Natural England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) have brought treasure hunting into the 21st Century. Britain’s oldest National Trial, the Pennine Way, is now home to ‘geocaching’ - the 21st century version of the traditional treasure hunt .
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. ‘Geocachers’ hide treasure troves in secret locations and then post clues to their whereabouts on the internet. You download the clues onto a GPS receiver and you’re ready to go treasure hunting. Locate the cache, take a treasure and replace it with one of your own. You can also sign a guestbook to prove you found it.
Steve Westwood, Natural England’s Pennine Way National Trail officer said, “With its blend of satellite technology for the internet savvy , it’s a sport that’s sure to appeal to the young. Although the real treasure of geocaching is the places you get to visit, the countryside adventure and the challenge of finding the trove. There’s even a geocaching app to download for your iPhone. It’s a brilliant way to explore the great outdoors and join a massive, worldwide online community. This is an exciting new activity for the Pennine Way. It’s great fun, addictive and the whole family can take part. "
The Pennine Geocache Trail has been designed to cater for geocaching novices and seasoned pros. There are 10 geocaches in total along the trail between Malham and Hawes but the two final caches can only be opened via a combination code. If the combination is cracked, a final reward could be waiting. The caches will be hidden and maintained by the YDNPA Pennine Way Ranger, Colin Chick.
Colin said, “The geocache trail is a great way to get out and sample what the Pennine Way has to offer. The trail will lead you through some of the most jaw-dropping limestone scenery in the country, over some of England’s highest peaks and walking through landscape riddled with some of the deepest caves in Yorkshire."
The co-ordinates for the caches can be found at www.geocaching.com. You’ll need to register (it’s free) and then enter the code GC1P3F6. This will bring up the first cache hidden by Colin and at the bottom of the pages there’s a link to take you to the rest. You can also download the co-ordinates at National Park Centres at Malham or Grassington.