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Thread: Letter of approach to landowners

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Wiltshire
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    The following letter was drafted by Dave of The Wombles - anyone is free to use it as an initial approach to landowners. Below it is a simple pro forma agreement for landowners, also drafted by Dave.

    -----

    Sir,

    I am writing to request permission to place geocaches on land under the control of the council. I am a member of an organisation called the Geocaching Association of Great Britain (www.GAGB.org.uk) which has the aims of promoting Geocaching in harmony with the environment and landowners. We have agreements in place with organisations such as The National Trust, Woodland Trust, Councils including Hampshire CC, Wiltshire CC, Cheshire CC, and a number of Forestry Commission Regions.

    Geocaching is a hobby which uses a global positioning system receiver to locate a hidden container. These containers are found by using latitude and longitude coordinates freely available on the Internet at http://www.geocaching.com/faq/ . It is a non-commercial hobby which encourages people to locations of interest, views and simply to get out and go walking.

    It is a fun, family oriented activity that promotes people getting outdoors and introducing them to areas of historic, natural, or scenic interest. Children thoroughly enjoy finding a geocache and its contents, which are often small toys and trinkets. Finders are expected to exchange things from the cache.

    Geocachers are usually environmentally minded people and are encouraged to follow the "Cache In, Trash Out" motto which has resulted in tons of rubbish being removed from around the world, thereby having a positive environmental impact of the activity. The average age of a Geocacher is 38 although it covers all ages from our 3-year old to 93 (currently).

    Great care is taken to hide the containers out of view of the public eye (although they are never buried). This is partly to avoid being plundered by whoever happens to walk by and to preserve the sport. It also ensures that the addition of a cache will in no way detract from the beauty of the location. Typical cache containers range from tiny ones the size of a fingernail, through tubes and cylinders with room just for a small pencil and log sheet, up to plastic or metal boxes with space for several "swap" items and a log book

    GAGB has received permission from several Land Owners/Managers; Hampshire have included details of geocaching on their web site here
    http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-country.../geocaching.htm

    Here is a typical cache page (visitor logs at the bottom):
    http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...DWE&Submit6=Go

    Once a geocache has become established, it will get a visit every one to two weeks on average, although there are more visits initially.

    The Geocaching Association of Great Britain (GAGB) has the aims of promoting Geocaching in harmony with the environment and landowners. GAGB was formed to help agree arrangements for the placement of Geocaches and the GAGB guidelines are stated below.

    I would be happy to provide you with any other information which you may need.

    Yours,

    [Name, phone number, email]



    The GAGB guidelines
    1. Ensure the cache container is clearly marked, stating that the content
    is harmless and giving the placers e-mail address or other contact method
    (eg GAGB contact phone number)

    2. Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied
    child to find should be placed in a cache.

    3. No cache should be placed in such a way as to risk damage or disturbance
    to any Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Scheduled Ancient
    Monument (SAM).

    4. When placing a cache, the onus is on the placer to seek the permission of
    the landowner.

    5. Caches should be placed in a way that they will not be accidentally found
    by non-Geocachers.

    6. No items of food or drink of any kind should be placed in the cache.

    7. Caches should not be buried. Holes should not be dug in order to place a
    cache.

    8. Caches should not be hidden in animal holes or runs.

    9. Cache containers should not be placed inside a polythene bag.

    10. Fences should never be crossed (other than through a gate or by a stile)
    when placing or seeking a cache.

    11. No caches should be of a commercial nature, either in location or
    content.

    12. Maintenance of the cache is the responsibility of the placer.

    13. When leaving the cache site, after hiding or placing a cache, there
    should be no visual sign of disturbance.

    14. No cache should be placed in or on a dry stone wall.

    15. Please do not bring geocaching into disrepute, never drive your car
    anywhere other than on the highways and byways, and always park legally.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Simple pro forma agreement:

    Would everyone who wishes to place a geocache on our land please contact [Ranger name and email/contact details] to seek approval prior to placement. Please include a description of the cache location, Ordnance Survey grid reference and Longitude / Lattitude (WSG84 not OSGB).

    A list of our locations can be found at [www.namedcouncil.gov.uk].

    Geocaches should be marked clearly with contact details eg the GAGB phone number (07092 040 416). Please abide by all the Geocaching guidelines shown at http://www.gagb.org.uk/guidelines/guidelines.php when placing caches.

    [namedcouncil] reserve the right to remove geocaches should this be necessary.
    Last edited by The Wombles; 6th January 2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Description of typical cache updated
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Chippenham, Wiltshire
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    Just for the avoidance of doubt, the sample agreement wouldn't normally be part of the initial letter of approach to a landowner, but may be useful after a positive exchange further down the line.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
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    Anyone using Dave's "Letter of approach to landowners" above, please note that the Hants CC geocaching page has moved. The link in the letter has now been updated, but if you're already using this letter you'll need to change the link.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


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