WHEN it comes to orienteering they start them young in Huddersfield.

Four-year-old Edward Barrett and sister Lydia, eight, love nothing more than getting out and about into the countryside.

The siblings, from Shepley, joined more than 30 others at a special orienteering adventure day at Huddersfield Grammar School in Marsh on Saturday.

Orienteering is a growing pastime – and competitive sport – where those taking part find their way around a course with maps and a compass.

The Huddersfield-based East Pennine Orienteering Club put on an exciting introduction to the activity which included a Crystal Maze-style adventure race designed to appeal to youngsters in particular.

Four-year-olds often take to orienteering like ducks to water, according to club coach Viv Barraclough.

“I would say four is the best age to start,” said mum-of-three Viv.

“Youngsters can often navigate before they can read. Orienteering is very good for the brain.”

Viv, 38, of Highburton, added: “It’s a sport that exercises the mind and body, and that’s why parents love it for their children.

“It tests reading, maths and geography and uses lots of other skills – and it’s fun.”

Edward and Lydia certainly agree and so do mum Sarah, 40, and dad Mark, 37.

Sarah, a teacher, said it was a way the whole family could enjoy themselves together.

“It’s a great way to get out and about and keep fit and to learn at the same time,” she said.

“I did a lot of outdoor adventure sports before I had children and my husband does a lot of mountain biking.

“Edward is having a fantastic time. He thinks he’s on a treasure hunt.”

Viv said the East Pennine club, which meets at the school on Monday nights, wanted new people to try out the sport.

There were different twists to what most people imagine orienteering to be.

Some orienteering is carried out by runners while, for the more daring, there is adventure racing.

This could be orienteering on a mountain bike or in a canoe.

“It’s all about the exploration and the challenge,” said Viv. “And we would love people to give orienteering a try.”

To find out more go to www.eastpennineoc.org.uk