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Thread: Private vs Public Permissions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Worthing
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    Default Private vs Public Permissions

    Can someone help me with some landowner permission questions? I would prefer to have what is common practice, rather then the official Grounspeak guidelines (I read them).

    Why is there an apparent difference by the reviewers (in their decision process), between public areas owned by private hands (Farmer's field with public footpath, Railway Stations, Grocery Stores, etc.) and government land managed by a council or another public body (Parks, Promenade, etc.)?

    Is leaving a container without permission more acceptable in one case more then the other? If I put a cache under a bench at the beach, its likely that I will be granted permission by the reviewer ... but if I do the same at Tesco, I am more likely to get a refusal. If the council knew about my mischief, dont they have the same right as Tesco to object?

    According to the database, there are no blanket agreements in my area, yet there are 100s of caches around. Should I ask the council to legitimize my 5 caches on the seafront? If they say no, I do not really want to be responsible for the removal of other people's caches.

    Many thanks,
    Yannick

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    South East Wales
    Posts
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    Default

    Hi and welcome to the forums! Firstly reviewers don't grant permission, we just publish caches (or not as the case may be )..... the guidelines on GC.com say, By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. We presume therefore you have permission and don't ask for details unless it is in a location where we know a specific agreement is in place. An example of this is the National Trust. They are happy to support caching but they ask that you get permission from them first. So, if a cache is submitted on NT land we will ask you to provide proof that you do have permission from them and if not will provide you with the links to the GAGB landowner database to help you find out to go about this (and links to useful mapping resources too). There are also landowners/managers who have asked that no caches be placed on their land so in these cases we would refuse to publish the cache and ask that it be moved. These agreements are also in the GAGB landowner database.

    I hope this clarifies things a bit. By the way as the UK has some specific things to be aware of you should read the guidelines for cache placement here on the GAGB. I've also created a resource website that explains the UK guidelines and how some of them came about (such as permission for caches on church land and railway property). The site also gives numerous links to the mapping resources and websites that we reviewers use when reviewing caches so you can check a location before placing your caches. Link under my signature.

    Happy Caching!

    Chris - aka Mr Blorenge and also.......
    Graculus - Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
    UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk
    Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default

    Wow, I was wondering what magical means reviewers used to publish a cache ... the really do use MAGIC! Point taken about publishing vs giving permission, the responsability is on us cachers.

    I now understand the restrictions imposed for sensitive areas or at the request of landowners ... this was the reason for my first post. I still do not really know what to do about the situation in my area? After over 300 caches found and too many DNFs (cursed bridge caches!), I cannot remember one cache with the mention "permission given ..." as suggested in Follow-the-Arrow. This does not really help me to make a decision about permission request to the council. I hope to attend a local mid-week meet one day, maybe they will help ... or scare me from doing it :P

    Also, I did notice a pattern in caches I found up to now. Very rarely (if ever) I found a cache in a public area under private ownership, its almost exclusively on government land or public footpath/bridleways. If I understand well, apart from the bans or restrictive agreements in the database, no reviewer would question the permission for a cache set on the property of a public area like a shopping center, grocery store, etc.?

    Thanks

    PS: I would like to know if the request in my previous post to revisit the SideTrack policy is possible? From one of the replies, its a decision imposed by the reviewers, not by NR (maybe I am wrong?). It seems really harsh for one incident to virtually block access to hundreds of caches in quiet railway stations.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
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    Default

    The UK Reviewers try to at all times, keep this hobby fun [despite what some might claim], and at the same time act in the best interest of our hobby. At the end of the day we are just Geocachers like everyone else.

    RoW's are not Public property, the Land they traverse remains the property of that Landowner. And there is not any Legal Right to Place a Geocache on one. But as my colleague stated, we work on a Adequate Permission is Presumed unless we have reason to request Permission Details.

    At the end of the day, in the vast majority of cases, we leave it up to the individual Cacher Owner to decide what Adequate Permission is. However one point to remember

    "is that it only takes one cache placed without Permission to affect many others!"

    As for

    PS: I would like to know if the request in my previous post to revisit the SideTrack policy is possible? From one of the replies, its a decision imposed by the reviewers, not by NR (maybe I am wrong?). It seems really harsh for one incident to virtually block access to hundreds of caches in quiet railway stations.
    We work on a Proof of Permission to Publish, that is not Blocking anyone from placing a Cache on Network Rail Property. It is simply a requirement for the Cache Owner to provide Proof of Permission. In other words, we do not work on a Presumed basis for Network Rail owned Property. If you obtain Permission off the Station Manager/Regional or National Office. And provide proof of that Permission (ie: contact details and Position within Network Rail) we will happily publish the cache.

    As the Landowner, Network Rail have made their position clear. And as such the Reviewers are required to work to that position, as it is their property and not ours. So No we will not be dropping the requirement for Proof of Permission to Publish, which is not a Ban on such locations.

    At the end of the day, we are the ones who have to deal with the complaint made by a Landowner. About a cache(s) placed without their Permission. We are also the ones who have to deal with irate cache owners, whose cache has been Archived at the request of the Landowner, despite them obtaining permission for that cache(s). Because one person placed a cache without Permission, and which has caused a issue that has alienated the Landowner to Geocaching.

    At the end of the day, we are lucky. In that we get very few Landowner complaints, compared to the number of geocaches being published here in the UK. So I'd say the UK Reviewers have got the balance over Requiring Proof of Permission, where there is not, or it is impossible to gain a Landowner Placement Agreement (Network Rail falls in the first, Church property-Cemeteries in the second part) correct. We don't impose a Proof of Permission Requirement, on a whim, but in reaction to a series of events.

    To make it very clear, Proof of Permission to Publish is not and has not ever been a Ban. That is something that Landowners put into place, not Reviewers.

    Why not contact Network Rail, at a National Level. And see if you can negotiate a Placement Agreement with them, in regards to placing geocaches on their " quiet railway stations"?

    Personally I and I know my colleagues, have no wish to get into a argument with a cache owner. Over what is and isn't a quiet Railway Station. Because any attempt to say no to a cache which we considered to be on a more active Railway Station, where the cache owner considers it to be a Quiet Railway Station. Would just lead to angst and arguments, between the Reviewer and cache owner. Subjective decisions were tried with Virtual caches, when they were still listed. And that failed miserably. So we retain the Proof of Permission for all Network Rail Properties. And even then, as experience has personally showed you, judgement calls about where the Boundary of Network Rail owned property is, causes angst.

    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

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    South East Wales
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    Default

    On my resource website where I suggest that permission is shown as being obtained by putting it in the description is really only for those locations where an agreement has to be met (NT land for example) and not 'general' caches. Of course if you've got permission for any location then say so! My colleague has said it is us reviewers who 'pick up the pieces' when something goes wrong and have to sort things out. If someone puts a cache in a nature reserve with permission (provided to us when the cache was submitted) but doesn't put on the description it has permission you can bet your last that someone will email me and complain..... then I have to check the cache and email the complainent back with the details that it does have permission. So, if you have specific permission say so in the description; it helps .

    Chris
    Graculus
    Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
    UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk
    Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Church Warsop, Notts
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blorenge View Post
    Of course if you've got permission for any location then say so!
    I would add that you should be careful not to include personal details. Something along the lines of "Thanks to the Wildlife Trust for giving permission" would be sufficient (obviously, using the name of the body in question).

    But also, do keep copies of all correspondence, as it is quite common for permission to have been granted but then later this is denied. I negotiated permission for a nature reserve a few years ago, which allowed pretty much unlimited cache placement.
    Last year, another cacher asked the same body for permission and they were unaware of the original agreement. There was a chance at that point that my caches could have been complained about. Luckily, I had all the e-mails and the details of the original agreement; although it all had to be re-negotiated (as all the original staff had left), there was no problem about the existing caches as I could name names and give dates.

    If you have trouble getting an agreement signed, it seems best in my experience to actually take one of the officials out to show him some caching. The first time I used that technique, the official ended up finding over a hundred caches (not just on that day!) and placing a couple of his own. He also arranged a blanket cache agreement over a huge area of land.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    South East Wales
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    Default

    You should always provide FULL permission information to the reviewer including details of who you contacted or the text of an email/letter. This should be added to the cache page when submitted for review as a 'note to reviewer'. This is hidden when the cache is published but remains as a reference in case of future problems. On the description you should (as HH says) just add the basic permission details.

    Chris
    Graculus
    Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
    UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk
    Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Worthing
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    Default

    Thanks to you all, you are really helpful. I now know that this was requested by NR, and not by you as reviewers (may I suggest that you make that clear in the website initial post, it does seem to say it was your decision).

    I think I did not express myself properly in my last post in regards to what I called a virtual ban. Its the frustration to find nothing in the forums (or the SideTracked website) about someone having a positive answer from NR. I do not want to waste my time, if NR gives systematic negative answers for those still hoping to put a cache on the station property.

    The only way to get an idea on how NR generally reacts to such inquiries, is to ask the reviewers until that information is made public. I hope you also understand my perspective, you are the only ones with the big picture when it comes to deal
    with Network Rail or similar entities.

    I greatly appreciate your work and I do not want to get into an argument either. I found this activity easy and fun when it comes to look for a cache, but to set a cache (and do it properly), it can certainly be confusing in certain cases, like SideTracked.

    Sorry if I offended any of you.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    South East Wales
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    Default

    Regarding Network Rail..... Cachers who've approached NR that I'm aware of have had varying degrees of response from them. There is no current agreement and as is often the case with a 'land manager' when seeking permission you get a simple, "No" followed by "now, what is your question?". You realise you have an uphill struggle to even get started!

    It was the UK reviewers decision to bring in the requirement for proof of permission on caches in/on railway stations after a security alert at St Pancras station. Groundspeak (who own geocaching.com) requested we look into the situation and come up with a way to stop it happening again. We decided after discussion that proof of permission was the best way to do this.

    It may seem that just about everywhere in the UK is now a 'no go area' as far as placing caches. But this isn't the case. The NT, Forestry, Woodland Trust (to name but 3) are really pro-caching and getting permission from them is quite straightforward. Church wardens and parish councils are also quite approachable and I've published caches in churchyards or cemetaries quite recently. There are of course simply miles and miles of roadside ivy covered hedges that will take a 35mm film pot ......

    Chris
    Graculus
    Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
    UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk
    Geocaching.com Knowledge Books

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