Geocaching for #TrigPillar80

We’ve been thrilled at your response to our #TrigPillar80 celebrations over the last month and are loving looking at all of the photos you’ve been sharing with us on Twitter and Instagram. We’ve also heard from some of you who are on a trig bagging challenge. Here, Gerry McGarry tells us more about his geocaching and trig adventures…

Gerry and friend!

Gerry and friend!

Over the last couple of years, I have visited geocaches that have been hidden close to trig pillars. This led me to investigate trig pillars and I discovered some interesting sites on the internet, especially trigpointingUK. I then discovered that there is more to old Ordnance Survey markers than the pillars and encountered bolts, rivets and other interesting OS markers. Close to the end of 2015, I noticed that I had found 85 pillars during that year and I upped my game and bagged exactly 100 pillars during 2015.

I then set myself a new challenge for 2016. Since it is the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar, I have planned to visit 200 trig pillars. Although there are over 6,000 trig pillars in Britain, visiting 200 in a year is not as easy as it sounds. The problem I have is that I have visited most of the pillars in my area in the Highlands and the only ones I have left are on top of high mountains, which adds to the challenge. I have now had to widen my search area to bag more trig pillars.

For the first part of 2016, this involved trips to Perthshire, South Wales and Bristol. The trig visits have been very varied with some roadside and some up lung-bursting hills. Along the way, I have also taken time to visit the other OS markers on my trips while trying to find some geocaches as well.  What is great, is that there is a roaming geocache called Ye Old Survey Monuments (YOSM) which roams around the UK from trig pillar to trig pillar, which means on some visits, I can bag a trig, a geocache and the YOSM.  I have managed to visit 60 pillars so far in 2016 but hit a set-back due to illness. Normal service is about to be resumed.


Some of the locations I plan to visit in the remainder of 2016 are:

  • Ben Nevis in July – this will be a geocaching event.
  • Brighton in May.
  • Aberdeenshire at some point.
  • North Wales in August for the annual Geocaching Mega event.
  • Glasgow when I visit my parents during the school holidays.
  • Northumberland in June.
  • And any other areas I can fit in between working full time.

Trig pillars have taken me to some very interesting locations, some with special memorials and some with spectacular views.  In this 80th anniversary of the trig pillar I urge people to #GetOutside, enjoy these locations and marvel at how these pillars have been placed at these spots.

Feeling inspired? Try bagging one of the trig pillars nominated by our #GetOutside champions.

You may also like

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7 fantastic things about #TrigPillar80
#TrigPillar80 competition now closed
#GetOutside with some trig-bagging this summer

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