GAGB Geocache Hiding Guidelines

GAGB have general advice for you if you are placing caches in certain special locations - please follow this advice, whichever listing site you use.

Geocache listings sites also have their own rules and guidelines to follow - click on the relevant link to find out the specifics for your chosen listing site:

To check a location a good resourse is MAGIC and a very useful link called MagicMapIt! where you can enter any coordinates to check a location.

What Makes a Good Geocache Hide?

  1. Permission: When placing a geocache, you must seek the permission of the landowner
  2. Labelled: Ensure the geocache container is clearly marked, stating that the content is harmless and giving the placer's e-mail address or other contact method (eg GAGB contact phone number). A selection of different sizes of GAGB geocache labels can be purchased in our Online Shop
  3. Family safe: Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in a geocaches
  4. No perishables: No items of food or drink of any kind should be placed in the geocache
  5. Hidden: Geocaches should be placed in a way that they will not be accidentally found by non-geocachers and there should be no visual sign of disturbance.
  6. Respect the land: Geocaches should not be buried. Holes should not be dug to place a geocache. Also, geocaches should not be hidden in animal holes or runs, and fences should never need to be climbed to access the site (other than through a gate or by a stile)
  7. Parking: If parking is not obvious, consider adding a waypoint to indicate a good parking location, to minimise the chance of seekers attempting to drive in unsuitable locations
  8. Maintenance: Maintenance of the geocache is the responsibility of the placer (cache owner)

Other Land Areas

SSSI or SAM
Airports & Military Bases
Ministry of Defence Land
Emergency Services
Railway Stations
British Telecom
Schools and Playgrounds
Religious Grounds and Cemeteries
War Memorials
Urban Caches
Dry Stone Walls
Do Not Harm the Environment
Safety Around Water Courses

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAM)

Caches are possible on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) locations if they have permission from the landowner. In addition, the Designating Authorities for the Individual Governments/ Assemblies may be required to be consulted, and may require a formal application. No geocache should be placed in such a way as to risk damage or disturbance to any SSSI or SAM. For detailed information about (SSSI) or (SAM) locations including interactive maps and help on getting permission visit the Geocaching Wiki pages (SSSI) or (SAM).

Airports & Military Bases

No cache should be placed close to the perimeter of a military base, prison or an airport, including the area under the runway flight paths.

Ministry of Defence Land

No physical cache may be placed on Ministry of Defence land under any circumstances due to security reasons.

Emergency Services

Caches should not impede emergency services in any way. No cache should be made to look like anything that a member of the emergency services may mistake for something useful (e.g. A fake fire Hydrant sign).

Railway Stations

Physical caches or physical geocache stages should not be placed within the boundary of Network Rail railway stations, associated car parks, footbridges or immediately adjacent public spaces.

British Telecom

No caches should be placed on or in any British Telecom (BT) phone-box or they will be removed by BT personnel.

Schools and Playgrounds

No cache should be placed immediately adjacent to a school and playgrounds as this could be potentially misconstrued. Consider if a Seeker could be misunderstood and mistaken for something more sinister and avoid placing caches in that area.

Religious Grounds and Cemeteries

Physical caches or physical geocache stages should not be placed within areas of religious devotional or spiritual activity such as churches, mosques, churchyards, cemeteries or other burial grounds and should not be located on, in or immediately adjacent to the boundaries of such locations without specific permissions of the relevant authority.

War Memorials

Where a war memorial or other memorial to the dead is the focal point of a clearly defined precinct, plaza, memorial garden or like surrounding area, no physical geocaches or physical geocache stages should be placed within that area without specific written permission of the relevant custodial authority.

Urban Caches

All geocaches, especially ones in urban locations, should be hidden so as to minimise the chance of security alerts, particularly where there is a likelihood of finders being considered suspicious. This is especially important where a geocache is overlooked by houses, offices, shops, or near popular routes. Consider informing the nearest residents or shop owners to minimise tension and confusion should a member of the public become concerned at geocacher activity.

When a geocache is placed in an overlooked urban location, the geocache owner should offer a clear and unambiguous hint on how to retrieve the geocache quickly. Especially in urban areas, any geocache larger than a nano should be marked externally with the relevant listing site reference (e.g. GCxxxxxx, OKxxxxxx). This will offer the police a better way to identify a suspect package as a geocache and thus rapidly reassure locals if needed.

Old Walls, especially Dry Stone

No geocache should ever be placed in or on a dry-stone wall. For all walls, consider whether the wall would survive a search for a geocache and double-check who owns the wall and that they approve - older walls can be fragile and geocache searches should never damage the environment. A very clear hint often helps reduce the risk of wall damage. But to repeat - no geocache should be placed in or on a dry-stone wall.

Do Not Harm the Environment

No cache should be placed by bird nests or locations suitable for habitation by birds or other animals. Do not place caches in a location that requires or encourages geocachers to harm plant or animal life. In some areas, geocaching activity may need to cease for portions of the year due to bird nesting.

Safety Around Water Courses

Please be careful and follow all local guidelines for the area you are in and don't try to do anything that isn't safe and don't put yourself at risk of drowning.

Please try and adhere to these guidelines. Also look at "Geocachers' Code it is general advice on how geocachers can help make our game more pleasant for everyone involved