The game of Geocaching started out as a wholesome activity. It began after the global positioning system became enabled for worldwide use. What started as a fun activity has now an ecologic disaster.
In the early days, the idea was simple, a box hidden in an exciting location provided a fun hunt for all ages. Nowadays this commercial passtime has grown into a littering hobby with a very tight, and defensive community.
The majority of containers (or geocaches as they are commonly known as) are easily accessible from the roadside in undesirable locations. Magnetised fingernail-sized containers are not only polluting our environnment with plastic but are also killing wildlife.
In a poor attempt to offset the damage they cause, Geocachers will often use the annual event "CITO" (cache in trash out) as justification for littering. CITO events are hypocritical meetups where geocachers meet up for small scale litter picks. At the time of writing the UK alone has over 100,000 roadside hides with new geocaches being published all the time.
WWF: FIGHT AGAINST PLASTIC POLLUTION
Greenpeace: Stop plastic pollution!
Groundspeak relies on its members to place geocaches for others to find which they do so at their own expense. Despite being a profit-making organisation, Groundspeak employs an army of volunteer reviewers that "check" new geocache placements.
The process of checking new placements merely involves asking the hider that a geocache has permission to be placed. Some sensitive areas require special permissions, although follow-up checks such as confirming permissions with landowners never happen.
Public or private, in the UK all land has an owner, and all roadside placements require permission from the local council. In practice, this never happens. Several databases of landowners that do not welcome Geocaching do exist. However, despite the laws on littering, they are based on a proactive opt-out system. Simply put, in the eyes of the law, a Geocache placed without permisson is littering.
Geocaching in the UK and around the world has on many occasions cased security alerts. Additional footfall has also inflicted environmental damage in fragile sites natural of interest.
Keep your local area clear of Geocaches by collecting them for recycling when you go out for walks and other forms of exercise. By recycling geocaches you are helping to save our environnment and wildlife.
You can search the app store on your phone to find Geocaching applications that will help you to find the containers. You will need a Groundspeak account. If you cannot afford a premium subscription, we do have several accounts that we can give you access to if this is something you would like to do long term.
Be mindful not to log your visit to a geocache, as this could lead to your account being banned. If you need assistance in finding the location of a mystery geocache use the sites below.
Geocache Puzzle Spoiler (Facebook)
We currently operate in each UK region through the secure Signal messaging system. if you would like to get involved with your local group and work with local landowners to clear geocaches, in the first instance you should contact us through the email address below.