Smartphone technology introduced at Kinnoull Hill, Perth, orienteering course

Smartphone technology has allowed orienteering in Perth to take place by leaps and bounds.

Representatives of local youth groups gathered on Kinnoull Hill in Perth to try out the newly refurbished Permanent Orienteering Course (POC).

This facility allows people to try their hand at orienteering at their own pace and it is hoped that this will encourage more residents to explore the area in new ways and gain increased confidence in their navigation skills.

The joint project between Tay Landscape Partnership and local orienteering club Tayside Orienteers has seen the production of a new special map of the area.

The POC is based on ‘checkpoints’ – special markers located around the forest which can be found by following a choice of routes on maps which can be downloaded for free or bought for a small fee from shops in Perth.

The course redesign takes into account advances in technology and incorporates Q-codes that can be scanned by those with smartphones so they can upload their results to a website and compare them to those of other people who have registered their Classes.

The start and end points as well as the new map and Q codes are located in the Forestry Commission Scotland hangar near the Jubilee car park.

Ruth Bowbeer, Learning and Interpretation Project Officer at Tay Landscape Partnership, said: “Collaborating with Tayside Orienteers on this exciting project has enabled the club to improve lesson facilities which are open to people of all ages. and of all abilities.”

Last November Tayside Orienteers celebrated their 30th anniversary, attracting over 160 orienteers and generating very positive feedback on the quality of the new card.

Mel Nicoll of Tayside Orienteers said: “We are delighted to have worked with the Tay Landscape Partnership on this project and to have helped introduce more people to orienteering.

“It’s a great sport for everyone. As a recreational activity, it doesn’t matter if you are young, old or fit, you can run or walk at your own pace and choose a course of a technical level suitable for your experience.

“We look forward to welcoming more to the club.”

See www.taysideorienteers.org.uk or visit their Facebook page.

Dino J. Dotson