Kilwinning: orienteering races at Eglinton Park are back

Orienteering is back at Eglinton Country Park.

With improvement work starting in the spring – delayed due to the challenges of the pandemic – installation work is now complete to refresh the previous three orienteering courses held in the local country park with a completely redesigned offering.

Offered in conjunction with the Ayrshire Orienteering Club (AYROC) and the North Ayrshire Council’s Ranger Service, there are a total of three permanent courses – short, medium and long.

Scott McKendrick, AYROC Club Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to launch the new orienteering courses at Eglinton Country Park. The improved routes and permanent adaptations mean that the orientation control markers present along the route will be on display to the public at all times.

“This will allow those attending the classes to enjoy the trails as well as other visitors such as school trips or local community groups looking to hone their map reading and navigation skills.”

“After a very difficult year for all of us, it is great to help Park Rangers promote active outdoor activities and to encourage people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the fantastic orienteering courses that Eglinton Park has to offer. ”

The new and improved routes will also help council rangers use the orienteering routes in other ways, including developing scavenger hunts and quiz trails for children and youth visiting Eglinton Park.

Classes are free and each can be enjoyed as part of a quick time trial, map reading practice or scavenger hunt, or even for the chance to just enjoy a walk in the park with a little twist.

Countryside Ranger, Graeme Walla said, “We are delighted to have permanent orienteering routes back on the map at Eglinton Country Park.

“Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just hanging out in the great outdoors with family or friends, with the Ayrshire Orienteering Club we are again able to offer a rewarding orienteering course suitable for all skill levels.

“Orienteering is a fantastic way to boost your self-confidence, stay active, and help improve your compass and map reading skills – so you won’t always have to depend on the benefits of your phone back up! ”

To participate, you can download the maps for free from a QR code at the departure station (next to the large stone map and notice board at the main entrance to Eglinton Park). Alternatively, you can download the maps by visiting: https://www.ayroc.co.uk/permanent-orienteering-courses

The link will take you to the Go Orienteering website which will take you through a short questionnaire in a shop-like format (please note that no payment details are required and all maps and how-to guides are free .) For this option, an email address is required as maps and tips are provided by email.

Councilor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Participatory Democracy, commented: “With the easing of restrictions, more than ever before, many of us are reaping the benefits of spending time outdoors.

“The relaunched orienteering courses at Eglinton Country Park offer park visitors the perfect opportunity to try something new while enjoying the beauty of the green spaces on their doorstep.

“I urge anyone who wants to get involved to register for a class today and enjoy the benefits of enjoying the fall scenery of Eglinton Country Park while being active and participating in a rewarding outdoor activity.”

You want to know more? Go to https://www.ayroc.co.uk/beginner for more information.

Diane R. Trussell