RegionalBroadstone / North AshdownSun 15 January, 2023

Near: Wych Cross
Level of event: Regional
Type of event: Race



Planners report:

This wasn't the easiest planning experience of my 45 years experience, due to the large new out of bounds area and the proliferation of rhododendron, since the map was last revised in early 2020. Finding suitable / fair controls sites was further hindered by deep bracken on my early December visit to the area, which resulted in a massive rethink of courses - even the start location (the original site is now within thick rhododendron...).
Many control sites were binned and attempts to find the best suitable replacements were sought, two of which (84 and 77) in particular would appear to have caused some problems. 84 was a circular vegetation boundary (two huge old trees within a younger area of woodland). Maybe people were expecting a small coniferous section with the generally deciduous block, so were unprepared for what the map depicted? 77 was the northern end of a prominent earth wall (a pillow bank) so shouldn't have caused any issue, but I understand those approaching from the north were blinded by the very low sun, which wasn't helped by the control flag being in an area with additional rhododendron growth.
Hopefully most people did still enjoy their course (and thanks to those who've already contacted me to say exactly that) and the different challenges set by the contrasting halves of the map. Fortunately we had a lovely day - it can be grim out on the open Ashdown Forest at this time of year - placing the controls on Saturday was a very different experience!
Now the thanks - to Doug Deeks for agreeing to Control the event - something he's been doing on a regular basis during SO's entire 45 years existence. Broadstone was previously a Saxons area and Doug was actually one of the original surveyors of the area back in 1972!
To Tim Hulley for not only helping me to place the controls in a gale on Saturday but for also going out early on Sunday to assist me with switching on all of the SI units.
To Penny Marsh for doing a fantastic job organising her first event and to the many volunteers who helped with all the tasks needed to ensure everything ran smoothly. If you've not already done so, please consider uploading your route to Steve Jarvis

Organisers comments

I can’t take credit for the weather, but that was great! Thanks so much to all of our lovely volunteers, especially Steve for all the guidance, you all made organising much easier than I expected and it was good to meet so many of you. If anyone is considering trying it, I’d say give it a go. Penny


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.

Regional Series Info

Open to everyone. These events offer a larger range of colour coded courses (including the usual yellow, orange, green, blue) and attract a wider group of people from different clubs. Regional events often offer a white course which is easier than a yellow and ideal for juniors wishing to try it on their own for the first time as there should be a control at every decision point. Seven colours are used with each representing a certain level of difficulty (both technical and physical). The darker the colour, the longer and harder the course.

Volunteer here

Enquiries here

Location Info

Nearest town: Wych Cross

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

Directions / Parking

On hard standing adjacent to Ashdown Forest Centre. Please park as directed by marshals. Signed from the junction of the A22 and Colemans Hatch Road. There is no parking fee to be paid when parking in the event car park.

Public Transport

Nearest train station East Grinstead.

Course Information

Brown - 9.2km, 340m climb, 27 controls

Blue - 6.7km, 220m climb, 22 controls

Short Blue - 5.3km, 135m climb, 19 controls

Green - 4.2km, 100m climb, 16 controls

Short/Light Green - 3.3km, 85m climb, 13 controls

Orange - 2.8km, 80m climb, 12 controls

Yellow - 2.0km, 50m climb, 10 controls

Map used at Southern Night Champs in November can be seen here:

Entry Details

Pre-entry via

£12.00 BOF Senior/£6.00 BOF Junior up to 1st January 2023

£14.00 BOF Senior/£6.00 BOF Junior up to 13th January 2023 (subject to map availability)

£2 non-member supplement (Seniors only)

SO juniors free (use code SOjuniors)

Standard Dibber Hire: £1.00 Senior/£0.50 Junior

SIAC Hire: £2.00 Senior/£1.00 Junior


From 10:15 - 12:15.

Start Times

From 10:30 - 12:30. Courses close 14:15.

Map Details

As used for November's Southern Night Championships.
Resurveyed 2020 by Roger Maher
Scale 1:10,000 with 5 metre contours.
Longer courses with have an A3 map, Shorter courses will have an A4 map.

Terrain Description

The area is split roughly 50/50 between Broadstone Warren (Scout Association activity site) and North Ashdown Forest. All courses will start in Broadstone Warren, about 300 metres from the event centre. Broadstone is a mixture of fairly runnable woodland and much slower areas of (solid green) thick rhododendron, which in some places is more extensive than mapped. Note that in those areas where rhododendron is particularly rampant, many of the smaller bushes are not mapped. The courses have generally been planned to avoid the worst areas of rhododendron, but it has not been possible to complete avoid it - control sites in these areas are very definite. All courses except for Yellow then venture onto North Ashdown Forest. This is a mixture of heathland and birch woods. Part of this area is a fairly exposed north facing slope, while Brown, Blue & Short Blue will also head across the Wych Cross-Colemans Hatch road into the historically less used part of North Ashdown, via out-and-back unmanned road crossings (2 minutes timed out for each crossing). Visibility at both crossing locations is good, but note that the speed limit is 40mph, so only cross if safe to do so. The finish for all courses is approximately 100 metres from download in the event centre.

Dog restrictions

Dogs must be kept under close control at all times on the Forest. Please clean up after your dog.


Toilets in the Ashdown Forest Centre. Please no muddy footwear in the toilets.


A previous map of Broadstone Warren & North Ashdown can be found here.

Conservation of the Forest

Ashdown Forest, as many of you will know, is a very special place. It is managed by the Board of Conservators of Ashdown Forest, an independent body. In recognition of the ecological importance of Ashdown Forest and to ensure its protection, it is designated as a European Natura 2000 site and as a Site of Special Scientific Interest under UK legislation. Ashdown Forest is also within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Conservators have duties laid down by statute which include the following:

  • To regulate and manage the forest as an amenity and place of resort
  • To conserve it as a quiet and natural area of outstanding beauty

The Conservators are keen to raise the public’s (and hence our) awareness of their legal duty and, within this, their aim of balancing the interests of all users of the forest.

Please have particular regard therefore to the other users of the area, including all walkers, dog walkers and riders, all of whom are also seeking to enjoy their activities peacefully. Slow to a walk, keep especially quiet and keep a wide berth at any point where you meet horse riders.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Steve Jarvis

Organiser: Penny Marsh

Controller: Doug Deeks