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Dry Stone Walls


dragondrop
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In Rural Britain and parts of Europe (also rest of world - not as common though I believe) there are walls made of dry stones - eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Sheep_creep_2.JPG

 

These are an important part of not only our history, but also our agriculture, as they still act as real working boundaries keeping (for instance) sheep off roads etc. They are as much a part of rural England, Scotland Wales and Ireland as grass and sheep.

 

I just found a Geocache actually <i>in</i> a dry stone wall. I had to physically removed a wall rock to get to it. The GPS wasnt that accurate so I had to do a bit of hunting for it as well. I carefully tried not to disturb the wall. Other may not know to be as careful. I disagree totally with geocaches in dry stone walls and think there should be a recognised rule that discourages people from leaving geocaches in dry stone walls.

 

As well as the fact it's very dangerous and kids have been killed messing around with dry stone walls, there's a huge conservation impact: Even if every person moves a small stone in the wall inadvertently whilst looking for the GC, this multiplied, over the years is going to have a VERY DESTRUCTIVE effect on the wall. This activity totally goes against the Leave No Trace thing that geocachers are already getting a hard time over.

 

I think as a responsible community we should add "do not hide your geocache in a dry stone wall" to the do's and don'ts and we should communicate to all owners that if they have a geocache in a dry stone wall they should reconsider it's re-location for the above reasons.

 

I think there should be a recognised 'never put a geocache IN Dry Stone Walls' rule so that people will at least know not to go scrabbling about in them looking for geocaches.

Edited by dragondrop
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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed in holes in trees. Think of all the damage people do poking around in all the nearby trees. Even if a person only brushes a little bit of bark, over time we'll surely destroy that tree and all it's neaby cousins that have holes in them as well. Never mind that wildlife does far more damage on it's own without our help when it comes to tearing open trees.

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed under rocks. Think of all the damage people could do to an area by flipping over rocks. Even if a person only flips one or two rocks, over time we'll surely flip every rock in the area and wreck havoc on the natural state of the environment. Never mind that wildlife routinely flips rocks year round searching for food.

 

I think we should also boycott caches hanging in growing plant life. Think of all the damage people could to a plant/bush/tree by knocking off leaves. Even if a personal only bumps one leaf, over time we'll surely knock every last leaf off that growing thing and destroy it forever. Never mind that birds and squirrels spend all day doing just the same thing.

 

or...

 

We could just ask cachers to be respectful of cache placement and ask cache owners to keep an eye on those caches. Oh, wait, we already do that. :blink:

 

edit to add three words... permission, permission, permission.

Edited by fox-and-the-hound
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I would suggest that you contact one of the UK reviewers (Graculus or Deceangi) about this.

I am sure they are well aware of the guideline. I even know about it, and I am across the pond.

 

I don't think contacting them directly with general emails is beneficial. If you found a cache that slipped through, you should post a "Needs Archived" log on the cache page. You can also email them directly about a *specific cache*, but just bombarding them with general emails won't help them.

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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed in holes in trees. Think of all the damage people do poking around in all the nearby trees. Even if a person only brushes a little bit of bark, over time we'll surely destroy that tree and all it's neaby cousins that have holes in them as well. Never mind that wildlife does far more damage on it's own without our help when it comes to tearing open trees.

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed under rocks. Think of all the damage people could do to an area by flipping over rocks. Even if a person only flips one or two rocks, over time we'll surely flip every rock in the area and wreck havoc on the natural state of the environment. Never mind that wildlife routinely flips rocks year round searching for food.

 

I think we should also boycott caches hanging in growing plant life. Think of all the damage people could to a plant/bush/tree by knocking off leaves. Even if a personal only bumps one leaf, over time we'll surely knock every last leaf off that growing thing and destroy it forever. Never mind that birds and squirrels spend all day doing just the same thing.

 

or...

 

We could just ask cachers to be respectful of cache placement and ask cache owners to keep an eye on those caches. Oh, wait, we already do that. :blink:

 

edit to add three words... permission, permission, permission.

 

I'm really kinda surprised at this response coming from you. Dry wall in Europe are really more of an archeological type structures than they are in the US. Some of the walls in Europe are thousands of years old. There is one in Ireland that has been dated back to 3800 BC. Because of the historic significance of these structures the UK community has decided not to allow placement of caches in the structures. It isn't the same as turning over rocks in a rock field, well maybe it is if the rocks are in a cryptobiotic soil but cachers in the know generally try to avoid that also.

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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed in holes in trees. Think of all the damage people do poking around in all the nearby trees. Even if a person only brushes a little bit of bark, over time we'll surely destroy that tree and all it's neaby cousins that have holes in them as well. Never mind that wildlife does far more damage on it's own without our help when it comes to tearing open trees.

 

I think we should also boycott caches placed under rocks. Think of all the damage people could do to an area by flipping over rocks. Even if a person only flips one or two rocks, over time we'll surely flip every rock in the area and wreck havoc on the natural state of the environment. Never mind that wildlife routinely flips rocks year round searching for food.

 

I think we should also boycott caches hanging in growing plant life. Think of all the damage people could to a plant/bush/tree by knocking off leaves. Even if a personal only bumps one leaf, over time we'll surely knock every last leaf off that growing thing and destroy it forever. Never mind that birds and squirrels spend all day doing just the same thing.

 

or...

 

We could just ask cachers to be respectful of cache placement and ask cache owners to keep an eye on those caches. Oh, wait, we already do that. :blink:

 

edit to add three words... permission, permission, permission.

 

I'm really kinda surprised at this response coming from you. Dry wall in Europe are really more of an archeological type structures than they are in the US. Some of the walls in Europe are thousands of years old. There is one in Ireland that has been dated back to 3800 BC. Because of the historic significance of these structures the UK community has decided not to allow placement of caches in the structures. It isn't the same as turning over rocks in a rock field, well maybe it is if the rocks are in a cryptobiotic soil but cachers in the know generally try to avoid that also.

 

The bolded part nails it I think. If I'm reading this right, the OP has an issue with caches hidden in man-made stone FENCES (<- Emphasise that word because when I think of a rock wall, what is in the picture is not what I think of)

 

I quite like rock wall caches (read cliffs, big or small) and they - like holes in trees - do not pose the problems that the OP is talking about

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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I'm really kinda surprised at this response coming from you. Dry wall in Europe are really more of an archeological type structures than they are in the US. Some of the walls in Europe are thousands of years old. There is one in Ireland that has been dated back to 3800 BC. Because of the historic significance of these structures the UK community has decided not to allow placement of caches in the structures. It isn't the same as turning over rocks in a rock field, well maybe it is if the rocks are in a cryptobiotic soil but cachers in the know generally try to avoid that also.

 

My reasons for feeling this way are a combination of problems. First, I didn't know that placing a cache in a dry wall in Europe was against guidelines. While ignorance is not a defense, the OP suggested boycotting a cache that was already placed so I felt if it had passed an Approver's scrutiny, then it might be a bit of an over-reaction. Second, I'm completely for rock wall caches (real or natural) where they're allowed under the guidelines. Before you dowse me in kerosene and throw the torch I'll try to explain why I feel this way. A rock wall is a man made structure. That's it. It's NOT A PART OF NATURE and I don't believe it deserves any special consideration from that particularly over-quoted defense. The same people that rant and rail against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall (that btw completely wrecked a pre-existing natural balance in the area by being constructed) are usually totally for placing a cache in a city park. Both are completely man-made. Both were built by hand, both are totally unnatural, but one is looked at as somehow better for caches.

 

Let's look at it a little closer though. A rock wall is stacked stone that was put there by man. It cut through natural woodland paths, took clear-cutting to put in place and from the moment it was stacked nature has been fighting diligently to rip it down. Through a combined effort of weathering, natural growth and animal vandalism the rocks walls of the world are being torn down as nature repairs itself from the damage of their creation.

 

So you have people who claim to defend and love nature also bellowing their lungs out over rock walls being "damaged". I'm not saying they aren't lovely to behold (the rocks walls that is). I'm not saying that I don't love discovering them myself. I am saying, however, that placing a cache in a man-made barrier is not breaking some natural order of the wilderness. To rally against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall makes no sense at all to me. Ask be to boycott putting a cache in a natural rock-slide and I'd consider it. Messing around with those slides is both dangerous and by doing so we're changing nature in it's truly natural state. I can at least see where your argument comes from.

 

In the northeast particularly of the U.S. there are many thousands of miles of rock wall. I'm going to hazard a wildly speculative guess that in my area less than 10% is being maintained. Having worked to maintain those walls myself, I understand quite intimately how much work is involved. I also understand intimately how much maintenance is required to keep them looking beautiful. Would I want someone placing a cache in my lovely rock wall that I continuously maintain? NO. Would I care if someone places a cache in a crumbling mass of what used to be a rock wall out in the woods? NO. That's the difference and it still comes back to permission usually.

 

If the wall in the OP's query is a maintained border/fence on privately owned property then I can see quite quickly why it's not allowed. Boycotting ALL drywall hides everywhere in the world (this is an open forum) for one specific instance (in one specific region) is just not a rally I would care to join. You want me to Leave No Trace Behind? Fine, answer me this: What would nature do to that rock wall? :blink:

 

edit 4 truly horrible spelling today

Edited by fox-and-the-hound
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Semi-Agreed.

 

While I am certain that much emotion goes into certain rock walls, I am also certain that many of them lie in ruins out in the forest where nobody knows the origns/stories or anything else about a loose line of stones. A blanket ban on caches on ALL such walls everywhere we go is not really needed.

 

I am quite positive that "leave no trace" mentality has a hard time applying to manmade objects long since forgotten and non-maintained in the middle of nowhere.

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You cannot compare the 2 foot dry-stack fieldstone walls around here, (NE Pa) which were primarily a way to mark territorial boundary once upon a time, and partly a way to do SOMETHING with the rocks tilled out of the fields, with the actualy stone _FENCES_ in Europe, which to this day keep livestock in, etc etc.

 

Yes, we all know tons of drystack walls out here.. some running right through the middle of a boulder field. Most, if not all, the ones I have seen caches in are on public land, in either a nature preserve, or some kind of historic land tract that goes along with a preserved cabin, where the land has been "let back to thicket" as it were.

 

That is not the same thing they have over in England/Ireland.

 

It's more akin, there, to someone putting a cache behind the cornerstone of your _house_ because it happens to be loose.

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Semi-Agreed.

 

While I am certain that much emotion goes into certain rock walls, I am also certain that many of them lie in ruins out in the forest where nobody knows the origns/stories or anything else about a loose line of stones. A blanket ban on caches on ALL such walls everywhere we go is not really needed.

 

I am quite positive that "leave no trace" mentality has a hard time applying to manmade objects long since forgotten and non-maintained in the middle of nowhere.

 

I'd like to address this from a land surveying perspective...

 

Rock walls that lie "in ruins" out in the woods are sometimes the best evidence of where an historical boundary is located. These things can be incredibly important. I've seen entire surveys pivot on an old rock cairn when all other evidence was long gone.

 

It's not ok to destroy historical evidence unless you have a very good reason, and it is on land that belongs to you.

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You cannot compare the 2 foot dry-stack fieldstone walls around here, (NE Pa) which were primarily a way to mark territorial boundary once upon a time, and partly a way to do SOMETHING with the rocks tilled out of the fields, with the actualy stone _FENCES_ in Europe, which to this day keep livestock in, etc etc.

 

Yes, we all know tons of drystack walls out here.. some running right through the middle of a boulder field. Most, if not all, the ones I have seen caches in are on public land, in either a nature preserve, or some kind of historic land tract that goes along with a preserved cabin, where the land has been "let back to thicket" as it were.

 

That is not the same thing they have over in England/Ireland.

 

It's more akin, there, to someone putting a cache behind the cornerstone of your _house_ because it happens to be loose.

 

I absolutely compare them since they were built by the same stock of people, for the same reasons and many are still in use here in the U.S. today serving those purposes, but that is beside the point. The OP clearly states "I think there should be a recognised 'never put a geocache IN Dry Stone Walls' rule so that people will at least know not to go scrabbling about in them looking for geocaches." Low and behold that guideline already exists for their area, but the OP is asking for a blanket ruling for ALL dry stone walls. I disagree. I think asking everyone, everywhere to boycott caches in dry-stone walls is overkill.

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These walls in the British Isles are held together by gravity and the skill of the person who built them. In some cases the walls have been standing for over 3000 years (see Grimspound on Dartmoor). They continue to be in use today, are maintained by the hill farmers and are very widely used as field boundaries for livestock. Just removing a stone from the side can make them unstable and then there'll be a partial collapse. This is why the UK guidelines specifically ban caches in these structures and the UK reviewing team will deal with such caches very diligently.

When we publish a cache we cannot always tell where the hiding place is from the maps or description and unless the owner says "It's in the dry stone wall" we may publish the cache in good faith. If we have any doubt at all we ask for clarification. This is why we rely on the finders to let us know of problems. The Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines say, "If a cache has been published and violates any guidelines listed below, you are encouraged to report it". Please do not think you are 'telling tales' when reporting such caches in walls (or any other cache problems) - it is to prevent damage to the historic environment of our country and we appreciate getting the information so we can resolve such problems.

 

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

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I think one of the biggest problems with putting caches in or near rock walls (unless you are going to give very specific directions for finding the cache, that is) is that after a few visits, the wall looks a lot worse than it did to begin with. This might not be an issue in the middle of the woods where a part of an old wall is forgotten and tumbling down, but in many places (cemetery boundaries, state parks where rangers may actually be out on the trails at times, walls used as fences, at places of historical significance), the destruction or even reconfiguration of the walls is a sure-fire way to create a bad name for geocachers. The very nature of rock walls is such that there are many, many hiding places (on both sides of the wall no less!), so if your GPS is having an off day, or if you have a bunch of people searching, or if you just can't SEE the darn container, the wall will generally come out looking worse for the wear. I understand the point about the wall not being a part of nature and thus it not being necessary to preserve it as carefully or as diligently as you would a sensitive natural environment, but I think the more relevant issue is not one of LNT but of just not making a mess that casts a negative shadow on caching activites. A boycott on all caches in dry stone walls? No. But the hider MUST be sure to use common sense...no nanos, no fake rocks with holes drilled into them, no taking out three rocks to hide the cache deep inside the wall then expecting finders to do the same. But a largish container with a good hint and maybe one stone to remove (make it an obvious one), and the stone wall hide is fine. The point of such a hide, of course, would be the hike, the view, or the scenery...NOT the cleverness or difficulty of the hide itself.

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You know, my concern is the person who began this thread thought it was OK if they found the cache, but not anyone else.

 

If I thought there was a problem, I would have walked away. It wouldn't matter how superior my knowledge of that type of wall might be.

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I absolutely compare them since they were built by the same stock of people, for the same reasons and many are still in use here in the U.S. today serving those purposes, but that is beside the point. The OP clearly states "I think there should be a recognised 'never put a geocache IN Dry Stone Walls' rule so that people will at least know not to go scrabbling about in them looking for geocaches." Low and behold that guideline already exists for their area, but the OP is asking for a blanket ruling for ALL dry stone walls. I disagree. I think asking everyone, everywhere to boycott caches in dry-stone walls is overkill.

 

Actually, the entire tone of your first comment on this subject simply suggested that you do not understand the significance of drystone walls in the UK.

 

That's ok, you aren't expected to. The OP expressed a deeply felt concern for these structures, arguably it might have been put better, but it IS a real concern.

 

Small pieces of bark, btw, will heal, although that is not an excuse for damaging trees. I never saw a wall that could do that.

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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I'm really kinda surprised at this response coming from you. Dry wall in Europe are really more of an archeological type structures than they are in the US. Some of the walls in Europe are thousands of years old. There is one in Ireland that has been dated back to 3800 BC. Because of the historic significance of these structures the UK community has decided not to allow placement of caches in the structures. It isn't the same as turning over rocks in a rock field, well maybe it is if the rocks are in a cryptobiotic soil but cachers in the know generally try to avoid that also.

 

My reasons for feeling this way are a combination of problems. First, I didn't know that placing a cache in a dry wall in Europe was against guidelines. While ignorance is not a defense, the OP suggested boycotting a cache that was already placed so I felt if it had passed an Approver's scrutiny, then it might be a bit of an over-reaction. Second, I'm completely for rock wall caches (real or natural) where they're allowed under the guidelines. Before you dowse me in kerosene and throw the torch I'll try to explain why I feel this way. A rock wall is a man made structure. That's it. It's NOT A PART OF NATURE and I don't believe it deserves any special consideration from that particularly over-quoted defense. The same people that rant and rail against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall (that btw completely wrecked a pre-existing natural balance in the area by being constructed) are usually totally for placing a cache in a city park. Both are completely man-made. Both were built by hand, both are totally unnatural, but one is looked at as somehow better for caches.

 

Let's look at it a little closer though. A rock wall is stacked stone that was put there by man. It cut through natural woodland paths, took clear-cutting to put in place and from the moment it was stacked nature has been fighting diligently to rip it down. Through a combined effort of weathering, natural growth and animal vandalism the rocks walls of the world are being torn down as nature repairs itself from the damage of their creation.

 

So you have people who claim to defend and love nature also bellowing their lungs out over rock walls being "damaged". I'm not saying they aren't lovely to behold (the rocks walls that is). I'm not saying that I don't love discovering them myself. I am saying, however, that placing a cache in a man-made barrier is not breaking some natural order of the wilderness. To rally against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall makes no sense at all to me. Ask be to boycott putting a cache in a natural rock-slide and I'd consider it. Messing around with those slides is both dangerous and by doing so we're changing nature in it's truly natural state. I can at least see where your argument comes from.

 

In the northeast particularly of the U.S. there are many thousands of miles of rock wall. I'm going to hazard a wildly speculative guess that in my area less than 10% is being maintained. Having worked to maintain those walls myself, I understand quite intimately how much work is involved. I also understand intimately how much maintenance is required to keep them looking beautiful. Would I want someone placing a cache in my lovely rock wall that I continuously maintain? NO. Would I care if someone places a cache in a crumbling mass of what used to be a rock wall out in the woods? NO. That's the difference and it still comes back to permission usually.

 

If the wall in the OP's query is a maintained border/fence on privately owned property then I can see quite quickly why it's not allowed. Boycotting ALL drywall hides everywhere in the world (this is an open forum) for one specific instance (in one specific region) is just not a rally I would care to join. You want me to Leave No Trace Behind? Fine, answer me this: What would nature do to that rock wall? :grin:

 

edit 4 truly horrible spelling today

 

For starters, webscouter has this 100% correct.

 

In light of what he said your next post proves you have a very irresponsible stance on geocaching.

Do you truely mean to say that you interpret "Leave No Trace" ethics as liscense to damage structures of possible archeological importance because they were created by the "hand of man?"

 

I tend to believe that that applies to every cache - every time no matter what.

 

- Rev Mike

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Does the government value these walls enough to offer them any sort of protected status?

 

If not, are geocachers being held to a higher standard?

 

For what it's worth, my cache The South Shall Rise Again is in a stone fence that was built in 1853, has been in place since 2004, the land-owner enjoys folks looking for it and no damage has occurred.

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There are some dry stone structures in the UK that do have protected status, but some people posting on this thread haven't realised that many dry stone walls in the UK are not just archaeological features but are also on working farms, they serve a purpose to this very day, marking boundaries, keeping stock enclosed etc. To a farmer with dry stone walls on his property they are just as important as a brick wall or a wooden or metal fence, would you take apart any of these types of fence looking for a cache?

 

Dry stone walling is a craft that has been practiced for centuries and a wall in good condition will stand for a long time as long as it isn't disturbed. But most geocachers aren't trained dry stone wallers! The effect of cachers picking up stones and putting them back in a slightly different way will eventually compromise the structure.

 

As much as the "Leave no trace" ethic is pushed around I have seen the result of geocachers searching in an area, some of whom were obviously only concerned with finding the cache then going on to the next one.

 

I'm in favour of the UK guidelines on this one, if it's not a problem in other countries then fine. But here in the UK I don't think dry stone walls of archaeological and/or agricultural importance should have caches placed in them.

 

If you were a farmer would you want the possibility of having stock escape, dogs get into your sheep enclosure etc and having to have part of your wall rebuilt because some small section of society is playing a treasure hunting game?

 

Dry stone walls in the UK are not just part of our history, but play an active part in some people's livelyhoods.

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As an update - I'd followed the advice from you kindly folk on this thread and added a note / log "I log "needs archived" - last night the cache was archived as it is "in breach of the GAGB guidelines"

 

At the time of my original posting I wasn't aware of this GAGB guildeline. I retract my sweeping statement regarding the placement of geocaches under dry stone walls globally (I simply don't have the knowledge to proffer a qualified opinion on the subject - I had made the assumption that there were not that many 'proper' dry stone walls outside UK/Europe etc so for 'all' I was thinking GB/Europe.. anyway.. ) - but am glad there is a rule in place concerning the placement of UK geocaches in dry stone walls.

 

My concern now is that I wasn't aware of said rule. As a relative n00b to the sport / world of geocaching (heard about it from a friend, researched it 'all' on http://www.geocaching.com/) I read the guidelines here : http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx. I wasn't aware of the http://www.gagb.org.uk/guidelines/guidelines.php guidelines. Surely, if there a colloquial guidelines to the sport, shouldn't there be at least a link signposting these guidelines from the main site?

 

How is anyone supposed to know about these rules unless they stumble across them? Are there any other 'official' guidelines that we should be aware of?

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How is anyone supposed to know about these rules unless they stumble across them? Are there any other 'official' guidelines that we should be aware of?

The guidelines are written for the overall caching community. For example, a cache can't be buried...anywhere, but there are a lot of specific rules that pertain to certain areas of the country and in different countries as well, and that's where the reviewers come in.

 

For instance, here in the US, permits are required to place caches in certain parks in New York and Vermont, and no caches are allowed (by state law) in cemeteries in South Carolina, but in other states, there are no such restrictions.

 

It would be impractical for GC.com to post specific laws/rules/guidelines for every possible cache hiding spot, but the reviewers for each area know the rules and work with cachers when needed to make sure there are no issues.

 

As noted by Graculus, unless a cache owner specifically tells where a cache is hidden, reviewers will publish the cache in good faith. That's why, if a cache finder sees something that violates a guideline, they post a "Should be Archived" right away.

Edited by Skippermark
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I absolutely compare them since they were built by the same stock of people, for the same reasons and many are still in use here in the U.S. today serving those purposes, but that is beside the point. The OP clearly states "I think there should be a recognised 'never put a geocache IN Dry Stone Walls' rule so that people will at least know not to go scrabbling about in them looking for geocaches." Low and behold that guideline already exists for their area, but the OP is asking for a blanket ruling for ALL dry stone walls. I disagree. I think asking everyone, everywhere to boycott caches in dry-stone walls is overkill.

 

Actually, the entire tone of your first comment on this subject simply suggested that you do not understand the significance of drystone walls in the UK.

 

That's ok, you aren't expected to. The OP expressed a deeply felt concern for these structures, arguably it might have been put better, but it IS a real concern.

 

Small pieces of bark, btw, will heal, although that is not an excuse for damaging trees. I never saw a wall that could do that.

 

You're right, I had no idea of the importance of drystone walls in the UK. More surprising to me was the picture of the walls in question because they don't even resemble the structures we have locally. Our walls are often as thick and sometimes even thicker than they are tall as well as being made of stacked flat slabs of rock that are usually pretty secure. Even so, this is even more to the point of my statement. Making a sweeping rule affecting all stacked stone walls in every part of the world doesn't really work well considering all the different variations and instances of where, how and why they exist to begin with. I understand the concern expressed over the walls shown in the photo of the UK. They appear quite fragile and I'd be concerned, too, seeing how they seem to be leaning quite precariously in a number of places. I guess why they have the regional guidelines mentioned above. Thank you for those btw Graculus.

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Thank goodness those dry stone walls leave no trace as well. Thank goodness nature magically & routinely fixes up those walls since they're in a constant state of decay from the very moment they're built. :D

 

I'm really kinda surprised at this response coming from you. Dry wall in Europe are really more of an archeological type structures than they are in the US. Some of the walls in Europe are thousands of years old. There is one in Ireland that has been dated back to 3800 BC. Because of the historic significance of these structures the UK community has decided not to allow placement of caches in the structures. It isn't the same as turning over rocks in a rock field, well maybe it is if the rocks are in a cryptobiotic soil but cachers in the know generally try to avoid that also.

 

My reasons for feeling this way are a combination of problems. First, I didn't know that placing a cache in a dry wall in Europe was against guidelines. While ignorance is not a defense, the OP suggested boycotting a cache that was already placed so I felt if it had passed an Approver's scrutiny, then it might be a bit of an over-reaction. Second, I'm completely for rock wall caches (real or natural) where they're allowed under the guidelines. Before you dowse me in kerosene and throw the torch I'll try to explain why I feel this way. A rock wall is a man made structure. That's it. It's NOT A PART OF NATURE and I don't believe it deserves any special consideration from that particularly over-quoted defense. The same people that rant and rail against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall (that btw completely wrecked a pre-existing natural balance in the area by being constructed) are usually totally for placing a cache in a city park. Both are completely man-made. Both were built by hand, both are totally unnatural, but one is looked at as somehow better for caches.

 

Let's look at it a little closer though. A rock wall is stacked stone that was put there by man. It cut through natural woodland paths, took clear-cutting to put in place and from the moment it was stacked nature has been fighting diligently to rip it down. Through a combined effort of weathering, natural growth and animal vandalism the rocks walls of the world are being torn down as nature repairs itself from the damage of their creation.

 

So you have people who claim to defend and love nature also bellowing their lungs out over rock walls being "damaged". I'm not saying they aren't lovely to behold (the rocks walls that is). I'm not saying that I don't love discovering them myself. I am saying, however, that placing a cache in a man-made barrier is not breaking some natural order of the wilderness. To rally against placing a cache in a man-made rock wall makes no sense at all to me. Ask be to boycott putting a cache in a natural rock-slide and I'd consider it. Messing around with those slides is both dangerous and by doing so we're changing nature in it's truly natural state. I can at least see where your argument comes from.

 

In the northeast particularly of the U.S. there are many thousands of miles of rock wall. I'm going to hazard a wildly speculative guess that in my area less than 10% is being maintained. Having worked to maintain those walls myself, I understand quite intimately how much work is involved. I also understand intimately how much maintenance is required to keep them looking beautiful. Would I want someone placing a cache in my lovely rock wall that I continuously maintain? NO. Would I care if someone places a cache in a crumbling mass of what used to be a rock wall out in the woods? NO. That's the difference and it still comes back to permission usually.

 

If the wall in the OP's query is a maintained border/fence on privately owned property then I can see quite quickly why it's not allowed. Boycotting ALL drywall hides everywhere in the world (this is an open forum) for one specific instance (in one specific region) is just not a rally I would care to join. You want me to Leave No Trace Behind? Fine, answer me this: What would nature do to that rock wall? :grin:

 

edit 4 truly horrible spelling today

 

For starters, webscouter has this 100% correct.

 

In light of what he said your next post proves you have a very irresponsible stance on geocaching.

Do you truely mean to say that you interpret "Leave No Trace" ethics as liscense to damage structures of possible archeological importance because they were created by the "hand of man?"

 

I tend to believe that that applies to every cache - every time no matter what.

 

- Rev Mike

 

Are you high? Seriously? You are going to leap to the conclusion that I'm both irresponsible as a cacher and LNT is license to damage historical structures? What I said is: I am saying, however, that placing a cache in a man-made barrier is not breaking some natural order of the wilderness. I believe that cache setters can set caches in a responsible manner. I also believe cachers searching for a cache should do so in a responsible matter. I believe responsibility is the ONLY thing that will allow geocaching to survive over time. I don't think sinking to the lowest common denominator will though. I appreciate that a local reviewer was able to show that there are local guidelines that cover the problems locally. What I don't appreciate is someone trying to change the rules for everyone everywhere for a local issue. It's very much like outlawing all caches in pine trees everywhere in the world because one local grove is of historical significance. It's called using common sense, being responsible and considering the impact of what you're doing when placing cache. I tend to believe that that applies to every cache - every time no matter what. ;)

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It would be impractical for GC.com to post specific laws/rules/guidelines for every possible cache hiding spot,

 

 

.. I'm not suggesting that.. I am suggesting that there should be a link from the existing global guidelines to (if know / acknowledged) local specific guidelines - a simple list would do eg : click here for additional local guidelines>> leading to a list, with 'Europe' or broken down a little to eg | Britain | France | Germany (etc.)

 

That way, if there are guidelines out there, n00bs like me, and cachers like the chap who hid in the drystone would be educated accordingly.

Edited by dragondrop
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I am suggesting that there should be a link from the existing global guidelines to (if know / acknowledged) local specific guidelines - a simple list would do eg : click here for additional local guidelines>> leading to a list, with 'Europe' or broken down a little to eg | Britain | France | Germany (etc.)

 

That way, if there are guidelines out there, n00bs like me, and cachers like the chap who hid in the drystone would be educated accordingly.

 

I think that's an excellent idea! Just within our neck of the woods we have a common issue with railroads because so many of them have been converted via the Rails To Trails program. :D

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Frankly, I think a lot of problems could be overcome by additional functionality on the new cache listing page. Cache owners should be required to post to the page at minimum two photos of the cache site: one would be a far off view showing the general area, and the other would be a close-up of the actual hiding spot. These photos would be linked to reviewer note logs, and like reviewer notes, would only be visible to the cache owner and the reviewer, and would be deleted prior to publication.

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It would be impractical for GC.com to post specific laws/rules/guidelines for every possible cache hiding spot,

 

 

.. I'm not suggesting that.. I am suggesting that there should be a link from the existing global guidelines to (if know / acknowledged) local specific guidelines - a simple list would do eg : click here for additional local guidelines>> leading to a list, with 'Europe' or broken down a little to eg | Britain | France | Germany (etc.)

 

That way, if there are guidelines out there, n00bs like me, and cachers like the chap who hid in the drystone would be educated accordingly.

I hear what you're saying. I'm not sure if this will help, but a lot of reviewers have links on their profile page to guidelines and rules that pertain to hiding caches in the specific areas they review. If you know your reviewers name, you could see if they have any such info on their profile.

 

I've found that helpful when placing caches because, as in this case, their might be something specific that's not covered in the general guidelines. Maybe more reviewers could add info if they don't have it already.

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...additional functionality on the new cache listing page. ...

 

Speaking with my internet developers hat on - too un necessarily complicated. Would take a lot of time and resource to set up. The (link to local guidelines) solution could be done in a matter of hours..

 

It's a pity that it would be too complicated. A link to the various guidelines would definitely be helpful, but there are cases of stupidity that are not covered by the guidelines. For example, the closest one to my house is an idiotic micro on a guardrail along a busy three-lane road with no place to safely park, no view, and nothing of any historical significance. I have not even bothered to go find it, moreso because of the safety issue than because of the lameness of the cache itself. These things could be avoided (for the most part) if one had to post a reviewer picture or two.

 

P.S. I am SOOOO jealous of where you live!

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...additional functionality on the new cache listing page. ...

 

Speaking with my internet developers hat on - too un necessarily complicated. Would take a lot of time and resource to set up. The (link to local guidelines) solution could be done in a matter of hours..

 

It's a pity that it would be too complicated. A link to the various guidelines would definitely be helpful, but there are cases of stupidity that are not covered by the guidelines. For example, the closest one to my house is an idiotic micro on a guardrail along a busy three-lane road with no place to safely park, no view, and nothing of any historical significance. I have not even bothered to go find it, moreso because of the safety issue than because of the lameness of the cache itself. These things could be avoided (for the most part) if one had to post a reviewer picture or two.

 

P.S. I am SOOOO jealous of where you live!

 

But what guideline is being violated by having a cache in what you deem as an unsafe area?

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No guideline is being violated. It's just an asinine place. That was perhaps not the best example...I should have instead mentioned caches blatantly placed on private property without permission of the property owner (a clear violaton of the guidelines) as a better example, though I guess one couldn't really tell if that is the case or not from photos. Let me also add that I have no quibble with caches that are placed in potentially dangerous places, such as on cliffs, provided the danger is generally going to be incurred by the cache seeker as opposed to by the general public (who is zooming along the roadway and must quickly swerve to miss a parked vehicle that is partly in the driving lane, as in my previous example in the above post).

 

I guess what I'm saying is that I am encountering with much greater frequency caches hidden in ways and places that indicate a lack of common sense on the part of the hider. Stone walls being damaged, caches being mistaken for bombs, cachers being threatened with arrest for trespassing...these are all things that could be avoided if the person who hides a cache uses common sense in addition to following the broad recommendations of the guidelines.

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There's at least one I know of, off an interstate in New York, on a sign, on the triangle between the interstate, the on ramp and off ramp, (both of which are at _least_ 55 mph), and "no pedestrian" signs everywhere.

 

We saw it, and drove right by it. Especially since the nearest parking is 1/4 mile down, and you have to walk, no shoulder, on the road people are zooming on and off the interstate on.

 

Perhaps it's someone's idea of a good time to play frogger with semis to get a goofy micro that has said "log full" on the online log for six months.. it's not mine.

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This is the main geocaching discussion forum. There are country specific forums (the UK is here) which give more local information. The UK forums have links to resources for UK geocachers and links to the Geocaching Association of Great Britain and a more detailed explanation of those guidelines pertaining to the UK.

 

Come and visit us!

 

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

UK Geocaching Information & Resources site

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This is the main geocaching discussion forum. There are country specific forums (the UK is here) which give more local information. The UK forums have links to resources for UK geocachers and links to the Geocaching Association of Great Britain and a more detailed explanation of those guidelines pertaining to the UK.

 

Come and visit us!

 

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

UK Geocaching Information & Resources site

Careful, this post could be considered SPAM! :laughing:

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Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

Graculus, first let me thank you for all you do as a reviewer. With out the hard work of you and your peers, on both sides of the pond, this game would grind to a halt. Second, I was curious about something brought up during this thread, and as a local reviewer, you are in a unique position to answer: When you reject a cache submission due to it being on a stone fence, are you acting on a separate, geographically local guideline, or are you operating under the auspices of the existing archaeological site guideline?

 

Thanx!

 

Post script: I whole heartedly agree that these stone fences are not good places for caches.

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Get a "grip", surly you have something better to do or more important...saving the "stone walls" is important, but you can't make an impact by stopping cachers from placing caches in a "dry stone" wall. We (geocaching) do not need any more "can't do's"...What you are trying to do is commendable. I think your ideas should be taken to a forum/or law enforcement that will have more impact on stopping this desecration of the "Dry Stone Walls". Good luck.

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Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

Graculus, first let me thank you for all you do as a reviewer. With out the hard work of you and your peers, on both sides of the pond, this game would grind to a halt. Second, I was curious about something brought up during this thread, and as a local reviewer, you are in a unique position to answer: When you reject a cache submission due to it being on a stone fence, are you acting on a separate, geographically local guideline, or are you operating under the auspices of the existing archaeological site guideline?

 

Thanx!

 

Post script: I whole heartedly agree that these stone fences are not good places for caches.

 

It is a specific UK Guideline for walls. The Geocaching Association of Great Britain hosts the guidelines that apply - the guideline in question is here (number 14).

 

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer

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Get a "grip", surly you have something better to do or more important...saving the "stone walls" is important, but you can't make an impact by stopping cachers from placing caches in a "dry stone" wall. We (geocaching) do not need any more "can't do's"...What you are trying to do is commendable. I think your ideas should be taken to a forum/or law enforcement that will have more impact on stopping this desecration of the "Dry Stone Walls". Good luck.

 

Seriously?? You seriously think it would be OK to place a cache in a stone wall?? I've seen first-hand the damage cachers do in the name of earning a smiley, I've seen logs ripped to shreds, stones strewn all about and yes, a stone wall reduced to shambles. I once saw a cacher walk straight into a flower bed because they saw a birdhouse in the middle. :) I'd NEVER hide a cache in or near a stone wall (or landscaping etc) for this very reason. And never a birdhouse.

 

Most cachers are somewhat careful when searching, that leaves a small percent of cachers who run around like a tornado. :P The idea WAS taken to a forum...here! And it appears we DO need more "can't do's"! When cachers can't think for themselves, someone need to do the thinking or caching could have problems.

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The Geocaching Association of Great Britain hosts the guidelines that apply

Very kewl! This shows that Groundspeak is willing to allow local regions to have guidelines which are more stringent that those for the rest of the globe, if there is a legitimate need. I wonder if those folks in Hawaii who are having issues with vacation caches could adopt something similar? A separate set of guidelines just for the islands. It sounds reasonable to me.

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