Devon Orienteering


Devon League Event 6: River Dart Country Park

Image of the  map

Sun 24 Mar 2019

Info updated: 26th Mar
Type of event: Regional
Type of terrain: Woodland


Results below, as well as the Planner's comments. 

River Dart CP Results




We very much hope you enjoyed your run today; we intend to provide event reports in the next day or so. If you are not yet a member of an orienteering club -and are keen to take part in future events and activities-we would be delighted if you join Devon Orienteering Club. All the details can be found on the Membership page of the website or here: Membership

Planner's comments
Judging by the large number of smiling faces (grimaces?) at the Download and runners who went round more than one course, it was clear that the vast majority of competitors had a really good day today...except, possibly, those on the Blue Course (more of which later)!!
The River Dart Country Park is an 'interesting' area to plan with a huge difference in terrain from the generally flat campsite / park to the North to the very undulating, difficult terrain to the South.  In addition the long, narrow area requires quite a bit of thought to ensure that the required course lengths are met whilst also keeping the height gain within appropriate limits, and the uncrossable boundary (old wall) running West to East to the South of the area forces all longer courses to go through the choke point of the gate (today's control 42) which is less than ideal.  Also the land is 'actively managed' by both the River Dart Country Park and The National Trust with new footpaths being added (and older ones being left to become overgrown), pheasant pens being moved, out of bounds areas changing (including a new one added in the last couple of days), vegetation being cut back and also large areas of vegetation being allowed to grow up.  This necessitated a considerable number of updates in a relatively short period of time to ensure the map was as accurate as possible and a big thank you goes to Tom Lillicrap for doing this work over Christmas and into the New Year.  However to echo the points raised by both the Controller and Planner at the 2017 event, it is vital that a detailed review of the area is scheduled approximately 6 months before the next planned event so that Planners can work off as up-to-date a map as possible.  
I have planned 2 Military League (South) events before but this was my first with Devon OC, however the guidance and support I received from Rob Parkinson as Controller was superb and made the whole process much easier; many thanks.  I deliberately wanted to use as much of the entire area as possible to not only spread the competitor load out but also ensure that courses were technically challenging enough without being too hard/easy.  To make the organisation easier I also chose to have the Start and Finish as close to Registration as possible, and I believe this worked well.  For the longer courses I was very conscious of not turning them into a slog that just criss-crossed the area continually going up and down hill, however this did require a considerable amount of discussion between Rob and I and subsequent changes to courses to make this happen.  Back to the Blue course and unfortunately to maintain both the technical difficulty and course length something had to give and in this case it was slightly more height gain than would be ideal; then again this could be seen as value for money!  Finally an admin point to apologise for those runners that wanted to do a Short Green but couldn't as there were insufficient maps printed and so had to opt for a Green or Light Green instead.  Fortunately all those wanting to run an Orange course were able to with maps being recycled although it did highlight that more maps are probably needed for these courses in future. 
Guy Balmer

Pre Event Information


Nearest town: Ashburton

Directions / Parking

Car parking is at the River Dart Country Park, Newton Abbot TQ13 7NP. There is a charge of £4  per car at the Country Park, so you are encouraged to arrange with friends to car share!

Registration & Start Times

To help the registration team, you can complete and print off a copy of the registration form prior to the event and bring it with you: Registration Form

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Tom Bate ()

Planner: Guy Balmer

Controller: Rob Parkinson

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 .

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