Bristol Orienteering

Orienteering check-boxes
Orienteering check-box

On Sunday 11th June Merchants Landing will feature as part of an urban orienteering event organised by Bristol Orienteering Klub. The full event takes place over the weekend and covers the Harbourside from Temple Meads to Cumberland Basin. The impact on the estate should be very low with just a couple of checkpoints located on street lamp posts within Merchants Landing and a couple of others nearby. Residents may like to watch out for the occasional orienteers at any time between 11am and 1.30pm that day.

Merchants Landing resident and keen orienteer David Hunt writes:

“Orienteering is a great sport for all ages involving navigating between a series of checkpoints using detailed specially drawn maps. Urban orienteering is becoming increasingly popular, with historic cities such as Bristol featuring in a series of events across the UK and Europe. Indeed the event in June is part of Bristol’s Year as European City of Sport. It’s a low impact activity as participants, who will be aged from under 8 to over eighty, set off on their own at staggered intervals and there is no set route. Each person deciding for themselves the best route on different courses for different age groups and levels of experience. The checkpoints are very small electronic boxes with an orange and white flag (see picture) securely attached to a piece of street furniture. Participants visit these in sequence and record their visit with a little ‘dibber’. So it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using navigation and route choice skills, but without the treasure!”

Participants keep to road edges, pavements, paths and other routes within the public realm. They leave no trace, carry nothing with them bar a detailed map that shows all private gardens etc as out of bounds. Often residents are totally unaware that an orienteering event has taken place in their neighbourhood as participants are so well spread out, choose different routes, make no noise and leave no litter.

In addition there is a Photo Orienteering Trail activity over the same weekend. Match twenty six photos to twenty six locations around the Harbourside and see familiar sights from new angles. Whilst there are no photographed locations within Merchants Landing there are a good number nearby. A ‘Harbourside Photo O Trail map’ will be available from the event centre at the Cash Hall entrance to City Hall on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June and after that weekend from the Bristol Tourist Information Centre near the Watershed. This activity can be done at any time during the weekend or afterwards and could be of interest to residents as a challenging and fun way of discovering more about our locality. The Photo Orienteering Trail map also includes a number of discounts on food and drink from featured eateries around the Harbourside.

There are special orienteering courses aimed at newcomers. Visit the event centre at the Cash Hall within Bristol City Hall on Saturday or Sunday morning 10th & 11th June.

Further information about urban orienteering activities is on the Bristol Orienteering’s website at  www.bristolorienteering.org.uk/city-of-bristol-races- 2017/races