SOG A8Ditchling Common & CoachingSat 20 January, 2024

Near: Burgess Hill
Level of event: Local
Type of event: Race



The club’s objective is to increase participation in orienteering, and so it was especially rewarding to have 115 entrants enjoying our courses this morning.

The common was in perfect condition. We had waded through what seemed like waist deep deep gloopy mud on our initial planning and taping forays, but we had a most beautiful evening putting the controls out last night, with a glorious sunset and then a sparkling array of stars above us as we put the controls out using headlights in the frost. As the temperature rose this morning, the ground had a little ‘give’ in it yet, there was sufficient ice remaining to contain the quagmire.

We planned the courses to use the new interesting areas of open ground in the SE corner and to the South of the lake, plus the two newly felled areas. Also, to favour running on the more pleasant central open common rather than sloshing through the mud or having many route choice legs around the lake. We tremendously enjoyed planning and organising the event with the support of many other SO members, and wish to thank: Neil Crickmore for wading around and mapping the new areas; Sue Crickmore, for her many insightful suggestions which improved the courses; the ever reliable and superb SI team who put a long stint in as they always do (Joe, Ralph and Paul on this time) and get the results out quickly; John and Amy for putting out the controls this morning (well done John for spotting that I had the most Northerly control in the wrong gully – phrew!!) and control collecting later; Celia and Liam Dasey for parking and the start, and Sarah Lowe and of course Dave Cummins (of infinite energy) for control collecting.

We made had one oversight with the maps – we overlooked the usual words of instruction to turn over the map for the second half, and apologies to those of you who were affected by this. A learning point for the next one.

Well done everyone for participating, helping or competing, (or both) and thank you for the many supportive comments and appreciative feedback.

Tim and Linda


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 will be offering a coaching session for younger juniors learning techniques for the white and yellow courses.

Karen is going to challenge the younger juniors to keep their map oriented and their thumb on their current location as they walk round the twists and turns of the tricky path network. There will be stickers on offer for thumbs that are in the right place each time we stop. Come dressed for mud including short stretches where it is ankle deep and slippery. There may be bonus stickers for anyone whose thumb remains firmly in place during distractions like dogs coming over to say hello or accompanying adults slipping over in the mud!

Please register your interest with Anna or respond in the Spond app. Meet up at 9:45 by the coaching flag ready for a 10am start. The session will be no longer than an hour. Please pre-register for your course beforehand.

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: Burgess Hill

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

Directions / Parking

Parking on hard standing in the Mid Sussex Business Park, Folders Lane East, BN6 8SE. (the same location as last year).

Sign posted from the entrance to the industrial estate at W3W fruitcake.frost.given.
It is a 600m walk back to the start: back out of the industrial estate and then turn right where signposted into the common, following tapes to the start. DO NOT USE THE DITCHLING COMMON PUBLIC CAR PARK.

Public Transport

Burgess Hill Station 1.9miles walk, Bus 35A or 35C from Burgess Hill to The Warren and 25minute walk

Course Information

Blue 5.8k, 80m climb

Green 4.5k 60m climb

Short Green 3.5k 55m climb

Orange 2.4k 40m climb

Yellow 1.5k 30m climb

Entry Details

Pre-entry via Newcomers are welcome and eligible for a free trial session - if you'd like to reserve a map or discuss the event please email our membership secretary.

BOF member fees: Seniors £5.00, Juniors £2.50, SO Juniors free.

Non member fees: Seniors £6.00, Juniors £2.50.

'Dibber' hire:
Electronic punching (SI) chips are available to hire. SIAC (contactless): £2 (juniors £1), non-SIAC (not contactless) £1 (juniors £0.5)

Registration open

9:45 to 10:45

Start Times

10:00 to 11:00. Courses close at 12:30.

Map Details

Surveyed by Neil Crickmore Jan 2021 based on LIDAR data with updates Dec 23/Jan 24.

Terrain Description

A mixture of open and wooded areas with a good path network.

There are some newly-cleared areas which are used by most of the courses.

History: The manor of Ditchling, held in modern times by the Marquess of Abergaveyyny, owned the Commons since the medieval ages and only sold the land in 1950.

Jacob’s Post is very nearby at TQ 338 197 (which is just across the main road, on the NW area of the common). Local people have believed that touching this post (it is dated 1734 and has a bird on top) can cure infidelity and ailments

Dog restrictions

On a lead in the car park. On the common dogs are welcome under close control. Clear up after your dog



Contacts / Officials

Planner: Linda & Tim Hulley