Getting Permission to Place a Geocache

If you are thinking of placing a geocache and have read the guidelines on geocaching.com you will know that you will need permission to place a cache on both private and public property. As the cache owner you are responsible for determining whom to contact to obtain permission and this is where we may be able to help.

The GAGB, over the years, has published over 120 landowner agreements. These can be found in our Geocaching Land Agreements Database (GLAD). They range from large areas such as Forestry Commission land to smaller private estates. There are also over 35 GLAD entries showing areas where placing geocaches is not allowed. These agreements have been negotiated by keen geocachers to ensure that landowners are aware of and supportive of our hobby. It is vital that geocachers are seen as a responsible group of people especially when it comes to placing caches on someone’s property. Even if you are certain that geocaching is permitted on particular property, you should ensure that you have followed any and all requirements established by the landowner or land manager before placing the cache. Not all land is covered in our agreements but it is worth checking here before you plan your geocache. If the land is not listed then we still may be able to help (see below).

Regional Geocaching Resources Wiki

There is also a second resource giving similar details available in the ‘Regional Geocaching Resources Wiki’. From time to time landowners may contact either the GAGB or geocaching listing sites, such as geocaching.com, to say that they are not happy with the siting of a geocache on their land. In this case the reviewers find out about geocache placement policies for a certain location and they can add it to the ‘Wiki’. Again this is not a complete list and is just another guide for reference. Both these sources of information are there not only for geocachers but also for landowners and the reviewers. Indeed, in some cases, the reviewers are able to check the requirements for placement in the areas where we have an agreement in place. But, in order to do this, they need to know if a proposed geocache falls with the boundaries of the land in question. If each landowner agreement had a digital map associated with it this task would be easy, but as of early 2016, out of 162 entries in our database only 44 contain digital maps.

Google Maps

Not all landowners are able to provide digital mapping of their land and if we are lucky we may be given a hand drawn map. Over the last year Graculus (UK Reviewer and team liaison for geocaching.com) has painstakingly reproduced digital maps in ‘.kml’ format that can be downloaded and viewed in Google Earth. It is hoped that we can extend this to include all our current GAGB agreements and any future ones that are negotiated, but it is quite a big task!

How to Get Permission

So check the GLAD first to see if we have an agreement for the area in which you wish to place your geocache. If you are unsure who owns the land try contacting the local authority. Here is a sample letter to send to local authorities, rangers or organisations to help get you started:


Hi {enter name if possible},

I am a geocacher and a member of the Geocaching Association of Great Britain (GAGB) (https://www.gagb.org.uk). and I would like to know if I can seek permission to place a geocache in the {enter place} that is managed by {enter organisation}. The cache will be a small 'tupperware' plastic box and I'd like to hide it under a fallen tree at this location - {enter OSGB coordinates}. The geocaching.com site requires that caches are placed with permission from the landowner or manager and follow guidelines to ensure the location is not damaged in anyway. For example, caches are family safe, never buried but only hidden out of sight and when leaving the geocache site, after finding or hiding, there must be no visiual ign of disturbance. Maintenance of the geocache is my responsibility. May I ask whether you would give permission for my cache in the {enter place}? I would be happy to provide regular feedback on how popular the geocache is and any comments I receive from visitors. I hope you can help me bring a few more people to this beautiful and peaceful location.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game. We use a GPS or smart phone and navigate to a specific set of co-ordinates to find a geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches can be found anywhere; there are over three million geocaches hidden worldwide and over five million people who play the game. It's a great way of exploring the local area and wider outdoors.

You may find more information about geocaching at www.geocaching.com and Geocaching.com guidelines and GAGB guidelines for placing geocaches. Many other landowners are supporting the sport and several have issued their own guidelines, find out more here. If you would like to prepare your own guidelines the GAGB would be delighted to help.

If I can provide further information, please get in touch, in the meantime I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
{Your Name}
{Your Email}
{Your Phone Number}
{Your Address}

If you do get into negotiations with a landowner we can supply a draft agreement, which can be tailored to their specific requirements. No agreement is complete without the maps showing the boundaries of where caches are allowed or not permitted. If you cannot obtain this in digital form then we can help convert paper copies or screen copies from apps like Google Maps.

Contact the GAGB as usual either by email or use our phone message service: 033 3340 4242.