A voluntary organisation called Greater Manchester Orienteering Activities (GMOA) sets up and maintains the permanent orienteering courses in Greater Manchester and its fringe areas, in conjunction with local authorities and other organisations.
Locations of all the POCs in the Greater Manchester area are given on the GMOA website.
What is Permanent Course Orienteering?
Permanent Course Orienteering involves finding control points using a specially drawn, large-scale colour map. The map shows the positions of the control markers with red or purple circles, each with an accompanying identification (one or two letters).On Permanent Courses, control markers are generally wooden posts or plaques. Each control is marked with letters to match those on the map so that on arrival, the orienteer can check that their navigation is correct.
There are usually short, easy courses for beginners with controls at path junctions. Further courses progress through a range of map reading skills to find controls a short distance from paths and finally in more remote locations.
Some POCs have 'wheelchair' courses which allow people with limited mobility to follow well-made tracks in order to find trackside controls.
You can do a POC any time you wish simply by purchasing a Map Pack which contains a map and instructions. You will also need a pen, outdoor clothing and trainers.
Watching the Permanent Course Orienteering video on YouTube is a very good introduction to using a permanent course.