I controlled the London Orienteering Klubb event on Hampstead Heath yesterday. Hampstead is only four miles from central London, but offers fantastic terrain with open fields, heathland and even some reasonable areas of wooded contour features. The weather was great with bright sunshine during the day, even if there had been thick mist when the controls were being put out.
LOK used pre-marked maps printed on Pretex again, after a first test at Trent Park earlier this year. This seems to have overcome most of the problems of previous types of waterproof paper that have been tried for orienteering maps, and everybody I spoke to felt that it was worth trying to use it more widely.
Despite having mapped, planned and controlled on Hampstead Heath many times, yesterday was the first time that I had seen the exotic new population of ring-necked parakeets that have taken up residence around the lakes near Kenwood House. These bright green birds are unmistakeable, and even if you don't see one you will certainly hear them. My previous most exotic sighting on the Heath was probably the comedian and TV presenter Michael Palin who ran past when I was hanging controls for an event about 15 years ago.