HUNDREDS of brightly dressed people dashed here and there looking for hidden flags around the Godshill heathland on Sunday in the qualifying round of the Compass Sport Cup and Trophy competition for orienteering.

The competition is the premier inter-club orienteering competition for British orienteering clubs and the qualifying round, organised by Southampton Orienteering Club, involved more than 400 orienteers from clubs across the south of England.

The event was based at the Sandy Balls Holiday Centre and the competitive cross-country courses started and finished near the Godshill cricket ground.

Southampton Orienteering club, which has many members from the Forest, won through to the final for larger clubs, while Wimborne Orienteering Club beat Sarum by just one point in the trophy for smaller clubs.

Jane Morgan and her son Tim from Brockenhurst, both current British Champions in their age classes, scored maximum points for Southampton as did Jack Hutchinson from Sway.

The juniors of the Butt family from Woodfalls were celebrating as Harry, Lucy, Tom and Alice all scored maximum points on their courses for Sarum.

Wimborne’s top local scorer was Paul Pickering from Fordingbridge.

The final of this competition takes place on October 17 on Burbage Moor, near Sheffield where Southampton and Wimborne will compete against other regional qualifying round winners in a bid to find the club champions for 2010.

Anyone wanting to try orienteering in the New Forest can have a go on February 13 at an event at Anderwood half way between Lyndhurst and Burley.

Advice and guidance will be provided on the day and further details can be found on

Wimborne Orienteering Club also have a ‘Come and try it’ event on February 13 at Moors Valley Country Park and SARUM have one on March 7 at Grovelly Woods near Wilton.