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Dartmoor Dave

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Everything posted by Dartmoor Dave

  1. Wow, the voice of reason. What a wonderfully well argued post this is and what a shame this sort of reasoned argument was not presented by GAGB. Please do get involved with the negotiations and bring some sense to this mess!
  2. Whether it's on MOD land or not is not relevant - the only thing that matters is the OS Map. I've just walked out (total 10 miles) to a disputed cache on Dartmoor. It is definitely NOT in the MOD range. I have taken photos of the cache and of the range poles and have also taken GPS readings of the range poles. But even with this definitive proof the UK Reviewers will not publish the cache because according to the OS map it is in the range. The OS maps where never intended for this purpose, they were intended to indicate approximately where the ranges are. The range poles are clearly the definitive boundary of the range and ONLY that information should be used. I think that everybody agrees that GAGB have let us down very badly with regard to the MOD ban. They have clearly over-reacted and jumped the gun with regard to the ban. What I don't understand is why the UK Reviewers treat GAGB as their masters instead of Groundspeak? GAGB are not part of Groundspeak and clearly are not representing the interest of UK cachers, so why do the UK Reviewers treat them as god?
  3. But this is totally the wrong attitude. We don't want local agreements "trumped" by a national ban. We want people working together to sort this mess out. This was not of our making and we all now have to waste a lot of time picking up the pieces. Geocaching and letterboxing are part of the process of promoting the Dartmoor National Park for both national and international tourism. This is not just about plastic boxes - it is at the very root of access to the National Park. Unfortunately nobody at the GAGB seems to grasp this and the damage that could be caused. You would be amazed at how many people from all over Europe come to Dartmoor for geocaching, etc.
  4. That's a very simplistic approach which would almost certainly not work. The first step is to reach local agreement with the MoD, the land owner (mainly the Duchy of Cornwall) and the DNPA. All of these organisations work together closely anyway as their respective objectives and policies are already so interwoven. Once agreement is reached this can then be presented to the GAGB. The really annoying thing is that here on Dartmoor we already have this agreement in place which has simply been brushed aside by the GAGB without any consultation whatsoever.
  5. "The trouble with posting on the log is that everybody could see it, and it could end up giving the pro ban side more ammunition." I'm not convinced there is a "pro ban side". I believe that our problem here is mainly self inflicted - we seem to have shot ourselves in the foot! Placement of caches should be decided at local level, not at national level. It is the locals who understand the problems and should be allowed to deal with them locally. If a local MoD land manager complains to a reviewer the cache should be removed and no others placed. As we are hearing in this forum there is a vast amount of MoD land, much of which has no security consideration at all. A national agreement could never allow ALL caches, so therefore the alterative was to ban ALL caches. There is no compromise unless you allow local managers to decide for themselves and this is clearly what should be happening - and hopefully will happen here on Dartmoor.
  6. You have several options depending on how strongly you feel about a cache: Send an email to the CO stating your concerns Post a needs maintenance log on the cache which the CO will definitely see Post a needs archive log on the cache which the CO and the reviewer will definitely see Send a personal email to your reviewer stating your concerns. However, do expect some wrath in return from some COs
  7. moor to sea and dartymoor, an excellent point. Presumably the MoD will mount a guard on their letterbox to make sure nobody goes there and signs it (or the nearby geocache). What a stupid mess this is Surely it must be time for some common sense to prevail, but which party is going to be first to admit that they have got it so wrong?
  8. PARDON? Up until this point your posts have alluded to the fact that you don't like the military on Dartmoor. At no point before my comments did you distance yourself from your comments stating that the MOD are just tolerated. I suspect you didn't think anyone would pick up on that comment, which you made three times before I commented on it. I think it is too late to back track on it now! I am not back tracking at all. You seem to read into posts ideas that are not there at all. I have checked all my posts carefully and nowhere have I indicated that I don't like the military on Dartmoor - that's your invention and one which I totally refute. However, there is much opposition to the military here and that is a fact. I doubt if banning geocaching will make much difference, but banning letterboxing would cause far greater public reaction. There are probably 20,000 to 40,000 letterboxes on Dartmoor - most on the land used by the MoD. No one person knows where these are and they will continue to be placed and searched for, which rather destroys the whole MoD argument against geocaching, where there are only a few hundred at the most involved. It's not worth arguing whether land is "Common Land" or not. As Brentorboxer correctly states "The term "Common Land" on Dartmoor means land which is owned by someone but grazed by several farmers that have the right to graze that particular common, a common could have as many as 20 "commoners" grazing their animals." The most important point here is that it is NOT owned by the MoD and is NOT CROW land.
  9. (Emphasis is mine) Minor point - in England (and possibly UK) there is really no such thing as "Common Land" - land owned by all in common - all land is owned by somone or some organisation, and thus will have someone or some committee that could give landowners' permission for a chache to be placed. I accept that point entirely, although again Dartmoor is a special case. The land in question is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and for most things, including geocaching, they are happy to let the DNPA administer it on their behalf. They do, of course, have a different land manager who liaises with the MoD to discuss MoD use. However, as I have said several times, access to and use of this land is governed by the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 - hence my claim that it really is a special case.
  10. Haggis Hunter, you seem to be a very confused person and have jumped to many wrong conclusions. For a start Puzbie appears to live in Surrey and places his caches on the Ash Ranges - he does not come from Dartmoor. Thank you so much for drawing my attention to the DNPA Geocaching Guidelines - I drew them up and got them accepted by all the necessary parties (the GAGB were NOT involved in this). The two biggest Dartmoor Ranges are NOT CROW land they are common land and therefore the statement re CROW in the guidelines does NOT apply. How dare you write "It really makes me angry when people state that the MOD are just about tolerated. I have seen and been the brunt of people like you, that don't like the military training because it gets in the way of your comfortable life. " I fully support the use of Dartmoor by the MoD and nowhere will you find in my posts that I have said anything to the contrary. However, that is certainly not the view of everybody who lives on Dartmoor or who comes here for their holiday and find their access restricted. Nowhere have I said that I support that view, but it does very much exist.
  11. I would strongly dispute that interpretation of the second sentence. Certainly you cannot walk across private land to access a cache, but where there is a right of access defined in UK law (eg a public footpath or CROW land) you have every right to be there - even if you are not welcome. Fortunately in this country (and we are talking about local laws) we DO have right of access, even on private land, and GAGB should be working to ensure that this principle is NOT undermined. A virtual waypoint is nothing more than a point on a map or the GPS, providing you have the right of access I cannot see how it can be prevented and I would hope that both the GAGB and the UK Reviewers are making this point.
  12. I think the criticism of GAGB arises not because of the failure of the negotiations, but because this ban has come, I believe, as a complete surprise to all of us. I may be wrong but I don't believe there has been any openness at all with regard to these negotiations, not even to the extent that anybody knew they were happening. Who was asked to help in these negotiations? Here on Dartmoor there are probably more geocaches on so-called MoD land than anywhere else in the country, but I don't believe anybody here knew of these negotiations or were asked to help, even though both the DNPA and the Duchy of Cornwall are very used to negotiations with the MoD. I have no problem with any land owner banning caches on land they own. But surely the basic requirement to ban a cache as a land owner is to identify the land you own? This clearly has not happened and it appears that the UK reviewers are obtaining this information from OS maps! I have have said several times in this topic that the MoD own only a small part of the land they use on Dartmoor, the rest is common land and access to it is enshrined in an Act of Parliament. The other point that GAGB have not explained is how can a land owner ban a virtual stage. If you have right of access to the land, eg CROW land or a public footpath, for example, how can the land owner stop you walking there and noting whatever information is required for the virtual stage. I can find nowhere in the Groundspeak rules or guidelines that says that land owner permission is required for a virtual stage, but only for a physical cache.
  13. Thanks for that, we will certainly be working towards a local exemption here on Dartmoor where there has always been an excellent relationship between all the parties involved.
  14. Some of us ARE thinking like adults and are trying to see what can be salvaged from this mess. GAGB state in their own forum that they were approached last December by the MOD and have been in negotiations ever since. The result of these negotiations is that the MOD are banning all geocaching! What else is there to wait for? Their negotiations have failed and we are faced with a blanket ban. Dartmoor is one of the largest MOD ranges in the country and is the origin of letterboxing and now is home to many geocaches. As far as I am aware GAGB have not approached anybody on Dartmoor to help in their negotiations. Access to and use of Dartmoor is enshrined in an Act of Parliament. The MOD do NOT own the vast majority of the land they use and are only just about tolerated on Dartmoor. This issue goes far deeper than little plastic boxes and should have been fully discussed with both the Duchy of Cornwall (the land owners) and the DNPA before any ban was even considered. I fully understand that the UK Reviewers are obliged to follow land owners wishes and I have not criticised them for doing so. However, on Dartmoor the MOD are NOT the landowners and I think their jurisdiction should have been ascertained before this blanket ban was imposed.
  15. Most people on Dartmoor seem to think that the Groundspeak reviewers have jumped the gun here without having been represented at the negotiations themselves and clearly GAGB have done us no favours at all. I think the law of natural justice applies here “The right to a fair hearing requires that individuals should not be penalized by decisions affecting their rights or legitimate expectations unless they have been given prior notice of the case, a fair opportunity to answer it, and the opportunity to present their own case. The mere fact that a decision affects rights or interests is sufficient to subject the decision to the procedures required by natural justice. In Europe, the right to a fair hearing is guaranteed by Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is said to complement the common law rather than replace it. I never thought I would be quoting the European Convention on Human Rights We clearly have not been represented at these negotiations, were not given prior notice and our legitimate expectations have been affected. I would suggest to the UK Reviewers that this ban not be implemented until such time as we have had a fair hearing, which clearly hasn't happened yet.
  16. The MoD may be one of the biggest land owners in the country but they do NOT own Dartmoor. Most of their ranges (and my house) is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall (my landlord is Prince Charles). I can understand the MoD banning caches from land they own, but not land that they are barely tolerated on. As I said above, this issue is much bigger than geocaching (or letterboxing) and goes to the very heart of the issue of the MoD being on Dartmoor. Any restrictions to land use will I am sure be vigourously opposed by all.
  17. This would be a major blow for geocaching on Dartmoor. I am amazed that GAGB has been negotiating with the MoD regarding this and we have heard nothing of it at all, here on Dartmoor. From what I have read so far it looks as though whatever negotiations have taken place we seem to have just given in without a fight as Graculus has said that new geocaches will not be published. So what were the negotiations and what did they achieve? As far as I am concerned this is the start of the negotiations and not the end, now that we know what has been occurring. I can't think why GAGB didn't consult those of us who had a real interest in this matter to help with their negotiations. As dartymoor has said, this is far from straightforward on Dartmoor. Letterboxes have been placed on the moor for generations and it is estimated that there are maybe 20,000 letterboxes out there, the majority of which are within the MoD ranges. It would be impossible to identify and remove these anyway. It is also worth noting that the MoD only own the smallest of the three Dartmoor ranges and their use has been the subject of intense political discussion. I will initially take this up with the DNPA with whom we have agreed geocaching guidelines and I will also take this up with the Duchy of Cornwall who own the land. This could end up as a major political discussion if the MoD are trying in any way to restrict the use of Dartmoor to the general public. At the moment they are tolerated but public attitude could easily change. I must check to see who my MP is I doubt if I will post again on this web site on this subject. For those interested in developments please watch this space: www.dartmoorgeocaching.co.uk Anybody is welcome to log on and express their views.
  18. Not so sure about that. I walked 13 miles across the Black Mountain a while back and I never saw another soul either... until I got back to where I'd parked the car. Ah, but I can walk 13 miles from my back door without even getting into a car!
  19. I've only just come across this topic and thought I would add my views. To answer the original question, of course these caches are legal! Almost all caches are legal (there are obviously exceptions) but it's the placement of a cache which can cause problems, not the cache itself, so of course they can be sold as well. This interpretation of the rules/guidelines does seem rather arbitrary regardless of what the reviewers say about collaborating. Surely a little common sense is what is required, both by cachers placing caches and by reviewers reviewing them. Even with the strictest interpretation of the rule it can only be relevant if the cacher "breaks" the ground whilst placing the cache. There are always sufficient areas of the ground already broken to place these caches, or they can be placed in moss etc which would require no existing break. Taking this interpretation to extremes means that we cannot even use a walking pole to walk with. A walking pole will certainly break the ground, and conveniently just about the right size to place a cache ! Sorry, about my post above, but the thread seems to have moved on since I first saw it and I missed some subsequent posts which seem to suggest a sensible resolution has been reached. So I can put my walking poles away!
  20. Don't worry Andy, whatever happens with Active Dartmoor week, I don't think that will ever change. 95% of the people who stay with us (right in the middle of the high moor) don't venture more than 1 mile from the road! Most visitors seem to have a fear of the moor that goes beyond what is reasonable. Which is good, because it keeps it free for the likes of you and me. It's amazing how many days I've walked 10 or 12 miles and not seen a single other person. It's probably the last place in England & Wales that you can still do that. Dave
  21. A good meeting tonight with lots of very useful ideas for activities to be included in the Active Dartmoor week. I brought up geocaching as a possible activity and it received good support and might be included as one of the family activities. I'm not certain how this fits in with the Groundspeak policy which normally does not allow geocaching to be used in support of a commercial venture, which clearly Active Dartmoor is. Although there would be no charge for taking part it would be part of the broader goal of promoting Dartmoor as a holiday destination. However, one of the main aims would be to introduce new members to geocaching, and if these activities were run in conjunction with Groundspeak, then the spin off would be that Groundspeak would also benefit by getting new members. Another alternative would be to place geocaches according to the normal rules, but not to publish them until after the end of the week, when the commercial aspect of the geocaches had gone. That way they would then become available to all geocaching.com members to find. However, if somebody has just got enthusiastic about geocaching and found their first caches, they would be very keen to log on to geocaching.com to log their finds! I would be very interested to hear from anybody who might know of Groundspeak's view of this sort of venture. No doubt the Dartmoor Partnership, who are organising the week, would be looking for some sort of sponsorship from whoever they became involved with.
  22. I will be attending this meeting at Brimpts Farm later today. Obviously my main interest is as an accommodation provider and I'm not even sure that geocaching will get a mention. However, it will be a very good opportunity to meet some land owners (as I think many of the activities will be on private rather than common land) and that may prove very helpful for geocaching. I will report back after the meeting.
  23. This problem has existed for many weeks and seems to be independent of browser or hardware (I'm running FF 14 beta on a Lion Mac with Greasemonkey). However, if I drag the cache almost to the centre of the screen and zoom in it almost always becomes "live". You can easily identify a hotspot of caches that are live and others that are dead, but bringing the dead ones into the centre of the screen normally works. Refreshing the screen with the Greasemonkey refresh (rather than the browser refresh) also helps.
  24. I have recently adopted several caches and some are showing trackables that are not present. As the cache owner I can use "Mark Item Missing" which generates an automated log. This works OK. However, I wanted to edit that automated log to add an explanation. The edit icon works and lets you edit the log, however, when you try to save the edited log it says that you don't have permission to edit the log, but worse - it deletes the log! So, the automated log has gone and I cannot create another because the trackable is no longer shown in my cache. I have now added a note to explain. See TB1AZEB. Obviously if you ARE allowed to edit the automated log to add more details, then it ought to work OR if you are NOT allowed to edit the automated log then the edit icon shouldn't be available.
  25. I'm sorry to hear of your situation and I hope things work out ok for you both. As dartymoor mentioned above, we now have a new web site dedicated to geocaching on Dartmoor. If you are interested please click here Dave.
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