Blean Sunday Series event

Sun 9 Jun 2019

Type of event: Regional
Type of terrain: Woodland

Info updated: Tue 11 Jun


Event Report

A grand day out


The good weather held out for us at Blean.  If the previous day was anything to go by, it was looking like it would be yet another wet and windy Blean event but in the end the threatening clouds melted away, allowing some to take advantage of the sunshine and bring out the gardening bonnets.


Numbers were down on previous events at Mount Ephraim but for those that did attend, they were rewarded with challenging and satisfying courses designed by Simon Blanchflower.  The ongoing forestry work and recent low cover growth testing his planning skills, kept in check by the watchful Neil Speers should he become too devious.  The Howe family, yet again cement their dominance, taking the top slots in Brown, Light Green and Yellow.  There were a nice number of novices, both indiviuals and groups, some of whom had been before to Blean and enjoyed it enough to have another go.  The "Meeters and Greeters" and novice lane on Start proving their worth by showing we are a welcoming club, willing to take the time to explain the intricacies of orienteering.


The location of the car park, being some distance to the Start does mean that for some courses, they have already done the distance and navigation before they even start but does give an opportunity to admire the orchard and to warm up or down.


As always, the event would not have gone so well had it not been for the “helpers” who volunteer and give up their time in amongst fitting in a run.  It’s an excellent way to meet other members of the club whilst learning the different aspects of what is involved in orienteering.


Pre Event Info

This is one of the events that will be included in a British Orienteering Participant Satisfaction Survey. Participants will be invited to share their views and comments by completing a short questionnaire  after the event that should take no more than 8mins to complete.


Nearest town: Faversham

Directions / Parking

Parking is at Mount Ephraim Gardens, Staple Street, Faversham.
Access to the car park is via Church Hill at ME13 9JX.
Mount Ephraim is signposted from nearby major roads (including the A299 close to the junction with the M2). The approach lanes are narrow, so please drive carefully and watch out for horses, walkers etc.

Public Transport options

Railway stations: Faversham 5km, Canterbury 9km

Registration & Start Times

Registration from 10:00 to 12:00

Start times from 10:30 to 12:30

Courses close 14:30

There is a 1.7 km walk from Registration to the Start – Follow the tapes. Clothing dump will be available close to Start / Finish.
The walk to the start is mainly through orchards and grounds of Mount Ephraim. There is a short section of road to follow. The road is narrow and has no footpath, though the traffic flow is low and visibility is good. The road will not be marshalled; parents are responsible for accompanying their children to and
from the start.

Course Information

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

Orange. Moderate, controls are on or near paths with more route choice. Good for progressing juniors and beginner adults who are reasonably confident reading a map. 

Light Green. Harder. Controls away from paths giving more challenging navigation. For those with some experience. 

Green; Blue; Brown. As technically difficult as we can make it, for experienced orienteers. 

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

Course lengths (subject to final controlling)

Course Length
Yellow 2.0 k
Orange 2.6 k
Light Green 3.6 k
Green 4.7 k
Blue 6.0 k
Brown 7.5 k

Map: 1:7500 with 5 m contours

SIAC (contactless 'dibbing') will not be enabled for this event 

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

Pre-enter on-line with Fabian 4 - Entry is now live.

Seniors £8 (plus £2 for non BO members)

Juniors £3 (plus £2 for non BO members)


Entry on the Day

as above plus £2. 

Group entry only available on the day;  £15 (club members and non members), includes 1 dibber and up to 4 maps per group.


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

Juniors can be registered separately, compete in a group containing at least one adult, or be ‘shadowed’. Shadowing is explained below.

Juniors and Shadowing:

Whilst many juniors will initially complete a course as part of a group, some juniors may want to progress to be able to run on their own. We understand that many parents/guardians will want to ensure their child’s safety by completing the course with them, or following a short distance behind. We call this ‘shadowing’ and there is more information here. Parents shadowing juniors will be given an extra map at no charge. The entry fee will be the junior entry fee. Alternatively, juniors are also welcome to compete in twos or threes, and will be entered individually.

Terrain Description

Blean Wood has a small stream valley surrounded by lovely runnable woodland with interesting depressions and platforms. On the hill there are some rhododendron clumps which can make route choice interesting.

There has been some thinning of the woods leaving brashings on the ground but the courses have been designed to avoid the worst of these areas. Inevitably this time of year the brambles are beginning to grow but, again, courses avoid the worst, there are also wood ant nests, for these reasons full leg cover is strongly advised.


Coffee, tea, biscuits available at registration with honesty box.

The toilets in Mount Ephraim Gardens will not be available to orienteers, so there are no on-site toilets.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Nick Betts

Planner: Simon Blanchflower

Controller: Neil Speers (DFOK)

Important Event 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.

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 someone to meet you before your start.

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.