What is Geocaching (pronounced geo-khash-ing)?
The Geocaching Association of Great Britain (GAGB) refers to geocaching as a "treasure hunt", which takes adults and children out into nature. It is a relatively new pastime which encourages exploring sites of natural beauty and interest. A Geocacher will go to a location where they will hide a small waterproof box containing a few varied bits and pieces (of little value) a logbook and a pen or pencil.
Using a GPS receiver, the cacher records the coordinates of their cache and returns home to log its existence onto the geocaching website. Another cacher will see the listing about the cache, enter the coordinates into their GPS receiver and go in search of it. The finder will then take something from the cache and leave something in return. They will then enter the information into a logbook. When the seeker returns home, they will log onto the geocaching website where they found the cache and pass on any comments they wish.
These logs are important to the cache hider as it is part of their "reward" for hiding the cache. Of course in order to keep the game going, the seekers must also hide some caches too.
Geocaching in Richmond
Whilst the Council recognises the value of Geocaching as a means of encouraging people to exercise and enjoy natural beauty, it is important that this pastime does not impinge on other uses or areas of the Council’s recreation grounds or create a danger to the public. Consideration and safety of wildlife and maintenance of the natural habitat is paramount. This policy is published in order to ensure that the activity can take place in harmony with many other interests and legal constraints involved in the management of the Councils open spaces.
Guidelines for placing a Geocache on Richmond Council Land
Geocachers must comply with all Council guidelines and notices and adhere to the following:
- Ensure the cache container is clearly marked, stating that the content is harmless and giving the placer's email address or other contact method. Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in the cache.
- No cache may be placed in such a way as to risk damage or disturbance to any Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM). Protect our heritage.
- When placing a cache on a Right of Way, the onus is on the placer to seek the permission of the land owner.
- No items of food or drink of any kind should be placed in the cache.
- Caches must not be buried, and holes must not be dug in order to place a cache.
- Caches must not be hidden in animal holes or runs.
- Cache containers must not be placed inside a polythene bag.
- Fences should never be crossed when placing or seeking a cache.
- No caches should be of a commercial nature, either in location or content.
- After placing a cache in a park or open space, the Parks department (Yvonne Kelleher) must be informed to ensure that the cache does not compromise the management of the site.
- Maintenance of the cache is the responsibility of the placer.
- When leaving the cache site, after finding or hiding a cache, there must be no visual sign of disturbance.
- For reasons of safety and security the Council discourages geocaching on their land during the hours of darkness.
- Never drive your car anywhere other than on the highways and byways, and always park sensibly in approved places only.
- Geocachers must not cause any damage to trees.
- Geocachers must not do anything which might cause a fire.
- Geocaches must not be placed close to water where adverse weather may lead to them being inaccessible without entering the water.
If you wish to place new cache on Council land contact Yvonne Kelleher by emailing email@example.com (alternatively firstname.lastname@example.org) to seek approval. Please include a description of the cache location and associated grid references (WSG84 and deg, minutes). Please abide by all usual GAGB guidelines.