The Hidden Sanctuary Traditional Geocache
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This is our first cache hidden on the border of Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve, known locally as “The Bird Sanctuary” hence its name. This is a traditional cache originally in an ammo box, which sadly deteriorated over the years and has since been replaced by a plastic Lock&Lock container. When hidden the box contained the following: Pack of Selsdon Woods Maps, Toy Snake, Teddy Crayon Pen, Mr Men Book, Shrinkie, Toy Squirty Whale, Pack of Cards, Book, Flower Brooch, Idea Pad and Fake Invaders PC Game. It also included our first travel bug ‘Metal Moggy’.
Car parking is available at 51° 20.221 N, 000° 03.170 W (please note these coordinates have now been corrected after a couple of geocachers pointed out an error in the original listing)where there are also public toilets and an information board with details of two way-marked circular walks. Next to the car park is a large wooden bear carved a few years ago by a local artist with a chain saw. The car park is open from 8am Mon-Fri and 9am on weekends and bank holidays and closes half an hour before sunset.
Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve was originally part of the Selsdon Park Estate the mansion house of which is now the Selsdon Park Hotel. The estate was broken up after the death of the last private owner in 1923 and money was raised by local organisations and public subscription to buy up the woods as a nature reserve and bird sanctuary. By the time of its official opening in 1936, 200 acres had been acquired making it at that time the largest bird sanctuary in Britain.
The reserve is now owned by the National Trust and managed by the London Borough of Croydon. Many of the paths have names which you will see at high level on wooden plaques. You should find a pack of maps of the woods inside the cache, so please take a copy if you wish, to help you plan your route back to the car park.
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