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Resignation as a Volunteer


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If you push the limits of any law too far, then new ones get created. I'm sure that when the ROW was created, they weren't envisioning people using it as part of a game, and if they get enough complaints they may be forced to redefine it's legal use.

 

4wheeling_fool,

 

May I point you in the direction of a piece of English history

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_trespass_of_Kinder_Scout

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I believe Groundspeak has enough experience to know that you cannot force a nearby landowner to legally accept a geocache. Just because the geocache has a legal right to be there, and everyone has a legal right to access it, if the traffic is annoying the neighbor enough, then it should not be there. This is called common courtesy and respect. All that the landowner did was make a request, and Groundspeak wanted that same request passed on, and its not like everyone reads the cache page either. Ignoring the guy and throwing English law in his face is what triggers people to steal, and they may not stop at one geocache either. Win one battle while losing a war, and why would anyone want to fight for this anyhow? Nobody is blocking the path, but only making a polite request. If you push the limits of any law too far, then new ones get created. I'm sure that when the ROW was created, they weren't envisioning people using it as part of a game, and if they get enough complaints they may be forced to redefine it's legal use.

Never has so many false statements been quoted in one post since I have been reading the forums

Groundspeak does not have enough experience of UK laws, that is why they enjoy the experience of a group of UK Reviewers to advise them accordingly. They ignored this advice!

It was never suggested that a landowner would be legally forced to accept a geocache on somebody else's land only that they accept that they can't prevent a RoW being used. I do know where the cache is and the only annoyance to the person whose land the RoW crossed was that they desperately wanted the footpath to become unusable because it passed along side their property. It was the landowner annoying walkers enjoying a perfectly legal stroll. They should show common courtesy and respect to decent people enjoying an outdoor pursuit in a completely respectable and legal manner. Nobody threw UK laws in their face they were fully aware of the illegality of their actions. If they decided to start stealing the cache in question then the CO would no doubt have to consider giving in, but as that chain of events never occurred then how that situation could develop is only conjecture. I think the point about why UK citizens would want to fight for this point is well made within a previous post. RoW are very much cherished in the UK by most people that enjoy the countryside. It is likely that when the RoW was created they weren't envisioning people in brick houses trying to stop people walking from A to B so the path didn't affect the value of their property. I am sure the RoW was created for people to walk along for any reason.

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A polite request is not violating any laws that I am aware of. The landowner's request was what GS asked to be put on the page. The reviewer responded with a rigid heavy handed interpretation by saying it was illegal. A polite society stays that way by not unduly forcing the legal system on anyone. I noticed a pinned thread in this forum with instructions on how to deal with cache thievery and wondered how that.came about, but I guess I know now.

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A polite request is not violating any laws that I am aware of. The landowner's request was what GS asked to be put on the page. The reviewer responded with a rigid heavy handed interpretation by saying it was illegal. A polite society stays that way by not unduly forcing the legal system on anyone. I noticed a pinned thread in this forum with instructions on how to deal with cache thievery and wondered how that.came about, but I guess I know now.

As far as I'm aware their request was definitely not polite. It doesn't matter how polite somebody is when they ask someone to contravene a law it still amounts to the same thing.

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Sorry 4wheelin_fool but you like the Lackey involved and other US Citizens including Lawyers, do not understanding UK Access Laws.

 

The issue was never about the Geocache on the Right of Way - RoW being Archived. That was always a acceptable fact.

 

The issue was a Lackey, instructing the cache owner to put on the page of another cache, accessible via the RoW, but not on that particular Landowners property. That Geocachers should "Not" access that Listing, by crossing the RoW.

 

Despite being informed very politely twice, that such a Statement on a Cache Page was "Illegal" under UK Access Laws, I got told "Groundspeak complies with all reasonable requests, off Landowners"

 

Well the "Archiving" of the cache on the RoW, as requested by the Landowner was "reasonable"

 

However the Landowner requesting the "Statement" on the Cache Page, was something that was Illegal under UK Access Laws. As was Groundspeak "requiring" the Cache Owner to put the Statement on the cache page!

 

Statement of fact" Rights of Ways, are old forms of roads/drovers ways, ad pre-date modern constructions [by modern I'm talking about the last 300+ years], and the right of passage over them, is enshrined in UK. People have in modern times, taken possession of the Land, the the RoW crosses, and build on that Land. Move forward to very modern times, and people buy properties, knowing full well that a row crosses the land, possibly right next to the property [in some cases right past windows]. And they take the ump at people walking across their land, and try to stop this in many illegal ways. Especially as they suddenly find out that their property value, is reduced by thousands of pounds, because of the RoW, or they find the property becomes virtually unsellable, because they have to now legally detail the RoW across the property, ad people on taking legal advice, find that they can't get the RoW closed. Or that it could cost over one hundred thousand pounds in Legal Bills, trying to fight to get the RoW diverted.

 

In this case not only did the Landowner request that a Illegal Statement be made to the cache page. The person has blocked the start of the RoW with a brick pillar [visible on Google Street View], but also placed a Illegal Note, diverting people at the other end of the RoW. The aim being to stop people using the RoW, so allowing for a Application to "Close the RoW" on the Legal Grounds of Disuse.

 

As a US Citizen, you'd be outraged, if a UK Based Company tried to interfere in your right to Carry a Fire Arm, or to Free Speak. Well Groundspeak by "requiring" a Statement put on a Cache Page, which was Illegal under UK Access Laws, was doing the very equivalent sort of act, to a UK Citizen.

 

Well I took it on myself to protect both the Cache Owner and Groundspeak, from a "Illegal" act, but I had to get extreme in a email, to get Groundspeak to retract the request. But at the end of the day, because I had to get extreme, I became the Guilty one! Yet I protected Groundspeak from committing a Illegal Act. And I do not regret my actions, because I protected the hobby I love.

 

Dave

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So, could anybody post coordinates to one end of this footpath? Just in case I find myself nearby and I feel like seeing what it looks like? And maybe walk up and down 100 times just to make sure I get a good feel for the place?

I promise I won't mention the cache to the landowner, although I may mention (by mistake, of course) that Groundspeak brought the path to my attention (which indirectly they did, by their behaviour).

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The person has blocked the start of the RoW with a brick pillar [visible on Google Street View], but also placed a Illegal Note, diverting people at the other end of the RoW. The aim being to stop people using the RoW, so allowing for a Application to "Close the RoW" on the Legal Grounds of Disuse.

 

Does anyone know whether this has been reported to the local Rights of way officer? If not then it should be, if the Rights of way officer can't be found for some reason then the Ramblers Association will take up the cudgel.

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The person has blocked the start of the RoW with a brick pillar [visible on Google Street View], but also placed a Illegal Note, diverting people at the other end of the RoW. The aim being to stop people using the RoW, so allowing for a Application to "Close the RoW" on the Legal Grounds of Disuse.

 

Does anyone know whether this has been reported to the local Rights of way officer? If not then it should be, if the Rights of way officer can't be found for some reason then the Ramblers Association will take up the cudgel.

I understand that both these options have been pursued (and others) but remain pending.

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I believe Groundspeak has enough experience to know that you cannot force a nearby landowner to legally accept a geocache. Just because the geocache has a legal right to be there, and everyone has a legal right to access it, if the traffic is annoying the neighbor enough, then it should not be there. This is called common courtesy and respect. All that the landowner did was make a request, and Groundspeak wanted that same request passed on, and its not like everyone reads the cache page either. Ignoring the guy and throwing English law in his face is what triggers people to steal, and they may not stop at one geocache either. Win one battle while losing a war, and why would anyone want to fight for this anyhow? Nobody is blocking the path, but only making a polite request. If you push the limits of any law too far, then new ones get created. I'm sure that when the ROW was created, they weren't envisioning people using it as part of a game, and if they get enough complaints they may be forced to redefine it's legal use.

 

I'm not sure how much knowledge Groundspeak might have about access laws in the UK - but I know for a fact that our local UK reviewers are intimately acquainted with them AND work hard in the interests of geocachers AND landowners alike.

 

As for common courtesy and respect, the harmonious coexistence between landowners and geocachers - at least where Public Rights Of Way (PROW) are concerned - is better facilitated when the respect flows both ways.

 

Landowners deliberately blocking PROW - often in the full knowledge that their actions contravene UK law - isn't respectful of anybody.

 

As far as the land of the landowner in question is concerned, the footpath isn't being used as part of a game - it's being used for its intended purpose - access. The fact that continued access might frustrate a landowner's attempts to have the path closed on the basis of lack of use doesn't mean that we should stop using it. In fact we are very fortunate in that there are an awful lot of people over here who will work to protect our rights to use PROW - including the Ramblers Association and ensure that the PROW remains open to be enjoyed by future generations :)

 

I don't know you're referring to when you say

 

I'm sure that when the ROW was created, they weren't envisioning people using it as part of a game, and if they get enough complaints they may be forced to redefine it's legal use.

 

But whoever they are - the chances of the law changing to the detriment of the public who make use of the PROW available to them I would say is fortunately for those of us who enjoy making use of them - pretty slim.

 

This might be different if we were talking about a Permissive path i.e. one where access permissions are granted by the landowner rather than by the local authority, as the landowner CAN legally withdraw the permission they have given at any time - but the path in question doesn't fall into this category.

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We are closing this thread.

 

Please understand that we have no intention of publicly commenting on the reasons for retirements of community reviewers. We do not comment out of respect for all parties involved.

 

The information being presented by the retiring reviewer in this thread is, we believe, an inaccurate and incomplete representation of the facts. Feel free to take them as you see fit, but we will not be commenting further.

 

We wish Dave well and thank him for 8 years as a volunteer reviewer. His contributions to the game have been appreciated by Groundspeak and by the geocaching community.

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