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Saturday afternoon informal event at Ecclesall Woods

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Sat 20th Oct 2012 Start Times 13:00 - 15:00

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Following on from great afternoon orienteering sesions in Endcliffe Park and Millhouses this is the third in the Saturday Afternoon series aimed to introduce new people to the sport and also provide training opportunities to all orienteers.

Ecclesall woods is very different to Encliffe and Millhouses Park being entirely wooded, in fact it is one of the best areas that we use for orienteering in South Yorkshire.  We will be based at the J G Graves Woodland Discovery Centre in the saw mill site.  Ecclesall Wood is split into three sections by roads but for this session we will only be using the main west block so there will be no need to cross any roads.  The session is suitable for all ages and abilities.

The JG Graves centre is here.  The cafe is yet to open so but we have the use of one of their rooms from 12:00 so feel free to bring some lunch!  If you are riving there is parking at the centre although that may fill quite quickly in which case either use the parking bays on Abbey Lane or park on Whirlowdale Road.

Registration for courses will open at 1pm.  You can start any time from 1pm - 3pm but the courses do close at 3:30pm.

Introductory Session

For those new to orienteering or who would like a refresher we will be running an 'Introduction to Orienteering' session starting at 1:15.  After the session there will be time to practice what you have learnt on one of the courses.

Orienteering Courses Available

If you complete a course and there is still time you are welcome to try another.

This time of year there are a few brambles in Ecclesall (nothing like the man eating ones in Hutcliff Wood though).  If you are heading off the paths (Light Green, Map Memory and Score) then you should have full leg cover, e.g. jogging bottoms

Course Distance Technical Level Who is it for?
White 1.0km 1 The easiest course and a great place for children to start.  The course is entirely on paths and each time you have to make a decision - which path to take, there will be a control point.
Yellow 1.9km 2 The next step up and a good place for teenagers etc. to start.  The course will use paths but also other line features - Fences, streams etc.
It will also no longer have a control everytime you need to decide where you are going. For example you may need to make a couple of turns on paths between controls
Orange 2.2km 3

Harder still, the Orange course introduces:

  • Choosing routes - e.g. should I go round the paths to the left or right
  • Using 'Point Features' as control sites
  • Basic use of a compass
Light Green 3.1km 3

Ideal for improvers. The navigation difficulty increases and you start to use simple contours and point features.

Map Memory 1.8km 4

Experienced orienteers or someone up for a challenge!  Rather than carrying a map each control has a map extract that shows the location of the next control.  You have to figure out the route and then run to the next control.  If you lose your way you have no option but to retrace your steps back to the last control and try again.

Score Course 30mins 2-3

21 controls on the map with each one worth 10 points.  You can visit the controls in any order and have 30 minutes to get as many points as possible.  But don't be late, for every minute, or part of a minute, that you are late you lose 10 points!

The map will have the control code and points next to each control circle.

Why not give this a go after running one of the other courses?  You can start at any time but there will be a mass start at 14:30 for those who would like a little head-to-head competition...

The distances are provisional!


Adults £4

Children £2

Any additional courses will cost an additional £1

If you would like to go around in a group you would just pay for one entry.

Venue Details

Ecclesall Woods comprises over 100 hectares (300 acres) of mature deciduous woodland of variable runnability and is notable for a large number of thickets. The gently sloping land is divided by two roads and a network of bridleways, footpaths, streams and ditches. Some of the minor paths have become overgrown or are difficult to discern when covered by autumn leaves.

Safety & risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event. If a competitor has a pre-existing medical condition that they think should be declared, please complete a medical form at enquiries. The sealed envelope will only be opened in an emergency.


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