Sorry to hear the confirmation. Hopefully you can find a new date in the autumn.
Not too sad that the JK can no longer be held in the FoD. Any chance that BOK/SWOA could put on a JK in an unpopulated bit of Wales?
"an unpopulated bit of Wales" - what, you mean most of it?! :-)
March/April? WTF! This is the best time of year for orienteering, the prime time, when the vegetation is low and the weather is improving. A lot of great moorland areas from March thru June because of ground nesting birds. What was reason did they offer for this particular exclusion?
Just heard the reason is ... 'goshawks' - there's now a special viewpoint on New Fancy Mine, the spoil heap at the south west corner of Russel's Inclosure.
“Now” - New Fancy viewpoint has been there for about 20 years! Never ever seen a goshawk there but that corner of Mallards is very snakey in March and April ;-)
Over 60 breeding pairs now in FoD.. I think they are doing well enough to come off the schedule 1 listing of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Bugger. That is frustrating. I assume the only real change is someone new at the local FoD forestry comission?
Even if it's not resolved for the Southern champs, I would expect there will be a few levers yet to be pulled at national level. After all the Forestry comissioned is owned by all of us.
"We are the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment."
Its very frustrating for all involved to lose a race after so much effort has been extended
Yes Keith, there had been a previous session with the FC that included NGOC/ BOK and BOF Craig Anthony who was very good. From the forestry perspective 'Organised' events are a tiny percentage of total visitors and orienteering quite a small percentage. As you suspected there have been changes in personnel and areas of responsibility, but they also are driven by growing external influences. ….They don't want us to park on forest roads, rather to use spaces allocated to parking, they don't want us at night etc. etc. all of which will drive us to adapt e.g. we may have to get used to walking further. Initially Simon and now Jo have been excellent at giving comprehensive information in their permission applications, this makes it easy for them and helps with relationships.
Environmental issues are a particular problem. All in our sport do care about the environment (and whilst we have lost areas to goshawks before Parkend) the SE and SC have had more issues (e.g. New Forest is effectively oob during Spring) so we may just be catching up. In general terms even if the FC wanted to it would be a 'bold' decision to overrule RSPB advice. NOC have had success in that their Environmental officer is also RSPB so exclusions have been more like these marshes than half the county.
In all these issues co-operation is the key, we need FC to feel they are stakeholders in our sport.
I suspect that this is more of a short/ medium term issue and will be really surprised if we don't have future major races including the JK in the forest.
As for the Southern championship it will be fine in the autumn...pigs are not just good at bacon sandwiches.
Intresting, thanks for the detail and background Charles.
Great, thanks for that 'Old Daniel'.