Hockley WoodsSun 17 Mar

Colour coded

Regional level event

Explanation of Event levels

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships.

Terrain type: Woodland



Organiser's Report

Thank you to everyone that helped both in the run up to the event and on the day. As my first time as Organiser, it was a steep learning curve, so it was reassuring to have experienced colleagues to help me. Extensive rain prior to the event meant some last minute changes and challenges on the day. We were pleased to hear your feedback, and relieved when all runners returned unscathed.

Sara Prince

Planner’s Report

This was my second attempt at planning courses at a Regional event, so I was hoping to learn lessons from the previous event and create some interesting courses for everyone! Eddie Banks was assigned as the Controller – so I was in good hands whenever I needed assistance!

So, just before Christmas I started thinking about the courses, and had a wander around Hockley Woods, looking for likely Control placements! I drafted my courses, and with a bit of feedback from Eddie, in particular for the White & Yellow (which seemed the hardest to plan), I eventually managed to create some courses which seemed to be acceptable, and with a bit of fine tuning, they were ready for the big day!

However – the weather had other thoughts, and as we got nearer the event, it didn’t stop raining – and another recent event at the woods was actually cancelled. We then decided that we needed some contingency planning – and Eddie and I met at the woods to ‘walk the course’. We decided that the plans for the White & Yellow needed re-working, as the paths were almost running rivers – very deep mud – and we would have likely had some very wet & muddy competitors – if not a few lost running shoes etc! There were also some ‘erosion gullys’ which had now become fully fledged streams. We also decided to move the Start to the drier woodland area – which I think was actually better in the end!

On Saturday late afternoon, I put out just under half of the controls & then I set out early (6.30) with my husband Alan (as my pack-horse!) on Sunday morning, and managed to get all of the controls in place by 8.30, then it was time for a quick cuppa, before I checked out the start & that the final bits & pieces of tapes & signage were in place.

Anyway – the event eventually got underway – and finally some finishers came back to download, it was a great relief when they arrived and everything was OK! I got to chat with quite a few orienteers, and the vast majority had managed to get round OK, and did seem to have enjoyed their run.

However – there was a problem on the Yellow Course – and I do apologise to those on that course. Due to the late re-planning exercise, and the late addition of some controls, I managed to muddle up controls 233 & 223 resulting in some confusion for those on the course.

Generally though, although it was extremely wet & muddy, most people arrived back having successfully completed the courses, and some saying that they had even enjoyed it. Well Done to everyone who took part.

A big thank you to Eddie, Sara, Kevin & Alan who all helped me planning this event, and thank you to all the other volunteers on the day, who helped make the event a success.

Jackie Sibthorp

Controller’s Report

A big well done to Sara for her meticulous organising and to Jackie for giving us such good courses.
Congratulations to everyone who turned out on such a rainy day in the muddy conditions to take advantage of all their hard work.
It was good to be among friends in a familiar area for this, my first gig controlling - a good recommendation from Mike Chopping given during the training.
I enjoyed the early morning spring walk in the relatively dry conditions around the western half of the woods to attach SI boxes to the kites that Jackie had already put out on Saturday afternoon. Running around the eastern half afterwards to check and switch on all the other controls I kept to the woods as much as possible; away from the paths and brambles it was good runnable conditions.
Apologies to our Yellow competitors for my not spotting the mix-up of boxes 233 and 223. I should have done, but was probably getting control-blind by then!
Thanks also to Rochford Borough Council for their permission to use the Woods and Belchamps Scout Centre for hosting our event centre.

Eddie Banks

Last updated: Fri 22 March, 2024


Regional colour coded event including Essex & Suffolk School League (ESSOL)

Location Info

Near: Hockley, Essex
Lat,Lng: 51.59271,0.66020
OS Grid Ref: TQ847916
Postcode: SS5 4JD
What3Words: ///galaxy.danger.president

Open an interactive map in:
GoogleMap - OpenStreetMap - BingMap (OS 50k)

Directions / Parking

Parking/registration at Belchamps Activity Centre, Holyoak Lane, Hawkwell, Hockley, Essex, SS5 4JD

One-way system in car park for entry/exit. Please do NOT exit on single lane where you drove in.

Grid reference TQ847916

What3words galaxy.danger.president

Please contact the organiser if you are bringing a coach or other large vehicle.

Map / Terrain

Mature Woodland with extensive path network, map scale 1:7,500

Course Information

There will be approx. taped 600m walk to the start and a similar walk back to download. Start and finish are not in the same place.

Courses suitable for all levels of ability and experience - ask for advice if you are unsure which is the right one for you.

CourseDistance (km)Climb (m)No of controls
White (v easy)


Yellow (easy)2.22513
Orange (medium)3.14014
Light Green (hard)3.76015
Short Green (v hard)3.65012
Green (v hard)5.18018
Blue (v hard)
Double sided map

SI punching. SIAC enabled.

Entry Details

Pre entry only via Racesignup.
£10 seniors (£8 members of British Orienteering), £3 juniors (under 21) and students.

Late entries (after March 14th)
£12 seniors (£10 members of British Orienteering), £4 juniors (under 21) and students.

Closing date midday Saturday March 16th
SI card (dibber) hire £1.

Registration and Start times

Enquiries open from 10:00am. Start times 10:30am-12:30pm

Start times will not be pre-allocated

Courses close 14:30


Enquiries, dibber collection, download and toilets available in event centre

Guidance for beginners available from the Enquiries point.

Dog restrictions

Parking and Assembly area are in a Scout Camp so dogs are NOT permitted. Dogs are allowed on the course but you will need to park elsewhere, go direct to start and return dog to car before downloading. Failure to comply risks future use of the facilities.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser – Sara Prince 07941755185

Planner - Jackie Sibthorp

Controller - Eddie Banks

Nearest A&E Hospital

Southend Hospital Prittlewell Chase Westcliff-On-Sea SS0 0RY
NHS Urgent care search

Safety Notes

The woods are currently wet and paths are muddy and slippery with standing water in places. Some late replanning has been done particularly to white and yellow courses to avoid paths that have become water-logged. Two paths with deep mud have been marked as out of bounds on the map, so please be prepared and take care.

As part of the replanning, the location of the start has been moved to a dry position. The route to the start and back from the finish is muddy. Parents accompanying children to the start are also advised to wear suitable footwear!

The woods are open to the public. You may encounter other users including mountain bikers, horse riders and dog walkers – be aware and give them priority.

This is a working forest. Work is not expected on the day but forestry vehicles may be present. There are timber stacks in some areas. DO NOT to touch the timber stacks.

Please ensure that your clothing and footwear are appropriate for the time of year, terrain and anticipated weather conditions. Full leg cover is advised.

Entry into this event is at your own risk.