Blean Local Event

"Back To Orienteering" series event 1

Sun 18 Apr 2021

Welcome to Saxons first "Back To Orienteering" event at the lovely Blean Woods. As usual we have parking at Mount Ephraim gardens (though note different entrance).

Type of event: Local

Info updated: Mon 19 Apr


Event Report

What a glorious day! Hope everyone enjoyed a long awaited return to orienteering, from the comments I heard it seems to have gone well.

Thanks to all the helpers and to Mount Epriaim estate for such lovely facilities.

Pre Event Info


Entry is in advance only via RaceSignUp (click here).

You will be required to chose a 15 minute start slot as part of the advanced entry. Please try to stick to your chosen start window to ensure appropriate social distancing can be maintained at the start.   

Control descriptions will be emailed out on Friday 16 April via RaceSignUp for you to print and so will not be available in the start lanes. Alternatively a link will appear here at the same time.

Control Descriptions

Note also that for the Blue, Light Green and Score courses the control descriptions on the map obscures part of the legend. If you are not familiar with the map symbols you are advised to also print the attached map legend below.

Map Legend


On Arrival at Mount Ephraim gardens

Hire dibbers must be collected from the event tent in the car park at Mount Ephraim- they will have been sanitised and will be in sealed envelopes. 

No key drop at the start, but there will be an ad-hoc clothing dump near to the start/finish (it will be visible from the start, but not marshalled)

Please leave the car park ready to race and follow the taped route to the start (1.6k, approx 15-20 mins walk).

Route to start goes through orchards then requires walking along a country lane without a footpath. Signs will be in place to warn motorists and visibility is good. Parents must accompany minors in both directions. 


At the Start

On arrival in the woods, please keep clear of the Start area until your start window opens.

When your start window opens, please use the hand sanitiser provided and join the start queues, observing distancing guidelines. Please wait to approach the start til later in your start window if more than 6 orienteers are waiting to start. 

There will be two start lanes: Left for Blue course and Right for all other courses. Starts will be clearly signed.

Accompanying adults who are not racing are asked to stay away from the Start, Finish and Download areas.  

The start will be a self-service affair as much as possible. Please ensure you Clear your dibber on entering the start lane, and punch the Check box, (for saftey check and also to enable SIAC dibbers). It is then a Punching start.

Controls will be SIAC contactless enabled so those with SIACs can swipe, others must “punch” the dibber as normal. Finish must be punched by all.

Please do not linger at controls, move away once you have punched. Try to maintain the 10/2 rule (stay 10m behind runners on path legs, 2m at controls).

After your run

The Finish will be near to the Start. After your run please return to download at the car park at Mount Ephraim. Don't forget to download: use hand sanitiser provided and follow the instructions on the screen at the event tent. Please remember to return hired dibbers by placing them in the pink container provided.

There will be no print off at download, but live (preliminary) results will be available online directly here Any issues will be dealt with remotely via email after the event. Please email the organisers if you've an issue. 


Nearest town: Faversham

Directions / Parking

Parking will be at Mount Ephraim Gardens. Please follow Brown signs from A299 or A2. There is now a one-way system through the estate so please enter through the main entrance off Staplestreet Road (ME13 9TX, W3W: until.manly.shred) and exit via Church Hill.

Please park a bit away from the garden entrance to leave room for garden visitors. No parking wardens will be on duty; please park responsibly and allow sufficient distance between cars.  Please take care when exiting the car to ensure you maintain social distancing between other car park users.

Please only car share if you're part of a family 'bubble'. 

Public Transport options

Nearest train station is Faversham or Canterbury West. Buses are limited. Cycling is possible from nearby stations (bikes could park near the start adjacent to the clothing dump). 

Registration & Start Times

Registration will be in advance via Race Signup only

Starts from 11:00am-1pm. 15 minute start window will be selected during online entry process.  Please make every effort to arrive at the start for your start window to ensure appropriate social distancing.  Courses close at 14:30

Course Information

Four courses available:

Yellow. Controls (checkpoints) are very easy to find, mostly on main paths, ideal for younger children and complete beginners.

Light green. Moderate, with more route choice. Good for progressing juniors and beginner adults who are reasonably confident reading a map.

Blue. As technically hard as we can make it, for experienced orienteers.

Score. No set distance, but a 60 minute time limit. Find as many of the 20 controls as possible in one hour. Good for adult beginners, those progressing from orange and those that want to be back in a set time.


Course Length, km Climb, m Controls Start
Yellow 2.3 75 12 Right
Light Green 3.7 125 13 Right
Blue 6.5 210 18 Left
Score (1 hour) - 20 Right

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Entry Details

Entry in advance via RaceSignUp website only, (link here). No entry on the day. Entries close Thursday 15th April at midnight. Once you have entered the event, don't forget to go to the checkout.  Entries will not be completed until payment has been made. You may make multiple entries, (eg other family members) before proceeding to the checkout.  

Due to the current Covid conditions, the event is not recommended to those who have not participated in an orienteering event before as we will be unable to provide the same level of support and assistance as normal.  

If you're unsure, or need any advice or assistance in the registration process, please contact the organisers. 

Adult British Orienteering Members: £5.  Adult non-members: £8

Junior British Orienteering Members: £3.  Junior non-members: £5

Group (2-5 participants in total): £10 (British Orienteering Members), £15 (non-members) 

Group (1 senior and 1 junior only): £8 (members), £13 (non members)

The prices above include the loan of electronic timing equipment (aka dibber) if required, and a waterproof map per competitor (yours to keep after the event). Dibbers are expensive and a £35 charge will be due if the dibber is lost.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, who is living in a household with someone who has a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection, or who has been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace should not attend this event.

A full refund will be available to anyone who needs to withdraw their entry because they or a member of their household has COVID-19 symptoms, or because they have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

If the event has to be cancelled or postponed at short notice eg as a result of a change in local or national restrictions, a full refund will be available.

Terrain Description

Blean is a fantastic mixture of runnable mature woodland, light patches of rhododendron with a stream feature bisecting the map. Plenty of contours (enough to give a challenging blue course!), platforms and earth features make for interesting orienteering. Areas that were recently felled or thinned are returning to normality and there is less evidence of mountain bikes than previously. Overall the woods are looking very inviting.

Map: 1:7,500 scale, 5m contours, 300m between Magnetic North lines, A4 Printed on waterproof paper. The brown triangle symbol represents a platform which is shown in the control decriptions at a "Charcoal burning site" (triangle within a circle).

Map has been updated to reflect current vegetation and path layout.  Please note the area is now popular with Moutain Bikers.  Tracks have been added to the map to aid navigation but please be aware of other users especially on the steeper slopes and where footpaths cross bike tracks.  Yellow planned to avoid these areas.  Please note new tracks can spring up relatively quickly. 

Out of bounds: Normal OOB rules and map markings apply.  There is one OOB area on the top of Holly Hill which is the site of a Forest School run by Earthcraftuk. Please respect the OOB area and do not stray into the camp area. There is also a new small OOB area on the eastern part of the map this is an informal camp/tree house under construction which is best avoided.

Clothing & footwear: Full body cover is required and studded or spiked shoes are advised.  Kagoules may be compulsory in the event of bad weather.  Competitors will be advised on the day.

Blean is rumoured to host a family of white squirrels. Watch out for them in the North East segment of the map!


Toilets and tea room are open and we have permission to use these facilities.  

Mount Ephraim Gardens are open and well worth a visit if you have the time and energy after racing! - please pay at kiosk near parking.

Thank you Will and Lucy!

Dogs allowed?

Dogs by prior agreement only. 

Contacts / Officials

Planners: Brian Henry & Simon Blanchflower

Organiser: Simon Blanchflower

Important Information

Health, safety and other important information related to events.

If you have pre-existing helath issues that you feel the organiser should know about please fill in this medical form.



Before travelling to any orienteering event please make sure you are aware of and following British Orienteering guidelines. 

To ensure that we comply with these guidelines and make our events Covid secure and safe for participants and volunteers, all events will be pre-entry and pre-payment only.

During the on-line entry process, you will select your preferred start window from those available for your course. You must then make payment to reserve your start window. Please do not turn up at the event unless you have pre-entered. If you need help with the registration process please contact the event organiser.

On event day turn up for your allocated start slot

Please move away from the map box after collecting your map.

At control sites do not touch the control, and move through quickly.

Do not congregate at the Finish.

At Download please get your breath back and recover before downloading.

Saxons volunteers are very happy to help beginners understand the courses, maps and timing equipment used at our events. To get advice please contact at least 3 days before the event, or go to our Facebook page and ask questions there. It may be possible to arrange for somoene to meet you before your start.

For full BO Covid guidance click here

Ticks and Lyme Disease: Ticks are common in areas where we go orienteering, more information about ticks.

Training and help is available from qualified coaches. Please contact the organiser.

Privacy: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports. Read our privacy policy to see how we look after your personal data.

Data Protection: Your personal information provided for this event or obtained from registration databases will be used to process your entry, publish results, check for missing runners and trace missing SI cards.