January 2021 Challenge: Beacon Wood Country Park

Where: Beacon Wood Country Park. The Start (triangle) is by the Sit Ups trim trail exercise, identified by two parallel logs to the east side of the path heading north from the south car park. The Finish (two circles) is at the west side of the Building where the honesty box is.

Parking and facilities: Beacon Wood Country Park is just a few minutes off the A2 at the Bluewater exit then head south on the B255. Turn right just beyond Bean village. The address is Southfleet Road, Bean, Dartford DA2 8AR. There are usually spaces in the main car park or the adjacent overflow parking area, otherwise there is further parking on School Lane opposite Bean Primary School, DA2 8AN. All parking is hard standing. Parking at the Country Park is £1:00 via an honesty box. Coins required and no change is available. No toilets or refreshments.

When: Any time until midnight on 31 January. Start at any time you choose. The Country Park is open from 8:30am to dusk.

There is a choice of three Line courses where the controls have to be taken in order.

  • An Orange standard course (2.0k) with all controls close to paths. Print the map
  • A Short (3.2k) more difficult course with 11 controls. Print the map
  • A Long (5.1k) course as hard as possible with 21 controls. Print the 2 part map

Make sure that you do not take a route choice that passes through the Finish circles on the map before you are ready to end your run. There is no time limit for completing any of the courses.

The activities use the permanent orienteering course marker posts with an orienteering map as your printed map. There is no marker post at the Start or at the Finish. The App uses an OpenOrienteeringMap with much less detail shown than the pdf’s of the orienteering map and hence which is not recommended as your navigational aid to use for this activity.

Download the App MapRunF to your mobile phone then within the App, go to Select Event then scroll down to UK, then Kent and the Gravesend folder. The activities are Beacon Wood DFOK Orange PXAC, Beacon Wood DFOK Short PXAC and Beacon Wood DFOK Long PXAC. Click here for Guidance on how to use the App.

Control descriptions are printed on each map. We are not providing loose controls descriptions for these activities. No course crosses a road and all courses are suitable for everyone, including Juniors.

Several of the controls are under tree cover hence the GPS signal is potentially more problematic, even with a punch tolerance set at 15m. We suggest that you make sure you run to the permanent marker post and, when you get home, use the options set out at the end of the Guidance to adjust your run to take credit for any marker posts where the visit was not recorded by the App. This means you do not need to lose any time at a control waiting for GPS to catch up with your current location!

There has been some excellent recent clearing work done by the Friends of Beacon Wood. The map changes made for this event include the addition of many metres of railway line but I don’t suggest you wait for a train to give you a pull up the hill for those finishing the Long course.

In line with current Government guidance, please have regard to travel restrictions and ensure social distancing is maintained at all times, including with members of the public and participate in accordance with those guidelines.

This Challenge is not an organised event or activity, so you are not covered by British Orienteering's insurance. You do the Challenge as an individual for personal training and you are responsible for both your own safety and the safety of others around you.

Results: these will be available in early February.

Questions: please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Problems identified: please also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  I do hope that you enjoy this Challenge. Any feedback would be welcome to the above email.

Enjoy your run!
Andrew Evans