Eartham WoodSun 14 May, 2023

Near: Arundel
Level of event: National
Type of event: Race



Controller - Alan Wallis

I hope you agree with me that at the right time of year Eartham is a beautiful forest. Issues over access to sensitive areas meant that I first saw the map and proposed courses just under 3 weeks before the event, which was less than ideal. And then on my first visit to the forest found that significant thinning and timber extraction was taking place in the block to the north of the finish, where most courses had their final controls, so 2 weeks before Rob was still adding some new control sites and replanning courses. Fortunately, those courses were good and required very little input from me. The open runnable forest meant that following the red line was usually best, rewarding accurate compass bearings and distance estimation.

The only adverse comments on the day were about control 116, on Short Blue, Blue and Short Brown. I am confident it was on the mapped vegetation boundary, on the edge of the mature coniferous plantation, with the remains of the previous enclosing fence underfoot, but accept that the 'white' forest to the west, unlike elsewhere on the map, had some more vegetation reducing visibility. Apologies to anyone who lost some time there.

Organisation on the day by David, supported by the club, was very smooth, and aided by the glorious weather.

Planner - Robert Lines

Firstly, I must thank Alan Wallis, Controller and David Wilson, Organiser for all their work in fulfilling their roles for this event. Both put in a huge shift to make everything run smoothly and I’m most grateful. Alan had lots of tips and advice, all of which were helpful and well-received.

The new map arrived at the end of March 2023 and at that time the terrain was very open with little vegetation. Three weeks ago, the beech saplings came into leaf and suddenly there was a bit more of a technical challenge in running direct. It was a real pleasure to be out in the terrain these last few weeks in planning the event. Definitely an enjoyable experience.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat to the juniors afterwards about how they had got on. It was notable how skilled the M/W10s and upwards are at being able to talk through their courses. I was really impressed by the juniors from MV, TVOC, BAOC, DFOK and SO. All seemed to have had a positive run whilst tackling courses at the tougher end of TD1-TD4.

It was good to have feedback from competitors on the middle-distance courses with regards to vegetation boundaries. Clearly some of these have now completely disappeared with recent vegetation growth and consequently veg boundaries did not make good control sites. Something to avoid in future at this time of year, and apologies to those affected.

Finally, thanks go to the Start and Finish teams and to the fantastic control collectors: LittleDave, Garry Greenstreet, Chris Hooker, Ruth Rhodes, Ian Ditchfield, Kerria Lines, Alexander Lines and Edward Lines.

Organiser - David Wilson

Sunday 14th dawned grey and misty, but by mid-morning the sun was out and some 250 competitors were enjoying their run in dappled sunlight under the fresh beech foliage. Eartham Wood was virtually clear of undergrowth, making it a pleasure to take direct routes through the forest. Lucky with the weather? Yes; the ground was covered deep in hail 3 days earlier!

The most popular courses were Black (28 entries, winner Thomas Rollins, M16 SN, time 68:05 for 12.0km), Short Brown (26, Paul Couldridge, M45 SLOW, 55:12 for 8.3km), Blue (42, Mark Chapman, M60 SO, 48:05 for 6.7km), Short Blue (34, Ian Ditchfield, M65 MV, 43:48 for 5.5km), Green (53, Alan Williamson, M70 SO, 45: 39 for 4.7km) and Short Green (Ase Cave, W50 SN, 40:18 for 4.0km). A special mention for Grace French (Short Blue, W16 WIM) amongst many more people her senior and within 5 minutes of the winner; and Hannah Freeman (Short Blue) who was leading the class until halfway round.

There were 22 juniors on Orange, Yellow and White, with a contrast between the performance of Emma Chapman (W12 SO) who flattened the opposition on Orange with a time 50% better than the next; and Hugh Scarbrough on Yellow (MV M10) who squeaked in ahead of Daniel Duncan (SO, M10) by a margin of 5 seconds.

There was also fierce competition between the juniors in the maze competition, with 20 entrants who ran 100 races across 7 courses.

Many thanks to all those who helped out with the running of the event. It was a great success and a real showcase for the club.


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

Final Details now available (May 8th).

Come and join us for a run through beautiful Beech Forest on a new map for 2023.

Full range of courses on offer including a children's activity. Start and finish close to assembly. This is a South East League event and there will be catering available.

Location Info

Nearest town: Arundel

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

Directions / Parking

Grid Ref SU940120; Lat, Lng 50.900372, -0.663242; Postcode GU28 0LZ
What3Words : cured.bulk.scoop

Course Information

Black 12km
Brown 10.2km
Short Brown 8.3km
Blue 6.7km
Short Blue 5.4km
Green 4.7km
Short Green 4km
Very Short Green 3.4km
Light Green 3.6km
Orange 3km
Yellow 2.6km
White 1.7km

All course lengths subject to final controlling

Participants in orienteering must wear appropriate clothing including full leg cover (not shorts). This is a standard rule of the sport to minimise the transmission of blood borne parasites. Activities in cold weather or poor conditions require layered clothing with a windproof and/or waterproof shell garment.

Entry Details

Entries to be made online via racesignup


Seniors £14 (Rising to £16 after May 7th)

Novice Seniors £5 (but only on Orange, Yellow and White courses)

Non-member senior supplement £2

Juniors £5 (SO Juniors free with the usual discount code)

SI-card hire £1 (£0.5 for juniors) or £2 (£1) for a SIAC to allow contactless punching

Start Times

10:30-12:30. Start times are pre-allocated and can be chosen upon entry.

Map Details

1:10000 with 5m contours drawn by Dave Peel in March 2023 using Lidar data.

Terrain Description

Eartham Wood is mainly open mature beech woodland with little undergrowth, and eminently runnable. The area slopes downwards from the start area, with a height difference of about 125m between the highest and lowest parts of the wood.


Tom and Julie's catering van, toilets, first aid.

Free maze competition near to enquiries (for all ages).


Start and finish close to assembly. This is a SE League event - please follow this link to see which courses are recommended for each age class (although you are free to run whatever course you want).

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Robert Lines

Organiser: David Wilson (

Controller: Alan Wallis

Photo Gallery

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