Jump to content

London Royal Parks - Geocaching refused


Recommended Posts

Here's an idea, why don't we show those people who make these decisions that we are responsible individuals and accept their decision on the face of what they have said? Then perhaps in the future when they are approached again, they may sit back and say, hmmmm we said no to these people before and they acted responsibly at that decision, so we'll have another look and see what we can do.

 

At the present moment, it looks like a lot of dummies have been thrown out of the pram. It doesn't exactly look like we are responsible individuals, not when you actually read this thread. I know if I was looking into something to give my permission to, I would do a bit of research and if they had forums I would read them. If I came across this thread I would think what a bunch of selfish anoraks, definitely not getting my permission. And if I came across this forum before this thread I would think what a bunch of bickering children, are they really as responsible as they say?

 

Oh yeah, before I get the standard slating for saying what needs to be said, I would like you to know I haven't posted this for a mud slinging fight, I have posted it as that is how I currently see this.

Link to post

I think this wording might do it:

 

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Approach the Royal Parks management and seek to get them to reconsider their ban on the placing of geocaches within the boundaries of all Royal Parks managed by them.

Geocaching is a hobby that encourages people of all ages and stature to partake of exercise and make use of public spaces and is therefore beneficial in pursuit of the Goverment’s approach to getting people to take more exercise and enjoy the fresh air. As this is also a family activity it encourages the younger generation to ‘get out’ with their family and also encourages the older generation to stay active.

Many other authorities happily accept Geocaching with negotiated aggreements in place so as the hiding of and searching for the actula geocaches is carried out in the correct manner with no damage to the surrounding or environment.

 

anymore suggestions

Link to post
RECOMMENDATION

 

That the status quo of 'grandfathering' remains for a defined period - longer than shorter.

 

GAGB who have negotiated with the RP are not www.geocaching.com which is US based and thus outside UK law and thus caches can still be listed.

 

GAGB inform the RP that a grandfathering process is in hand whilst alternative arrangements are made. This shows 'good will' but an elastic time frame.

 

That a physical post card 'write-in' is organised to No 10 Downing Street, the Royal Parks and the Palace. I reckon about 2000 separate postcards should be enough to 'wake up' the authorities. Postcards (even Xmas Cards) will be much more effective than emails which can just be trashed.

 

This 'write-in' must include OVERSEAS geocachers who explicitly include 'geocaching in the RP' as part of their tourist activities.

 

That in three months time the RP are invited to 'reopen' discussion.

 

That the International Forums – particularly the US forums – are invited to participate in protest.

I put a very specific series of recommendations. I truly truly hope they get general endorsement and specifically that that TPTB take cognisance of them. Do NOT be precipitative. International protest from across the globe WILL be effective. It takes a little time to organise. Do NOT pander to these neoliths. As I made clear this is NOT about security for which there is a small a valid concern. This is quite simply upper class royalistic snottery, and only action by the populace will see it into its grave.

 

So do follow my recommendations please.

Link to post

With the Olympics being held in London in 2012, I can see that there will be more areas where caches will be banned (due to the perceived terrorist threat excuse). Perhaps London may even become a cache free zone :)

 

Might a suggest a few weeks delay before actually taking any further action, to allow folk to calm down and reassess the situation.

Link to post
I truly truly hope they get general endorsement and specifically that that TPTB take cognisance of them.

Do you mean TPTB in the police/Queen/government sense, or Groundspeak? I don't see much leeway for the latter. The competent authorities have determined that caches in the Royal Parks are there without permission, so the reviewers have no alternative but to ask (nicely at first) for them to be archived.

 

By all means try to persuade the UK authorities to change their minds, but surely this is exactly what the GAGB is there for.

Link to post

The competent authorities have determined that caches in the Royal Parks are there without permission, so the reviewers have no alternative but to ask (nicely at first) for them to be archived.

I don't think that's the case; AFAIK most of the caches were placed with permission.

It's just that permission has now been withdrawn. I don't think that competent authorities have been involved either, because it doesn't sound like any proper analysis has been done to check whether the bylaws are actually being violated.

Link to post

The other way to look at this is to ask for some flexibility from GC.com, to allow a temporary fix....... Removal of the physical caches at these locations.... but confirm a find by photo / email etc.... just a thought.... MaxKim.

Link to post
I don't think that's the case; AFAIK most of the caches were placed with permission. It's just that permission has now been withdrawn. I don't think that competent authorities have been involved either, because it doesn't sound like any proper analysis has been done to check whether the bylaws are actually being violated.

Certainly that is basically correct about Richmond and Bushy. I spoke to the police and administration and their response was (to paraphrase) "We know where most of the caches are. Don't ask for formal permission or we'll have to refer it upwards but we're happy and think its good fun."

 

Part of the problem is that although the Royal Parks Agency seems to be in charge, ALL access to the Royal Parks and rule setting for it is controlled by the police. As a result of government 'improvements' the Royal Parks police was merged into the Met and now the Met is in charge. The Met is (for thoroughly understandable reasons) deeply security paranoid and its default reply to anything is NO - despite every relevant politician saying YES.

 

This is why I think a slowly slowly slowly approach with an organised write-in is the best way forward. The intent of this is to move the decision making out of the hands of the Met into the hands of competent and friendly people. This is why I urge a very very slow un-grandfathering process. For instance a cache I have in Bushy Park - no probs, save me maintaining it - archive it. BUT my Peter Pan series whicvh involves seven different linked caches in 5 countries over 3 continents I would mover very very slowly on - not least as all the series would have to be archived.

 

In the end I and many others will simply list RP caches on the UK Open Caching site and use our other GC.COM caches to inform about the alternative. In effect this will lead slowly to the break up of a single coherent UK caching system - but so be it.

Link to post

Here's an idea, why don't we show those people who make these decisions that we are responsible individuals and accept their decision on the face of what they have said? Then perhaps in the future when they are approached again, they may sit back and say, hmmmm we said no to these people before and they acted responsibly at that decision, so we'll have another look and see what we can do.

 

At the present moment, it looks like a lot of dummies have been thrown out of the pram. It doesn't exactly look like we are responsible individuals, not when you actually read this thread. I know if I was looking into something to give my permission to, I would do a bit of research and if they had forums I would read them. If I came across this thread I would think what a bunch of selfish anoraks, definitely not getting my permission. And if I came across this forum before this thread I would think what a bunch of bickering children, are they really as responsible as they say?

 

Oh yeah, before I get the standard slating for saying what needs to be said, I would like you to know I haven't posted this for a mud slinging fight, I have posted it as that is how I currently see this.

 

With respect, I don't think that's true at all. I've yet to find a single discussion forum anywhere on the internet, on any subject, where there isn't dissent and disagreement. And, yes, sometimes discussions do get heated as people bring their own viewpoints to the table.

 

What I'm seeing here is people reacting with varying degrees of disappointment to a decision which appears to make little sense to any of us. Those present at the meeting(s) have offered additional insights but I'm sure I'm not the only one looking at the quoted reasons and thinking "Huh?"

 

It's entirely possible that officials will look at an orderly archiving and/or relocation of caches as proof we are responsible. It's also entirely possible that they will see we obey without questioning daft reasoning and extend the ban, or that other large-scale landowners will see that we just roll over and present us with equally spurious reasons for denying permission.

 

I still don't see any reason why a campaign of writing to the people in charge of the Royal Parks is such a bad thing. We can respect official decisions while still making it clear we disapprove of them.

Link to post
The other way to look at this is to ask for some flexibility from GC.com, to allow a temporary fix....... Removal of the physical caches at these locations.... but confirm a find by photo / email etc.... just a thought.... MaxKim.
Sadly that would make the cache a virtual, and virtual caches are no longer allowed by Groundspeak, even in a situation like this I believe. Converting -or rather, archiving and re-issuing- a cache as an offset multi, using a virtual first stage within the park pointing at a physical outside it, would be (as I understand the rules) just dandy though.
Link to post

I think this wording might do it:

 

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Approach the Royal Parks management and seek to get them to reconsider their ban on the placing of geocaches within the boundaries of all Royal Parks managed by them.

Geocaching is a hobby that encourages people of all ages and stature to partake of exercise and make use of public spaces and is therefore beneficial in pursuit of the Government’s approach to getting people to take more exercise and enjoy the fresh air. As this is also a family activity it encourages the younger generation to ‘get out’ with their family and also encourages the older generation to stay active.

Many other authorities happily accept Geocaching with negotiated agreements in place so as the hiding of and searching for the actual geocaches is carried out in the correct manner with no damage to the surrounding or environment.

 

anymore suggestions

 

Looks OK to me, I've taken the liberty to correct a few typos (in bold above).

 

I'll certainly sign it.

Link to post

I think this wording might do it:

 

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Approach the Royal Parks management and seek to get them to reconsider their ban on the placing of geocaches within the boundaries of all Royal Parks managed by them.

Geocaching is a hobby that encourages people of all ages and stature to partake of exercise and make use of public spaces and is therefore beneficial in pursuit of the Government’s approach to getting people to take more exercise and enjoy the fresh air. As this is also a family activity it encourages the younger generation to ‘get out’ with their family and also encourages the older generation to stay active.

Many other authorities happily accept Geocaching with negotiated agreements in place so as the hiding of and searching for the actual geocaches is carried out in the correct manner with no damage to the surrounding or environment.

 

anymore suggestions

 

Looks OK to me, I've taken the liberty to correct a few typos (in bold above).

 

I'll certainly sign it.

 

Is it worth pointing out the existing agreement with the Met Police, as thye actually police the area?

Link to post

 

With respect, I don't think that's true at all. I've yet to find a single discussion forum anywhere on the internet, on any subject, where there isn't dissent and disagreement. And, yes, sometimes discussions do get heated as people bring their own viewpoints to the table.

 

What I'm seeing here is people reacting with varying degrees of disappointment to a decision which appears to make little sense to any of us. Those present at the meeting(s) have offered additional insights but I'm sure I'm not the only one looking at the quoted reasons and thinking "Huh?"

 

It's entirely possible that officials will look at an orderly archiving and/or relocation of caches as proof we are responsible. It's also entirely possible that they will see we obey without questioning daft reasoning and extend the ban, or that other large-scale landowners will see that we just roll over and present us with equally spurious reasons for denying permission.

 

I still don't see any reason why a campaign of writing to the people in charge of the Royal Parks is such a bad thing. We can respect official decisions while still making it clear we disapprove of them.

I completely agree with this post. I'll add that I think the problem stems from dealing with bodies that manage large areas of land, in the same fashion as those who manage small plots.

 

If a landowner has to deal with one or two cache applications, it's no big deal. And if it goes pear-shaped, we lose a couple of caches.

But if you back officials into a corner by forcing them to field dozens (or even hundreds) of formal cache applications every year, they're bound to look for a way out. A blanket ban is the easy option and we could end up losing hundreds of caches.

 

In Kewfriend's example, the quote was...

Don't ask for formal permission or we'll have to refer it upwards.

...and that seems to be at the heart of the problem. As 'team tisri' infers, once the Parks management see that we just give up and go away when faced with a ban, they'll breathe a sigh of relief and make sure that the ban stays in place forever.

 

It might be too late now for the Royal Parks, but my advice is that in the future, we avoid applying to national, regional or local official bodies for cache permission, and restrict such approaches to the local management on as informal a basis as possible. I'm NOT saying that we place caches without permission, I'm saying that we should be very careful to apply for permission at the right level, i.e. the people who manage the site on a day-to-day basis. Keep it unwritten, if possible. In fact go and visit and have a chat, rather than write in. As long as the keeper of the land is aware of any caches, why should there be a problem? If he's only managing a small area, he won't get bombarded with requests so he'll stay cool about the idea.

Link to post
It might be too late now for the Royal Parks, but my advice is that in the future, we avoid applying to national, regional or local official bodies for cache permission, and restrict such approaches to the local management on as informal a basis as possible. I'm NOT saying that we place caches without permission, I'm saying that we should be very careful to apply for permission at the right level, i.e. the people who manage the site on a day-to-day basis. Keep it unwritten, if possible. In fact go and visit and have a chat, rather than write in. As long as the keeper of the land is aware of any caches, why should there be a problem? If he's only managing a small area, he won't get bombarded with requests so he'll stay cool about the idea.

 

Sorry but I hate to pour cold water on that idea, but I'm one of the people who has to deal with Irate cachers who have obtained permission of a Local Manager. Only for them to have their cache yanked out, because someone finds a cache causing issues and reports it. Only the complaint doesn't go to the person who gave informal permission, or that person has been deployed else where or even left the landowners employment.

 

By having formal written permission there is a clear chain which can be followed, especially as when happens that Senior Management haven't a clue about what's going on. But are the ones who are the recipients of that complaint. It means that they can go and ask the relevant person who gave permission about that particular cache.

 

A formal request at a Senior level might lead to a refusal, but it also can lead to a very Solid Permission Agreement. And a Refusal can always be re-visited at a later date.

 

The New Forest Agreement took 2 years to agree, the NW FC took 3 years to start a gradual withdrawal of their charging a Fee for a Placement Permit . Nothing is forever!

 

I was the one who had to a archive over 30 caches at the request of a Nature Trust, because of a complaint about just one cache placed without permission. Which was causing damage, the most distressing part? I had to archive several caches which had written permission off local trust management [the CO had provided me with copies of all permission letters] . As management at a Senior level who did not know about caching, did a search of this site and provided a comprehensive list of all caches on their land which they required removed.If the Senior Management had been involved in the Permission process from the start, those caches would not have been Archived, and as the Reviewers would have known about the Trust as the cache was Published before those with permission, the cache which caused those 30+ caches archived would not have been published without permission. If the senior management had known about the caches given permission before the issue arose, then they might still have been active today.

 

As Geocaching has become more popular, it has had to adapt. One of those adaptations has been the need to obtain Landowner Permission, sorry but we are no longer a underground hobby any more, and do not have a legal right to place caches on other peoples land without their permission, despite what people seem to believe.

 

At the end of the day Local Management are answerable to Senior Management. If at a a Senior Management level a decision is made to ban geocaching, it is irresponsible to ask a Local Manager to ignore that decision, even on a Informal level. Discovery of a Geocache placed with the informal permission of a local manager, which then comes to the attention of senior management. Who then request who provided permission, would have consequences for that local manager.

 

Deci

Link to post

 

Hasn't geocaching also been recommended in a government white paper on health/excercise too? If so, and anyone can provide a reference then it would be worth mentioning too. Also worth mentioning that other authorities welcome the activity.

 

 

ODPM recomendation

 

On page 11 about libraries sports and leisure, but it was in 2004.

 

there;s also this : natural england who are funded by the government and advocate walking for a healthy life, that was from this year I think.

 

It's a pain when these things happen and it can take some time for them to be resolved. One thing is for sure though, if we just list them elsewhere and ignore the ban it will get worse. The chances are the MET will revoke their agreement and we will never be able to re-negotiate for these caches to be allowed. At the end of the day it will always be easier for any landowner or manager to say no when asked, the more hassle that is involved the more likely we get that no.

 

If we remove the caches as they ask and then discuss with them providing evidence and opinion we stand the chance of showing them the benefits of allowing decent law abiding people to search for hidden containers. If we make a pain of ourselves we just guarantee that they will go out of their way to stop people having fun caching.

Link to post

Unlike many hobbies, ours relies on us leaving a physical item on someon else's propery. Like it or not EVERYWHERE in this country belongs to someone (or some organisation). As Deci says when Geocaching was in its infancy we could get away with leaving stuff lying around and no one knew nor cared. However nowadays we are past the "blind eye" phase and I would argue that reviewers should now require absolute proof that landowner permission has been obtained before publishing ANY cache.

Edited by Neath Worthies
Link to post

How very sad.

 

Some of the best wheelchair accessible caches in the capital were in the parks.

 

I clearly remember the excitement of being a relatively new cacher and heading towards the parks on my next trip to London ...

 

I guess we're just going to have to be more creative with hides in town and hope for a change of heart SOON!

Link to post

Unlike many hobbies, ours relies on us leaving a physical item on someon else's propery. Like it or not EVERYWHERE in this country belongs to someone (or some organisation). As Deci says when Geocaching was in its infancy we could get away with leaving stuff lying around and no one knew nor cared. However nowadays we are past the "blind eye" phase and I would argue that reviewers should now require absolute proof that landowner permission has been obtained before publishing ANY cache.

 

I don't think a lot of caches would exist if explicit permission was needed - urban caches in particular. Plus it's a Groundspeak issue not specific to the UK. Any kind of rule like that would need to be consulted with the Americans, I doubt they'd go for it.

Link to post
It might be too late now for the Royal Parks, but my advice is that in the future, we avoid applying to national, regional or local official bodies for cache permission, and restrict such approaches to the local management on as informal a basis as possible. I'm NOT saying that we place caches without permission, I'm saying that we should be very careful to apply for permission at the right level, i.e. the people who manage the site on a day-to-day basis. Keep it unwritten, if possible. In fact go and visit and have a chat, rather than write in. As long as the keeper of the land is aware of any caches, why should there be a problem? If he's only managing a small area, he won't get bombarded with requests so he'll stay cool about the idea.

 

Sorry but I hate to pour cold water on that idea, but I'm one of the people who has to deal with Irate cachers who have obtained permission of a Local Manager. Only for them to have their cache yanked out, because someone finds a cache causing issues and reports it. Only the complaint doesn't go to the person who gave informal permission, or that person has been deployed else where or even left the landowners employment.

 

By having formal written permission there is a clear chain which can be followed, especially as when happens that Senior Management haven't a clue about what's going on. But are the ones who are the recipients of that complaint. It means that they can go and ask the relevant person who gave permission about that particular cache.

 

A formal request at a Senior level might lead to a refusal, but it also can lead to a very Solid Permission Agreement. And a Refusal can always be re-visited at a later date.

 

The New Forest Agreement took 2 years to agree, the NW FC took 3 years to start a gradual withdrawal of their charging a Fee for a Placement Permit . Nothing is forever!

 

I was the one who had to a archive over 30 caches at the request of a Nature Trust, because of a complaint about just one cache placed without permission. Which was causing damage, the most distressing part? I had to archive several caches which had written permission off local trust management [the CO had provided me with copies of all permission letters] . As management at a Senior level who did not know about caching, did a search of this site and provided a comprehensive list of all caches on their land which they required removed.If the Senior Management had been involved in the Permission process from the start, those caches would not have been Archived, and as the Reviewers would have known about the Trust as the cache was Published before those with permission, the cache which caused those 30+ caches archived would not have been published without permission. If the senior management had known about the caches given permission before the issue arose, then they might still have been active today.

 

As Geocaching has become more popular, it has had to adapt. One of those adaptations has been the need to obtain Landowner Permission, sorry but we are no longer a underground hobby any more, and do not have a legal right to place caches on other peoples land without their permission, despite what people seem to believe.

 

At the end of the day Local Management are answerable to Senior Management. If at a a Senior Management level a decision is made to ban geocaching, it is irresponsible to ask a Local Manager to ignore that decision, even on a Informal level. Discovery of a Geocache placed with the informal permission of a local manager, which then comes to the attention of senior management. Who then request who provided permission, would have consequences for that local manager.

 

Deci

 

If it's a case of senior management browsing the site and discovering caches on land they manage, I wonder if it would be helpful if there was a link on the geocaching.com map page - perhaps for land owners to contact someone at Groundspeak so they could open dialogue directly with Groundspeak/Reviewers.

 

It might difuse situations where a land manager feels out of the loop and therefore has to assert their feeling of control and come down with a ban rather than discussing the merits/pros and cons.

 

Could be a link to an email address or a simple form to fill out. Also helps I guess if COs list where they got permission if it was someone lower down the chain.

Link to post

DECI's point is well made - and my public face agrees.

 

BUT

 

"White man speak with forked tongue" because when I raised the issue of GC1M3KK with our reviewers to point out that

the cache was dangerous

that it was on a DoE flood defence river

that no permission had ever been sought

that none had ever been given

there was no public right of way

that 'all hell would break loose' if a person drowned or was injured

 

I was politiely told that the cache would remain - as it does. I was so concerned that I raised the matter directly with GC.COM who decided that they would not countermand a local reviewer however much they agreed with me.

 

I would have more sympathy with our reviewers if they were not such awful apologists. In the case of Richmond Park in particular, the Royal Parks do not have the legal power to keep us off the public rights of way yet here we have our reviewers saying they will comply with the metropolitan police. (GC1J7HC ) actually documents the long legal fight in Richmond Park.

 

I may actually agree with most of the sentiments in Dave's posting - I just do not believe he and Chris are applying them evenly - or at all in most cases as EVERY FOOTPATH is on someone's land!!!! The key question is do you have a legal right to be there - in the case of Richmond Park the answer unequivocally is YES.

 

I treat with derision the standard 'reviewer excuse' that they unreservedly accept the 'ticked box' on the cache submission as evidence of formal permission especially re footpaths. They know that is nonsense and so do I.

Link to post

DECI's point is well made - and my public face agrees.

 

BUT

 

"White man speak with forked tongue" because when I raised the issue of GC1M3KK with our reviewers to point out that

the cache was dangerous

that it was on a DoE flood defence river

that no permission had ever been sought

that none had ever been given

there was no public right of way

that 'all hell would break loose' if a person drowned or was injured

 

I was politiely told that the cache would remain - as it does. I was so concerned that I raised the matter directly with GC.COM who decided that they would not countermand a local reviewer however much they agreed with me.

 

I would have more sympathy with our reviewers if they were not such awful apologists. In the case of Richmond Park in particular, the Royal Parks do not have the legal power to keep us off the public rights of way yet here we have our reviewers saying they will comply with the metropolitan police. (GC1J7HC ) actually documents the long legal fight in Richmond Park.

 

I may actually agree with most of the sentiments in Dave's posting - I just do not believe he and Chris are applying them evenly - or at all in most cases as EVERY FOOTPATH is on someone's land!!!! The key question is do you have a legal right to be there - in the case of Richmond Park the answer unequivocally is YES.

 

I treat with derision the standard 'reviewer excuse' that they unreservedly accept the 'ticked box' on the cache submission as evidence of formal permission especially re footpaths. They know that is nonsense and so do I.

 

Isn't it....

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

 

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location.

 

I do agree with your argument about legal public right to access and I think this counts as adequate permission.... hopefully otherwise all of my caches should be archived.

 

I'd like to attempt that Braveheart cache, your cache has a kind of irony about now which is a shame!

Link to post
Isn't it....

 

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location.

That's the key. The "adequate permission" wording has been tried and tested over many years. That sentence, plus the disclaimer that "You assume all risks when looking for a cache", is apparently good enough for the most litigious country on earth. (Not everyone knows, perhaps, that one of the three partners in Groundspeak is a lawyer.)

 

In practice, the reviewers will assume that you have permission, unless they have specific knowledge that it would be unreasonable to make that assumption. For example, if they look at the map and see that the cache is in the middle of the runway at Heathrow, they cannot assume permission. If the US reviewers see that the cache is in a National Park, they know - because Groundspeak has told them about a nationwide ban on caching on National Park Service lands - that permission cannot be assumed. If it's in a US National Forest, which is a whole different organisation which does not have a national ban on Geocaching, then permission probably will be assumed - unless the local reviewer knows that the local (state) branch of the Forest service has a different view. Etc, etc. For now, we can add to that list: if it's in a Royal Park, we know that the people with ultimate authority have said they don't want caches there.

 

Note also that danger to the seeker - as raised by Kewfriend - definitely does not constitute a reason to deny a cache. If it did, then the reviewers or Groundspeak might become easier to sue, because they would be in effect saying "since we published this cache, we think it's safe". (This argument sounded weird to me when I first heard it, in a non-Geocaching context, but it becomes less so every time I come across it.) Groundspeak does not warrant or even remotely suggest that looking for a cache is safe. Incidentally, this is also one of the reasons why reviewers are no longer called "approvers".

Link to post

 

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location.

 

I do agree with your argument about legal public right to access and I think this counts as adequate permission.... hopefully otherwise all of my caches should be archived.

 

 

Bear in mind that a right of access is completely different from a right of way.

 

Right of access gives the public the right to enter and remain on land for the purposes of recreation - so I think it's safe to say permission to hide a cache is implied - unless there are specific bylaws in place that would exclude it.

 

A right of way, however (for example a public footpath) only gives the public the right to

pass and repass, on foot
. That is, a legally protected right to travel, on foot. There is no allowance for, or mention of, recreation. So in this case I would think permission was not implied - and it's at your own risk if you choose to hide a cache...

 

So although there might be public footpaths and therefore a right of way across the Royal parks, there is no right of access - the parks are private property belonging to the crown and access is only under grace and favour by the crown.

Edited by keehotee
Link to post

AFAIK all these right of access, right of way etc. issues allow you to BE somewhere. They do not allow you to leave something behind.

 

Mention has been made of the need to demonstrate "ADEQUATE" permission before the Reviewers will consider publishing a new cache. To my mind this sounds like a cop out allowing them to make a personal decision to ignore the permission issue when it suits them.

 

I'd like to see where "Adequate" is defined so that we all know what we should and shouldn't be doing. I assume GC worded it this way to allow for differing laws in different countries when they were developing the business into a worldwide model. We need to know what Adequate means in a UK context so perhaps the UK review team will let us know the official definition they all work to.

Link to post

Just out of curiosity, but still within the scope of the topic I think, I read on the US forums all the time about caches being blown up by the bomb squad.

 

Has there ever been a case of a cache reported by media/blown up here in the UK?

:laughing::)

 

I inherited a cache when the owners emigrated to Australia.

The day after their leaving party I got a call to let me know the area immediately around the cache had been cordoned off, the police were in attendance, and the bomb disposal team were on their way up from Plymouth to deal with a suspicious device.

 

The bomb squad duly arrived - to remove a discarded "world war two ordnance" that had been uncovered within 2 feet of the cache. I managed to get

of them retrieving the cache, signing the log and throwing the cache back in it's hidey hole :D
Link to post

...As Geocaching has become more popular, it has had to adapt. One of those adaptations has been the need to obtain Landowner Permission, sorry but we are no longer a underground hobby any more, and do not have a legal right to place caches on other peoples land without their permission, despite what people seem to believe. ...

You're being a bit naughty there, Dave. I said...

I'm NOT saying that we place caches without permission, I'm saying that we should be very careful to apply for permission at the right level, i.e. the people who manage the site on a day-to-day basis
.

 

But on your main point, I appreciate that it's ideal if all levels of management have been made aware of caches, that written permission is filed in triplicate with branches and headquarters and is reviewed annually.

 

Unfortunately, the downside is that someone then has the power to destroy every single cache in their area on a whim (as amply demonstrated by the Royal Parks management). And the more admin there is involved with permission requests, the more likely it is that they'll use this power to eliminate what they might see as a thorn in their side.

 

If you think that on balance, it's better to gamble in that way then fair enough. I'm merely pointing out the dangers of this approach. To me, allowing unsympathetic non-geocachers to have control over such a large area is too much to pay for "national official" status. Let's not forget that these Royal Parks caches are just about as official as it gets, and yet the end result is that they're all going to be archived from GC.com.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
Link to post

On the issue of Hyde Park and my Peter Pan cache, I would like suggestions and guidance.

 

This is an international multi involving all 7 Peter Pan statues in 5 countries across 3 continents. Its immediate closure will bring down all the other six parts of the multi.

 

Any sensible thoughts on how to keep this up and running in any form will be much appreciated. My 'beg' to reviewers is NOT to wade in and immediately archive it. Just give me time to sort things out.

 

Re Richmond Park: both apply, rights of access from William of Orange and rights of way from the long court cases (cf above). We the populace have the rights and we must defend them. The only times the rights have been suspended have been 'foot and mouth' and 'animal culls' in recent times. Nothing wrong with that, I never KowTow to unreasonable authority and such bullying. Hopefully my views are not 'lone' views.

 

[:laughing:]

Link to post
In the end I and many others will simply list RP caches on the UK Open Caching site
Sorry to extract just this small piece from a much longer post, but I would not like it to be thought that OpenCaching was just a refuge for caches that are unlistable on other sites, or that the placing of caches on OpenCaching was completely unrestricted. Indeed, I have 2 caches in Richmond Park that I was just about to list on OpenCaching when this news broke, but which I will now go and remove (though there are 3 more on the perimiter of Richmond Park which I have listed on OpenCaching). I will raise this issue on the OpenCaching forums.

 

Apologies for discussing OpenCaching on a Groundspeak forum, but I think it is not entirely off topic as the listing of caches in these circumstances could easily have repercussions for caching as a whole, and not just the site they are listed on.

 

My own view is that we should comply with this, but make as much noise as we can about it by means of mailings, petitions, letters to MPs and so on.

 

Rgds, Andy

Link to post

Interesting thread - even if it has wandered off topic a bit.

 

I think we should all remember we have no right to leave caches anywhere except on our own land. Landowners and managers do us a favour by giving permission, and can deny this permission if they for any reason - specious or not - or, indeed, no reason at all, if they so wish. And if they do, we should comply, but may politely try to change their minds.

 

I've only placed one cache, and for that I entered into an email dialogue with the land managers, explained geocaching, predicted visit frequency and so forth. They kindly gave permission. It was quite a fag, but I personally wouldn't place a cache without obtaining explicit permission - that's my choice. On the other hand I'm well aware that many caches don't have explicit permission, and people have just assumed that because they can visit somewhere they can leave a cache. I quite happily seek these caches (which may make me a bit of a hypocrite I suppose :laughing: ). However, on a couple of occasions caches have led me to somewhere that I definitely know I shouldn't be. I find this a bit annoying, and if I was more disputatious, I'd complain to the reviewers, but normally I just make a mental note of the cache placer and don't seek their caches in future.

 

One thing I think would be nice is that if you have obtained explicit permission, that you publicise this on the cache page: "This cache placed with the kind permission of xyz" or similar. This would provide reassurance to cache seekers.

 

Regarding the Royal Parks, it's a shame. Someone suggested just moving caches to another listing site, but I think this misses the point. This would be to deliberately ignore the wishes of the land managers. At very least that's impolite and disrespectful. At worst it could bring caching into disrepute (and may be illegal but I somehow doubt it would come to court).

Link to post
In the end I and many others will simply list RP caches on the UK Open Caching site

 

And that will demonstrate to the park authorities that geocachers have no respect for landowner permissions or the authority itself. Sometimes I think landowners are right in not allowing permission with this sort of disrespectful attitude.

Link to post

And that will demonstrate to the park authorities that geocachers have no respect for landowner permissions or the authority itself. Sometimes I think landowners are right in not allowing permission with this sort of disrespectful attitude.

Oh come on Chizu, the days are long gone since land managers expected us to doff our caps and accept their word unquestioningly. :laughing:

 

Nowadays, people have to earn respect. If I as a manager of an area of land start making unreasonable demands I can expect to lose respect, not gain it. I know we've been over this before so I won't go on, but basically the British public has made the laws that land "owners" have to abide by and they have no divine right to tell us what to do. If you temporarily leave an item (such as a film container) somewhere without permission and it breaks no laws then no-one can make you remove it.

That's why Kewfriend pointed out that there are bylaws which might be broken by certain cache placements: it seems to me to be fair enough that these are removed. To remove the others is a matter of tact and diplomacy, and surely it's not too much to expect a bit of robust debate about the chosen strategy.

Link to post

Nowadays, people have to earn respect.

 

That works both ways. How is ignoring a land managers requests by simply using an alternative listing site going to further the cause to reverse their decision to disallow caches? It would seem to me that it would just add more weight to their argument...

Link to post

It seems to me that their banning Geocaching is a direct contravention of their stated aims. They state on their website

 

If you would like to run an activity in the park, it will need to meet a number of objectives. Commercial activity is tightly controlled, but we're keen to work in partnership to develop activities and events that encourage new groups and communities into the Parks. The Royal Parks are managed to provide enjoyment of open air, outdoor recreation and public access , and events held in the Royal Parks should be consistent with these ideals.

 

(my bold).

 

I certainly think that we should be letting the parks authorities know how we feel, so the pettition idea, and/or the christmas cards idea is the way to go, and we should be pointing out to them that this decision is diametrically opposed to their stated aims.

Link to post
Oh come on Chizu, the days are long gone since land managers expected us to doff our caps and accept their word unquestioningly. :laughing:

 

Nowadays, people have to earn respect.

Unfortunately, in this case, it seems that the land managers are the Metropolitan Police. For all kinds of excellent reasons, they don't have to earn our respect. The people gave it to them by Act of Parliament.

 

(Re-)listing a cache in the Royal Parks on another site would be potentially catastrophic - for the game as a whole and for that listing site in particular - and I would hope that the GAGB would step in. Groundspeak can say "not us guv, we don't run the show" - their cost would be limited to a ten-minute phone call. For the owners of that site, who have already (as far as the Met is concerned) been told not to publish RP caches, it might get stickier. If word gets around from the Met that geocaching is essentially anarchic, we're all going to have problems; the authorities have already shown that they are quite prepared to interpret the rules governing the invocation of anti-terrorist legislation, um, "broadly": Telegraph Mail Guardian

 

There's already enough people who assume that because geocaching ends with "ing", that it must be an extreme sport (look: base jumping - tombstoning - geocaching, QED), and they may not hang around to listen to the whole argument. It's worth searching through the forum to see how the state legislature of South Carolina managed to twist the facts when they decided that banning caching on state monuments (that's a substantial proportion of the surface area of the entire state) would make them popular. And they didn't even play the terrorism card.

Link to post

...As Geocaching has become more popular, it has had to adapt. One of those adaptations has been the need to obtain Landowner Permission, sorry but we are no longer a underground hobby any more, and do not have a legal right to place caches on other peoples land without their permission, despite what people seem to believe. ...

You're being a bit naughty there, Dave. I said...

I'm NOT saying that we place caches without permission, I'm saying that we should be very careful to apply for permission at the right level, i.e. the people who manage the site on a day-to-day basis
.

 

But on your main point, I appreciate that it's ideal if all levels of management have been made aware of caches, that written permission is filed in triplicate with branches and headquarters and is reviewed annually.

 

Unfortunately, the downside is that someone then has the power to destroy every single cache in their area on a whim (as amply demonstrated by the Royal Parks management). And the more admin there is involved with permission requests, the more likely it is that they'll use this power to eliminate what they might see as a thorn in their side.

 

If you think that on balance, it's better to gamble in that way then fair enough. I'm merely pointing out the dangers of this approach. To me, allowing unsympathetic non-geocachers to have control over such a large area is too much to pay for "national official" status. Let's not forget that these Royal Parks caches are just about as official as it gets, and yet the end result is that they're all going to be archived from GC.com.

 

My Bold in the quotes above

 

Sorry whilst the comment appears to be a dig at you, I genuinely promise that it is not! It comes from a phrase I and the other UK Reviewers regularly come across

 

The cache is on a RoW, so no Landowner Permission is need

 

I've lost track of the number of times I've seen that phrase :) as someone else in this topic has pointed out RoW's give a legal right to traverse a defined piece of land and nothing else. There seems to be a major misunderstanding about RoW's within the community. Even the CRoW Act 2000-aka Open Access does not give a legal right to going geocaching on any land designated as such :D another common misconception. The act has a list of activities the Landowner has to allow, geocaching is not included.

 

Reviewers work on a basis of Trust, in that we trust the member to have made their own assessment as to what is Adequate Permission. Unless we have a genuine reason to require Proof, or we have to action a complaint. Whether that is from a Landowner or another member. Or we are aware that a Landowner has Banned Geocaching. To be honest if we were required to obtain absolute proof of permission for every cache submission, the listing of caches in the UK alone would grind to a halt. We have kept the number of areas requiring Proof of Permission to Publish to as small a number as possible. Yes occasionally we have to move to such for a location or type of location. But this is a result of issues with active caches, and not something we do lightly.

 

 

Just to make it very clear, my quoted comment above, was not aimed at Happy Humphrey. And I can only apologise if anyone has taken it as such

 

Deceangi

 

Don't you just love the vagaries of the written word :laughing:

Link to post

So going back to the question of "where do we go from here", can I ask the reviewers if they consider it likely to be a help or hindrance if large numbers of geocachers write (polite) letters of protest to Royal Parks management?

 

It seems to me that it can't do any harm but I suspect the last thing we want is for the reviewers to end up getting grief over something that's intended to help.

Link to post

Reviewers work on a basis of Trust, in that we trust the member to have made their own assessment as to what is Adequate Permission. ....

Thank you Deceangi for providing the definition I was asking for.

 

In the absence of any explicit ban, the cache placer has the responsibility for giving him/herself permission. Nice.

Link to post

So going back to the question of "where do we go from here", can I ask the reviewers if they consider it likely to be a help or hindrance if large numbers of geocachers write (polite) letters of protest to Royal Parks management?

It seems to me that it can't do any harm but I suspect the last thing we want is for the reviewers to end up getting grief over something that's intended to help.

This will sound like a 'cop out' but it isn't really anything to do with us. Our job is to review cache listings, make sure they meet the guidelines and get them published. We abide by the land managers wishes. If people write letters of protest and the land managers change their mind then fine, we follow the new 'ruling'. Letters of protest do work but your point about 'polite' letters is very important. If they receive lengthy and long winded letters complaining about the authorities then no, I don't think it will help - but that is my personal opinion, not as a reviewer.

It has been said elswhere in this thread that a gentle approach over time has worked in the past.

 

Before you do write you should read this story from the Daily Telegraph about the recent visit to London by Colonel Gaddafi. As a Head of State visiting the Queen you'd think he had a bit of clout.....

 

Mandrake hears that the historic visit has caused a major headache for government officials because Col Gaddafi has made it clear that he expects to be able to camp in London during the summit and has let it be known that he would like to erect his entourage's numerous Bedouin tents in the Royal Parks.

"Gaddafi lived in London in the Sixties and was particularly fond of Hyde Park and Holland Park," says an official given the highly sensitive task of finding the Libyan dictator a campsite in the capital.

A spokesman for the Royal Parks, which include Hyde Park, says defiantly, however: "There are no campsites within the Royal Parks, there are no campsite facilities, and it is not allowed. Our parks are not open through the night.

 

Chris

Graculus

Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk

Link to post

I know this is OT but just on the permissions angle...

 

I actually view Geocaching as a gift - the cache as a gift to whoever finds it.

 

For example I recently opened an account a bookcrossing.com where people leave books lying around. Before that when I finished a magazine, say, on the tube, I used to enjoy placing it on a seat a distance away from me and watch as someone picked it up and started reading. Actually I still do.

 

I sometimes give unexpired parking ticket for a city car park to the next person who comes along - this is expressly forbidden and against the contract on the back of the ticket - I do it anyway as a gift.

 

I once left a bike with a note on it outside the front of our flats "free to a good home". It's just something I'm inclined to do once in a while.

 

I freecycle occasionally, and I give money to those who need it. Despite the fact that some things I've bought would have non-transferable contracts on them that forbid you from giving/selling to someone else.

 

I never sought express permission for any of these activities since I do them for the benefit of others. Needless to say if someone with appropriate authority came along and expressly told me to move the book/bike to somewhere else, I'd do that, but I'd still leave it somewhere else to give away.

 

I prefer living in a society that gives the benefit of the doubt and is permissive, rather than a society where express permission should be gained on all acts of generosity and movement.

 

Now with regards to caching, I know GC has grown big and has a lot of members but it's still fairly cult and underground. Most people I talk to have never heard of it - like the other interests I have - and I'm actually happy about that too.

 

I'm happy for areas to be bordered off and require explicit permission, I'm happy to move a cache I own if a land-owner comes along and explicitly tells me they don't want it there - but I wonder if we will get to a stage (especially to hear some forum members ideals) where the UK will become some kind of fortress where all permission has to be sought to do anything remotely non-mainstream.

 

I do wonder if more people discovering geocaching is better for the hobby - with kind of mindset that mainstream UK is currently in as a society.

 

So to bring it back on topic, should we even consider lobbying for the right to Geocache in LRPs when it may bring wider unwelcome attention to the hobby?

 

Should we not just accept the explicit revocation and be happy there are still open and public spaces in the UK?

Link to post

...Sorry whilst the comment appears to be a dig at you, I genuinely promise that it is not! It comes from a phrase I and the other UK Reviewers regularly come across

...

Just to make it very clear, my quoted comment above, was not aimed at Happy Humphrey. And I can only apologise if anyone has taken it as such

 

Deceangi

 

Don't you just love the vagaries of the written word :laughing:

No problem, no offence taken ! :) I just thought it worth clarifying.

Link to post

I've lost track of the number of times I've seen that phrase :laughing: as someone else in this topic has pointed out RoW's give a legal right to traverse a defined piece of land and nothing else. There seems to be a major misunderstanding about RoW's within the community. Even the CRoW Act 2000-aka Open Access does not give a legal right to going geocaching on any land designated as such :) another common misconception. The act has a list of activities the Landowner has to allow, geocaching is not included.

At risk of going off-topic (I'll start a new one if you think this is too far off-track), I have to pick you up on this.

The CRoW Act 2000 does specify certain allowed and disallowed pastimes. Walking is allowed, and I'd venture that geocaching, in this context, is essentially walking. Even if you disagree with that, there's a well-known rule-of-thumb for permission which is that if you can play frisbee there without permission then you can geocache. And in the CRoW Act, frisbee playing is specifically allowed (it's one of the few examples given in the Information Note).

Not surprisingly (as it was drafted in 2000), there's no mention of geocaching.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
Link to post

Unfortunately, in this case, it seems that the land managers are the Metropolitan Police. For all kinds of excellent reasons, they don't have to earn our respect. The people gave it to them by Act of Parliament.

No, it's the Royal Parks management. I assume that the police sergeant was brought along in case some sort of legal challenge was threatened, or in case the Met's general approval of geocaching was offered as a defence.

 

I don't think that the Royal Parks management can expect to gain respect by using spurious arguments to ban a harmless activity. I'm not saying that we should therefore ignore the ban, but it doesn't show them in very good light. Whatever the truth behind their arguments, the fact that they thought we weren't worth the trouble of assembling any genuine evidence that geocaching is causing problems in the area, speaks volumes about their attitude.

 

The police, however, gain plenty of respect in many areas, not least in their generally tolerant, understanding and good-humoured attitude towards caching.

Link to post

Unfortunately, in this case, it seems that the land managers are the Metropolitan Police. For all kinds of excellent reasons, they don't have to earn our respect. The people gave it to them by Act of Parliament.

No, it's the Royal Parks management. I assume that the police sergeant was brought along in case some sort of legal challenge was threatened, or in case the Met's general approval of geocaching was offered as a defence.

 

I don't think that the Royal Parks management can expect to gain respect by using spurious arguments to ban a harmless activity. I'm not saying that we should therefore ignore the ban, but it doesn't show them in very good light. Whatever the truth behind their arguments, the fact that they thought we weren't worth the trouble of assembling any genuine evidence that geocaching is causing problems in the area, speaks volumes about their attitude.

 

The police, however, gain plenty of respect in many areas, not least in their generally tolerant, understanding and good-humoured attitude towards caching.

 

I reckon you're probably right about the police - even the Met. I've actually seen a Met business card left in a cache so I have to assume they were alerted to it or maybe we have someone on the inside.... :laughing::)

Link to post

 

(Re-)listing a cache in the Royal Parks on another site would be potentially catastrophic - for the game as a whole and for that listing site in particular - and I would hope that the GAGB would step in.

 

We'd certainly try and discuss with the other listing site and explain why those caches should be removed.

We do have a reasonable relationship with those other sites.

 

To risk going slightly off topic.

You may have the right to walk accross land. Or to go and play with a frisbee. Or have a picnic. We are talking about whether there is the right to leave an item on that land and tell others to go find it. I think you'll struggle to find any legislation that would even imply you have this right.

 

The suggestion that the reviewers pick and choose when they insist on permission. You'd prefer them to be strict? I doubt that they would be happy to drop all requirements for permission, They'd have to go the other way. Fancy having to send them proof for every cache? :laughing:

 

Stay quiet and place a cache and remove it if asked or go to the effort of asking in the first place. Ultimately you take the risk that they will say no, but the chances are they wouldn't be any happier if you just went ahead so in the long term it's better to ask in the first instance. Landowners do talk to each other, what's better; that they talk about this odd hobby that someone's asked them to be allowed to do and find out that there's not been a problem, or that there's a bunch of people that couldn't care less and have been placing caches as and where they feel like?

Link to post
In the end I and many others will simply list RP caches on the UK Open Caching site
Sorry to extract just this small piece from a much longer post, but I would not like it to be thought that OpenCaching was just a refuge for caches that are unlistable on other sites, or that the placing of caches on OpenCaching was completely unrestricted. Indeed, I have 2 caches in Richmond Park that I was just about to list on OpenCaching when this news broke, but which I will now go and remove (though there are 3 more on the perimiter of Richmond Park which I have listed on OpenCaching). I will raise this issue on the OpenCaching forums.

 

Apologies for discussing OpenCaching on a Groundspeak forum, but I think it is not entirely off topic as the listing of caches in these circumstances could easily have repercussions for caching as a whole, and not just the site they are listed on.

 

My own view is that we should comply with this, but make as much noise as we can about it by means of mailings, petitions, letters to MPs and so on.

 

Rgds, Andy

 

I would add my apologies for discussing OpencachingUK here, but I feel this needs to be clarified.

 

While the ban exists, any cache listed on that site in contravention of the ban would not be compliant with the OC UK Terms of Use and the cache listing would not be allowed to stand.

 

Paul

(Team_OC member and OC UK Site Admin)

Link to post
...So to bring it back on topic, should we even consider lobbying for the right to Geocache in LRPs when it may bring wider unwelcome attention to the hobby?
Sorry to snip, but for the third and last time, I'm going to point out no one has been banned from geocaching within London's Royal Parks. (Rather, 'assumed' permission to hide caches within the parks, due to the public nature of the spaces, has been actively refuted by the body with responsibility to manage those spaces. We never had the 'right' to hide anything there. It'd be nice, it does little or no harm, it introduces people to the area, it's good for you to get out in the fresh air -and all the rest of it- to hide/find caches hidden in Royal Parks, but one thing it isn't is a right. It's not protected in law that you can put a cache anywhere you fancy. No one will be taking this to the European Courts...) Geocaching is still allowed in these parks- just not the hiding/finding of boxes. The world of caching does not start and finish with traditionals. I can think of a dozen ways to use features in these parks to send people into them, to explore and enjoy them and then, importantly, back out again to find the final beyond the limits of the park. Clearly people are disappointed at the decision to ban physical caches from these parks -I am too- but public access doesn't mean public property and teeth-gnashing won't help. A letter signed 'a disappointed Geocacher' to your MP might, but I doubt it. Ditto a petition. You could always try wishing or praying?

 

Edit: Just to be clear, I think Team Fitz make a great point. Shouldn't we just accept the explicit revocation and be happy there are still open and public spaces in the UK? I know I am. And I can still cache in them too! :laughing:

Edited by Simply Paul
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...