United Kingdom

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  • The land use information provided here is intended to help geocachers comply with Groundspeak's cache placement guidelines; cache owners must obtain permission for cache placement from the appropriate land owner or land manager.
  • Responsibility for meeting local land laws and policies rests with the cache owner and responsibility for law and policy enforcement rests with the land owner or manager.
  • This site is not a complete list of land policies and laws. If your area is not listed, do not assume that there are no land use laws or policies. The onus for determining land laws and policies is on the cache owner.
  • This page is a work in progress. Additional and updated land laws and policies concerning geocaching will be added as the information becomes available.
  • Follow the usage guidelines (below).
  • Questions? contact@groundspeak.com
This wiki covers the United Kingdom (England, Wales and Scotland). The guidelines and land policies for Northern Ireland can be found in the Ireland wiki page https://wiki.groundspeak.com/display/GEO/Ireland

Table of Contents

Guidelines and Help

UK Regional Map showing boundaries

Mapping resources
  MAGIC Map and other woodland/nature maps. Google maps. Getting coordinates
Where you need specific permission and where caching may not be allowed
  Protected Land Area Database
   Nature Reserves, SSSI's, archaeological, SAM
  Other Land Area Database
   Schools, Churchyards, Military, Dry Stone Walls etc
  Landowner Agreement Database
   National Trust, Forestry Commission, MOD & various landowners
Why your cache may not be published
Proximity, sensitive location, no permission, unsuitable container
How do I go about getting permission?
Who to apply to, example letter to landowner
List of current UK reviewers

Search this Wiki, enter any text or the name of a landowner, for example magic or national trust


The Guidelines and Help Center contain a lot of information about general cache placement and what you need to know. The information in this Wiki is based on these guidelines as applied to the United Kingdom.

Useful sites for additional help and guidance

UK Regional Map showing the boundaries

See a map of the UK and Ireland with an explanation of the regions.

Mapping Resources

These map resources are referred to in the various parts of this Wiki to find and identify land areas. These are the maps reviewers use and you can ensure your cache gets published quickly by checking a location first to see if you must provide proof of permission.
The maps are not always easy to use so the links below will take you to a page where you’ll find information about how the maps work and how to use them.

For England the MAGIC map is the most useful resource and there is a very nice link to allow you to enter coordinates (in any format) to view the map and land areas. You can also find out how to use Google Maps and Streetview (OS maps) to get coordinates.
MAGIC does cover Wales and Scotland but not for all land types. This is detailed in the databases. MAGIC does not cover Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Where you need specific permission and where caching may not be allowed

In the United Kingdom there are laws which provide protection for certain types of land which may be environmentally sensitive or refuges for wildlife. Archeological and historical sites also have strict protection. For this reasons caches in such locations require proof of permission from either the landowner/manager or body that schedules such protection.
Click here to open the Protected Land Database.

There are also other areas where caching may only be allowed with permission or not allowed at all for reasons of security, (airports for example), sensitivity (churches) or because they are near schools.
Click here to open the Other Land Area Database.

Many landowners/managers have negotiated agreements with either Groundspeak or the Geocaching Association of Great Britain (GAGB) to control geocaching on their property. Most of these agreements allow geocaching but there are many who have refused to allow geocaching to take place.
Click here to open the Landowner Database.

Groundspeak respects the wishes of land managers and land owners. Responsibility for placing a cache rests with the cache owner and where a land owner/manager has made specific requirements about cache placements the cache owner must abide by such requirements.

How do I go about getting permission?

From the Guidelines:

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. If you have permission to place a cache on private property, indicate this on the cache listing for the benefit of the reviewer and those seeking the cache.

In the UK there are some locations where you must get permission to place a cache. These are listed in the various pages of this Wiki where you will find details of who the organisations/landowners are and suggestions of where to apply for permission.
When submitting a cache in a location where you have obtained specific permission you should add the permission information you received as a 'Note to Reviewer' log on the cache page for the reviewer to see when you submit it. The information should include the name of the person who gave their permission and their telephone number or email address. The text of any email correspondence or letter giving permission should be copied there too*. Please note these logs are not visible when the cache is published.

You should also add the permission information on your cache page description. It not only tells finders that the cache area is OK to go to but new cachers finding your cache can see that permission may be needed for certain locations and will consider that when they place their first caches. It is of course a courtesy to the organisation or landowner who gave permission to acknowledge it. Something like, "Cache placed with the kind permission of the wardens of the reserve" or "Cache placed with the kind permission of the manager of the local National Trust office". Don't put in peoples names or details, the full permission details should be added in the note to the reviewer when you submit the cache.

*If you have received a letter and want to add it to the cache log for the reviewer to see then you can scan it in (if you have a scanner) as a JPG photo. If you don't have a scanner take a photo of the letter with your camera. You can then add the photo to the Note to Reviewer log when you submit the cache.

Example letter/email to a landowner/council/organisation.
When you enter coordinates always use the OSGB format as nearly all landowners/organisations in the UK use digital OS mapping software. If you are sending an email you can get a link to OS maps with a really useful link that lets you enter coordinates in any format. See Map Resources above - MapIt!. You then just copy the URL so they'll see the OS map.

You should also include a link to the geocaching.com guidelines.

Dear Sir/Madam/Mr Smith
Geocaching is a world wide recreational pastime that involves hiding small containers called geocaches so other people using a GPS receiver can go and find them. Geocaches are listed on www.geocaching.com. People log in to the website and download the coordinates into their GPS receivers and go off and hunt for the cache. It's a great way of exploring the local area and wider outdoors.

I would like to hide a cache in the Big Countrypark that is managed by the council. 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 never buried but only hidden out of sight. May I ask whether you would give permission for my cache in the countrypark?

You may find more information about geocaching at www.geocaching.com. Geocaching.com guidelines for placing caches - http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx_

Yours sincerely,
etc - Your name/email/phone/address

Current reviewers for the UK
Alba15 (Scotland), Andalusite (South Wales), Antheia (Channel Islands and East Midlands), Calluna Tib (South West England), Castagnari (Southern England), Church Warden (Eastern England), dalesmanX (Yorkshire and North East England), Deceangi (North Wales, Malta, Gibraltar and Isle of Man), Geohatter (West Midlands), La Lunatica (East Midlands), Lindinis (South West England), Lorgadh (Scotland), Royal Oak (North West England), Southerntrekker (Southern England), The Bee Keeper (London), Long Man (South East England), Professor Xavier (Southern England), Red Duster (Eastern England), Graculus (Team liaison).
Usage Guidelines
Derivative works prohibited.

If you wish to share the information on this site, you must prominently link back to this site and provide proper attribution on each page where this information is shared. The following attribution and link should appear on all pages containing content from this site – on the part of the page that is visible without scrolling:

"These regional land policies came from the Geocaching.com Public Wiki and are used with permission from Groundspeak, Inc." If you become aware of updates to the information on our site, you must share the updated information with us.

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