Knightshayes (National Trust)
Our first event of 2021!
Sun 9 May 2021
Info updated: 09th May
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland
Organiser's Comments: I think we all worried about how smoothly our re-introduction to orienteering would go, and it was important to demonstrate that we could run an event that was not just covid-safe, but was perceived to be covid-safe by others. In the end we needn’t have worried. The National Trust were keen to welcome us back thanks to Bryan’s negotiations, and were very supportive through the whole planning process. Despite a variety of last minute obstacles, Damian managed to plan some courses that seemed to strike the perfect balance for nearly everyone as a first event back. Martin Yeo ran the pre-entry system with RaceSignUp. Having all competitors pre-entered meant that we could hold the event with minimal helpers and reduce the potential for congregation in the registration area. The allocated start periods with punching starts ensured we had a good flow of competitors through the assembly area, without any (obvious!) stress about start times. The download with live results seemed to go really well too, so a huge thank you to the SI team. Finally, thanks of course to Roger Green for providing bespoke signage to help keep the area safe which was hugely appreciated.
The better than expected weather and stunning location of course always helps to make the day run smoothly, but in the end it was just really good to meet people again after such a long time away. Even the inevitable errors from orienteering rust didn’t seem to wipe the smiles off faces, so well done to everyone for making it such an enjoyable day out. Tom Lewis, Organiser
Planner’s Comments: I hope you enjoyed the club’s first opportunity to go orienteering at a full event since what seems like forever, with real kites and beeps from the control units rather than your phone. Sunday morning’s weather even obliged us with some sunshine. Knightshayes is not a technical area and maybe that was for the best for our first attempt at navigating for many months. I tried a different course format to keep the planning work to something reasonable in the time available. I always find that, no matter what the area is, there will always be at least one of the colour-coded courses that causes problems and isn’t really the standard it claims to be. Having lots of courses translates not only to more planning, but lots of interaction between the courses, leading to compromises in their quality. Should the three-course format be something we try again for low-key events?
As with any event, something unexpected arises. This time it was the prolonged closure of the bottom field following lambing. With it still inaccessible a week and a half before the event, staff unsure when it would open again, and me peering through gaps in hedges trying to ascertain whether the trees I intended for control locations were still there, I took the decision to replan parts of the medium and long courses to avoid it, rather than risk finding out on the day before the event that it was still closed! For the long course this presented two choices: either we did a second lap of the area, which would have required a map exchange and I really didn’t want to work that out in a COVID-safe way; or I planned yet more loops and turns into the course. What you ended up with had more a feel of a medium-distance race than a long course, and I hope you mastered the challenge.
Thank you to Tom for helping place controls on the day before (which was not sunny), and, as always, to the control collectors, who do a great job at supporting the planner once the event has finished and other competitors have all gone home. Damian Wilson, Planner
Pre Event Information
Start Times: via Racesignup.co.uk
We are up and running again! We are delighted to be returning to Knighthayes (National Trust) near Tiverton for our first event of the year.
Note new travel information! (30.4.21) The normal (and NT signed) approach road to Knightshayes, from Bolham, is scheduled to be closed on 9th May. The signs say closed 3rd May for 7 days, which takes us to the 9th, but there's the possibility of course that the works are finished by then. The approach from the South East direction, via Lea Road in Tiverton, remains open.
Acknowledgements: Access is by kind permission of The National Trust
Terrain: Courses are mostly in open parkland, making for very fast running, although there is a small section of woodland (with a good track network) on the Medium and Long courses. If the weather has been dry in the lead up to the event, and on the day, you may reasonably run on this area in training shoes. There is an unfenced pond on all courses. There is a short section on the medium and long courses along the driveway.
Safety: Every effort will be made to ensure the event is safe for competitors, volunteers and the public. We ask that at all times you adhere to the government’s guidance on social distancing and follow the British Orienteering’s Code of Conduct which can be found at: https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/COVID19_Safe_Orienteering
Prior to the event, if you display symptoms of COVID-19, are required to self-isolate or are otherwise feeling unwell then you must not attend. Refunds will be given to those unable to attend for this reason. Please ensure that you do not congregate in groups of more than 6 at any time, and keep a 2m distance at all times where possible. You should not need to enter a tent with another person at any time. If you are required to do this, you will need to wear a face covering.
There will be no car key or baggage drop. All competitors MUST download even if they do not complete the course. Runners must have covered legs. Whistles are compulsory. Cagoules may be made compulsory in adverse weather. Participants to bring their own water and ensure adequate hydration pre and post event. Hand sanitiser will be available; however, we encourage participants to bring their own. Please ensure hands are sanitised before and after the event. The organiser and the land owner reserve the right to refuse entry to any participants who in their opinion may increase the risk to themselves or others of contracting COVID-19.
The personal data given at Registration will be used by the event organisers and their agents but only for the purpose of processing/publishing entries/results, conducting safety checks and as required by our insurers to validate our cover; and, managed iaw the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Your personal data may also be used , if requested, as part of the Covid-19 Track and trace service.
Other users: Walkers, some with dogs. Please be considerate to other users. Please ensure all gates are left as found as lambs will be in the fields. Please ensure all litter is removed. Dogs are allowed if on short leads at all times. Please only cross fences at recognised crossing points.
Facilities: National Trust toilet
Nearest town: Tiverton
- Grid Ref:
- Postcode: EX16 7RG
- Latitude: 50.92074
- Longitude: -3.48575
- Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)
Directions / Parking
Entrance to estate at SS 9570 1456. Park in the main car park to the North of the house. National Trust members must bring their membership cards to get free parking (a window sticker is insufficient). Non-members will need to pay for parking.
When travelling to and from the event, participants are advised to only travel within the same vehicle with others from the same household. Please arrive and depart in your kit if possible.
Registration & Start Times
Start Times: 1030-1230 hrs in 15 minute start blocks. Courses close at 1400hrs.
Start & Finish: Start and finish are within 2 minutes of the event assembly area, which is about 5 minutes from the car park. Competitors with their own SI cards should proceed directly from the car park to the assembly area, aiming to arrive not more than 5 minutes before the chosen start block. Please observe social distancing requirements at all times.
Only 6 people can be in the start area at any one time, and this includes the helpers. Once the start area has cleared, competitors should proceed forward to fill the space. It does not matter if this means that you end up starting before or after your allocated start block
Download will be “self-service” by dibbing at the unmanned download station after finishing.
Maps: A4 Portrait 1:7500 scale. Contours at 5m intervals. Bagged maps.
Punching: SI. Card hire fee £1.00 per competitor. Lost card charge. Pre-booked and bagged SI cards will be available at the registration tent. Lost dibbers will be charged £30
Short 2.3 km, 65 m climb, 13 controls. Fairly Easy. A relatively easy TD3 course (Orange).
Medium: 4.1 km, 125 m climb, 20 controls. Moderate/More Difficult. TD4, avoiding steep slopes and rough terrain
Long: 6.8 km, 210 m climb, 30 controls. Moderate/More Difficult. TD4 with occasional steep slopes.
Explanation of colour courses
- White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
- Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
- Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
- Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
- Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
- Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
- Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
- Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.
Entries: Strictly Pre-Entry ONLY
Entries will be limited to a maximum of 80 individual runners or family groups. Individual Seniors £7.00 Family Groups £7.00 Juniors £ 3.00
Pre-entry available online via https://racesignup.co.uk/site/event.php?eventid=2074 up to midnight 5th May 2021. Competitors directly select their 15min start block. This is to reduce congestion in the car park to comply with our access agreement. Please do try to arrive at the start within your allocated times
Contacts / Officials
Organiser: Tom Lewis (Devon) E-mail:
Planner: Damian Wilson (Devon)
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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