Garvagh Peoples Forest is a 5 year project to connect local people to the 500 acre Garvagh Forest through the development of Garvagh Forest School. A major part of the project is introducing Year 5 children to the forest and relevant activities. As part of the spring sessions, I was asked to introduce orienteering to the schools involved. Before the forest days, I was able to visit each school to use different activities to introduce map reading and the whole idea of what our sport is all about.
The forest days were held last week and, of course, it rained on both days. Thankfully, the weather did not interrupt the day and the children had a ball, with many puddles and plenty of mud. We did manage to have a map walk, using a 1:4000 map followed by two short courses.
The feedback from the children was very positive. As a result, Karin Eybin, the Forest School co-ordinator, has invited me to do it all again for the summer sessions in May. The Club has also agreed to organise one of their Thursday evening events in Garvagh Forest and include a Primary Schools’ Championship for children and their parents.
It is certainly a unique project and the enthusiasm and ingenuity of Karin and her team of volunteers, made the collaboration a success.
We look forward to developing the links to help the Garvagh community enjoy a wonderful resource on their doorstep.