Kings Hill Urban Orienteering Event - 6 October 2019

Published: 03 October 2019

As promoted in the Summer issue of the Parish Council newsletter, Saxons Orienteering Club is holding an ‘Urban Orienteering event’ at Kings Hill on Sunday 6th October. There are expected to be around 100 orienteers of all ages participating, both Saxons members and some from other clubs; and it is hoped that local Kings Hill residents will join them and take the opportunity to ‘have a go’ at orienteering.

Orienteering is an exciting outdoor adventure sport which involves walking or running whilst navigating around a course, usually in a forest or woods, using a special detailed map and a compass. The aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points, (a small red and white kite with an associated electronic timing box); and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time.

‘Urban orienteering’ is similar but takes place in urban environments – usually cities or towns, particularly where the geography is interesting. Saxons has identified Kings Hill as an attractive venue for urban orienteering. The complex road and path network and open spaces at Kings Hill provide an extremely interesting navigational challenge for this type of activity.

Saxons Orienteering Club is grateful for the support of Liberty Property Management and the Parish Council in holding this event.

Details of the event are as follows –

Map: The Kings Hill orienteering map has been specially prepared for the event by Saxons OC, based on publicly available information, supported by a ground survey; and is A3 in size. It shows the buildings, roads and paths, etc. as well as areas that are ‘out of bounds’, including private gardens. Orienteers will use public paths and pavements to navigate their way around their course.

The area in use for the event lies between the Control Tower in the West and the sports ground in the East, and across the full extent of the residential area from North to South.

Parking and event registration: Kent County Council have kindly given permission for competitors to use their car parks at Worrall House, 30 Kings Hill. These are well located, being on the business part of the Kings Hill estate (so quiet on a Sunday), but within easy walking distance of the start/finish locations and the village centre.

Registration for the event will be located by one of the car parks and a gazebo will be used to provide weather protection. A ‘Saxons’ feather banner will be displayed to indicate the location. Registration will start at 10.00 am and run through to 12.00 pm, with starts from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Start/finish locations: these will be located next to each other on the long, grassed area bordering Tower View / Baxter Way / Maypole Drive. This is a conveniently large open space for the start lanes, competitor assembly area, clothing dump and finish control. The tall hedges used for landscaping are also very useful as they obscure the view of the immediate area which will force competitors to ‘think on their feet’ as they exit the start lanes.

Courses: There will be a range of 7 courses, from a short 2.4. k suitable for juniors and newcomers to the sport, to a long 10.5 k. which will challenge the faster, fitter and more experienced.The more challenging courses will involve route choices – is it better to go this way or that way? The newcomers course will be simpler, with only one sensible route to be taken.

We will also be holding a ‘Kings Hill Newcomers Challenge’ to discover the best new local orienteers – prizes will be awarded! For this there will be entry on the day and family/senior groups or individuals over 16 may take part! Experienced Saxons members will be available on the day to offer help and advice to first timers.

There will be around 40 orienteering ‘controls’ in use on the day. Each course consists of a series of controls that must be visited in the specified order before returning to the finish. The competitors carry a small electronic chip that registers when each control has been visited and allows the overall time taken to complete the course to be calculated.

Unlike geocaching, the controls are not hidden and any competitor navigating their way to the correct location on the map will spot the control. The controls will be marked as being the property of Saxons OC and in use for an orienteering event. They will go out on the morning of the event and will come down again the same day.

Further information: Information on Saxons and local orienteering opportunities is available on the club’s website at – www.saxons-oc.org