Bagshot Heath SN District Event, 24th October

Bagshot HeathI almost missed this event, missing a train connection. I made it half an hour after the start closed, having to do a “DIY” start in the end. My glasses also fell apart during the rush at the start (I now wear contacts) which somewhat hindered my progress through the forest – the main issue was I couldn’t see undergrowth directly in front and so frequently ended up impaled on the local flora.

Anyway… I really liked this area, in fact it would rank just outside my top 10 all time areas. It’s a military training area, with tank tracks, light forest and crazy, confusing line features – ideal for technical orienteering, really. I had an OK run considering my reduced visibility – taking 77 minutes to do an 8.02km, 220m circuit. My par time would have been around 65-70 minutes. Some parts of the forest contained enough tracks to really confuse me – one particularly interesting one looped up a slope, then straight back down, then up, then down… Gigantic, man-made puddles/ponds in the very wide roads also presented the competitors with the classic through-or-round choice. Only as these were man-made, some were deliberately much deeper than expected.

Bagshot is a classic bit of Berkshire forest – the county is full of long, rolling forests that remind me of parts of the Scottish Highlands (without the mountains) – and I’m planning to be back fairly regularly to the general area for other orienteering events.

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