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Permanent Orienteering Courses

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Shire Oak

RegionWest Midlands
ClubHarlequins Orienteering Club
Nearest townAldridge
PostcodeWS9 9RB
Carpark locationFrom the A461 from Walsall to Lichfield. At Walsall Wood, after B4152 crossing (Co-op), take next the right Shire Ridge and the 3rd left Andrew Road. Free car park which is locked at dusk

Available Maps

Shire oak is an old sand quarry converted to what is now a mature nature reserve.  It is a compact area with complex contours and an extensive path network, so it can support courses that are good for beginners and those that are challenging for experienced orienteers.

There are 5 courses of increasing difficulty; experienced orienteers may like to run the two harder courses back-to-back.  The distances given are straight line routes between the controls; even without making mistakes you will cover a greater distance as you avoid obstacles, take path routes etc.

There is an information panel showing 3 marked walking trails; many of these posts are used on courses.

The vegetation can be tough away from paths; bear this in mind when deciding what to wear!

Fences, often partly hidden in the undergrowth, hide steep slopes and MUST NOT be crossed except at marked steps and paths.

VOC Details

The two harder courses are available on the free MapRun smartphone app.  This allows you to time and record your run or walk. 
• Download MapRun from your app store.  We recommend using MapRunF.
• We recommend using an armband phone holder when running.
• We recommend using the paper course map to navigate, not the map displayed on the app.
• You can download your chosen course in advance.  If you are in Walsall, click ‘Events Near Me’.  Otherwise, go to: Select Event>UK>West Midlands>Shire Oak Park.
• Go to the start (marked by a triangle) by the car park, and click ‘Go to Start’.
• When your GPS detects the start post, it will beep and your time will start.
• Find the posts for your course in the correct order. 
• MapRun should detect when you reach each post and beep.  Accuracy can vary depending on weather conditions and other factors.  Usually, it will register within a few seconds of reaching the post.  You may sometimes find that you need to move a few metres in all directions before you hear the beep confirming that MapRun has detected that you have found the post.
• If you pass a post that you have already visited, this may register again.  Don’t worry, this won’t affect your result.  If you made a mistake and visited the wrong post, just visit it again in the correct order.  If you choose a route that takes you past a previous post that you visited correctly, this will simply be discounted. 
• Remember to visit the finish to complete your course.
• You can choose to upload your result to the course records.

Other Things to do in the Area

Nearby Lichfield and Walsall have many museums, and Chasewater offers a range of outdoor activities.

Maps Available From

Maps are available to download from this website.

Further Information

  • White and/or yellow standard controls suitable for beginners
  • Orange and/or light green standard controls suitable for people with some experience
  • Green colour standard or above controls available for experienced orienteers