Devon Orienteering


Christmas Novelty Event

Image of the  map

Haldon Forest Park, Nr Exeter

Sun 30 Dec 2018

Info updated: 01st Jan
Type of event: Local, Social
Type of terrain: Woodland


 Xmas Novelty Event


Organiser's and Planner's Report

Thank you for coming along to the Novelty event at Haldon. It was an amazing turn out with over 150 registered people/groups probably equating to over 200 participants with family groups.

Sorry about control 22. The code was ‘H’ and everyone who went there recorded correctly. However, T was mistakenly on the answer grid. There had already been many marked before we could confirm the problem so to keep it fair for all no one got a point for that control.

It became difficult when we ran out of change and some people did not receive theirs. Please let us know at future events if we owe you some money (we do have a record!). The Forestry Commission office were able to print off the extra maps we needed 10 minutes before the start. Instead of charging us for these they asked that we make a small donation to the ‘Toilet fund’ (an international charity). Those who used the Haldon toilets may have noticed that each toilet is twinned with another somewhere in the developing world. We therefore made a generous donation that would include any change owing.

We are not yet sure when the permanent orienteering course, with many more controls than were used in our event, will go live, but keep an eye on the Devon Orienteering Club or Haldon Forestry Commission website.

Just in case you have been wondering about the answers to the Christmas tree trivia……..

Christmas trees originated in Europe.

The Florida pine is native to Florida and was the only tree on the list not grown as a Christmas tree.

Oslo sends a Norwegian spruce for Trafalgar Square, every year, as a token of thanks to Britain in preserving Norwegian liberty during World War II.

Christmas trees have pagan origins.

Most Christmas trees are grown in tree farms.

The first artificial Christmas trees were made from goose feathers.

Spiders are considered to be a sign of good fortune in Eastern Europe and there are folk tales around spiders and spiders webs related to the Christmas season.

China is the biggest manufacturer of artificial Christmas trees.

The first electric lights for Christmas trees were massed produced in 1890; Thomas Edison’s assistant came up with the idea in 1882.

Although Prince Albert made Christmas trees popular in Britain, Queen Charlotte (German wife of George III) set up the first Christmas tree at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor in 1800

Website adminstrator's comments

It was great to see such a good turn-out today; we hope you enjoyed the informal, festive, format and thanks to everyone for being patient at registration. Thanks in particular to Helen and Adrian Taylor for their planning and organisation and to all of the Christmas elves who acted as helpers on the day! 

If you are not already a member of Devon Orientering Club please think about joining; this will ensure you get all the benefits of membership and can then attend any of the varied events and activities taking place across Devon (and further afield) during the forthcoming year.  Details are on this web site at Membership 

-and thanks to Jayne Weatherill for the photograph!

Pre Event Information

Join us for a fun orienteering event followed by a social get together with mince pies and mulled wine/apple juice. This is a one-hour score event with some novelty questions. Visit as many controls as you can in 60 minutes, and answer some festive questions as you run round. Families welcome. Facilities: First Aid.  Toilets: opposite café - Ridge café: open 09.30 – 17.00 pm serving hot drinks, snacks and light lunches. Terrain: Mixed woodland and trails.  Dogs: no restrictions.

 Event flyer. 

Event instructions now available here. Please read these beforehand - it will help you to understand the cunning rules of this novelty event!


Nearest town: Exeter

Directions / Parking

Follow signs from A38. Separate car park for orienteers, beyond main park entrance, open 09.45 – 13.00

Registration & Start Times

Registration: 10.00 – 10.45  Mass start: 11.00

Entry Details

Adults/seniors £8 Children/juniors £3  Family groups £6
SI will not be used, but you will need a pen to record your answers! 

Contacts / Officials

Planner:  Adrian Taylor
Organiser:  Helen Taylor (01395 274152; )

Safety and 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 you wish to report any safeguarding concerns to our national governing organisation, British Orienteering, please email .

Photography: Devon OC has an agreed policy on the taking of photographs at events, based on national guidance. This provides a sensible balance between the benefits and risks associated with the taking and use of images. If you are unsure about acceptable practice, please speak to the event organiser.
Read our photography policy.

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