, or the car park (where permission wouldn't be an issue anyway). That would negate any concerns about erosion.
    Did the GAGB not have any success with these sort of suggestions?
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 23rd January 2010 at 07:41 AM.

  3. #3

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    The request to the Landowner was by a Member for a Geocache, and not by the GAGB. The Landowner used the description of Letterbox in his reply. As he will be used to that term.

    Graculus is attempting to make contact with the Landowner, so that we can obtain the details of the actual extent of the affected land.

    if this is really a "ban"
    erm the GLAD entry is a direct quote of the Reply from the Landowner, who states

    I therefore feel unable to give my consent to your request.
    I may be able to review my position in a few years time, if my fears prove groundless.
    Which makes it completely clear that the Landowner has banned Geocaches on Land owned by him.

    On a side note, is this foretelling of issues to come, for Letterboxers on Dartmoor? Something our hobby has faced early on in our history.

    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

  4. #4

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    Thanks Dave,
    But the "ban on caching" isn't THAT clear (I don't think I'm quite as thick as you're inferring with your sneering remark! hmy. The landowner was referring to letterboxes with his "fears", because there are a lot of them around the area. He also says "I note you have a letter box near the Tor".

    He's seems to be totally misunderstanding the application, so the details should be clarified as his decision seems to be based on misinformation.

    In any case, he refused permission this time but perhaps would be amenable to a different application. Possibly a cache that is not listed on geocaching.com but only at a local level ("If this information is published on a world wide basis, it will only intensify use")? I guess he's expecting that the number of visitors wil be significant, even though the standard application letter states that the likely number of visitors will be very low (but I have the feeling that he hasn't seen the standard letter). Nor does he seem to be aware that caches can be placed in locations where erosion would be insignificant even with dozens of visitors per year, and that cache placers may be willing to consider alternatives if there are worries about the original site.

    If there are any existing caches, it doesn't seem clear whether they have to be removed (as per a "ban"). Also, although the request was by the cacher (no, I didn't think that the GAGB was requesting a cache placement), I would take it that the announcement of a ban only happens once various avenues of negotiation have been explored. Otherwise, it's just an ongoing situation, perhaps best described as a "suspension of permission for further caches", or a "landowner unlikely to give permission".

    I imagine that letterboxers will simply continue to operate as normal, which doesn't seem to cause any significant problems. They are not seen as evil high-tech internet geeks like us!

  5. #5

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    Sorry but I was not sneering!

    The Landowner specifically states

    I may be able to review my position in a few years time, if my fears prove groundless.
    Which has been taken not only by myself but others who have read it as a Ban. Which is why it has been placed in the GLAD as such.

    As for what wording was used by the person who made contact, not having seen it I can't comment.

    The area is a SSSI so any other cacher who contacts the Landowner if they wish a cache placed there listed on GC, stands a chance of receiving the same response. Especially as this particular Landowner is not happy with the impact Letterboxes are having. Sorry I can't comment for the other Listing Sites, as to whether they will follow the Landowners decision.

    Even if negotiations between the Landowner and the GAGB does take place. Until the refusal is uplifted by the Landowner, No cache will be knowing listed on GC which is located on his land. That constitutes a ban as far as I am aware.

    As for Letterboxes, is there an specific and easy way of contacting the owner of a particular Letterbox? Is there any requirement for them to be maintained by the owner? Sorry but at least one landowner is not happy with them, what happens when more feel the same? Letterboxers on Dartmoor have been lucky in that up to now Landowners, have ignored their activities taking place on their Land. This could change in the future.

    Geocaching because it is more highly organised and accountable, pays the price for that. But that means more protection for us in the future.

    Deci

    To make it very clear, this, and neither did the previous post is not and was not intended as a "Sneer" or Attack against any person!
    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

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    this, and neither did the previous post is not and was not intended as a "Sneer"
    Just to clear that up, sentences that start with "sorry, but" or "erm" do come over as a bit sneery.
    Now, I know that it's difficult to write in such a way as to get the tone perfectly right, and this is not meant to be a masterclass in the language, so I'll not get offended or upset and I'll accept that it isn't the way you wanted it to come across.

    Just for future reference, the reason it sounds sneery is;

    "erm" implies that the question was a bit dumb (short for "erm, am I missing something here, or is this guy really so idiotic?"). "Sorry but" can be interpreted as short for "sorry to p on your bonfire here, but before you get carried away listen to someone who knows...". Not that we should never use such expressions, but be careful!

  7. #7

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    The joys of written language . I'm glad that issue has been resolved

    No more erm's from me if I do please give me a kick

    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

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    Snip

    As for Letterboxes, is there an specific and easy way of contacting the owner of a particular Letterbox? Is there any requirement for them to be maintained by the owner?
    Did a quick Google and came to this link ..http://www.userfriendly-devon.com/10...f_conduct.html
    which seem to answer both the above questions and be contra to the assumption below
    Letterboxers on Dartmoor have been lucky in that up to now Landowners, have ignored their activities taking place on their Land. Deci
    We like Greens

  9. #9

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    Good link! The letterboxes around here seem to include ammo boxes, but I can see why they aren't encouraged on Dartmoor.
    The "Letterboxing With Moor Care and Less Wear" leaflet might be of relevance (in a general way) to geocaching...

  10. #10
    Brentorboxer Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    Good link! The letterboxes around here seem to include ammo boxes, but I can see why they aren't encouraged on Dartmoor.
    The "Letterboxing With Moor Care and Less Wear" leaflet might be of relevance (in a general way) to geocaching...
    Ammo cans were banned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority after a child was injured after picking up some military ordnance which exploded at Great Mis Tor a few years ago. The ban was imposed by the DNPA in an effort to be seen doing something to protect the public.
    For a few years after the ban the rangers would collect in any ammo cans they find and leave waterproof notes in the hiding places telling the owners to collect their property from the DNPA HQ.
    Recently a cache has gone out onto the moor in an ammo can,
    http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=4a18bf50-82ac-4939-bae7-25c7356df541
    Not sure why it was allowed as the cache details says it is in an ammo can, and as the geocachers are supposed to keep to the letterboxing code, it clearly shouldn’t have been approved!
    Unfortunately it has been put into an area which has been burnt off, and is completely exposed, see picture on cache page, if a member of the public finds it, they could report it to the DNPA or police, the problem is this ammo can is locked, the rangers or police wont be able to open it, they will have to cut the lock off or they might just blow it up!!hmy:
    Last edited by Brentorboxer; 26th April 2010 at 12:06 PM.

  11. #11

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    That one may have slipped through my net. I'll contact the owners about it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Chris
    Graculus - Volunteer UK Reviewer

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.a.folk View Post
    Did a quick Google and came to this link ..http://www.userfriendly-devon.com/10...f_conduct.html
    which seem to answer both the above questions and be contra to the assumption below
    Change of URL to http://www.letterboxingondartmoor.co.uk/
    go to Information Tab & click Code of Conduct
    We like Greens

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brentorboxer View Post
    Ammo cans were banned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority
    Just to clarify; metal boxes of any type are discouraged, on the basis that they could be mistaken for military debris.

    So it won't help if you paint the ammo box and cover it in "Geocache" lettering, or if you use a metal container of another type (there are some aluminium lunchboxes that make admirable cache containers, but plastic has to be the order of the day on Dartmoor).

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