Mardley Heath

Welcome to one of our Saturday series events which is also part of the club Youth League. Beginners are very welcome and there are courses for all standards.

TERRAIN Mardley Heath is a small but complex woodland, mainly regenerating naturally following gravel extraction in the middle of the last century. A small area of open heathland has been maintained in the northern part of the site. The area is now a Local Nature Reserve owned and managed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, who have kindly given us permission for our event.

Gravel working has left this area with complex contour detail, in addition to the already hilly nature of the site. Public access for walkers, horse riders and cyclists has added a maze of small footpaths. Open areas and the mature remnant former woodland offer fast running, whilst the less mature areas provide plenty of route choice where close contact with the map will be required.

PARKING The event centre is Scout & Guide HQ, Canonsfield Road, Welwyn, AL6 0QA. OS grid ref TL242179

Free parking on the road near the event centre and around the A1(M) bridge. Space is very limited and it would be greatly appreciated if people could share transport. Many of the local lanes are not suitable for parking, so to minimise congestion please follow marshals’ instructions.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Bus 300/301 from Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Hatfield, WGC and Stevenage stops at the bottom of Canonsfield Road roughly every 20 minutes on Saturdays.
COURSES Courses for everybody from beginners of any age to experienced orienteers.

Course Straight line Distance Difficulty School Years*
White ~1.5 km Easy – all along paths. Control flags when you need to decide whether to turn. Up to Y4
Y5
Yellow ~2.5 km Fairly easy – navigate along line features such as paths, walls, streams.
Some turns with no control flags.
Y6
Orange ~3.0 km Moderate – start cutting across country, some controls a bit away from line features. Y7-8
Y9-10
Light Green ~4.0 km Harder – a range of navigational skills needed to find controls on any mapped feature. Y11-13
Short Blue ~5.5 km As hard as we can make it on the area. n/a
BEGINNERS First timers are very welcome. Look for our greeters in hi-vis jackets who will give you socially-distanced help.

If you’re not run before, we suggest most people start with yellow. Young juniors, say primary school age, and family groups are better on white. People confident with a map and compass may start on orange.

Note for improvers – if you are not sure which course to choose, best to be cautious. Mardley is a complex area.

ENTRY & FEES Entry is now open at SI entries only, there will be no entry at the event. If you have a voucher from a previous HH event, don’t forget to claim it!

BOF members: Adults £4, Juniors £2, HH juniors free.
Non-members: Adults £6, Juniors £3.
Dibber hire £1. Charge for lost dibbers £30. You will need a dibber, either your own or hired.
Please note the cut-off time for requesting a hire dibber is 2 days before the event i.e 11:59pm on the Thurday before.

If you have your own dibber you may enter online even on the day, provided there are maps and start slots available.

STARTS You can choose a 15 minute start block between 10:00 and 11:30.
Start and finish are within 200m of the event centre.
Courses close 12:45
TIMING SportIdent punching will be used. SIAC will be enabled but the Start and Finish controls must be punched.
CONTROL DESCRIPTIONS Control descriptions will be on the map
MAP 1:5000 pre-marked maps for all courses. For map of a previous event see here. Minor updates have been made for this event.

Note that the paths are currently fairly muddy and off-path is being gradually populated by brambles. The worst areas are mapped and courses avoid them. In other areas you can make reasonable progress but may need to deviate from a straight line.

FACILITIES Enquiries, Dibber issue, Download, Water, First Aid, Clothing Dump and Toilets will be available at the event centre.
It has a wooden floor, so no muddy or metal spiked shoes indoors please. There’s a small entrance lobby where you can leave them. For download you need only approach the back door.
DOGS Keep on lead and clear up behind you. No dogs in the event centre.
SAFETY Orienteering is an adventure sport. You take part at your own risk and are responsible for your own safety. A full risk assessment will have been carried out.

You should abide by the British orienteering Covid-19 Code of Conduct. In particular:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, are living in a household with someone who has a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection, or have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you should not come. You’ll get a full refund.
  • Before, during and after your run, maintain appropriate distance from other runners and other park users.
  • Hand sanitiser is available – please use it.
RESULTS Interim results will be published direct to the club website every few minutes during the event. There will be no printed results (apart from your own splits) or WiFi available, so there is no need to hang around.

Full results will be published to the same location and to Routegadget; we aim to do so on the day of the event.

OFFICIALS
Planner Richard Watkins
Organiser Stu Levene
Controlling Mike Bennett
The small print

This event is registered with British Orienteering, number 80635

Orienteering is a great sport for youngsters. If you bring children, please help us to keep to our safeguarding policy and British Orienteering’s photography policy.

Your personal data is used for results and insurance, see our privacy policy.

If you have to cancel for a COVID-related reason, write to entries@herts-orienteering.club and we will give a full refund. If we have to cancel the event we will offer a choice of a full refund or a voucher for use at a future HH event. That choice will be sent to the email address used for the original entry. If you do not reply by the deadline, the default is a voucher.