Knettishall Heath 26/02/17

From the Organiser: 

It was a pleasure to be the organiser for Knettishall today.  The helpers were a fantastic bunch and everything was ready to go soon after 10AM. The event passed without incident and so many people gave positive comments about the area and Sarah’s courses – they made it sound so good I’m definitely going to come and run a blue course one weekend.

Thanks go to Suffolk Wildlife Trust for allowing us to use the area and also for the recent improvements that have been made to the terrain through felling and clearing of undergrowth. Several people also remarked on how the removal of fences had created greater route choice.

This is definitely an area to look forward to returning to in the future as the terrain will continue to improve.

Sally Wilkinson

From the Planner: 

Firstly I would like to thank Steve Nobbs for his advice and guidance as controller and to Sally Wilkinson for organising the event which I think was successful.  I think that we were lucky that the damage caused by Storm Doris only 4 days earlier was minimal and there were no last minute changes to the courses.  The weather also helped so I hope that everyone enjoyed the event.

Knettishall is a small area with some interesting pits, depressions and gullies, but it also has an intricate network of paths.  I think that this makes it ideal for the YBT as I was able to plan some interesting junior courses as well as the more technical longer courses.  It also has a distinct boundary so it is almost impossible to run off the map so it was great to see a number of beginners attempting the sport.  Suffolk Wildlife Trust are doing a lot of clearance work and I think that the area is improving, despite the restrictions of the fence.  I did have to make some changes due to the nesting birds in the north western open area, and due to the forestry operations nearer the start.

I decided to avoid road crossings on all the YBT courses, but that did mean that the Green course had a double-sided map and it didn’t go to the far eastern technical area. Hopefully I made good use of the rest of the area. The definition of what constitutes a good course is subjective, but when I plan I attempt to avoid the things that I moan about as a participant at other events, and I can be quite opinionated.  I am also trying to learn from my previous mistakes, so I was pleased to hear positive comments from some experience orienteers.

It was good to see a number of juniors competing in the YBT heat and congratulations to NOR – I think that it is the first time they have ever qualified for the final.

Hope to see you again in the forest soon.

Sarah Mansel