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Table of Contents



Ireland as a Geographic Area

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom but with the Republic of Ireland it is also part of the geographical island of Ireland. As there is so much movement between the two countries and due to their sizes Groundspeak decided to group the two together under the one designation of Ireland. This Knowledge Books article gives more information on the decision.

This means that some parts of Ireland are managed by more than one governmental body (one from UK and one from RoI). As NI is part of the UK some of the UK landowner agreements also apply there.

Local Ireland Guidelines

Geocaching Ireland have developed a set of "best practice" guidelines for anyone geocaching in Ireland. This covers both hiding and finding caches and they have been endorsed by Leave No Trace (Ireland).

These guidelines are an expansion of the guidelines with a local slant and are a good starting point for anyone wishing to geocache responsibly within the principles of Leave No Trace.

Geocaching Ireland Guidelines

National Trust (NI)

National Trust properties in NI come under the same agreement as the rest of the UK as negotiated by GAGB. While the NT are very supportive of geocaching permission must be obtained prior to placing a cache on properties maintained by them.

Link to the agreement: GLAD

All National Trust placements must be in accordance with this agreement and the CO must provide contact details of who gave permission for the placement. 

Main website for National Trust NI

Woodland Trust (NI)

Woodland Trust properties in NI come under the same agreement as the rest of the UK as negotiated by GAGB.

Link to the agreement: GLAD

All National Trust placements must be in accordance with this agreement. COs must complete the application form and wait for permission to place from HO. Local permission isn't sufficient. HO permission will be provided via a written agreement.

Main website for Woodland Trust

Woodland Trust geocache application form.

Forest Service of Northern Ireland (FSNI)

FSNI are currently making an internal decision about geocaching on their properties. The current situation means that permission must be sought from the local ranger or officer in charge of the specific forest.

Permission must be obtained prior to placing a cache in a FSNI forest and contact details should be provided at time of submission.

Coillte (Irish Forestry Service) (RoI)

Negotiations have been opened with Coillte with the intention of having a blanket agreement for all their lands. This has been instigated from their end and they are very pro-geocaching so caches are still being published on their lands. Coillte promote the use of their lands for recreation purposes as long as people respect the principles of Leave No Trace. This must be confirmed for every cache placed on Coillte property.

Main Coillte website

Coillte Outdoors website

To assist geocachers with the principles of Leave No Trace Geocaching Ireland have devised a set of "best practice" guidelines that have been endorsed by Leave No Trace (Ireland).

GCI Guidelines

General forest / woodland

In addition the decision has been made that the placement of micro or nano caches can be inappropriate in a forest location, as a search for such a cache is likely to result in damage to the forest environment.

Ancient Monument (NI & RoI)

Ancient Monument covers any structure that may be of historic significance, susceptible to damage and usually protected under law. Examples include, but are not limited to, megalithic structures (tombs, stone circles, dolmens, etc), raths (pre-historic fort mounds), earth ditches and ruined buildings.

Any cache placed close to or within the confines of an Ancient Monument must be done so with the full permission of the responsible authority. Contact details of the person providing such permission should be provided at the time of submission.

Churches and Graveyards (NI & RoI)

If a cache is placed within the grounds of a Church, graveyard or cemetery then contact details should be provided at the time of submission for the Church authority that gave permission for the placement.

This applies to physical stages of a cache only. Virtual waypoints within Church grounds leading to a physical cache placed outside do not require specific details of permission.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas (NI & RoI)

Many areas in Ireland are particularly sensitive to environmental damage and are often protected under law. Examples include, but are not limited to, Nature Reserves, SSSIs and Wildlife Refuges. These are often marked on OS maps with a small red bird and a red boundary line.

Permission can only be given for these areas by someone of sufficient expertise and in authority over the area. Contact details should be provided at the time of submission.

Railway Property (NI & RoI)

In NI owned and operated by Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and Translink. In RoI the operator is Iarnród Éireann

In NI especially railways have been targets for terrorist attacks and are highly security conscious.

In both NI and RoI railways are private property and require contact details for who gave permission for the placement at the time of submission.

Walls (NI & RoI)

Drystone walls are particularly sensitive to disturbance when used as cache sites and use of them for cache placement is not allowed.

It is best practice not to use a hole in any kind of wall to locate a cache as it gets searchers in a mindset that this is a suitable location and can lead to damage in other locations in the future.

Plastic Bags (NI & RoI)

This is covered under the Irish Guidelines and they really shouldn't be used as animals tend to eat them and they create a horrible damp environment that after a while becomes filled with algae and slugs.

The use of a good quality cache container negates the need for a plastic bag and this Knowledge Books article gives some good advice on containers.

Ireland Reviewers

About This Guide

The local laws and guidelines for geocaching placement vary from place to place. As community reviewers learn geocache placement policies for a certain location, they can add it here. This site may not be a complete or accurate list of land policies. These policies are made by the land owner or manager, they are neither the reviewer’s nor Geocaching HQ’s. This guide is just for reference, if no policies for the area you’re looking for are listed, that doesn't mean no policies exist. You must still obtain permission to place your geocache from the landowner or land manager,comply with all applicable laws, and follow the Geocaching Listing Requirements.

If you have an update, email the community reviewer(s) listed.

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