KOL 2 - Blean

Sat 17 Oct 2020

Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Woodland

Info updated: Sun 18 Oct


Event Report

Great to be back in the woods - thanks to all the orienteers who participated, and once again demonstrated this is an ideal sport for these strange times.  I hope we got the Covid precautions right, and thank you all for exercising responsible social distancing to make this a successful event.

Thanks too to Pete at racesignup for fantastic support throughout - the new online system worked a treat, not only a necessary Covid risk mitigation, but also dramatically reducing volunteering requirements on the day.

Finally thanks to Will and Lucy from Mount Ephraim for allowing us to run the event at all, and for the kind use of the facilities and coffee shop!

Pre Event Info

Blean is a fantastic mixture of mature beech woodland, light patches of rhododendron with a stream feature bisecting the map. Plenty of contours, platforms and earth features make for interesting orienteering. 

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.   

There will be an unmanned clothing dump near to the start. Please warm up en-route.

On arrival in the woods, please keep clear of the Start area until your start window opens. Hire dibbers can be collected from the event tent - they will have been sanitised and will be in sealed envelopes. 

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: Yellow, Orange, and Score in Lane 1, and Light Green and Blue in Lane 2. Please follow the signs and apply common sense if you're not sure. Help will be on hand if you get really stuck.

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).

Control descriptions will be emailed out on Friday 16 Oct via RaceSignUp for you to print and so will not be available in the start lanes. Alternatively, you can download them here. 

Punching start on minute intervals - on the beep, punch the start control and take your map.  There is a taped section of 70m from map pick up to the start kite.  The yellow course will follow a further short taped section to a nearby path (allowing them to navigate to their first control).

A diagram of the Event Centre layout can be found here.

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)

The event is SIAC enabled other than the Start and Finish. Normal dibbers will also work. Don't forget to punch the Clear, Check, Start and Finish.

The Finish will be near to the Start. 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 results will be available online directly (Click 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 ME13-9TX. Please follow Brown signs from A299 or A2. W3W: petrified.desire.blame

Please approach via Church Hill, not Staplestreet Road, and follow the Signs/O Kite markers through the orchards to the car park. 

We will be using the overflow car park. 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.

The event tent will not be in the parking area, but will be in the woods next to the Start and Finish.  Please leave the car park ready to race and follow the taped route to the start (approx 15-20 mins walk). Click here for route.

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 event tent, but not marshalled)

Route to start 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. 

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). 

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

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

A sketch of the Event Centre (Start, Finish etc) can be found here. 

Course Information

Five courses available:

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.

Short 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 to light green, and those that want to be back in a set time.

Course Length Climb No. of Controls


1.9km 65m 11


3.0km 80m 13
Light Green 3.7km 100m 16
Short Blue 5.4km 175m 18
Score (60 mins)     20

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 (click here) only. No entry on the day. Entries close Thursday 15th October 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 delightful mix of mature mostly runnable beech woodland bisected by a meandering stream. There are plenty of earth features, a good path network, and a few contours thrown in for good measure. 

The stream is currently dry although this may change in wet weather so please take care on the longer courses which cross this feature.  Prior clearance work has also left a varying amount of brashings, although courses have been designed to limit the need to venture into these areas.

Map: 1:7,500 scale, 5m contours, 300m between Magnetic North lines, A4 Printed on waterproof paper.  Control Descriptions must be printed off in advance here

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. 

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!


Mount Ephraim Gardens are open to the end of October and well worth a visit if you have the time and energy after racing!  The West Wing Kitchen and Tea Room is also open and operating as a kiosk during the current environment selling hot and cold drinks, scones, ice creams, cakes and a lunch option of sandwiches, soup or quiche.  Toilets are open and we have permission to use these facilities.   Thank you Will and Lucy!

Dogs allowed?

Dogs by prior agreement only. 

Contacts / Officials

Planner/Organiser: Brendon Howe

Planner/Organiser: Alison Howe

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 coaching@saxons-oc.org at least 3 days before the event, or go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saxons.oc 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.