Launch of new orientation courses in Portland

NEW Orienteering Routes have been launched in Portland, following the successful launch of routes at Nothe Gardens and Lodmoor Country Park Orienteering Courses.

Three new routes have launched in Underhill for people who like to explore – with the aim of navigating between a number of set markers on a specially created map and doing it as quickly as possible.

Portland’s new routes – which have been launched as a collaboration between Active Dorset, Dorset Council, Island Community Action, Portland Town Council, Public Health Dorset and Wimborne Orienteers – are funded by Sport England.

Portland Councilman Pete Roper said: “There are three routes to choose from and each starts at Victoria Gardens, where you will find a notice board displaying the route maps. The routes are open to all ages and abilities, with the shortest route accessible to wheelchair users (help may be needed for some inclines). So it doesn’t matter if you are young, old or fit, if you want to complete the route as quickly as possible or if you prefer to relax with the family, you can simply choose a route and discover the region at your own pace – walk, hike jogging or running.

Fiona Johnson, Health Programs Advisor, Public Health Dorset, says: “Creating opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of residents is essential. Orienteering is a great activity for the mind and body and because the lessons are permanent, people can complete them as many times as they want using an app called Oriento. Douglas Pigg, vice president of community action for the island, said: “We are particularly excited about this project, not only because of the benefits that orienteering can have on physical and mental well-being , but also because the ICA has overlaid the main orientation map with something a little different – a heritage route featuring 30 of Underhill’s significant historical landmarks. It’s a real eye-opener to see how many authentic historical points of interest you will discover in this small area. We hope to expand this offer with a range of additional walks in the coming months. This way you can learn about your local history while you are hiking. exercise, introduce Portland Underhill to your friends, and most importantly, enjoy your journey to better fitness.

To participate, pick up a map from the ICA, Easton or The Little Ship office in Victoria Square or download it from:,, https:/ /portlandtowncouncil or the Oriento app (available for iOS and Android).

Dino J. Dotson