On Saturday 12 October I joined a very enthusiastic group of people at Newlands Corner for an introductory session on orienteering, organised by Guildford Orienteers and led by Society member, Marion-Payne Bird and her helpers.
This was a new experience for most of us and after a short introduction we were given a chart, marked with letters and numbers and asked to find our way round a temporary course, set up on a grassy area just down the hill at Newlands. The children quickly grasped the idea of this while some of the adults took a little longer!
It was a glorious, sunny autumn morning and after chatting over coffee and receiving more information to help us on our way, including how to use a compass, we set off in groups to negotiate the permanent orienteering course which starts near the Visitor Centre.
We were given an orienteering map of the course with 15 control points marked as circles with numbers and one person was in charge of the “dib”. We set off to find the numbered control points marked by a wooden post and recorded our visit to each one by dibbing in the box on the top of the post, until we heard a bleep. From time to time we checked our location with a compass as we negotiated wooded areas and small tracks.
At the end of the course we were given a print out of the times we reached each check point and the total time taken to do the route. We then realised that each dib had recorded our progress along the way!
Many thanks to Marion and her team for a really enjoyable morning.
Julia Evans, Society Member