Used by: 107 cachers

FC New Forest and Dorset

Agreement Type:

Landowner Image


The Forestry Commission, South England Forest District


Original negotiator : Dave (The Wombles)

Please note that there is a maximum number of 250 caches in the New Forest. If you wish to place a cache in the New Forest then please contact Kim Ebner to ensure that this limit has not been reached. Caches on FC land in Dorset must have prior permission before being placed, and this must be applied for through Kim Ebner. Email Kim Ebner.

Start date


Renewal date



It is imperative that the guidelines are adhered to in their entirety. Special attention should be paid to the container type and size. Should a cache be reported to us or a GC Reviewer, to the effect that it does not comply with the guidelines, the cache owner will be required to correct the problem within 7 days. Failure to do so will result in a ban on that cacher placing caches within the New Forest area. This includes placing caches under a Sock Account

An agreement with the Forestry Commission in the New Forest has been concluded allowing up to 250 caches to be placed in the forest. The agreement has taken some time to work out with the GAGB Committee working very hard with the Forestry Commission to ensure that Geocaching can continue to take place in the New Forest and that an increase in the numbers of caches has been allowed.

To allow everyone a fair opportunity to place their caches the new guidelines have been worked out by the GAGB Committee and Groundspeak volunteer reviewers. Cache owners are asked to cooperate with the GAGB Committee and Groundspeak volunteer reviewers with the administration of these guidelines. The Groundspeak volunteer reviewers will make the final decisions on whether a cache can be published or whether a cache is to be archived after taking advice about the cache from the GAGB committee and the Forestry Commission authorities.
Despite the original document giving a 2016 end date this agreement has been extended to the end of 2018

The Forestry Commission, South England Forest District, hereinafter referred to as the Commission.
The Permit Holder: GAGB Committee represented by GAGB Committee hereinafter referred to as the Permit Holder.

Permission is given to the Permit Holder to use Commission land in the New Forest for Geocaching activities. The permission is subject to the following conditions:

a.The activities and their locations will be specified by the Deputy Surveyor and will be staged within the New Forest area. An agreed maximum of 250 caches and physical stages can be placed on the Commission land at any one time. Once this number has been reached and there are no more to archive, any new caches will not be published. Cache owners may only own 10 caches each. To place another cache a previous one they own must first be archived. A cache can be a traditional, multi, mystery or Whereigo. If a multi, mystery or Whereigo it may have only one physical part, the final cache. Any intermediate stages must be in the form of "Questions to Answer", or puzzles to solve. You cannot place intermediate cache/micro stages with clues or coordinates. Note that any physical intermediate stages (including those which predate this agreement) count towards the limit of 10 caches per owner. Any cache currently in place that does not meet these guidelines will be considered 'grandfathered in' but is included in the 250 limit.

The cache must meet the conditions of this agreement, the GAGB guidelines, and the guidelines of the listing site you are using. Submit your cache in the usual way - you do not need prior permission from GAGB or the Forestry Commission. If the cache is submitted to then their reviewer will inform GAGB who will then inform the Forestry Commission. If the cache is submitted to any other listing site then you must inform GAGB. See Application Process below.

b.The responsibility for ensuring that the area and/or the route(s) are safe and suitable for the activities will rest with the Geocache Placers/Geocachers and they will ensure that public rights of way are not impeded.

c. Geocache Placers/Geocachers will pay compensation or make good to the Deputy Surveyor's satisfaction all damage to Commission property caused by the exercise of this permission. Geocache Placers/Geocachers will clear all equipment and litter brought on to Commission land by them, to the satisfaction of the Deputy Surveyor.

d.Geocache Placers/Geocachers will ensure proper consideration is given to protect safety of participants and members of the public likely to be within the vicinity of the activity, including the live stock.

e. Geocache Placers/Geocachers will advise the Commission within 24 hours of the end of an activity of any accident to a participant, spectator, or third party which arises as a result of the exercise of this permission.

f. If the Commission's tenants and/or landlords or other persons having an interest in the land are likely to be affected by this permission, then the Permit Holder will notify the relevant Geocache Placer.

g. The Deputy Surveyor will ensure that all relevant forest district staff are noticed of the permission and the approved routes or areas to be used.
h. Geocache Placers/Geocachers will ensure that no vehicles owned or used by them enter Commission land, except for parking in recognised car parks.

i. The Permit Holder will ensure that the Forestry Commission Byelaws are observed, except as expressly authorised by this Agreement. A copy of the Byelaws will be supplied on request by the Deputy Surveyor. In particular the Permit Holder will ensure:

- there is no lighting of fires.
- all gates are left in the position as found.
- reasonable care is taken to prevent disturbance to wild fauna and flora and to livestock.
- compliance with any instructions issued by the Deputy Surveyor or his authorised representative.
- there is to be no disturbance to the general public.
- Overnight parking in Forestry Commission car parks is against the Byelaws.

j. The Commission reserves the right to revoke this permission at any time by notice given to the Permit Holder in writing. If the revocation is to meet Commission requirements a refund of the charge will be made unless a suitable alternative location can be provided. If the revocation is required as a result of default by the Permit Holder or any representative no refund will be made. (N.B. There is no charge for the rights granted in this permit.)

k. Nothing in this permission shall be construed as creating a business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
l. Please ensure that all cache containers are clearly marked 'Geocache', stating that the contents are harmless (no dangerous items, matches, knives, food, drink and no alcohol) with the Placers' e-mail address or other contact method. Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in the cache. It is recommended an official Geocaching label is used on the cache container.

m. The Cache is to be no larger than 3 litre capacity (ice cream tub size) made of plastic with 4-clip lock secured lid.

n. All caches are to be placed in such a way as not to cause any risk, damage or disturbance to the flora or fauna.

o. Caches must not be buried, and holes must not be dug in order to place a cache, and must not be hidden in animal holes or runs. Please do not place caches on islands where it would be necessary to wade through water and disturb pond life or wildlife. Caches must not be placed up trees, where it would necessitate climbing to retrieve them.

p. Fences, walls and structures should never be damaged when placing or seeking a cache.

q. Before placing a cache, the Forestry Commission must be contacted to ensure that the proposed site is acceptable and that the management of the site does not compromise the cache.

r. Maintenance of the cache is the responsibility of the placer.

s. When leaving the cache site, after finding or hiding a cache, there must be no visual sign of disturbance.

t. No caches designed for overnight use are to be approved or placed on Commission land.

u. Caches may only be visited during the day.

v. While there is open access through most of the forest on foot, cycle or horse, no vehicle access is permitted off the public highway. Always park sensibly, please do not park in forest entrances, as .many forest roads are used by large articulated lorries that require significant space to manoeuvre. Blocking entrances can seriously impede emergency access/egress. Please park in designated car parks. Any Pay & Display parking charges will still apply.

This is a working wood/forest, cachers may come across work sites, workers and vehicles during their visit. Please avoid all working areas and obey any safety signs and instructions. They must not enter any areas where access has been restricted.

This wood/forest and the roads and tracks are used for a lot of different activities. Cachers may meet other people during their visit - please be on the lookout for them, as they may be unaware that cachers are there. Please also respect their rights to enjoy their recreation.

Conditions can change very rapidly in forests and woodlands. Cachers must make sure that they are properly prepared for their visit, and are responsible for their own safety.


FC Dorset special requirements.

From 16th April 2009 the following special requirements apply to caches on FC Dorset land.

No cache may be placed on FC Dorset land within 1 kilometer of an existing cache or caches on FC Dorset land. Caches within 1 kilometer but not on FC Dorset land will be disregarded.

If a parcel of FC Dorset land has an uncrossable barrier running through it, for example but not limited to a dual carriageway with no means of crossing it, caches on either side of that barrier but within 1 kilometer of each other may be allowed, at the discretion of the Association and the Forestry Commission.

Multi caches on FC Dorset land may only have one physical container, the final one. All other stages must be virtual ones.

Existing caches which do not meet the above requirements will be grandfathered in and allowed to remain in place.

If an existing cache is archived, then later unarchived, the unarchived cache must meet the above requirements.

Update to permission 4th November 2013: Please do not place caches on islands where it would be necessary to wade through water and disturb pond life or wildlife. Caches must not be placed up trees, where it would necessitate climbing to retrieve them.

Update to permission 3rd October 2014: Caches are to be made of plastic with a secured four point click lock type lid. Secured means a well fitting waterproof lid. Under no circumstances must elastic bands be used for this purpose.

Update to permission 1st. January 2016: Prior consent will need to be sought for each individual cache placed in our woods in Dorset - For information not all woods are ours, there are some which are leased, some sites may have restrictions due to harvesting, species and habitats - so it will be necessary to agree each location in advance. See Application Process below.


Please note the following:

1. GAGB guidelines must be applied.
2. Forest maintenance operations (such as gorse burning) will be notified when possible. It may be necessary for caches to be removed if possible or temporarily suspended. However, neither the NF FC or GAGB will be responsible for any cache destroyed. There is a FC page about closures at
3. Caches are to be made of plastic with secured lid. Secured means a well fitting lid. Under no circumstances must elastic bands be used for this purpose.
4. There are no restrictions on publicity around geocaching on the Forest.
5. We have been granted this agreement on the basis that cachers will apply common sense to their activities. This is an annual agreement which will rely on the goodwill of all concerned for continuation.

Application process

New Forest
Please note that there is a maximum number of 250 caches in the New Forest. If you wish to place a cache in the New Forest then please contact Kim Ebner to ensure that this limit has not been reached. Contact

Agreement File:

The following file is attached to this agreement: fc new forest & dorset.pdf

Area Covered

England/Dorset. England/Hampshire.


Do you have any feedback about this agreement? Click here to submit feedback to the committee.