Explore With Xplorer

3rd Mar 2015

The navigational challenge activity Xplorer is proving a hit with parents and children across Derbyshire.  

Xplorer 3 Whaley BridgeOver the past four years the successful partnership between Derbyshire Village Games and British Orienteering has seen thousands of people attend the family-friendly events designed for families with primary and pre-school aged children to explore, find markers and complete challenges.   

Xplorer events have been organised North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield (Chesterfield, Hasland, Clay Cross and Dronfield), Derbyshire Dales (Matlock, Darley Dale, Ashbourne, Bakewell and Carsington Water), Amber Valley (Belper, Ripley), Derby City (Alvaston Park) and South Derbyshire (Swadlincote, Rosliston). 

There have also been events held in Erewash (Ilkeston and Long Eaton), and High Peak (Buxton and Whaley Bridge), in partnership with local authorities. 


Xplorer 1 High Peak

National Participation Manager at British Orienteering, Natalie Weir, said: “Imagine an activity you can do with all the family (and not just drop off the kids to a sports session and go shopping or read a book) and imagine an activity where it doesn’t matter how young, old or fit you are (as you can run, walk or jog at your own pace) and finally imagine the excitement of a scavenger hunt in the woods, or a treasure hunt in your local park. That’s us!”

 “The Xplorer provides a fantastic opportunity to gets kids up and active, introduce map reading and decision making skills and most importantly not have to go far to have lots of fun with their families in the local parks!” 



In North East Derbyshire, Xplorer events have been held at Sharley Park in Clay Cross and Cliffe Park in Dronfield.

North East Derbyshire Village Games Coordinator, Nathan Culkin, said: “Xplorer events give families the opportunity to do an activity together for free or at a very low cost.  There is something for everyone; parents or older children can do the map reading, younger children love spotting the markers, there are quiz questions, which are good for parents, and grandparents, but prove educational for the children. Certificates and prizes always popular with children and the events give people the opportunity to explore the parks and possibly go to parts they have not been to before.”

Xplorer 5 map

“Although Xplorer is geared towards children, it also gets the adults active without realising it and encourages healthier lifestyles in that way. Parents, who spend a lot of time with their children at home, are always glad to have opportunities to get out and give them a break.”

“Xplorer provides a solution to increasing grass roots participation in an innovative way and the focus is entirely on taking part and having fun as a family. The resources and support are excellent and the activity is so simple and can be delivered by anyone with just a small bit of training. All National Governing Bodies are under pressure to provide these ‘less traditional/casual’ forms of their activity and British Orienteering have come up with the best one I’ve been involved with thus far.” 

Claire*, from Dronfield, went along with her partner and two children. The 41 year old said: “The theme got the children excited and we discovered a new area of the park. As the event is free, you have nothing to lose.” 

Sue*, 35, attended with her two sons, a friend and her two daughters. The Dronfield resident said: “The kids loved finding the markers and liked the certificates and sticker. Xplorer is really fun and the kids loved it!”

Katy Gregory, 37, from Dronfield said: “I attended an Xplorer event with my son and friends. We went alongside to get outside and it was a lot of fun.” 

Jo Marsden-Heathcote, 34, from Dronfield went along with her children, husband and friends. She said: “It’s a great outdoors activity and fun for all the family. It was so easy to go along and the children found it really good fun.” 

* Participants did not wish to give their surnames.



Xplorer 4 Buxton kids

Derbyshire Dales Village Games Coordinator, Katy Stubbs organised the Halloween Xplorer event at Whitworth Park in Darley Dale. 

Katy said: “We worked alongside Darley Dale Primary School PTA who helped us to advertise the event along with British Orienteering. We used staff from Derbyshire Dales District Council during the event, to help with the set up and delivery. Everyone that attended was part of a family with mums, dads and grandparents taking part. 85 people took part – even in the rain!” 

Sharon White, from Matlock, is a member of Darley Dale Primary School PTA and has attended six Xplorer events with students. She said: “The children really enjoy the events and have so much fun – they loved the themed Halloween event as it was in the dark. The events are well set up, suitable for all age ranges and are also challenging. The children in school keep asking me when the next one is!”


Xplorer 2 BethMore about Xplorer:

British Orienteering Website
•    British Orienteering provides mapping, training, kit and equipment, which includes Xplorer hoodies and signage to give partners the confidence and enthusiasm to run Xplorer events in their area.  
•    The organisation also gives Xplorer certificates, stickers and registration sheets, as well as providing marketing support in the form of template leaflets and posters that organisers can  input their event dates into.  
•    A Participation Officer from British Orienteering also provides regular communication and support to help support and celebrate the success of Xplorer events. 

Across Derbyshire