NWNL Hameldon Hill, Dec 3 2016

NWNL League,

Date of event: Sat 03rd Dec 16
Type of event: Local (D)
Nearest town: Burnley, Lancs


Simple results

NWNL event results and Routegadget are now posted.  Apologies for the delay, but it has been a busy weekend for all concerned.
Please complete your route on RG as it is instructive for everyone to see others' route choices.
Your results, for this the 2nd night event in the series. will be carried forward to the BrightBikeLights North West Night League.

Controller's Comments:

Indeed, it was a grand day out as George puts it so eloquently.  I have very little more to add other than to say that I had little to do regarding any tweaking Peter's courses for both the night and day events, which I thought provided a good mix of long a short legs with plenty of navigational challenge around the quarries.
We were all concerned with the potential dangers of the quarry workings for the night event (and indeed, a potentially misty day event), but the combination of George's mammoth taping efforts and our club stalwart Max Cole on the manned control made sure everyone passed through safely and without incident. Finally, thanks to the PFO members who volunteered to go back out again and bring in the controls at the end of a great weekend.

Tom Gray - Controller.

Planner's Comments:

I was pleased to be asked to plan the Hameldon events as the competition area looked to be varied and interesting, and was completely new to me.

On visiting what is an expansive area it became evident that the southern portion offered little in the way of features and in some areas away from paths was very difficult to negotiate.  Consequently the focus would have to be in the northern portion containing old quarry workings, rough open land and two areas of woodland.  The workings offered a complexity that can either be a joy or a frustration, and the scope for many control sites.

The added complication was running two events on consecutive days coupled with the site constraints such as the unusable area immediately below the crags  and the 3 safe routes through the crags.  This inevitably led to a degree of commonality across the events.  On previously hosted night & day events very few of the night competitors came to the following day event so, whilst we had different courses on each day, we expected to be able to tolerate a little similarity in the courses.  As it happens there were more double attendees than usual (around 10) so apologies if you sensed too much similarity in the courses you ran.  Aside from meeting the specifications for courses and incorporating route choice decisions a major focus for the night event was safety, given the potential for poor weather and the crag hazards.  I hope our efforts at keeping you safe didn’t impact on your enjoyment;  I think we got the balance right there.

Thanks to George for critiquing my work and helpful suggestions, and to Tom for quality assurance.

If you haven’t planned an event before, have a go because the club needs more planners to safeguard the future of orienteering in this area.  It’s also quite a satisfying thing to do.  There are people to support you if you are unsure about anything, so get your name down for something in 2017.

Peter Stobbs - Planner.


Organiser's Comments:

We trust you had an rewarding run through this tough terrain.  Most post event comments were of enjoyment and thanks to Peter for some tough courses.  

Safety:  Had the weather been bad e.g. poor visibility in the quarries or stormy conditions, Peter had planned alternative low level Blue and Green courses.  They would not have been as challenging but the event would have gone ahead regardless.  The objective dangers in the quarries were mitigated by hazard taping the most dangerous crags and pits on navigation lines and having a manned control (with communication and basic safety equipment) on the safe route exit from the quarries.  All competitors were successfully accounted for.

Food and drinks followed at downlaod in the Hapton Inn with much talk and post event rationalisation of route choices.  We are grateful to the landlord for his hospitality.

Congratulations to our course winners - John Ockenden on Blue in a stunning time of 46:18, Pauly D Jones on Green in 44:54 and Michael Hood on Orange in 30:54.

Our thanks are due to all PFO members who contributed to tonight's event.  Peter Stobbs planner, Chris Goddard for helping to put out, Max Cole for marshalling at 146, Jim and Wendy at the Start, the Registration team of Alice, Mary and Carole and Tom Gray for Controlling.

The map you used was drawn by Rod Posstlethwaite for PFO's Lancashire HotPot in 2012, plus some minor updates in 2016. 

George Crawford-Smith - Organiser.


Pre-event details below here:

This is the 2nd event in the 2016-17 North West Night League (NWNL) series.

The competition area is the open moorland and the mining spoils area to the north of Hameldon Hills.  The area was used for the finals of the UK Orienteering League in 2012.  The area will be challenging in the dark!

Registration will be in the Hapton Inn.  There is a 1km walk from here to the Start and back from the Finish.

Pub meals available after the event (see menu in Downloadable Documents below).  If you are staying for food or drink, please change first if you are wet or muddy.  Ideally you should order your meal before competing help the kitchen cope.

Safety:  This is a winter event over exposed moorland - WHISTLES and WATERPROOF JACKETS and RESERVE LIGHTING are MANDATORY and must be worn or carried.  Carrying hats, gloves, additional thermal layers and waterproof trousers may also be necessary.  Carrying a mobile phone in case of emergency is permitted.  Call the Organiser on 07813 320936 in the first instance.  You will be advised at Registration of any other requirements.
See also competition map in Images below.

The next day, Sunday 4th, there will be a Level C event, starting at Hamedon Woods, over much of the same area, with registration at the Kings Road car park.  Usual courses.

NWNL events (sponsored by BrightBike Lights) are:  

  • 26/11/16 SROC White Coppice, Chorley
  • 03/12/16 PFO Hameldon Hill and Woods, Accrington
  • 14/01/2017 LOC Blakeholme, Windermere
  • 21/01/17 MDOC Teggs Nose, Macclesfield
  • 04/02/17 SELOC - Amberswood, Wigan
  • 04/03/17 DEE Marbury Country Park, Northwich

LOC will also be hosting the British Night Champs at  Great Tower on 25/2/17

events location


Nearest town: Burnley, Lancs
Grid Ref: SD793309
Postcode: BB11 5QL
Latitude: 53.77428
Longitude: -2.31419
Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)


Planner: Peter Stobbs PFO
Organiser: George Crawford-Smith PFO
Controller: Tom Gray PFO
Contact: For general enquiries -

Info for dog owners

This is sheep country.  No dogs on courses.


Usual pub facilities.  Meals available - see menu in Downloadable Documents below.

Downloadable Documents

NWNL league table after 5 events (4/2/2017), Hapton Inn menu., NWNL Flyer - event details.,

Image Gallery

Click the image for a larger version.

NWNL League,

NWNL League

Sponsored by BrightBikeLights,

Sponsored by BrightBikeLights

Safe descent routes, crags and manned control.,

Safe descent routes, crags and manned control.

Hameldon Hill North & Quarries,

About the area/map

Hameldon Hills

The area mapped comprises two small areas of woodland, part deciduous and part coniferous, plus the large area of the Hameldon Hills, which is open moorland.  The woods have been used previously for small local and training events but the moorland was first used for orienteering on 7th October 2012 for the UK Cup Finals and associated Level B Long Distance Regional event.  

There is a craggy and contoured scarp, the lower slopes of which were once a military firing range.  Above is an area of intricate quarry, rock and mining detail which poses the major technical challenge of the area.  Staying in contact is vital.  Elsewhere there are other quarries and bell pits from earlier coal extraction.  Generally areas marked as marsh, or indistinct marsh, are normally wet and slow underfoot.

The moor is home to about 50 head of good-natured cattle who spend most of their time ruminating.  They will however stand their ground and observe you as you pass.  Their whereabouts cannot be predicted but the moor is sufficiently large that you may not see them at all.  Should you encounter them when competing in the area we recommend circumnavigating them by 10m.

Read more about the Hameldon Hills area and map


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Posted by George Crawford-Smith