Club News for December 2023

Imogen takes 2nd place at Temple Newsam Park, Leeds (British Schools Orienteering Championships)

Welcome to December Newstrack, our club newsletter! DVO has had a busy autumn, with a sunny Club Champs at Shipley and regional events at Longshaw and Linacre. Storm Ciaran meant that our local event at Elvaston Castle was postponed (rescheduled for Feb 10th), and made for the ‘Aldi Lake’ at the south end of Chaddesden Park at our local event and Night MapRun last month.

Thanks to the O tourists who have sent in reports of their autumn trips. DVO members will be at the following events next year if you’re thinking of entering:

Hope you all have a great festive season – resting or orienteering – and see you for Ashbourne Urban on New Years Day, which is the kickoff event for the 2024 UK Urban League! (Remember to get there for 10am if you’re one of the winners of the 2023 East Midlands Urban League.)

Please send any contributions for the next roundup by Feb 18th. Longer standalone items are put on the web after receipt, and small items saved for the smorgasbord that is Club News!

Thanks & happy hols, Sal Chaffey Editor

New Members

A warm welcome to Judith and Lester Evans who joined us last month from HOC (Harlequins).

Derby Night MapRun Series 2023 … and 2024!

Our Night MapRuns have been well attended and great fun! Results and videos here. They are now available to run in the day, from this folder in MapRun:
UK/Derbyshire/Derwent Valley/Derby Night Series 23
DVO members and Club runners have enjoyed route analysis and a drink afterwards.

Chris, our club development officer has just set up the dates for more MapRuns from January through to March. Make a note for your diary – social details will be on the website soon!

Winter series
18 Jan,  Heanor
25 Jan,  Oakwood
1 Feb,  Belper
5 Feb,  Spondon (Monday night; session from the Derby Runner)

Spring series
29 Feb,  Littleover*
7 March,  Duffield
14 March,  Heatherton*
21 March,  Mackworth*

*If you’d like to plan one of these events please email Chris Millard.

British Schools Successes!

October: Score Champs

Children from Year 5 and 6 represented Brassington in the British Schools Score Championships at Martinshaw, Leicestershire.
They disappeared in to the woods for 45 minutes, having to orientate themselves, plan their route and get to as many controls as possible. Not easy! Brilliant scores this year. Personal improvements on last years scores and an overall silver place for the girls.
Thanks to Stuart Swalwell and Jo Lurati for coaching Team Brassington!

November: Linear Champs

Congratulations to Imogen who placed 2nd in Year 7 Girls at the British Schools Orienteering Championships at Temple Newsam Park in Leeds. Imogen only started orienteering in August so has got to grips with map and compass very quickly. Imogen and Hywell have done may of the Night MapRuns, often clocking up 10km!

DVO trip to Veolia Recycling Plant, Mansfield

Ever wondered what happens to all the recycling you carefully save? We hope to get a group together to visit in January or February. Please email me if you’d like to join a tour and let me know any days of the week you aren’t available.
Thanks! Sal Chaffey


Top Tip: Printing a map from RouteGadget

Jane Kayley-Burgess, with grateful thanks to Ant Squire (NOC)

If you are even a semi-serious geek, this might be something new for you, and very simple. If you’ve been to an area before you will probably have a map, filed by area, date or whatever method you use. If you haven’t, you might like to see one, work out where the start might be and where the event might take you to. RouteGadget will show you a whole heap of things that other people have done but you might want a map in your sticky hands to have a proper look. If you have ever tried screen printing a map from RouteGadget you will know that you end up with a muzzy, poorly defined image which is not fit for purpose. Until now.

With the map open on Routegadget in Chrome, click the Update 3 dots, top right (shown in red).
From the menu, select More Tools then Developer Tools
On the menu bar, select Sources
Double click the kartat folder
Click on the jpg file
Right click on the thumbnail and either Save image or Open in a new tab

2023 AGM

Our AGM in October was well attended, with Jane Kayley-Burgess taking over the Chair from Sal Chaffey. Jane has been Vice Chair for 6 years, and  Nicky Hart stepped into her well-worn shoes. The Minutes are here, and you can read about the arrangements Jane has put in place for quiet parking and starts for those who prefer them.

The highlight of the meeting was a talk by Rachel – via Zoom from Cardiff University – about her run at JWOC in Romania. As well as talent, Rachel has a great attitude and doesn’t let mistakes put her off. You can hear Rachel’s interview for the Navigator Diary podcast on Spotify.








Lost property

Mike has an O top that was left at an SYO night event recently. If you think it’s yours, please drop Mike an email:

Feedback from Linacre

I just wanted to share some praise for today’s event. I’m fairly new at orienteering (this was my 5th course!) but it was my favourite. The location was stunning, the course was great, and the lady at the beginning who gave me a pointer was fabulous. I was so much more confident (and faster) than previous events so huge thanks to her and to everyone that organised the event.

Many thanks, Lynn Speakman

(It’s thought the lady in question was Judith)

Meet Your New Vice Chair: Nicky Hart 

When and where did you first start orienteering?
Shotover Woods in Oxford, a beginners coaching session, in my twenties.  Loved it, and went along happily for a few years orienteering badly in great places.  Until one sunny autumn day at a Lake District event on Stickle Pike, I left the true path.  Lost, no-one in sight.  Dead bracken, heaps of boulders, thorn trees and blue sky.  Hey, why don’t I just go for a run with this map?  Fast forward twenty years of just going for a run with a map.  In 2017 I finally see the light, and, at DVO’s Kedleston event, orienteering and me are reunited.

Do you have any rituals before and/or after your run?
Before, obsessive geeking, pouring over previous events on Routegadget and ferreting out clues for what the planner’s planning.  After, in a cafe with coffee and cake, comparing our poor route choices and feeble performances and determining to do better next time.

What’s your most memorable orienteering experience?
Back in the Lake District, 2023 – November 5th on the dunes at Roanhead. In the middle of this soggy, stormy autumn, a sparkling day on the Duddon estuary, curlews calling. Shame it takes me half an hour to find the first control. But things look up. I surprise myself by getting round the rest of the course in a fairly orderly way and decide to call it a success.

Do you have a SIAC dibber?
Yes, every little helps.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not orienteering?
Books, music, art.  Wild swimming, cycling, sailing, all kinds of being outdoors.  Learning Spanish and visiting Spain.  Recently, with Simon, “singing” in Matlock’s Tuneless choir and going to the pub afterwards.

Most memorable O holiday?
Gran Canaria last Christmas, our first O adventure outside UK – can’t wait to go back this year. Spain on an island in the Atlantic with lovely weather, mountains, and fun, friendly orienteering.

Favourite TV or radio show/podcast?
Opera on 3 (playing when it’s my turn to cook).  Cerys Matthews on BBC6 Music (driving).

December Puzzle: Revising those control descriptions

Well done to John Hurley, and Graham Johnson, who solved the ten cryptic clues and their associated anagrams. I know that several others attempted them; don’t be shy – send in a partial solution! Answers below.
1. Brick – on a necklace? – adobe, bead
2. Dreary sort of game – drab, board
3. She rules the night – with a mineral? – Nyx, onyx
4. Number of hairs – four, fur
5. Schedule a chicken – roster, rooster
6. Exterior jobs – outside, duties
7. Lift specific article – hoist, this
8. Current in one direction expired – diode, died
9. Results in a plant – scores, cress
10. Merge two languages in a basket – creole, creel

Now – a treat for Christmas. Back in August, Paul Wright, reminiscing about his university days, found an orienteering crossword with a difference, produced by a fellow student: Roger Thetford (now of TVOC). I met Roger at the Rugby event and asked him if I might reproduce it on these pages,
and so here it is! Don’t be intimidated – it’s perfectly solvable! It took me a while to get the idea, I’ll admit. I will be very impressed with complete solutions, so don’t hesitate to send me any answers you have!

Healthy competition and an introduction to Orienteering for hundreds of school children

In the summer term of 2023 a partnership of Orienteering for Schools (@OS4Schools), Derwent Valley Orienteers and Derbyshire’s district School Sport Partnerships ran primary school Orienteering relay competitions.   This was a first for the county and proved to be highly successful.

Five district relay events took place with an average of 6 teams per event. Each Year 5/6 team were comprised of 4 boys and 4 girls, who ran in pairs, using an SI dibber as a baton on a four leg (two controls per leg) course.

The following districts took part; High Peak (3 schools with 7 teams); Amber Valley (8 schools with 11 teams); South Derbyshire (4 schools with 6 teams); Rural Derbyshire (5 schools with 12 teams) and Bolsover (5 schools with 7 teams).  This meant that approximately 340 young people experienced orienteering, in teams with their schools friends, many for them orienteering for the first time.  All the children had an enjoyable learning experience and competed well for their schools. The use of public parks in three districts and local secondary schools in the other two districts was very successful.

@OS4Schools were ably assisted by the staff from each Districts School Sports Partnership plus several, knowledgeable volunteers from Derwent Valley Orienteers (

For 2024, @OS4Schools plans to offer a similar format and hopes that the 2023 success will lead to more entries and maybe a County Final for the top two teams from each District.

Since Rex founded Orienteering for Schools in 2003, when he retired from his Primary Headship, we have been able to help many Schools develop Orienteering as part of their Physical Education Curriculum.

Jim, a lead PE specialist, joined Rex in 2018 and his knowledge and enthusiasm has led to @O4Schools being able to offer a progressive skills-based scheme of work for KS1, KS2 and most recently KS3 students.  Since 2018 @OS4Schools has worked with almost 100 schools across the Midlands and beyond.

The support of BSOA and DVO has enhanced our services and helped us further our aims of getting more schools to use orienteering as part of their Outdoor and Adventurous Activities PE curriculum.

If you want to find out more about the services @OS4Schools offer to primary and secondary schools please visit

Hoping to help many more children enjoy and learn from the great, ‘thought sport’ of Orienteering.

Rex Bleakman and Jim Jenkinson

Save the date for an evening event in John Port School and the streets of Etwall to celebrate World Orienteering Week: 22 May



Future events

Sunday 14 July 2024

Saturday 24 August 2024
Bradford Dale

Sunday 25 August 2024

Recent results

Saturday 22 June 2024
Allestree Park

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Sunday 19 May 2024
Hardwick Park

Routegadget (view routes)

MapRun Results

Join DVO

Derwent Valley Orienteers are a friendly, active club with members throughout Derbyshire.

We welcome new members whatever your experience and can help you learn orienteering and how to improve, either informally or through coaching.

Learn more


You can subscribe to receive information about future events suitable for novices.


We’re supported by the Orienteering Foundation

In 2023, thanks to a grant from the Orienteering Foundation, our Club is focusing on offering training courses for newcomers and help at local events in the Derby Area and beyond, but open to people from across Derbyshire.