Thanks to the generosity and support of the National Trust 358 Orienteers from clubs all over the South and South West were able to run on an area never previously used for our sport. Foxbury, near Wellow on the edge of the New Forest, was the location for this year’s Sarum Gallopen and the Club’s contribution to the SWOA Golden Anniversary Celebrations (that’s 50 years if you’re not up on these things). Thanks to the amazing efforts of Pat Hart, who first identified the possibility of accessing the area for Orienteering and did an amazing job of liaising with the National Trust local officers, and the mapping team of Mark White, Alan and Liz Yeadon, Pat and Brian Hart and Jan Belza we now have an interesting and challenging new area on which to run.
We were pleased to badge this event as the first of a number being held throughout the SWOA region over the coming days to celebrate SWOA’s 50th Anniversary. The rough open ground with hidden marshes and streams proved to be quite physically demanding so many runners and helpers were pleased to recover with the aid of a calorie-restoring 50th Anniversary chocolate cake created by event organiser Pat Hart. Thanks also to the Senior Service for use of their brand new tunnel tent which came fresh out of its packing to provide shelter for the computer and registration teams. Visit the Gallery (Foxbury – Sarum Gallopen and SWOA 50th Anniversary) to see photos from the day that show something of what was is involved in navigating the marshes, streams and man-eating mud.
A full list of results is available but here is a selection of some notable ones. The top Brown course was won by Jamie Parkinson (M21) of Oxford University Orienteers in a time of 47:27 with Ben Chesters (M35), Harry Butt (M20) and Rob Ashton (M21) of Sarum claiming 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively. Other notable results for the local club included Lucy Butt (W21, Brown; 18th), Paul Lane (M55, Blue; 6th), Mark Hanby (M45, Blue;12th), Martin Goddard (M55, Green; 11th), Peter Hambleton (M70, Short Green, 3rd), Dave Oxenham (M60’ Short Green; 8th), Martin Thirkell, (M45, Light Green; 4th).
Jacob White, Community Ranger with the Trust said “The National Trust thanks Sarum Orienteering for choosing Foxbury as a location for their orienteering event. It was a very successful day and shows us that Foxbury has a bright future with orienteering. This is directly in line with our HLF funded project to use Foxbury to reduce recreational pressures on the open Forest”.
Foxbury is a heathland restoration project from which the Trust run guided wildlife walks and volunteering opportunities (such as practical conservation work, wildlife survey work and events management), if you would like to get involved and/or join our rangers to learn about heathland wildlife and help preserve Foxbury future please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01425650035.
To see further photos from Foxbury go to the Sarum Facebook page.
A report based on this article was published in the Salisbury Journal on 19th November, 2015.