In my last post, I asked if anyone could identify this.
Here comes a close up to help you :)
It's an orienteering marker.
Orienteering is a sport in which participants navigate their way around a course using a map and compass. It can be done competitively or just for fun, with people of all ages and abilities enjoying the experience of walking, jogging or running as they find their way around the markers.
At the Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, a variety of courses are offered for KS2 children, including orienteering around the area of the Tarn. This is one of their markers.
The marker gives various bits of information. The card attached to the pole gives the location is the Cattle Grid and the map grid reference as 8973 6711; also, that the location symbol is a lizard.
Orienteering competitions mark the orienteers progress with an electronic score card which is punched at each marker. An low-tech alternative is to carry an actual card which is marked by punching holes. As John rightly said, the red object dangling from the piece of string is the punch. As this marker symbol is a lizard, I imagine that the children would need to punch through a picture of a lizard on their card, to show that they had collected this marker. (Or maybe, the hole punch is a lizard shape??)
Having punched their card, the orienteer checks the last piece of information on the marker; the grid reference of the next location. And so the round continues.
Have you ever used a map and compass to navigate your way around a walk or course?
I was interested to read Louise and Andy's comments about geocaching. It sounds like fun!