Charting a course through beauty of bluebells in Yorkshire

A trek through the woods with a difference.

PIC: Tony Johnson

This week’s Picture Post captures Joe Woodley, a member of the GB orienteering team on a training run amongst the bluebells in Esholt Woods.

The area of woodland, situated between Shipley and Guiseley on the Leeds-Bradford border, is appropriately described by the Woodland Trust as “not an easy place to find” given Joe’s involvement with an outdoor sports which involves navigating between control points marked on an orienteering map in the quickest possible time.

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Despite it being slightly tricky to get to, Esholt Woods – which is a combination of four different woodland areas under one name – is also popular with cyclists, horse-riders and families, with a large area for children to explore and run about in.

It is obviously a good spot for orienteering as well; a sport designed to exercise mind and body and appeal to runners and walkers of all ages.

Regular league meetings are held in the woods but the outdoor pursuit is not just limited to woodland, it can also take place in urban areas, parks and even playgrounds.

To help encourage participation in the sport, World Orienteering Day was launched in 2016, with thousands of people taking part in special events across the world.

The event is due to take place on May 15 this year.

Last month, British Orienteering appointed Drew Vanbeck as its new chair, who said he was looking forward to combining his professional experience as a managing director of a consulting company with his long-standing love of the activity.

“I first learnt to use a map and compass at school around 40 years ago,” he said. “I orienteered as an army cadet, ran cross-country and took part in events such as Ten Tors on Dartmoor. More recently my orienteering has been biased towards local and urban events. I’m an enthusiastic participant rather than a serious competitor.”

For anyone interested in learning more about the sport or joining a local club, visit www.britishorienteering.org.uk.

Technical details: Nikon D3s camera with a 70-200mm lens, exposure of 1/800th second @ f5, ISO 400.