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Posts posted by duncanhoyle

  1. On 5/10/2019 at 10:55 AM, EmzyJanezy said:


    I said it was a bison tube with fake fern attached placed between bricks.  Reviewer said walls are forbidden because it can cause damage to the wall so I then sent the photo to show it wasn't a WALL wall, but rather some bricks around plants.  The reviewer stuck to the wall issue but after seeing the photo said this placement would also cause geocachers to damage the plants around the cache too.  


    Its fair enough.  Although I have found many geocaches in and around plants, some of them even disguised as plants and sticks themselves.  But its okay, I'll have to seek out another location.  I'm just a tad disappointed though because my idea was to have a very sneaky cache but now its gonna be blindingly obvious wherever I put it if I can't put it near plants, but oh well lol

    They're not bricks (which are man made, usually red but often pale). Those are stones and that's a dry stone retaining wall, possibly around plants but still a dry stone wall. The reviewer (who I know well and is a decent, sensible person) is correct. If they had any doubts they would have asked their UK colleagues, but there's no need to in this case as it's obviously against the guidelines.
    The wall guidelines were introduced to protect traditional dry stone walls in countryside areas such as in the Lake District/Yorkshire Dales where they're a historic feature of the landscape. Having built and repaired several of dry stonewalls for my job I wouldn't want any cacher interfering with them.
    Whilst this is a basic low wall and is less likely to be damaged than taller structures the rule is still applicable.

    As for hiding a fake plant amongst other vegetation and real ferns - I wish that was something reviewers were more strict about. I've seen areas of devestation when cachers have pulled out all sorts of plants in their quest for that elusive find. I've often walked away in disgust without even bothering to search for the cache.

    From a land owner's point of view...
    I work for a wildlife charity and am the person responsible for geocaching on our nature reserves. If someone asked for permission for this type of hide on one of our reserves I would decline it.

    • Upvote 1
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  2. These ones close to the city are good caches/locations:




    These multis/wherigos should give a good walking toour of various parts of the city, including the quayside.




    Visiting the main briges across the Tyne, this Wherigo is a good walk, mainly along the quayside



    If you like going for older caches and have a way to get there then:

    Near to the Angel of the North http://coord.info/GC781

    And out towards Jarrow and the Coast:



  3. More people should get comfortable with the fact that they don't have to do every cache which is out there. I'll happily ignore ones that don't interest me (urban or uninteresting looking hides) and people can easily enough ignore ones which are out of their comfort zone. Just know your limits.

    Age doesn't come into it - there's a cacher near me who's well into his 70s (75 I think, although it's hard to tell). He happily climbs trees (either free climbing or putting in fixed ropes, going much higher than I feel comfortable), goes into narrow tunnels or abseils down rock faces, all for caches. He can also out walk me, 30 years his junior!

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  4. If you want peculiar differences in height have a look at the Shetland Islands in Scotland. As an example,http://coord.info/GC6MYZQ has shows a height of 4389m. The heighest point in the UK is only 1345m! Nowhere on the Shetland islands is 450m so I don't know how averaging errors could be at play
    The heighest cache in the UK is on top of Ben Nevis but if you look on ProjectGC you'll see that there are 79 caches in the UK which are higher, all of them on Shetland I think.

  5. A cache with 20,000 logs and 600 favourite points seems to suggest it's well liked by the caching community.

    That's only 3% favorite points. Not that much really.



    22000+ finds but 2917 unique finders (1038 have logged more than once). That gives ~21% favourite points. It's in the top 10 for favourites in the UK.


    Uh, no? Not even close.


    21% favorite points means place #58 looking just at virtuals in the UK (which seem to get a fair amount of FP just for being virtuals, since they are rare nowadays). Looking at *all* UK caches, there are 47 that have 100% FP (of those that have at least 10 FP). As for what position 21% FP would be in the total list, I can't be bothered to page that far down the list. Position #1500 has 70% FP, as a random sanity check.


    I wouldn't rate favourite caches on % favourites as a new cache with 1 find and 1 favourite would always be at the top of the list. I was ranking on total number of favourites.

    For some reason it isn't in the ranking on ProjectGC or the Find Geocaches page sorted by favouries on the GC site.

  6. A post on the GSAK forum today (http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=32259) suggests that there will soon be changes to the way that caches are logged. This will make it impossible to log more than one "Find", “Webcam Photo Taken”, "Attended", or "Will Attend" on a cache.

    According to the post this will be in the API from May and on the website from mid Arpil (wasn't sure which sub forum to post in so I posted here).


    If you implement this please remember that some cache can be logged more than once, including the much loved http://coord.info/GC45CC in the UK and http://coord.info/GC43F3 in Canada.

  7. My Wherigo development got stalled, but I did the same sort of thing as Ranger Fox: have a log object in the inventory which I appended text to and can look at when I want. The plan was to hide it in the final version but I never got that far.

  8. I know of at least one cacher in the UK who regularly changes the terrain ratings on his caches according to the season. In winter the hills around him are often covered in snow and ice and you may well need winter walking gear (ice axe and crampons) T3.5 - T5. In summer they're on grass and are much easier - maybe T2.5 - T3.5. Should he really be expected to archive them at the end of each season?


    And there's also this virtual which changes location to a new trigpoint over week or so. The terrain rating and name are updated to reflect the new location. Does this mean that it will be archived, once archived never republished as it's a virtual? It's dearly loved by many UK cachers - you can log it once for every location it has visited in the past. I believe the same CO has a similar virtual in Canada.

  9. I've noticed for a while now that the link to open Magic Map (using the 'i' button menu option) wasn't showing all relevant layers. It seemed as though SSSI and Forestry Commission weren't shown and they're the 2 main ones which crop up in my area. To fix this I've taken the URL options from the link on the Wiki and changed the GME script locally. I noticed that the original GME URL options were using numerical references for what to display. The Wiki link (which opens the Benchmarking page) uses more easily readable names for each layer.


    If you want to try it modify line 2125 of the script to read:


    magic = ", <a target='magic' title='Show MAGIC map of environmentally sensitive areas' href='http://magic.defra.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx?srs=WGS84&startscale=" + (Math.cos(control._map.getCenter().lat * L.LatLng.DEG_TO_RAD) * 684090188 * Math.abs(b.getSouthWest().lng - b.getSouthEast().lng)) / control._map.getSize().x +	"&chosenLayers=lnrPIndex,lnrIndex,nnrPIndex,nnrIndex,nnrscoPIndex,nnrscoIndex,nnrwalPIndex,nnrwalIndex,sssiPIndex,sssiIndex,sssiscoPIndex,sssiscoIndex,sssiwalPIndex,sssiwalIndex,moncPIndex,moncIndex,rspbgbPIndex,rspbgbIndex,fclegbIndex,backdropDIndex,backdropIndex,europeIndex,vmlIndex,25kIndex,50kIndex,250kIndex,miniscaleIndex,vmlBWIndex,25kBWIndex,50kBWIndex,250kBWIndex,miniscaleBWIndex,baseIndex&box=" + b.toBBoxString().replace(/,/g,":") + "'>MAGIC</a>";


    It seems as though the MAGIC site is running incredibly slowly. I don't think it's caused by the link I've just posted as the link from the Wiki seems to be slow as well.


    NOTE: if you're trying to paste the above change into the script in a standard Firefox based browser you may run into an annoying safety feature which prohibits pasting. To get round the problem edit externally or use the following fix

  10. There's a one-off traditional rated at 5/5 called Hippos Below.


    The Cache by kayak series near Chippenham, Wiltshire.


    Stumbled across this bookmark list which may be of some help.


    We recently did a series on the river Tees in the NE starting at https://coord.info/GC6PDXF. It was good fun but you need a reasonable amount of water in the river as there are a few sections of rapids which we had to walk through. I think we found 15 over about 15 miles and it was a great day out. Most of it is away from paths so you get a view of the river not many see and you can get close to wildlife - we saw 6 king fishers and several little egrets.


    Several years ago I did a series starting at https://coord.info/GC32XY3 in Suffolk - good fun on a very gentle river

  11. I've just done a quick test on the main map, cache, trackable and placement pages and they all seemed to work well.


    Thanks for all the hard work on the maps.



    Just out of interest, does anyone know of a script (if it's possible) which will toggle all caches on the map off and on - usually the first thing I do when I go to the map is switch off all icons, zoom out, to find a place I want, zoom in on it and then enable all the icons. I regularly use the map for work and planning walks and I often just hide all the icons.

  12. It was working fine this morning but now it isn't - I just get a blank screen with no caches. Fixed by disabling the GME script.


    Possibly caused by slow website now that the US has woken up to go caching on a Sunday?


    Odd. I reinstalled the script using jri's link above and it started working again, even though I'd used that link to install the latest fix only a few days ago.

  13. I questioned 2 of my more experienced bat ecologist colleagues (both with various levels of bat licenses). Whilst they were impressed that bats were being considered they thought it a little heavy handed and, like me, odd that there was no mention of bats in trees and structures (buildings/bridges). They commented that whilst there is a slight possibility of bats being encountered whilst caching it's minuscule and pales in to insignificance compared to the number of bats which get disturbed in buildings and trees during development.


    They were also a little confused about the consent required from land owners as the vast majority of surveys we do are to determine if there bats present for landowner. If a landowner hasn't had one done they will generally be unaware and so can't give informed consent. How does this protect bats?


    I’m no expert on these matters, but I presume that there are other countries that have culverts/caves/tunnels. Does anyone know how many of these ‘other' countries have effectively put a ban on future underground caches, by implementing a country specific rule? I’ve got to say in advance of hearing an answer, if the answer is zero, then I’m feeling that us UK cachers are being unfairly treated (ie. victimised) within the global caching community.


    I found this cache in Germany which had restricted access periods due to bat activity. I can't say if this was because of conditions placed on the CO by the review team. As you can see if you translate the page - the cache is removed and disabled over winter. Germany tends to be pretty good on bat conservation so it wouldn't surprise me if they have guidelines relevant to them.


    BTW. If you're ever in the area the the cache is well worth doing as it's an excellent location.


    I'm off out surveying tonight so I'll see what my fellow ecologists think of the new guidelines and if they also think it odd that they don't include trees/bridges/other structures.

  15. Glad sense has been seen on bats. I have lost count how many I have seen whilst caching. You leave them alone, they leave you alone, everyone (including Bat Groups)seem happy. Most maternity hibernation / roosts seem well protected these days to keep humans out (as they should be). My feedback: Well done the reviewers! (Now, please bat panicers, stop getting upset if some logs "I saw a bat").


    I'm interested in where you're seeing all your bats. Is it caves/mines/tunnels/quarries etc which have been included in the new guidelines or is it other locations such as old structures/bridges/trees?

  16. The UK reviewing team recently had a meeting where several topics were discussed. This has resulted in changes to various matters of cache placement and events in the UK as follows:


    Placing of caches in Culverts, Mines, Adits, Caves and Underground Quarries.

    There have been issues with disturbing bats which frequently roost in some of these locations. It was decided there would be no restrictions on placing caches in these locations but to avoid any issues cache owners would be asked to show they have permission from the relevant landowner.

    Please note that caches in culverts under roads managed by Highways England and in culverts under railway lines (Network Rail) will not be allowed. Both these organisations have made this request and it's explained in the UK Geocaching Polices Wiki: Highways England - Network Rail.


    Whilst I commend the consideration for bats, what about bats roosting and hibernating in trees. All the UK bat species use trees as habitat, 3/4 are known to roost in trees and quite a few live exclusively in trees (in holes, behind bark, in bird/bat boxes). Will there be similar proof of permission required for any cache which risks disturbing them? What about under bridges as well, which also get used by bats?


    From my experience of carrying out professional bat surveys for the last couple of summers I don't think many (if any) land owner will be aware if there are bats in their caves/tunnels etc. Most only become aware of bats if they are required to get a survey done for construction work, so any permission given may well not take bat presence into consideration.


    The only bat I've seen whilst out caching was in a small abandoned services building by a roadside.

  17. Quick read through the new guidelines and the explanatory notes suggests that a lot of the contentious issues have been eliminated. I predict there will be haggling over Standard 5 point 3:


    "A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify."


    That should be easy to provide. Simply run a list of cacher names through the required checker, and send it to the reviewer when you submit your cache. Make sure you include your own name too!


    Define 'reasonable'. 2? 5? 10? 50?...

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