We went along to Southampton Common this morning for the opening of the orienteering club’s latest permanent orienteering course. The map comes with three course suggestions which I duly ignored and instead went to see how fast I could get all 26 controls visiting them in any order. It took me 29’11 over 6.1km but, given the size of the red and white markers (about 1.5″ square) and the propensity for them to be hidden on the back of something in the general vicinity of the feature, it easily could have been under 25 minutes if I hadn’t had to do so much hunting around. This is at least partly because the club was not allowed to create any new fixtures on the common. Thankfully there was no temptation to dive off down the tiny tracks through the undergrowth as we weren’t allowed to map these either! It certainly took me to corners of the common I’ve never been to in our fleeting trips across the area on Tuesday nights in the winter. If you fancy giving it a go yourself, maps can be purchased from the Hawthorns Wildlife Centre down in the south-east corner of the common (which proved a pleasant enough location for a simple lunch).