Permanent Orienteering Courses in Devon: do you make good use of them? The club is currently carrying out a stock take of those permanent courses (POCs) in the county which we support, to help ensure they are fit for purpose and continue to offer an enjoyable experience to all who use them.
Users may be newcomers to the sport, schools and groups involved in outdoor activities, recreational walkers and runners as well as club orienteers seeking to get in some physical and technical training.
Haldon Forest Park permanent course is currently being updated and, along with the Gruffalo Orienteering Course on the same site, we intend will offer a flagship course in the area, with Forestry Commission staff on site to provide information, sell maps and carry out essential maintenance.
We work closely, of course, with a range of landowners who have a shared interest in hosting a permanent course; most notably the National Trust (at Castle Drogo, Killerton, Knightshayes, Parke, Plymbridge, Saltram), local councils (Exeter Riverside –currently out of use, Plymouth Central Park, Seaton and Sidmouth) and The Forestry Commission (Haldon Forest Park). The support from landowners, as ever, is vital to what we do.
The extent of the club’s involvement varies from place to place, although for all courses we seek to provide up to date information on the club website. That said, orienteering posts may become damaged or removed without the club or landowner’s immediate knowledge.
For many of the courses in Devon maps may be downloaded from the British Orienteering Federation portal, http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/goorienteering typically for £1.00 a map.
If you have used any of the permanent courses in recent months, we would love to hear your views; whether about the state of the course, the quality of the map, the reception you received on site, what more needs doing or how much you enjoyed your run. Damian Wilson is the club POC Co-ordinator and each POC has a voluntary POC manager who is also a club member. We are really keen to ensure the permanent courses are a valuable club and community resource. They should also act as an important, good quality, “way in” to the sport; a first step for young people and adults prior to attending events and subsequently, we hope, joining the club.
Our next event will be taking place on 15th April at Ashclyst, followed at the end of May by the three day Tamar Triple programme at Exeter University and Braunton. For those latter events, in particular, please volunteer your services to Phil Beale, , organiser for the two days at Braunton Burrows; we already have more than 250 entries for each day and we want to make sure the whole event is a great success and runs smoothly. And finally, think about our four-part summer series, the first of which is at Knightshayes on 10th June; another chance for newcomers as well as for regular orienteers to get out and about in glorious Devon countryside. We have a lot to look forward to!
Bryan Smith, Chairman
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