News & New Caches 130

A new virtual cache on Anglesey has been published since our last post:

GCAJGPY Wonderful Views by familykemp Virtual D1.5/T3.5

Event Reminder
GCAMVAX 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 66 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: 28.3.2024
Where: Parc Snowdonia, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4AQ
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

Event Reviews

GCAMJH4 CITO 2024 Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T3.5
GCAMM4Z 9 Usual Suspects Cake and a Brew Event D1/T1
Saturday 23rd March saw us picking litter at our regular site Parc Dre, along the Afon Seiont and the woodland behind Tesco’s. We manage to extend this area to include part of Lon Eifion cycle path allowing attendees to find some of the caches placed for Leap Day.

Results of our Efforts

Despite the awful weather forecast of rain, sleet and snow, the day stayed dry though very cold. Surprisingly there was a very good turnout of hardy volunteers filling the trailer with all of the normal cans, bottles, fast food containers and general rubbish. After everyones hard work we regrouped at ‘base camp’ for hot drinks and cake which was accompanied by lots of geochat and general banter.

Here are a few photos:

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Drained & Exposed 

We have all admired Thomas Telford’s incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over the River Dee. Have you ever wondered what holds the water? This video may give you second thoughts about crossing the aqueduct either on foot or by boat.

For a great adventure we can highly recommend hiring a narrow boat from Anglo Welsh for a day trip from Trevor to Chirk. Cross the aqueduct, pass through the tunnels, cruise the picturesque canal, before turning at the Chirk turning point. An ideal place to have a P&P stop plus lunch at the Poachers Pocket before the return journey to Trevor. The cost of a days hire is very good value at £120 for a weekday or £180 for a weekend or Bank Holiday. Maximum of 10 passengers.

There are several geocaches and an Adventure Lab along the route.

News & New Caches 128

A couple of new caches plus 4 events have been published since our last post:

Parc y Dre after its recent council make over

GCAMC25 Parc y Dre by Clueless_Goose Traditional D2/T2
GCAMJ97 The White Rabbit by seanx90 Earthcache D1.5/T1.5

GCAMM4Z 9 Usual Suspects Cake and a Brew Event D1/T1
When: 23.3.2024
Where: Parc Dre, Caernarfon
Time: 1-1.30pm

GCAMVAX 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 66 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: 28.3.2024
Where: Parc Snowdonia, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4AQ
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

GCAMKWG Six Peaks Adventure – Hello from Llandderfel by terrapintim & GeoPaul Event D1/T1
When: 22.4.2024
Where: Bryntirion Inn, Llandderfel, Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7RA
Time: 7-8pm

GCAMKV0 Six Peaks Adventure – Snowdon Meet & Greet by terrapintim & GeoPaul D1/T4
When: 23.4.2024
Where: Snowdon Summit
Time: 12-12.30pm

Old Anglesey Aluminium Site Demolition of Chimney Stack

Orthios Site in Holyhead Continues With Demolition

March 20th sees the demolition of the iconic 122 meter chimney stack which has stood for last 50 years at the old Anglesey Aluminium site. The demolition is to make way for the new Anglesey Freeport.

Would you like to push the button? Holyhead RNLI are running a fund raising draw in the memory of their crew member Iwan Williams to press the button signalling the demolition.

Single prize draw entry starts from just £3. Entrants to the draw must be 18 years-old or over, but the winning entrant can bring a friend or family member to accompany them to the event (this person can be under 18).

To enter visit:

Village Hall Week 2024

The Village Hall Series started in 2013 with the first cache placed by GeoJaxx in Denmead, Hampshire.  It has steadily grown in popularity and currently can be found in 72 counties in England, Scotland, Wales, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

​The geocaches can be set in any hall which is used by the community for local groups or available to hire for private functions (but not social clubs and halls for members only). They have various names including village hall, community hall, parish hall, reading room, church hall to name a few. There are thousands of halls within our communities so there is plenty of scope for the series to grow considerably. 

There are very few Village Hall caches here in North Wales and only one event in the whole of Wales but the following profile badges are available to download for:

  • Placing a cache/Hosting an event
  • Attending a village hall event
  • Finding a village hall cache

CITO & Litter Pick, 16.7.2022

Team Photo

First we would like to thank everyone for attending GC9WJX6 CITO & Picnic in the Park and for all your hard work. Saturday was one of the hottest days so far this year, we were all glad of the shade offered by the trees in this park and adjoining woodland. It was very refreshing to find the area relatively litter free as in the past it has been a hot spot for general litter, rubbish and fly tipping. We still collected 10 bags of rubbish plus 5 blue boxes of recyclables, plastic, cans and glass. The worst area was behind Tesco recycling bins, here 5 of the 10 bags were filled with mainly clothes that had been thrown into the woodland.

Team Moseley striding into action
Andy at work

Let’s hope this area stays litter free.

After everyone had returned to base we loaded up the wheel barrow with the tea & coffee, cakes etc, then headed into the park for our picnic.

Event Cake

A spot was chosen by Moseley Bach which just happened to be near the childrens playground. It was good to relax and catch up while the younger ones enjoyed the swings and slide. All too soon it was time to pack everything away and head home.

Enjoying the shade and picnic

We would like to thank Tesco for its very kind denotation of cup cakes, fruit and bottled water which was very much appreciated by all.
Also we have to thank Gwynedd Council for their support and loan of equipment.

News & New Caches 23

There have been 3 new caches recently published, nice to see another fine pair!
GC9PPZH A Fine Pair #1662 ~ Salem by RichieBlod Multi D2/T2
Brooks’ Barmouth Bash series sees the addition of another 2 caches:
GC9QRVF Brooks’ Barmouth Bash meets Mawddach Meander by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9QRV0 Brooks’ Barmouth Bash #1a – Alternative Route by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Event Reminder

GC9QBKA CITO 2022 Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects CITO Event

When: Sunday 10th April 2022
Where: Morfa Parc, Caernarfon
Time: 11am – 1pm

By attending this event you will earn the above souvenir and also be helping to take care of our local environment. Please note there is only limited roadside parking but we do have permission to park in Tescos carpark. We look forward to seeing you.

New CITO Equipment

new equipment

As our regular litter picking attendees are very aware a lot of our equipment had seen better days and we have been struggling to replace. We are pleased to announce that we have finally made contact and have had a very successful meeting with Clean & Tidy, Gwynedd Councils new department that deal with issuing of equipment and sundries. We have a new supply of gloves, adults and childrens, different design litter pickers and bag hoops. The council would like feed back on the quality of the pickers and hoops, also any suggestions for future purchases of equipment. We have already requested the access to extra long handled pickers.

Event Reminders

Just a quick reminder of forth coming events, starting with tomorrows CITO.
GC9N9C1 Plas vs Plastic by Squaddie101 CITO D1/T1.5
When: Saturday 12th March 2022
Time: 9.30am – 4pm
Where: Plas Llanfair LL65 3LE
Why not attend the above event and be part of the Million Mile Beach Clean at the Inland Sea on Anglesey and earn 2022 CITO Season 1 Souvenir pictured below.

GC8MAT4 Community Celebration Event – Final Daily Grid by welshgirl11 & gmoseley88 D1/T1.5
When: Friday 18th March 2022
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Where: Dinas Dinlle
Join Lon & Gwyn in celebrating completing their Daily Grid at Dinas Dinlle. We are hoping to have a couple of new caches go live…………..

GC9PMX9 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 44 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1
When: Tuesday 29th March 2022
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG

CITO 14th August 2021

This CITO (Cache in Trash Out) was our first post-covid lockdown official geocaching event since 14 March 2020 and a chance to restore some normality. The weather forecast was iffy so kudos to all who defied the Met Office forecasts and turned out, as on the day, we had only the occasional light shower to contend with. This location was selected because: we have picked here before and know the location, it is fairly child friendly, and above all there was some litter to be picked. It was great to catch up with friends some of whom came from as far as Macklesfield and Oldham. It was also great to see some new faces and junior cachers who made a great contribution. In all 23 assisted with the litter pick including Diapason16 who happened to be in the area looking for a cache, he rolled up his sleeves and mucked in, unlike his daughter, who like a stereotypical teenager rolled her eyes and sat on the wall with her mobile phone :-). We cleared from Penygroes to Groeslon and collected about 12 bags of rubbish from the cycle path. The litter was sorted and taken to Rhwngddwyryd, Garndolbenmaen Recycling Center for disposal.

Many thanks to Inigo Jones Slate Works for letting us use their car park as a base for the CITO

New Caches

Just two new caches this week……..

GC9DYMV Millys place by bobwedge Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9E517 Lovely view of amlwch and Irish sea by paulfelix92 Traditional D2/T1.5

New Events

We are pleased to announce the return of Geocaching events to Wales, but there are still some restrictions, so at present only outside geocaching events are allowed. The CITO will be the first 9US official event since the 14th March 2020, hopefully it will be the first of many and the end of online events!

GC9DYQ6 CITO Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects CITO Event (Litter pick) D1/T2
by attending this event your efforts will be rewarded with CITO Season 1 2021 souvenir.

GC8QABW Let’s Celebrate International Geocaching Day! by 9 Usual Suspects Community Celebration Event D1/T1

This cache type was originally known as the Lost and Found Event Cache. It was created for events that were hosted by geocachers from April 30, 2010 to May 3, 2010 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of geocaching. Just 362 Lost and Found Events were held, so a very limited number of cachers earned the icon. By attending this event you will earn both the Community Celebration icon and a souvenir.

Balsam Bash

Here is the coordinates for the beginning of the lane N 52° 59.202 W 004° 05.247, it is right on the nasty bend. We will meet up by the cattle grid at the beginning of the lane at 10.30am, please bring gloves, drinks etc. The forecast is OK, maybe a shower but it will be a lot cooler than it has been. For more information contact us.

Geocaching – 5 things you need to know

Geocaching HQ, Seattle

Geocaching is both a game and a business
 Groundspeak who manage Geocaching are a business. Groundspeak shows adverts on their website if you are not a premium member but this is minimal and restricted to a couple of small ones in your sidebar. They don’t get into big contracts to promote other people’s wares, so the money has to come from somewhere! Premium membership is their primary source for funds and about 7p a day, it isn’t a bad deal for Website in 26 languages, iPhone and Android Geocaching App, Adventure labs & Wherigo. Hours of fun for a few pence a day!

The orginal design of a Geocache

Play Fair
Don’t be a Geocaching tyrant, it’s a game played by many people most of whom you will never meet or know anything about. When Caching, it’s helpful to remember that the cache belongs to the owner, and if they say no photos of logs, signatures required, they are perfectly within their rights to delete your log if it doesn’t live up to the requirements set out in the geocaching page. If you don’t like this, then avoid that users caches, there are millions more out there. While there are rules, people’s interpretation of them may differ from your own. Rules like leaving a throw down when the cache is obviously there goes without saying, but deleting someone’s log for not signing because it’s too wet isn’t fair play IMHO.If you are a cache owner, please try to be understanding. People from all walks of life and all abilities cache, not everyone is as perfect as you might like. When submitting a new cache remember that reviewers are people, volunteers, and fit Geocaching in around their lives. Reviewers try to be objective and ensure everyone follows the same rules, but they are Cachers, like you and I, work with them to get your caches published. Check what is required before you submit a cache and make sure all the required information is on your submission, missing information is the largest cause of rejected caches. It’s not the reviewers job to do the leg work for you when you submit your new entry, if a reviewer rejects a cache and you don’t understand why, ask them.

Damp conditions at Cwmorthin

Go equipped
Having the right equipment makes for a great day of geocaching running out of battery or getting soaked is not. The primary item of course is a pen or pencil, and maybe a spare or two, there must be thousands of ‘lost’ writing implements left by Caches each week. Spare batteries or a power bank is essential for a day’s intensive caching, constantly using the GPS on your device is a heavy drain on batteries, and there’s nothing more infuriating than coming towards the end of lengthy series, only to have your phone die on you.
If you are heading up to the moors or into the mountains, appropriate footwear and waterproofs are the absolute minimum, snacks, water and a whistle should be carried as well. There are many articles on what to carry in your day bag online that can help you better than I can. Check the weather before you set out, because in the UK, it’s not unusual to have 3 seasons in one day. If venturing up a mountain or moors, it is worth noting as you gain altitude, the temperature drops surprisingly fast, around 1°C for every 100m, cold, wet and miserable isn’t a great day and possibly the quickest way to put someone off caching. If you are going into the wild and off the paths for a day hike, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, it might just save your life, and don’t forget to let them know you are back at the end of the day.
Carry extra logbooks and pencils. We all know that it’s the Cache Owners’ responsibility to keep caches maintained, but sometimes life gets in the way, if you discover a cache with a full or wet log, please be kind and drop a new log in for them, don’t forget to message the cache owner and let them know what you have done. Please don’t slap a “Needs Archiving” on straight away, a simple message to the cache owner or a “Needs Maintenance” log is sufficient.

Ready for any weather

Get Social and meet other Cachers
Geocaching can be a lonely game, it is usually played in secret, and that’s half the fun. There are lots of events where Cachers gather and share stories of their adventures and great finds. There’s all sorts of social events from Cache In Trash Out which could be a litter pick or working with an environmental group to remove an invasive species from an area to a get together for a chat. It’s a great way to make new friends and catch up with old ones.

People who cache with kids love SWAG (Stuff we all get), it makes the day more exciting searching for treasure and primes the next generation of Cachers. The golden rule about SWAG: if you take something, leave something of equal or higher value. Kids and some adults love to find treasure, and it’s so much better if they can take a new toy away and leave something behind for others. If we want to keep the sport alive and growing, it’s our responsibility to pass our enthusiasm to the next generation.
Ideas for what to put in: Small toys, Key Rings, souvenirs like woodies or path tags, Trading cards (in a waterproof seal easy bag), foreign coins, rain ponchos
Do not put in: Perishables, e.g. sweets that go horrible quickly and mess up a cache, non family friendly items, fireworks, lighters, drugs, alcohol and any illegal materials should also not be placed in a cache, although if someone is considering placing any of the above items they really need to have a word with themselves.

A well stocked Cache

Lastly it’s a game have fun and help each other, it’s not that difficult 🙂

Reminder for ‘CITO’ 22nd May

A reminder that we will be ‘litter picking’ Saturday 22nd May commencing at 2pm, meet at usual spot on the bridge above Afon Seiont (N53 07.825 W004 16.125). This is an unofficial event as Geocaching UK won’t allow any meets currently. We look forward to seeing you all on the day, it has been a long time since we all got together. We will be complying with current Covid regulations as they stand on the day. Also might even sneak a crafty beverage in a pub afterwards :-).

Himalayan Balsam – Impatiens glandulifera

As the name suggests Himalayan Balsam comes originally from the Kashmir and Uttarakhand areas of the Himalayas. It was first introduced into Kew Gardens in 1839 as an annual greenhouse plant. Being easy to grow and having attractive pink/white trumpet shaped flowers it became a very popular plant with gardeners. Within 10 years it had escaped from the confines of gardens and begun to spread along the river systems of England.

Himalayan Balsam grows very quickly and once established in an area, forms dense thickets of up to 2 meters high. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds, the seed pods once ripe, explode shooting the seeds up to 7m away from the parent plant. If the seeds land in a waterway they float down stream before settling in soft mud banks and germinating. The seeds can remain viable for up to 2 years.

Himalayan Balsam image Wikipedia

Why do we need to control Himalayan Balsam?

It smothers native vegetation by crowding and shading out light, in the winter it dies back leaving bare earth which is then subject to erosion. This can cause major problems along river banks. The dead plant debris can block waterways causing flooding and more damage to local habitats. Being very rich in nectar its flowers attract a wide array of pollinating insects. Studies are taking place on how this effects the pollination of our native plants. Initial finding suggest that it does have a detrimental effect as reduced numbers of insects are visiting other flowering plants. 

Himalayan Balsam seedling crowding out our native plants

Controlling Himalayan Balsam

Being a non-native plant it has no natural enemies to keep it under control. There are two traditional ways of removing Himalayan Balsam from a site hand pulling or spraying of chemicals. The best time of year for tackling the plant is May-July, before the seeds have set. Not all sites are suitable for either of these methods and trials of introducing a rust fungus from India are currently taking place in England and Wales.