Sidmouth town councillor springs surprise on chairman

Devon Orienteering Club chairman presents orienteering maps to Sidmouth Town Council chairman and clerk

TWO orienteering maps of Fire Beacon Hill nature reserve have been presented to the chairman and clerk of Sidmouth Town Council.

Chairman of Devon Orienteering Club, John Dyson, himself a town councillor, handed over the framed maps to Councillor Stuart Hughes and clerk Trina Jarrett, at September’s monthly meeting last week.

“I wanted to spring a surprise on the chairman and town clerk because they have been springing surprises on other people, like Tony Reed, who was made Freeman of the town,” said John.

Fire Beacon Hill is one of the areas mapped for orienteering events. Others include Core Hill and part of East Hill Strips.

The gift acknowledges the council’s permission to use the land it owns at the reserve for an event in May.

“It was an open event and attended by 90 people of all ages,” said John.

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On the first Sunday of September, the club held a class event for club members, with 45 attending.

Each was given a map of places where markers are set and every runner has to go to each site, where their visit is recorded.

“People will cover a course of half-a-mile or five miles as the crow flies,” said John. “Older people will walk.”

Members of the local club are aged from eight to 80 and, said John, orienteering is increasing in popularity as a sport.