Cookworthy ForestSun 10 Dec

Level C DL4

Regional level event

What does this mean?

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun6 App.

Terrain type: Forest

Last updated: Wed 13 December, 2023





Controller's Report

When I accepted the call to be Controller at Cookworthy it was with a slight air of trepidation. Firstly I had never worked on a Devon event with the differing club ways of working. Secondly my orienteering memories of Cookworthy were of mud and that infamous photo of Graham Gristwood winning the JK covered from top to toe, his map needing a good hose down!

As time went on and the event neared these fears were allayed. Guy as Planner was ruthlessly efficient in determining the courses and then revising things after an initial field trip. Working hand in glove with such an experienced hand as Graham as nominally Organiser but so much more meant that we quickly identified some slight changes to the course lengths. This meant that my role was largely confined to visiting the forest and checking the control sites, with few changes needed.

It was after my field trip that I gained confidence in Cookworthy as a venue. Sure it is muddy, but bits were pleasantly better than I recalled. As so often the bits I anticipated as poor were better than anticipated, and vice versa! But thankfully by Guys careful planning the positives outweighed the negatives. My conclusion was that Cookworthy suffered a perceived view that isn’t quite fair - including its geographical isolation as for me it was 45 mins from home, closer than some venues in Cornwall!

On the day from my side everything went well. Guy has set out everything on Saturday so we split the workload of waking the controls, and had everything ready by a little after 0900. The feedback from you as competitors seemed positive, and only a couple of minor mishaps happened, apologies to those affected.

I would like to say it was a pleasure working with Guy and Graham to bring another top quality orienteering event. Also to all the helpers from both clubs. Every time I am involved in an orienteering event I am reminded of what a premium product it truly is- long may that continue but we do rely on volunteers to continue the long legacy of this. Please volunteer if you can, there are many people on hand to help

Will Hancock, Controller, KERNO

Planner's Report

'It was great to see the large number of people with happy faces after their runs on Sunday, even despite some experiencing thigh deep bogs along the way! Without wishing to make excuses, but Cookworthy Forest is a challenging area to plan an event; extremely wet (particularly after the recent heavy rains), large areas where tress / branches have fallen down and the abundance of vegetation all conspire to reduce the availability of good, runnable legs. I was also extremely conscious of ensuring that there was sufficient change from last year's courses to ensure the event was as interesting and challenging as possible. The very positive feedback I received on the day was not only very welcome but also proof that I had succeeded in this; at least for most people.

My big aim was to try and get into different parts of the Forest, specifically over to the Western side, and as such various options for the Start / Finish location were looked at. However, as always, putting on an event is a team effort and therefore a balance between my wishes as a Planner and Graham's wishes as the Organiser (not least a simple but safe plan for car parking) and so we decided to keep Registration in a similar location to where it had been in 2022. This did mean that a White course was not possible and that for a number of routes (particularly Yellow) similar locations for controls would be used; where at all possible though I tried to change the legs to these controls as much as I could, not least changing the clockwise / anti-clockwise rotation of courses. For the longer courses I extended the routes into the Western end of the Forest (not used in 2022) although this did mean encountering some very 'moist' terrain; I do feel your pain as I had to 'swim' out of one bog on one of my many recces!

The map is generally good, however Forestry England are planning to undertake quite a lot of work over the next 12 months to clear those areas where large numbers of trees have come down which will obviously require a fairly substantial mapping refresh before an event happens here again. In addition the heavy rain highlighted that some streams / drainage ditches have altered course / extended somewhat, and also that some drainage ditches marked on the map have now silted up and so no longer as clear as they should appear nor doing their job in taking water away.

My thanks must go to Graham Pring as Organiser and Will Hancock as Controller (both in their formal roles but also with their valuable advice and intimate knowledge of the Forest), Rich Jackson for leading on SI, Karen Baker for volunteering to return the SI and some Organisers kit back to Exeter, all the Kerno and Devon members who helped out on the day and also to all the runners that braved the rain (and bogs) to make it a good event.

Guy Balmer - Planner'


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Location Info

Near: Holsworthy
Lat,Lng: 50.79035,-4.24873
OS Grid Ref: SS415013
Postcode: EX22 7YH
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Directions / Parking

Between Okehampton and Holsworthy, near to Halwill Junction at SS415013, EX21 5UU

Signed from the A3079 2.5km NW of Halwill Junction. Parking is on forest tracks (no charge).

Pre-event Details

Map / Terrain

Large, mainly coniferous forest situated in peaceful gently rolling countryside. Has been used for major events in the past including JK2010 (largest event in the British orienteering calendar) and Tamar Triple 2006.

Map scale: 1:10,000

Course Information

Brown: 7.5km, 100m climb

Blue: 5.0km, 80m climb

Green: 3.5km. 40m climb

Short Green: 2.7km, 30m climb

Light Green: 2.6km, 40m climb

Orange: 2.4km, 25m climb

Yellow: 2.0km, 20m climb

(terrain unsuitable for White).

Read more about Course lengths and Difficulty here

Entry Details

Pre-entry online is preferred via:

Racesignup link

Entry on the day possible, subject to map availability.

Entry details:

Adults - £10

Junior, under 21, and full-time students over 21 - £3

Adults doing yellow, orange or light green - £5

Junior, accompanied by an adult/s - £3

Family group orienteering together - £6 (Adult/s and 2 or more juniors, 2 maps)

One adult and one junior, orienteering individually - £13

One adult and 2 or more juniors, all orienteering individually - £16

Two adults and 2 or more juniors, all orienteering individually - £20

Dibber hire £1

Extra map £1

SI is being used for this event, SIAC enabled.

Purchase credit to use when entering any future Devon Orienteering Racesignup events. Buy Racesignup credits here

Registration and Start times

Registration: 10:00 – 12:15

Starts: 10:30 – 12:30

Courses close: 14:30

Start and Finish adjacent to assembly area.


First Aid and Toilets will be provided

Dog restrictions

Allowed in assembly area on leads. No dogs on courses.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Graham Pring Tel 07826 545799 or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Planner: Guy Balmer

Controller: Will Hancock KERNO

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