A Regional event at Brodsworth Woods
On Sun 27th Sep 2009
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A clear blue sky greeted us at Brodsworth today and the combination of enthusiastic SYO helpers and beautiful autumnal sunshine meant that the event got off to a very good start.
There were about 120 competitors from complete beginners to the usual array of die-hard orienteers. Colin Best’s skilful planning challenged and delighted almost all participants. I am not including the gentleman who fell in the dyke and returned covered in such smelly mud that his family refused to get in the same car as him; nor do I speak for the lady who couldn’t find north on her map and ran in concentric circles becoming more and more miserable and disorientated. But having seen the sweat on the score course winner’s brow, heard the chirping enthusiasm of the Wales High School students, and the excitement of 7 year old George who enjoyed his course so much he had to go round twice, it can happily be said that the event was a success.
There were a few tense moments. One when a metallic crunch rang out round the car park as a roof-bar-mounted bike collided with the overhead barrier (ouch!) and another when the team first aider staggered into the finish dripping with blood from a head-first tumble. Luckily the team vet was on hand and, with a pat on the head, soon steri-stripped and tidied her up. (Hope you’re feeling better soon Jill!)
Brodsworth is not a technical area but the 60 minute score event offered fast running with an array of route choices. Judging by the grinning faces at download, and the complimentary remarks to the organising team, the competitors felt they had had their money’s worth!
In the absence of a TD5 course a number of people chose to run Long Light Green and this threw up some unexpected challenges. Country Parks are often not what they seem and Brodsworth is no exception. With an unusual map scale (I:6000) and a wealth of open areas criss-crossed with paths and fences, even the most experienced orienteers reported that they had had to pay careful attention to avoid running in the wrong direction.
A warm thank you to all the SYO volunteers who made the event possible.
What a good job none of us went to the World Masters in Oz – I’m reliably informed by SYO members there that its been raining all weekend in Melbourne!
27 September 2009
Brodsworth was first mapped in 2007 when the Forestry Commission contacted me (in my RDO role) to advise them on the use of the area for orienteering. Like many ex-colliery sites it is still developing – though developing quickly so that areas which were rough open in 2007 were quite runnable then whereas in 2009 many of them have developed deep tussocks and / or thistles.
The area is quite limited technically but the numerous enclosures provide some good route choice legs. In addition some of the enclosures can be used as they have cleared ditches though some are surrounded with crossable fences , some with nasty barbed wire.
So I approached the planning of the Light Green and Long Light Green by looking for good route choice legs.
The Score course was designed to offer Sprint O type legs with controls in the plantations but only accessible from certain directions because that’s where the crossable fences and crossing points were. However I hadn’t counted on those individuals who disobeyed the “Do not cross uncrossable fences” instruction and took their life into their hand and crossed the barbed wire fence!!
Brodsworth Community Woodland was created more than 10 years ago by reshaping and planting the waste heaps and workings of the colliery that once supplied coal to Buckingham Palace. The patchwork of planting across a gentle hill is now maturing into an interesting area with plenty of scope for route choice.More details about Brodsworth Woods...