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Thread: FC East Anglia - Charging 63 pounds to give permission

  1. #1
    Phil and Sue Guest

    Angry FC East Anglia - Charging 63 pounds to give permission

    Hi,

    I have recently applied to place a series of caches where some of them fall within an area managed by FC East Anglia. After many weeks of trying to cajole them into action I have received the response that they are minded to give permission, but will only do so on payment of a 'minimal charge' of £63.43. The reason for a charge has been variously explained. It began as a charge for a 'full consultation' (nothing other than minimal enquiries of the other body responsible for managing wildlife in the area has been even hinted at as having happened). Lately it is stated to be for 'checking the geocache sites for (the FC's own) harvesting operations'.

    Has anyone ever come across a charge being requested by a government body for permission to place a cache on their(our) land?

    Do any of the GAGB landowner agreements make any provision for a charge? I haven't spotted any.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Location
    North Wales
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    676

    Exclamation

    The North West FC Area have a £50 fee for a 3 year permission to place Geocaches. That's been in affect for 4 years, with no takers.

    Last year they started a trial scheme in Cumbria, where the fee to place a cache was dropped. And since then several caches have been placed on FC land in Cumbria.

    So the experience has shown to be a negative one for the NW FC Area. It might be worth pointing this out to them.

    Once one person pays the Fee, it becomes impossible to negotiate it out again. So the GAGB and GC's UK Reviewers have always discouraged anyone from paying a fee to place Geocaches.

    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

  3. #3
    Phil and Sue Guest

    Default

    Thanks, and I rather suspected that was the case. I've drafted a response to FC EA objecting to the charge, to which I will add details from what you say. I'll let you know if I get anywhere.

  4. #4

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    Default

    There are benefits to sites when cachers attend. Free advertising of the area, for one, plus the fact that it gets children out - a treasure hunt is so much more exciting that a boring walk. Also, increased revenue from spending including any parking charges.

  5. #5
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    You might point them to the agreement we have with FC newforest, FC Dorset and now FC South West all of which are working well and incur no charge.

  6. #6

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    Default

    We would strongly discourage anyone from paying for permission because it sets a precedent for other cachers. Please let me know how this one goes and I will update the landowner database accordingly.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default

    Oh no, I hope that wont mean I have to remove my caches that are already on FC east anglia land, free of charge and with full permission.

  8. #8

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    Jul 2007
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    Default

    Phil,
    I have sent you a long reply to your email, let me know if you dont get it.
    Sue

  9. #9
    Phil and Sue Guest

    Default A positive outcome!

    Hi all,

    Many thanks for your posts and support from GAGB staff; I have been able to use a lot of the arguments you all raise in my negotiations with the FC. I've just had the following reply from FC East Anglia regional HQ:

    "Having spoken to a number of districts on the subject of geocaching permissions and charging I have decided to review our local [policy] as soon as is practicable.

    In the meantime I have .... agreed to allow your application through without charge. [We] will contact you shortly."


    So hopefully my caches around Dunwich Forest should be able to go live shortly, assuming that when the permission is given there are no points of detail to fix. And best of all we may achieve a change of policy that will encourage others to create cache sites in the East Anglia region.


    Phil.

  10. #10
    Phil and Sue Guest

    Default

    Permit received from Forestry Commission - no queries on the siting of the caches, and no charge made! Series of ten caches is now live on geocaching.com, with the first of the series under listing no. GC264NY. (The BeeKeeper has a copy of the permit.)

    Many thanks again for all your support,
    :cheers:


    Phil and Sue.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default

    Excellent news. Maybe now I will be able to place the caches I have been waitign 18 months to place, due to them putting everythign on hold.

  12. #12

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    Default

    Hi
    I have just this morning received the new details for FC east on how they are handling permissions, its great news.
    I presume deci you have a copy as well if not I will forward it on to you.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reddeeps View Post
    Hi
    I have just this morning received the new details for FC east on how they are handling permissions, its great news.
    I presume deci you have a copy as well if not I will forward it on to you.
    Is it not safe to post it up here for all to see?

  14. #14

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Other Stu View Post
    Is it not safe to post it up here for all to see?
    Yes of course it is, I just wasn't sure if it was the correct thing to do.
    So here it is.......

    Geocaches on Forestry Commission Land in the East of England


    The Forestry Commission (FC) East of England is adopting, on a trial basis, a new permissions system for the sport of Geocaching. From the 1 June 2010, FC East of England will allow caches to be placed on its CROW[FONT='Times New Roman','serif'][1][/FONT] dedicated landholding in the East of England without charge or written permission subject to compliance with the following conditions.

    1. Permission to place caches is limited to dedicated ‘open access’ Forestry Commission woodland in the East of England (http://www.forestry.gov.uk/eastengland). Current OS Explorer maps show open access woodland and further information on open access land may be found at:

    http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/wps/portal/oasys/maps/MapSearch

    2. No vehicle access is permitted beyond the public highway or dedicated parking places. Vehicles must be parked sensibly and must not block forest entrances as these provide emergency access to the forest.

    3. The vast majority of the Forestry Commission’s land holding in the East of England is dedicated as a SSSI and SPA for ground nesting birds. To avoid disturbance and potential prosecution, caches should not be placed on open ground or woodland areas where the trees are less than 15m in height.

    4. To help protect archaeological features caches should not be placed on Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMS). Information on the location of SAMS is available at:

    www.magic.gov.uk

    5. Caches must not be placed in potential bat roosts, for example in tree crevices.

    6. The Forestry Commission may close areas of the forest from time to time for forest operations and recreation events and these will be notified on the Open Access website (see Section 1); Geocachers must observe all warning and prohibition signs. The Forestry Commission East of England is not in a position to inform individual placers of pending Forestry Operations and caches are left at the risk of the placer.

    7. Placers and finders must comply with GAGB Geocachers Code of Practice and Guidelines and Forestry Commission Byelaws:

    GAGB Guidelines: http://www.gagb.co.uk/code-conduct.php

    GAGB Code of Practice: http://www.gagb.co.uk/geocache-guidelines/guidelines.php

    FC Byelaws: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-79ekjq


    Compliance will be monitored by the FC East of England team through random checks of registered locations. Note that Geocache events require written permission and will be subject to the standard recreation permission and charging process - http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-79ekjq

    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif'][1][/FONT] Countryside Rights of Way Act




  15. #15

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    Default

    Looks like a pretty sensible agreement on the face of it. Just a couple of observations that I would expect to be cleared up before the agreement is publicised;

    1. the website links (http://www.forestry.gov.uk/) seem to lead to a non-existent site (or perhaps it's just down today).

    2. what's a geocaching "event" in this context? Normally an event is held in a pub, so it's odd if they need "the standard recreation permission and charging process". This section should be removed or explained as it doesn't make sense; I don't see how the FC have any right to charge for people meeting up in a pub, even if it is on their land.

  16. #16

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    Default

    Events are not always held in pubs.

    Cachers could meet up for a picnic, opcorn: and get it classed as an 'Event' for the purpose of getting everyone in the same place at the same time.


    Or meet in the car park before heading off for a day's caching.
    But this one may not conform to the guidelines for an event...
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  17. #17

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    You're right, but the term should be defined in the agreement, otherwise there could be misunderstandings.
    There is a lot of FC land around here, and I'd love to organise an event* but I wouldn't be sure that a pub event
    couldn't be misinterpreted by the FC and therefore cause offence.

    *But I won't!

  18. #18

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    Agreed, it does rather seem that cachers are being discriminated against, by having to get the extra permission to meet at the pub!
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  19. #19

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    I must be missing something here, where does it say you have to pay to meet in a pub. You only have to pay to have an event in the forest, the same as the orienteering clubs, cross country etc etc.
    Are there pubs within the FC land, as there arent near me.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by reddeeps View Post
    I must be missing something here, where does it say you have to pay to meet in a pub. You only have to pay to have an event in the forest, the same as the orienteering clubs, cross country etc etc.
    Are there pubs within the FC land, as there arent near me.


    The permission for events seems much the same as the Permission requirement for events on F.C. land near us in the New Forest .


    http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6a5kxk
    We like Greens

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.a.folk View Post
    The permission for events seems much the same as the Permission requirement for events on F.C. land near us in the New Forest .


    http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6a5kxk

    Yes thanks for that. I think its fair and common for all FC land.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by reddeeps View Post
    I must be missing something here, where does it say you have to pay to meet in a pub. You only have to pay to have an event in the forest, the same as the orienteering clubs, cross country etc etc.
    Are there pubs within the FC land, as there arent near me.
    I was simply making the point that most (although admittedly not all) geocaching events are held in pubs (or at campsites). So the inference is that the FC would expect to be contacted should you hold an event at a campsite or pub which happens to be on, or adjacent to, land owned by the FC.
    I think that the term "geocaching event" is open to interpretation, when used outside caching circles.

    If I was new to caching, I might assume that it consisted of a large group getting together and having an organised (probably competitive) treasure-hunting day of some sort. I might be wrong, but in my experience the only organised part takes place indoors (or within the campsite), and a meet for "organised geocaching" is discouraged; so I was questioning the FC's interpretation. Geocaching events are nothing at all like orienteering, cross country (etc.) and this should be made very clear, otherwise there's a danger that misunderstanding could become widespread and jeopardise other agreements.

    But perhaps your event listing does mention that there are lots of caches in the area, and some are set up on FC land, specially for the event - would that then make the event qualify for the special charges? Would the FC take umbrage if you assume that it's exempt? What if the event was at a pub like this one; http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=...d=54&task=View, "Surrounded by good walking land owned by the Forestry Commission"? Or the New Forest? http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/map-n...new-forest.pdf

    In other words, under what circumstances are you likely to need permission from the FC for an Event Cache? If the answer is "you're not", then this section should be removed from the agreement. Otherwise, the exact circumstances should be clarified.
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 22nd June 2010 at 03:52 PM.

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