NI Colour Series 1 – Gosford Forest Park

Venue Gosford Forest
Date Sat, 19th Mar 22
Starts 11:00 to 13:00
iCal file iCal

Event Description

1️⃣The first NI Colour Series of the year will take place at Gosford Forest Park in the midst of the orchard county of Armagh. Come to Armagh for a St Patrick’s weekend and feel free to wear any green you’ve left over.☘

🌳The walled forest has been a great draw in recent years with the development of mountain bike trails and iconic adventure playground zones, so as well as bikers, be prepared to meet giants, castles and mythical creatures. Expect the place to be busy. The Estate covers an area of 240 hectares and its various owners have all had an impact on the place, whether it was the Acheson’s and Earl’s of Gosford who built the Castle, created the Deer Park, used the ponds to power a corn mill, or planted the Arboretum which contains many record trees; the US army who are responsible for the firing range and the remains of several gun emplacements; the German POW’s who built the small round tower in the main car park; to the Forestry Service who created several plantations; and to the present owners ABC Council who have added the MTB Trails and Play Zones. While mostly conifer, the Forest contains some beautiful huge specimen trees, and some lovely runnable beech and oak plantations. You may even find your path littered with expanses of wild garlic in some places too.

🙏Volunteering: Given its convenient location and being a junior selection race, we expect a healthy number of entries, so we are looking for some volunteers to help with the event. We’ll need a first aider, a couple of teams for both registration/download and at the start. Please think of supporting in this way and let us know in the comment box below or getting in touch with Kieran Rocks the Organiser,

💻Online Entries are open on SIEntries. Entries close: Midnight Thurs 17/03/2022 (St Patrick’s Day)

🗺🧭Mapping and Planner’s Comments: Armagh is drumlin country so don’t expect your route to be flat. The forest is mainly conifer but expect to visit some beautifully runnable beech and oak plantations, and many of you will get to enjoy the Arboretum. Sadly, the forest has suffered from low maintenance over the years and several areas are heavily vegetated. Global warming is also playing its part: Whilst the weather hasn’t been great of late, we haven’t really had a winter again this year, so the undergrowth is higher than it would normally be. The courses have been planned to avoid most of it, but bramble bashers would be recommended particularly on the longer courses. Gosford contains many ditches – many are small, but several are deep and steep sided. The river is currently easily crossed, but this may change. Some areas of the map are quite detailed so I have provided enlargements for the shorter courses. The boulders, pits, and depressions shown are generally smaller, shallower, than found in other areas, however, as long as you are in the right place you will spot the control. Power lines have been omitted. The main hazard to your run will possibly be the MTB riders. The courses have been planned to avoid your use of their trails. If you choose to use the trails please bear in mind that the bikers have right of way. The MTB trails themselves tend to zig-zag a lot and so don’t necessarily offer the quickest route – in many places it will be easier to run through the forest instead.

⌚Registration and Starts: from 11am to 1pm. If you have entered online and have your dibber you can go straight to the start at the start window you have been allocated. Otherwise go to registration and ask for a dibber.

Registration / Enquiries / Download are currently planned to be in our car park.

The start will be a 5 minute walk from the car park. Call up will be at -3.

Finish is adjacent to the car park.

Please remember to go to Download whether you have finished your course or not, as that is our safety check on participants.

Courses will close at 15:00.

⚪🟡🟠🟢🔵🟤 Courses: There will be the full range of courses to suit all ages and abilities, Newcomers are very welcome.
  • White – 1.9km – 19 controls, 1:5000 map
  • Yellow – 2.4km – 18 controls, 1:5000 map
  • Orange – 3.3km, 35m climb – 13 controls, 1:7500 map
  • Light Green – 4km, 65m climb -13 controls, 1:7500 map
  • Short Green – 3.2km, 40m climb – 11 controls, 1:7500 map
  • Green – 4.4km, 75m climb – 17 controls, 1:7500 map
  • Blue – 6.5km, 100m climb – 21 controls, 1:10000 map with exchange
  • Brown – 8.9km, 135m climb – 27 controls, 1:10000 map with exchange

Courses are mixed punching and SI Air is enabled on all controls except the Start and Finish.

🚗Parking: There will be a £5 charge per car, payable at the gate hut on entry, unless you have an ABC Forest pass. So why not car share!?! Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, but if you’re fully vaccinated and feel comfortable enough, it is more environmentally friendly; it will save you money in fuel, and is far more sociable. Gosford is a busy place at weekends. We will have our own car park next to the Deer Park – please follow the signs and listen to the marshals. As you’ve paid your fee why not enjoy the rest of what Gosford has to offer after your run, assuming you still have the energy. I recommend a warm down toddle through the Arboretum, but you could also bring your bike.

🚽Facilities : Public toilet facilities are available beside the main carpark where you can find hot drinks and good food while recovering from your run. You can find details on the park here, with some caravan and camping spots available to book for the weekend.

🐕‍🦺Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead around the main car park, playground and adventure trail areas.

💚Safety: First Aid will also be situated at registration. Please dress appropriately – full body cover in forests is always recommended due to risk of cuts. A whistle should be worn by all competitors (the alert is 6 loud blasts per minute, continue until found). If weather is not so nice a waterproof jacket may also be mandatory. Checks will be made at start to ensure you are safe to go out on the course, so bring all what’s required.

Please continue to follow the government and club/event safety guidance around Covid, to ensure we do our best to keep each other safe and well.
A number of measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of Covid transmission and ensure your safety throughout this activity. These measures are aligned with current NI Government regulations and guidance and the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct which all participants are expected to adhere to.
The main aspects for this event we would like you to pay attention to are:
At Registration, Start and Download please maintain social distancing – wearing a face covering is also advised
During the event please use the hand sanitisers provided to maintain hygiene
Do not touch the SI Control boxes except with the SI Card
During the race please be aware of who is around you and try to maintain distance especially when approaching Controls.
As we are using public parks please be mindful of other park users and give them space.
Please minimise pre and post-activity socialising and maintain your distance.
You are advised not to car-share with anyone outside your household at this time.
IMPORTANT You MUST NOT attend the activity if:
You are unwell with a cough, fever or have had other Covid symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days and are not fully vaccinated. N.B. If you have negative LFD tests after the 5th Day and you are fully vaccinated you may attend.
You have been in close contact with anyone who is suspected of or confirmed as having Covid-19 in the 10 days and you are not fully vaccinated – see NI Direct information on Close Contacts. N.B. If you are fully vaccinated you must have a negative LFD test before attending.
You are supposed to be Self Isolating.
If you have a condition that makes you Clinically Vulnerable, please follow current government and medical advice before registering.
If you need to withdraw your entry due to Coronavirus restrictions we will refund your entry fee on request less £3 for unrecoverable costs.
In the event that regulations change and we have to cancel the event we will refund entry fees.
Click to enter via SI Entries


Gosford Forest
Gosford Forest
BT60 1GD

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To volunteer at this event please email You can find information on each role here as well as the current list of volunteers.

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