Geocaching volunteer Pam Westley
As a National Trust volunteer, I look after a series of seven geocaches hidden all around Brimham for visitors to discover.
Treasure in the rocks
I have been a keen geochacher for over 15 years now (having found over 1,700 caches stretching all the way from Iceland to New Zealand!), so I was delighted when the team at Brimham asked me to look after their geocaches.
I was already volunteering as part of their countryside team, but I jumped at the chance to help out with maintaining the caches as well as running geocaching taster sessions.
How it all started
My volunteering journey started five years ago when I retired from work. I was looking for something completely different to do, ideally being outdoors more and meeting people. As a long time member I felt that the National Trust would be a great place to volunteer, so I contacted my local sites at Brimham and Fountains Abbey to see what opportunities were around.
This led to many more opportunities within the Trust and I now have several roles volunteering at both sites. In addition to the geocaches at Brimham, I also meet and greet visitors at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, lead specialist guided walks on geology, herbs and folklore and I help to record and monitor wildlife activity as a member of the wildlife teams.
This gives me plenty of variety and helps to keep my mind active. There are so many interesting things to learn about here and it’s great to be able to contribute to our visitor’s enjoyment of these lovely places.
What I particularly love about geocaching is that it gives people the chance to visit places which they may not have otherwise visited. It’s also a great way to spice up walking in glorious countryside, particularly for children who may need convincing of the joys of walking.
The seven geocaches hidden around Brimham take visitors all around the estate showing them the rock formations as well as getting them out onto the moors to enjoy the views.
" If you venture out into Brimham Rocks you’ll find treasure hidden. I look after a series of seven geocaches hidden all around Brimham for visitors to discover. It's a great way to spice up walking in glorious countryside, particularly for children who may need convincing of the joys of walking. So get out there and search for treasure."
All the geocaches at Brimham are traditional caches. Co-ordinates for six of them are on the geocaching website so visitors can go straight out to find them. To find the 7th geocache however, you have to collect clues hidden in the other boxes to give you the final co-ordinates for the bonus cache.
This way, visitors have the enjoyment of the walk, the fun of finding the caches and a bit of mind stretching to find the last one. There are other National Trust properties with hidden geocaches within their boundaries, so this allows you to combine the experience of geocaching with the enjoyment of the place.
So get out there and search for treasure, both hidden in little plastic boxes and by volunteering with the National Trust to broaden your own horizons.