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Potteries Orienteering Club

West Midlands Orienteering Association

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First published in The Potter January 2006
Text © Copyright John Heaton 2006

Milldale Scout Camp

Introduction

Most of you will know nothing at all about this area and the club committee have only had a glimpse of the map and know that it is small. The Club were approached by South West Cheshire Scouts in the spring to produce a map of their Camp area. They financed the production of an OCAD map by Dave Peel through ourselves. Since then I have surveyed the area and added more detail to it, then, working with the Scout leaders, devised and produced permanent courses. At the time of writing I am planning a trip out to check on the position of the posts and to do some preparatory planning for our local event next February. If you have read your event instructions you will see that it is located midway between Woore and Nantwich close to the A51.

Geography

The area is small and the map produced for the Scouts at 1:2500 just fits neatly onto a A4 sheet. Therefore for a local event it will be necessary to complete 2 or 3 circuits for the longer courses. However the area should be complex enough to offer a challenge. It is like a smaller version of the Kibblestone Camp. It can be split into 3 roughly equal areas. At the western end is a zone of flat mature plantation mixed with rough open. The SE section is a zone of open land used with detail around the edges and used for camping. Finally the NE section is a zone of moderately sloping ancient woodland. Running from one side to the other through the middle of the area is the Checkley Brook. This is a very big "brook" and is not crossable, and about 4k to the west it feeds into the River Weaver. The source of the brook lies on the hillside below the village of Keele. Running parallel with the brook and forming the southern boundary is a millrace cum drainage ditch which fed a mill close to the entrance to the camp.

Flora and Fauna

The old woodland is mainly white with patches of marshes. In the summer the undergrowth of mainly nettles and a vigorous weed similar to a Bizzy Lizzie make through routes tricky. In this same area are groups of centuries old oak trees with preservation orders applied on them. There are many badger sets in the old woodlands and I have seen a black grouse in the large area of open.

John Heaton