Haden Hill is on the A459 between Halesowen and Old Hill. A park that hasn’t been used for orienteering for many years because Sandwell Council built a golf course in the middle of it.

I knew nothing about the place and had low expectations, but it turned out to be a great little area. The ex-golf-course is quite challenging, and Peter Langmaid made good use of it. (Strictly speaking half of the controls were doglegs but they’re very difficult to avoid when trying to squeeze a 5 km course into 30 hectares!) The evening sunshine, the bowls match taking place next to the carpark, Haden Hill House… the only thing missing was the Pimms! 😉

I had three problems: 1. I couldn’t make out the very pale colouring for “rough open” on the map – I thought Alison must’ve redefined “forest”! 2. I lost a bit of time hunting for a few controls, especially #13 and #16. I had some trouble adjusting to the map scale. (I was interested to discover that the stream I had trouble locating #16 from is the River Stour, and formed the southern boundary of Staffordshire until 1966.) 3. Although the locals in the park were mostly just bemused (especially as those of us running Blue had to run past their football match five times!) a couple of them must’ve moved some of the control markers. 😦


Can you spot the pentagram?