Hurstwood South Event, Mar 1 2014

Passing through.  124  Gully, South end.,

Date of event: Sat 01st Mar 14
Type of event: Local (D)
Nearest town: Mereclough, Burnley


Results (including splits)
Winsplits (splits analysis)
Splitsbrowser (graph)
Routegadget (enter your route here!)
British Orienteering Website Results

Planners' comments:
Thanks to all of you who came; it was great to have a good turn out to a Saturday event and to see so many newcomers and relative beginners.  We were also relieved that the weather was so kind!
The courses were a combined effort between Judith and myself, with George planning the Blue.  George also redrew the existing map within a very tight time scale, completing it about 3 weeks before the event.  It was great to have such a detailed and intricate map to work from with all the complex contour detail, but hopefully having sufficient line features to prevent less experienced competitors going too far astray! We did try to avoid the worst tussock grass, mostly found to the East of the pipeline ( I know you may find that hard to believe!)
We are grateful to the Landowners and managing agents, United Utilities and Natural England, for their permission to use the area.
We'd love to see you at our events in the future.  Next is Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham on 16th February.

Helen Smethurst - Planner.

Organiser's comments:

A gloriously sunny day greeted the approximately 70 competitors at the Hurstwood South event on 01/03/14.
The area proved both physically and navigationally demanding for competitors, however many positive comments were received from competitors that they had enjoyed themselves and definitely got their monies worth!  Superb stuff.
Thanks are due to Helen and Judith, whose planning and controlling staged today's excellent event.  Also a big thank you is definitely in order to all of the PFO helpers, without whom the event could not have happened.
There is one item of lost property - a blue fleece jumper - that was left at the start/ finish. Please contact the organiser on 01706 228434 to make arrangements for the return of this.

Helen Ashton - Organiser.


Access Note:

All areas of moorland owned and managed by United Utilities have a ban on organised activities, such as orienteering, from the beginning of March to the end of July.  Ground nesting birds such as Curlew, Lapwing, Golden Plover and many other species need to be undisturbed for successfuyl breeding.  They are a characteristic of our wonderful northern moorland.

We are very grateful to UU for allowing us to sneek in under the wire with our event on the 1st.  The embargo does not affect your right to walk or run on open access land as an individual.  If out with your dog, please always keep them under close control at this time of year. 

The nesting season ban is also the reason for moving our CAPRICORN event to the weekend after August Bank Holiday as permissions for events are much easier to obtain.  Please put 30th August and Gisburn Forest and Moors in your diary.


Pre-Event Info below here:

This event is suitable for novices, through improving juniors to experienced competitors.  Courses Yellow to Blue.  All competitors will enjoy the unusual surroundings of the highly detailed contour features of Shedden Clough, which is interesting geologically, historically and navigationally.

Hurstwood South has not been used for orienteering for a number of years.  This event uses a new map (drawn from LiDAR data) detailing the intricate knolls, hills and reentrants of the 18th century limestone hushings and the surrounding moorland.  

Take a look at the images at the bottom of this webpage to see snippets of the competition area and important map information.

Safety:  This is exposed open country.  Be prepared - bring whistles and cagoules!

events location


Nearest town: Mereclough, Burnley
Grid Ref: SD894288
Postcode: BB10 4RQ
Latitude: 53.75616
Longitude: -2.16342
Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)


Planner: Helen Smethurst PFO
Organiser: Helen Ashton PFO
Controller: Judith Wood PFO
Contact: For general enquiries -

Info for dog owners

Dogs are allowed under close control at the car park only.  No dogs on courses.  This is sheep country.


No facilities at the car park.

Image Gallery

Click the image for a larger version.

Passing through.  124  Gully, South end.,

Passing through. 124 Gully, South end.

The 3 wise men of PFO.,

The 3 wise men of PFO.

Start & Finish.,

Start & Finish.

Control 125.  Knoll, South side.  Blue 1, Green 3.,

Control 125. Knoll, South side. Blue 1, Green 3.

Control 120.  Rocky Pit.  Trouble for some.,

Control 120. Rocky Pit. Trouble for some.

Control 131.  Ditch.  Amongst the rhododendrons.,

Control 131. Ditch. Amongst the rhododendrons.

Family outing, on the pipeline,

Family outing, on the pipeline

Leaving control 125, Knoll, South side.,

Leaving control 125, Knoll, South side.

126 Between the Knolls.  Amongst the spoils.,

126 Between the Knolls. Amongst the spoils.

The limestone hushings at Shedden Clough.,

The limestone hushings at Shedden Clough.

About the area/map

Hurstwood South

The original Hurstwood map covers 12 sq km from Hurstwood to Cliviger.  It is a complex area of moors, reservoirs and a maze of spoils from old mineral workings.  It is 95% open moorland where contour interpretaion and compass work are the key navigational skills required.
The area has been used for orienteering on and off since the first map was produced from a photogramatic plot in 1989.  Unfortunately the origins of the map pre-date modern methods and no digital files exist.  There are only paper copies.
PFO is progressively recreating the map digitally so that orienteering may again take place on this complex area.  The second part to be recreated is the Hurstwood South (or Shedden Clough) area of mining spoils and adjacent moorland.  
The map attached represents only 25% of the total area but includes the most extensive spoils area.

Shedden Clough or Cliviger Hushings:  A mix of glacial eratic limestone and gritstone boulders, originating from Yorkshire, littered this predominately gritstone area like manna from heaven.  Naturally the locals made good use of this gift, removing the limestone and leaving behind the gritstone spoils.  Lime extracted by this method was used in both agriculture and building in earlier centuries.
The spoil tips, large and small, are the main navigational challenge in the area.  Also the area has many ditches and leets that brought water to the hushings for extraction purposes, leaving behind several areas of tightly packed deep gullies and linear spoils often more than 2m from crest to foot.

Read more about the Hurstwood South area and map


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Posted by Steve Wilson