Over the past few weeks we’ve been developing an Earthcache at the new viewpoint overlooking the quarry on Haughmond Hill near Shrewsbury. Every time we walk past the viewpoint we say we must set an Earthcache here so we decided it was time to actually get on and set it!
Looking at the maps it looked like the viewpoint might be on Forestry Commission land and I know there is a caching agreement with Forestry Commission West Midlands, so I emailed the Ranger contact to ask for permission over Christmas.
Just after the New Year I had a reply saying it was actually just on the quarry land and giving me details of the Geologist contact at the quarry firm. I thus emailed him and this lead to a phone call where we went through the finer details of what I was asking for. He was really enthusiastic as he’d not heard of Earthcaches before :-).
Everything was ok apart from they asked for the cache co-ordinates to be put a short distance from the quarry wall iteslf as they did not want cacher thinking you have to enter the (very active) quarry to get the cache. This put the co-ords back on Forestry Commission land so I emailed the Forestry Commission contact back to ask if this was ok. It was :-).
The next thing was drafting up the cache page as the reviewing for Earthcaches has changed from the Geological Society of America to Reviewers appointed by Groundspeak themselves. As part of the process there has been a tightening up on permission issues for an Earthcache and they also now require you to ask more geological questions than before. Finally, you are no longer allowed to insist on a photo of the cache or their GPS at GZ to prove they have visited the site. You can request a photo but not insist on it like you used to be able to do.
After quite a bit of writing and re-writing we finally had a draft that looked good and was not too technical as to put cacher’s off reading it. After all, what would be the point in the Earthcache if cacher’s don’t learn something from it?
On Saturday we took some accurate co-ords for the cache and also got some photos to make the cache page look nicer and to break the necessary text up a bit. When everything was put together we submitted the new cache and it was published just over 24 hours later :-).
We hope cacher’s enjoy doing it as much as we did researching and setting it.