Orienteering is a sport in which orienteers use an accurate, detailed map and a compass to find points in the landscape. It can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods or as a competitive sport. We have a number of FREE resources available to schools and youth groups.

Permanent Orienteering courses with marker points fixed we have this in 3 locations. Maps for another 3 locations.

Star courses

Star courses are a very helpful way to start a session. The idea is that the individual or small group, go and get one point and come back. This allows you to check that they have some idea of what they are doing. At Nicholas Everitt park its great to run a star course from number 1, the band stand. From here you can see numbers 2-5. At Normanston park, you could set up near the outdoor gym equipment from hear 1-3 and 6-8 are all clearly visible.

Once they have found two markers you could send them out to get two and then come back.

Once confident you can move onto the full course give them a map with all the markers

Line courses

Once your participants have some idea what they are doing, they can do a line course with a map of all the markers. They go from point to point. if you want to add some competition you could time them. If you have a large group its also possible to start groups from different points. the markers should be collected in number order.

Score course

With a score course the markers are worth between 1-4 points (blue numbers on the markers). You have a mass start altogether, there is a fixed amount of time, probably with these course 20mins. The participants have to decide if they will try to get some of the markers further away worth more points or stick with trying to get lots of the smaller points.

What do the permanent markers look like?

The markers do vary a little bit in size and design.

The top right hand number is the number of the marker.

There is usually a shape or animal. For some this is on the red part

The letters are part of the code

the blue number is the number of points the marker is worth if running a score course.

Nicholas Everitt Park -Oulton Broad

There are 15 markers at Nicholas Everitt Park

The map of the park has 15 markers, total distance about 1.3km following the quickest route about a 40 min walk. The route to get all 15 markers follows mainly very obvious “handrail” features. The first 6 markers provide a good course for a star course. You will need to pay for parking, the cafe is well worth a visit.

November 2022 update All markers have been replaced. Please note 14 has been repositioned. this map is correct, but if using an older map 14 will not be where its marked.

There are 15 markers at Normanston Park

The map of the park has 15 markers, total distance following the quickest route 1.6km or about a 40min walk. The route to get all 15 markers follows mainly very obvious “handrail” features. Providing there is no football match on the main grass area, this is also ideal for a “star” course. In a star course participants are given a map with only one marker on. They go off and get that marker then come back and get another map, thus the going backwards and forwards sort of makes a star. This is a good way to begin with a group as you can easily see them and tell them to come back to you if the cant find it.

There is free parking at the park, also accessible from footpaths and cycle track. They also have a cafe.

November 2022 update – Marker 7 missing, 13 has been painted over but is just about readable all others are in place.

The Beccles course is on Beccles common, this is common land managed by the Beccles Town Trust who have given permission for the orienteering markers. There are 15 markers on the common, they basically go in a big loop around the common. There are lots of other users of the common, dog walkers, golfers and sometimes cattle, so care is needed not to upset these users.

Often markers 1- 10 are used. Number 2 can be difficult to find especially when the undergrowth is high and green. You can start groups at different points, eg group A starts at 3, group b starts at 6, and group c starts at 9. The staff can either stay in one area or move with groups. Using the points 11-15 means that groups will have to go around the “island” an out of bounds area, which makes them harder to track.

If travelling to Beccles by minibus, I recommend parking outside the main car park, there is room just near the bike track. Care is needed especially around the car park for dogs mess.

October 2022 markers 1 and 2 missing, others are believed to be there but not checked for sometime. this is the next course to be refreshed.

Other sites

Sparrows Nest - Lowestoft

This is a blank map of the sparrows Nest area for you to create your own temporary course.

There are 10 markers across the Denes. This course is more advanced than Beccles and is not recommended for inexperienced groups.

If travelling by minibus parking is difficult as the car park entrances are restricted in width. Marker 5 is the furthest away and is a long way from number one. Either miss this one out or place a member of staff in the area of number 5. A good view point is at the top of the cliff numbers 7-8 where a lot of the course can be observed.

October 2022 – the markers haven’t been checked for a while its likely that quite a few are missing.

Download the map with the marker points, but remember these have not been checked for a while.

Gunton Denes

Natter's Wood, Bury St Edmunds

Natter’s Wood on the Eastern side of Bury St Edmunds, off Mount Road. This is open access ground.

Other links and resources