Oldhouse Warren, Cowdray and Greentrees ForestSun 13 June, 2021

Cowdray Ride

Cowdray Ride

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



Thank you for coming along to a very hot and sunny event.

Planners comments by Alan Velecky: I hope you enjoyed Oldhouse today. Apologies if you found it a bit tough. The courses were originally planned for a May event, and when I last visited the forest 3 weeks ago, the bracken was only a few inches high and provided no impediment. The heavy rain in late May, followed by a warm start to June caused it to shoot up, and it was clear putting the controls out that conditions had become much slower. The beautiful weather was a mixed blessing; it certainly made the conditions even more sapping. Well done to all who persevered, particularly early starters who had no elephant tracks to follow. Apologies to younger Orange course competitors; in retrospect, I think the course was a bit too technical, and some line features which should have been easy to follow between controls were obscured by bracken.

Despite the tough conditions, I hope you were still able to enjoy Oldhouse, which I think is a wonderful area. I tried to throw in a few long legs to test your concentration across the ride grid, and tried to keep you off the paths and in the forest – not sure I totally succeeded judging by comments, there would have been more to gain from cutting corners a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, even in June there are some lovely bits of open forest with intricate contour detail which I hope you appreciated.

Planning an event on such an excellent area is always a privilege; with the forest to myself I saw countless deer, and the bluebells in April were beautiful. I was in safe hands with the ever helpful and constructive Mike Murray as Controller; his suggestions always improved the courses, and he went well beyond the call of duty by constructing crossing points and collecting controls. Thank you Mike!

Controllers comments by Mike Murray: Yes it was a struggle up to the finish and especially if you had ‘run out of steam’ a kilometre or two beforehand. Had we been able to keep to the original date it would have been easier.

Early starters were disadvantaged by the fresh emerging bracken but hopefully will have enjoyed hearing the cuckoos.

Alan’s courses tried to give as much route choice as possible with the 10 fence crossings but on the day competitors found it difficult to locate them in the sparkling light. Perhaps fewer passages with a mandatory control just before the barbed wire next time around.

My thanks to planner Alan Velecky for all his forward planning and the interesting courses that only required a minor nudge here and there.

Anna has been wonderfully organised and competent throughout so my thanks to her as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend in the forest and thank Southdowns for keeping me on their books.


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Pre event info

Welcome to Southdowns Orienteers National Event, which takes place in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in an ancient hunting forest which includes beautiful gill woodlands. The event is a South East League event with a wide range of courses (including the usual SOG courses) and is open to all. FINAL DETAILS

Location Info

Nearest town: Crawley

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

Directions / Parking

Located at the picturesque Greentrees Estate, access is along the estate track, off the B2110 to the north. TQ296326. Parking may be on a field and on some hard standing areas, depending on the weather.

Public Transport

Balcombe train station is 3.5km away.

Course Information

Full range of SE league courses. See the SEOA website for recommended course for each age class:

Black 12.5km 330m climb
Brown 9.9km 280m climb
Short brown 8.6km 260 climb
Blue 7.1km 210m climb
Short blue 6.0km 175m climb
Green 5.0km 140m climb
Short green 3.3km 115m climb
Very short green 2.4km 85m climb
Light green 3.7km 100m climb
Orange 2.9km 80m climb
Yellow 1.8km 30m climb
White 1.3km 25m climb

Entry Details


We had to limit numbers across the majority of courses to a total of 300, to avoid excessive footfall in certain sensitive parts of the terrain at this time of year.

Senior member £12 (non-member supplement £2)

Senior SIAC (contactless) hire £2, SI card hire £1

Junior member £3 (non-member supplement £2)

Junior SIAC (contactless) hire £1, SI card hire 50p

SO Juniors enter for free using the special discount code. Email the event organiser for information.



​No entry on the day

Start Times

​Allocated starts times from 10:00-12:30. PLEASE ARRIVE AS CLOSE TO YOUR START TIME AS POSSIBLE.

Map Details

1:10,000 mapped by Roger Maher and updated in March 2021

Terrain Description

​An area of generally mature broadleaved trees, with some coniferous planting. Privately owned and used for timber production and game. A favourite orienteering venue due to the runnability of the terrain, variation of vegetation, and size of area.

Dog restrictions

​Well-behaved dogs allowed on a lead in the car park only. Please pick up after your dog. No dogs on the course please.


Toilets will be provided.

Please bring:

  • Your own water to ensure adequate hydration pre and post event.
  • Hand sanitizer.


Please ensure you have read and adhere to the British Orienteering Code of Conduct

There are two starts.

Start A for courses Green, Light Green, Orange, Yellow and White is approx 600m around the edge of a field to the east of the parking area.

Start B for courses Black, Brown, Short Brown, Blue, Short Blue, Short Green, Very Short Green is approx 400m along a track to the north of the parking area.

There are two finishes.

The far finish for courses Blue, Short Green, Orange, Yellow and White is located near to start A (600m away). There is space in the field for a small number of people to wait for younger competitors. Once finished, please move straight to download, following the tapes around the edge of the field.

The near finish for courses Black, Brown, Short Brown, Short Blue, Green, Very Short Green, Light Green is located 200m from download. Please do not congregate at the finish and move straight to download.

Competitors should not attend this event:

  • Who are unwell with a cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms
  • Have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 and are within the quarantine period
  • If they have returned from non-exempt overseas country, until they have completed the 14 day quarantine period
  • Are currently undergoing COVID-19 testing, until they receive a negative result and are symptom free
  • Been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace due to them having been in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • If they have been advised to stay at home by a Health Care professional

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Alan Velecky

Organiser: Anna Chapman webmanager@southdowns-orienteers.org.uk

Controller: Mike Murray (SLOW)

Photo Gallery

click/tap photos for a larger version

Cowdray Ancient Trees

Cowdray Ancient Trees

Cowdray Gulleys

Cowdray Gulleys

Cowdray Landforms

Cowdray Landforms

Cowdray Open

Cowdray Open

Cowdray Terrain

Cowdray Terrain

Greentrees View

Greentrees View