Cachers share responsibility to protect the environment. Some areas are protected areas by law.
Information of German protected areas on Opencaching websites
In January 2009 the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation provided geodata of many German protected areas to the Opencaching team. Based on these data, the Opencaching websites display an information if a geocache is located within a protected area. Cachers therefore know that they have to respect special regulations in the vicinity of the geocache.
It is important to Opencaching and the geocaching movement to obey nature protection regulations to prevent getting a bad reputation. Furthermore, it helps to have a trusting and collaborative relationship with those officials responsible for the protected areas.
The following protected areas are known to the Opencaching websites. The date indicates the year of last modification.
- Nature reserves (de: Naturschutzgebiete (NSG)) – 2006
- National parks (de: Nationalparke) – 2008
- Biosphere reserves (de: Biosphärenreservate) – 2008
- Protected sites according to the European Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive (de: Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Gebiete (FFH)) – 2006
- Landscape conservation areas (de: Landschaftsschutzgebiete (LSG)) – 2006
- Natural parks (de: Naturparke) – 2008
- Bird sanctuaries (de: Vogelschutzgebiete) – 2007
Source: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), according to data of the Federal States.
The Opencaching Deutschland e.V. and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation do not take any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the data.
Identification of affected protected areas
The Opencaching websites identify protected areas by using the geocache's coordinates as entered by the geocache's owner. If the coordinates of a geocache listing are not the real location of the geocache, then the displayed information on a protected area may be wrong or missing. The same counts on any stage or final of a multi geocache. They could even be located in different protected areas.
You can manually check if a geocache is located within a protected area by consulting the online map of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation at:
Behaviour within protected areas
Before hiding or seeking geocaches, please check if the geocache is located within a protected area and find out about the instructions and restrictions. For example, in many areas it is forbidden to leave the trails. So, a geocache needs to be accessible just next to the trail. The regulations can differ depending on the type of area and Federal State. A proven way to find the text of a law or regulation is the World Wide Web. Most authorities and ministries provide document downloads.
There are some more recommendations to preserve the environment:
- Do not hide a geocache in tree hollows, caves or nests.
- Clean up all your trash.
- Keep your dog on leash.
- Make no unnecessary noise.
- Do not make fire.