Tayside and Central Scotland

Perthshire to launch the UK's first geocache based tour

Cateran trail at Glenshee
Image caption The Cateran trail in Perthshire will host the UK's first Geotrail

A high-tech treasure hunt is being launched in Perthshire in an attempt to lure tourists to the area.

Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust is to create the first UK based GeoTour.

The tour will take visitors through the Cateran Trail, leading to hidden "geocaches" found with the help of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices.

Special passports will be created to help treasure hunters record how many of the 30 caches they find.

There are more than 5,000,000 registered "geocachers" worldwide and more than 2,000,000 caches hidden across the planet.

Based on GPS technology, geocachers follow clues to find a treasure or cache and share their experiences online.

Growing popularity

The sport has been likened to a game of hide and seek by satellite. When a cache is located, participants sign a log book and leave a gift to replace the one they took.

Image caption Geocachers use a GPS device to hunt down hidden treasure troves across the world

Geocaching has become very popular in Perthshire after the area hosted the annual UK Mega Cache event in 2010.

There are just 15 GeoTours across the world at present. The Cateran Trail GeoTour will be the 16th and the UK's first.

Organisers have laid out 20 special caches across the five stages of the 64 mile circular Trail which covers woodland and forest cover, moor and farmland.

The Cateran Trail takes its name from the cattle thieves who raided the rich lands of Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla.

High-tech tourism

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "In the Year of Natural Scotland, it is great to see organisations coming up with new and innovative ways in which to promote our country's breathtaking beauty.

"Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust's Cateran Trail GeoTour and Android app will give visitors exciting new ways to explore this stunning region."

Bob Ellis, chairman of Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association said: "BEPTA is really excited to be working in partnership with Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust on the launch of this exciting new tourism initiative.

"The Cateran Trail is the number one attraction on Trip Advisor for visitors to the area and BEPTA recognises its importance as an asset to both local people and businesses.

"The beauty of the GeoTour is that it is targeting a new tourism market that is growing rapidly."

The Cateran Trail takes its name from the cattle thieves who raided the rich lands of Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla.

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