SOG A7Blacklands FarmSat 11 December, 2021

Up early to put controls out has its benefits

Up early to put controls out has its benefits

Near: East Grinstead
Level of event: Local
Type of event: Race



Thanks to everyone who ran at Blacklands. This was Ben (M12) and Emma's (W10) first planning experience. Ben and Emma both enjoyed using Purple Pen (course planning software which is free to download) and found it quick and easy to use. With both of them planning we ended up with lots of controls which we hope Neil will forgive us for. For the blue we tried to provide a long enough course with enough variety to aim for a winning time of 35-40 mins. The long thin shape of the (relatively small) Blackland Farm area made planning longer technical legs, with route choice, tricky; but we think that this was achieved. Ben and Emma received lots of great comments at the end from people who enjoyed the courses.

Our juniors enjoyed an excellent training session put on by Karen Ashworth and Tim Hulley and made new friends in the process. They also benefited from shadowing and one to one training on the course from our more experienced juniors Amelia, Maddie, Scarlet and Tommy as well as Tim Bartlett. Thank you all for helping to bring our juniors on.

Thank you to our willing helpers: Bridget Hooper for helping Ben and Emma manage the start setup, signage and flags. Ben and Emma for getting up before the sun rose to help. Mark Chapman, Mike Turner, Julia and Steve Jarvis for squeezing in lots of Orienteers Cars, as well as children's parties and Monster Truckers into a small awkward space!! Thanks to Will Heap for Newcomer Help. Thanks to Joe Barrett, Les Coles and Mike Ralph on SI and our control collectors Ed Lines, Garry Greenstreet, Paul Luttman and Rob Lines. Thanks also to Mike Gammon for his quick turnaround of maps and positive comments and Neil for sorting our controls out.


Is a web app for sharing and comparing orienteering routes. You can draw your own route or upload a GPS track from your watch. It also allows you to watch an animated replay with a simulated mass start.

Pre event info

We are offering FREE JUNIOR COACHING sessions for those who are learning to navigate the yellow course. It is suitable for primary school age children and those just starting to learn how to get around a course using a map. The sessions are fun and based on learning key skills in short sessions. Please contact Karen Ashworth if you think you may be interested. Parents are welcome to attend too. Meet at 10am at the Social Hub(the hexagonal tent). You will have time to do a course after the coaching, so please pre-book your course.

We are also running SHADOWING for anyone who needs a bit of help with key skills or older children who want to work on gaining confidence to run courses on their own. We will match you with someone of suitable experience who will be able to give you pointers from time to time during the course and identify opportunities for developing your current skills. Please contact Anna Chapman ahead of the event, so we can identify a suitable shadower. Please pre-book your course as normal.

There will be time to both the junior coaching and shadowing.

SOG Series Info

SOGs are friendly club events where children and newcomers are very welcome. Yellow and Orange courses are suitable for children to run on their own with a bit of practice. Adults are welcome to shadow children until they are confident to go on their own. Green and Blue courses are run or walked by any age group - you can race competitively or just enjoy the woodland.

There are two series of events - autumn and spring of approximately 8 events each. Electronic timing (SI) is used.

Help on the day always appreciated.

Volunteer here

Enquiries here

Location Info

Nearest town: East Grinstead

* Postcodes are not very precise in some areas, so don't rely on them for an exact location.

Directions / Parking

Parking is at Blackland Farm Girl Guide Camp, Grinstead Lane, East Grinstead, RH19 4HP. The turning to the car park is on the western side of the road. All parking is on hard standing.

Public Transport

Take the train to East Grinstead. From there you can take bus number 84 (the East Grinstead to Crawley route) to Blackland Farm.

Course Information

Course lengths: Yellow (1.5km, 25m climb), Orange (2.5km, 45m climb), Green (3.8km, 95m climb), Blue (5.7km, 140m climb). Yellow and orange planned by Emma Chapman. Green and Blue planned by Ben Chapman.
Note: Blue course descriptions are a minimum of 17.5cm long.

Technical difficulty: Easy (yellow) to hard (Blue). Yellow could be done by a confident junior map reader on their own. Juniors can be shadowed (only pay for the junior). If it's your first event as a family with children under 10, we recommend a yellow. If the children are 10 or over we recommend an orange.

Entry Details

SO/BOF members: Seniors £5.00, Juniors £2.50, SO Juniors free (use discount code SOjuniors).

Non members: Seniors £7.00, Juniors £2.50. If you're going as a group, only pay per map reader i.e. juniors can be shadowed by adults and only pay for the junior.

'Dibber' hire: Electronic punching (SI) chips are available to hire. SIAC (contactless): £2 (£1 Juniors), non-SIAC (not contactless) £1 (50p juniors)

Online entry only via racesignup


Pre entry only via racesignup. Enquiries and newcomer help from 9:45 - 10:45.

Start Times

Starts from 10:00am-11:00am. Courses close 12:30pm

Map Details

1:5,000 Map by Roger Maher in 2000 with major updates in 2013 and latest minor updates in 2021.

Terrain Description

Runnable wooded river valley with an abundance of natural and man-made (forest adventure) features as well as open fields.

Dog restrictions

Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a lead at all times as this is an activity centre. Please ensure you clear up after them.




Please wear enough clothes to keep warm - the wind can add a real chill factor. Please also wear trainers or boots that won't slip in the mud.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Chapman Family



Photo Gallery

click/tap photos for a larger version

Post race analysis

Post race analysis

Junior training in full swing

Junior training in full swing

One to one training (shadowing)

One to one training (shadowing)