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Unique treasure hunt with ‘limited edition’ geocaching trail

Schools, colleges, clubs, community groups and individuals have been invited to help create a unique history treasure trail around the Newton Abbot area.

The Samuel Baker Geocaching Trail is the brainchild of staff at Newton’s Place, the new museum and community space taking shape in the former St Leonard’s Church, Wolborough Street.

The trail, named after Victorian explorer Samuel Baker who lived in the town, is due to launch in June. Each month until November, willing volunteers will hide two new caches or ‘treasures’ in public places and leave them there for just four weeks. Each of the 12 capsules will contain links to information about objects in the Newton Abbot Museum collection. Clues as to their whereabouts will be accessed via a free app downloaded to the treasure hunter’s smart phone or computer.

Anyone finding the hidden goods can leave their name and a message, then share their discovery on the geocaching.com website before slipping the container back into its hiding place.

In December a thirteenth cache, making a ‘baker’s dozen’ in total, will be available from a Newton’s Place stall in Golden Lion Square. Anyone finding the entire collection will be rewarded with a certificate.

"Geocaching is a hugely popular hobby and we thought this was a terrific way to share a little of Newton Abbot’s history and celebrate the imminent opening of Newton’s Place," said project coordinator Nigel Canham. "We think our trail will be very different to most others as our caches can only be found for a limited amount of time. We want people to hide the caches, then monitor how many hunters are finding them before removal."

"We’ve twelve secret histories to use as inspiration, ranging from camel dung jewellery to a swing made from human hair. We’ve also got Second World War relics and Stone Age tools. The trail is entirely free, whether you’re hunting or hiding, and we will provide the equipment. So come on, who’s up for taking part? You’ll be supported throughout the project and it should be a lot of fun."

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