From the Planner:
The big issue for the event was that as I started putting controls out on Saturday afternoon, I found a brand new 6ft fence around a block of wood which was to have 3 controls within it. I don’t know when it was erected but could easily have been anytime in the last 10 days. This meant some rapid re-thinking of the 4 courses that used it – Light Green, Green, Blue and Brown. Back at home that night I devised the best simple solution I could that kept the same number of controls and for Green and Brown that meant a tweak around one corner of the block. The Light Green and Blue had to be re-routed around the fence increasing length but keeping the general flow. The controls were put in easy locations to hopefully compensate for a lack of control descriptions. With my wife we hand altered the 178 maps that night after getting agreement from the controller. It meant an early start on Sunday to meet Phil and check things on the ground though with Phil’s rapid run round everything was in place for an early start.
On the older bits of fencing was an explanation about the fencing. The Forestry Commission are facing problems with new diseases and pest arriving with changing climatic conditions. They are therefore experimenting with new species and establishment techniques so we might find more of these fenced enclosures popping up [though I hope they may recognise how useful it would be to warn us in advance!]
There are some interesting bits in the forest to the East though it’s is hard to get the short courses to visit them. The first desk top planning took people too close to edges and after discussion with Controller Phil, the next iteration was a lot better. Phil’s sensible comments helped polish the courses and I hope people found then interesting enough in a typical gird pattern forest with challenges of new plantings, brash still sitting proud in places and not a huge range of features.
As well as thanks for Phil, it was also great that so many people offered to help collect controls which made it a very swift and easy end. My thanks therefore to all the Suffoc colleagues who made it such a smooth and enjoyable event – and to Janet Cronk for helping to gather controls having been persuaded by CUOC to collect the controls paraphernalia for their next event.