~ Orienteering in the Dunes ~

Orienteering Event

Welcomed on the Dunes


On Saturday the 18th of January, the first orienteering event in 2014 for Moray’s Moravian Orienteers will take place using a couple of courses set out on the Findhorn Dunes.  Participants will register from 10.15am to 11.15am at the Moray Arts Centre and then will be heading for the dunes through Wilkie’s Wood.  This event is part of the club’s long preparation for the 2015 World Orienteering Championship and between fifty and eighty competitors are expected.


It has been gratifying to see how well the club’s organising and planning team of Fran Britain and Denise Main have worked with the main landowner, the Findhorn Dunes Trust, and the local community group, the Findhorn Hinterland Group, to ensure that positive use of the area for this sport does not degrade this nationally important landscape.  In particular the advice of local amateur lichen specialist, Heather Paul, in determining areas ‘out of bounds’ for the event mapmaker, Jon Hollingdale, has been invaluable.  She was able to draw on the 2008 Lichen Survey, instigated by Davina Thomas, local resident and trustee of the Findhorn Dunes Trust, and carried out by Dr Coppins of the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens, to help with the sensitive management of this nationally important area.


It is also good to see the Moray Arts Centre being available as a meeting place for participants, the overflow car park being used in Bichen’s field and to hear that some pupils of the Moray Steiner Upper School will be involved as part of the Moray Schools League initiative.  In addition there will be an opportunity to highlight the importance of the area as a habitat, particularly for lower plants, by having Heather Paul’s lichen slideshow playing in the Arts Centre and leaflets on Scottish lichens provided by the national charity, Plant Life.


For those not familiar with orienteering, Denise passed on a little background information; ‘Orienteering is a growing, but frequently little-known sport that is perfect for developing both self-reliance and confidence. It demands concentration, is mentally challenging and is an active, healthy outdoor sport. You may be surprised to find that the participants who often excel are not necessarily the sportiest or the fastest runners; the steady, focused and persistent orienteer often does the best. The events are very social, are fun and great for the entire family and you do not have to be a club member to join in. Courses at Findhorn will be 2km for beginners or 4km for the more experienced. If any of you want to take part, you can find more information about the club and the event at www.moravianorienteering.org


All in all, with the great team effort that has been put in, this should be a well-organised and worthwhile local event.


Submitted by Jonathan Caddy as Convener of the Findhorn Hinterland Group


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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB