Night & DayDarwen Moor NightSat 07 December, 2019

Local level event

Explanation of Event levels

  • Training events are non competitive events used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport.
  • Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Most clubs run some 'mini series' throughout the year as local mid week events.
  • Regional events attract participants from around the local Region.
  • National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away,
  • Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships or the annual JK competition.



Planner's Comments:

Tough one this! I mean of course, tough to plan.

Kevan Latham suggested, as Controllers do, that I should minimise the number of passes through the slow spongy-mossy-heathery stuff, so courses with longer path options were the final offerings. Some would say I didn't follow his suggestion at all!

Even without any of the slow undergrowth, the navigation would have been tricky, especially in the areas of sketchy shallow features. Good attack points and accurate compass work were key. Looking at Routegadget it seems that the lead competitors mastered this admirably. Because of the slowness of the terrain, some thought they had done badly, only to discover a top 5 placing. The Night Blue winning time was actually quicker than my estimate of 65 to 70 minutes. Green was won in just under my estimated 60 mins. One consequence of the tough going and tricky navigation was a high fall-out rate: 19% overall = Blue 2%, Green taking the major hit of 28% and Orange 0%. Too high overall.

Everyone agreed it was tough, but some stated they had enjoyed their course!

Despite the conditions there was only one mishap. A failed head torch lead to a bail-out to the north instead of to the east, eventually reaching the A666 at the wrong end of town. A call to the organiser and a rescue vehicle was dispatched. No names mentioned.
First lesson: make sure your back-up torch is powerful enough to read a map by.
Second lesson: For night events, always print an emergency telephone number on the map.

A word of thanks to the many PFO members who helped putting on this Night & Day event.
First Bridget Jardine (who couldn't be here this weekend) for all permissions work and pre-event organising - 3 landowners and a Scout Hut to negotiate for. John Ashton for on-the-day organising everyone and everything, including the excellent fare of soups, rolls, cake and beverages. Max Cole for volunteering to help put out controls and for always being in the right place to put out more than his fair share in cold, blustery, drizzley weather. Then all the other PFO helpers for Registration, SI, first aid (none needed) and Start duties. And, of course, those who offered succour to cold and exhausted competitors.

Finally, thanks to Darwen Scouts for the loan of their warm, dry and comfy scout hut, plus kitchen and loos. Perfect location for comparing route choices and cursing the planner. Plus, of course, a suitable pillar for the Finish banner!

George Crawford-Smith PFO - Planner.

Mapper's Comments:

Many competitors will have been surprised by what appeared to be several "forest rides" in open terrain. Several queried this after the event as they did not know what to expect.

Since the issue (by IOF) of a new standard mapping symbol set in 2017, the old familiar "forest ride" symbol has been replaced by "forest ride or linear trace". The new symbol has shorter dashes and shorter gaps than the previous "forest ride" symbol, and now represents a fast running line through any type of terrain.

This was explained in the pre-event information thus:
"Linear Trace (same symbol as a Forest Ride): Parts of the moor have had vegetation removed providing good running in one direction. Generally there is no path. These lines are indicated by the "Linear Trace" symbol."

Whereas in daylight the linear traces indicated were obvious when crossing them at right angles, but at night they were much less obvious. Finding them was a bonus in both speed and attack point certainty.

I am sure that you will in future encounter this symbol on other maps, especially in managed moorland areas.

Organiser's Comments and Controller's Comments:

Please see the Darwen Moor Regional comments for both Kev Latham's report and John Ashton's report covering both events.


Is a web browser app for sharing and comparing orienteering routes. You can draw your own route or upload a GPS track from your watch. It also allows you to watch an animated replay with a simulated mass start.

Go to the Pendle Forest Routegadget now

Last updated: Tue 28 January, 2020

Pre Event Info

North West Night League event at Darwen Moor, near Blackburn.

NWNL league table after the first round event at Arnside Knott on 16/11/2019 can be obtained from .

Darwen Moor is Event 2 in the 2019-20 North West Night League (NWNL) series.

The league is sponsored by BrightBikeLights. Try these links:
BrightBikeLIghts Orienteering Headlight Set (2018)
Orienteering/Runners Headlight Ferei HL65

New posting from BBL 01/12/2019:
"Discount voucher codes below:
For £5 discount on Ferei HL65 enter code 'December-headlight1' at checkout
For £10 discount on Ferei HL50 and Orienteering light set enter 'December-headlight2' "

Safety: This is a winter event - WHISTLES and WATERPROOF JACKETS and RESERVE LIGHTING are MANDATORY and must be worn or carried - unless specifically relaxed by the controller. Carrying hats, gloves, additional thermal layers and waterproof trousers may also be necessary.

Mobile phones may be carried as a safety measure only. Help number is 07546-147925. Respect the fundamentals of orienteering and do not use your phone for navigational aid.

We are indebted to the landowners for permission to use the area - United Utilities, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and David Livesey, owner of land and shooting rights.

The next day, Sunday 8th, there will be a Darwen Moor Regional event using some of the same area. However, parking and registration will be at a different location. Usual courses.

Other NWNL night events:
7th Dec 2019: PFO Darwen Moor, Darwen
18th Jan 2020: LOC Dale Park Graythwaite
8th Feb 2020: DEE Delamere East, Delamere
15th Feb 2020: MDOC Philips Park, Prestwich

Location Info

Near: Darwen
Lat,Lng: 53.69008,-2.47484
OS Grid Ref: SD687216
Postcode: BB3 2SN

Open an interactive map in:
GoogleMap - Streetmap (OS 50k)
OpenStreetMap - BingMap (OS 50k)

Directions / Parking

On street parking in either Manor Rd (BB3 2SN) or Belgrave Rd (BB3 2SF) surrounding Bold Venture Park in Darwen. Please park on one side of the road only, to allow easy flow of local traffic.

From N, E and W exit the M65 at J4 and follow A666 in a southerly direction to Darwen centre. At the one way system, double back on yourself signed for Blackburn, but immediately bear 2nd left uphill on to Borough Rd.
From the S follow A666 north to Darwen centre. At the one way system, immediately bear 2nd left uphill on to Borough Rd.
Borough Rd leads to a mini-roundabout, turn right on to Belgrave Rd. Continue up hill to Manor Rd on your right. If you follow this perimeter road in a clockwise direction, all car parking will be on your left.

Registration is in the Ashton Kiosk (aka Darwen Scout Hut) on your left immediately after you turn into Manor Rd.

Darwen Scouts will provide warm shelter, toilets and a tolerance of muddy footwear! They will also provide soup & rolls, cakes and hot & cold drinks for a modest donation. No need to book in advance.

If you wish to warm up before competing, please use the route to the Start. Do not use terrain to either side or the park.

[ What3Words phone app coordinate for Registration is: ]

Map / Terrain

Darwen Moor, most notably identified by Darwen Tower, visible from the M65, is a wild area of upland vegetation. There has been historic quarrying and mining, which has left behind many landform features. The area will provide challenging night navigation.

Registration and Start times

Registration from 5:30 to 6:45PM.
Starts from
6:00 to 7:15PM.
Courses close at 8:45PM

Course Information

(subject to controlling)
Length:Climb:Technical difficulty:
1:7500 x2 sides
1:7500 x2 sides

Route to Start from Registration is 700m and 70m climb. Allow 10 minutes.
The Finish is adjacent to Registration.

New area, new map .......

Control descriptions: On the map. Loose copies on waterproof paper available at Registration and the Start.

Safety: See note above about mandatory equipment and use of mobile phones.

TERRAIN and MAP notes: See also thumbnail in the images section.

The area is characterised by gently undulating moorland top, but with steep escarpments to the west, north and east. Vegetation is variable.

Pits and Depressions: There are lots! Many are widely separated and therefore marked individually on the map. However, others are in clusters and too numerous to mark all separately. In this case the most distinct depressions are marked with less prominent ones shown as surrounding broken ground. DANGER: Do not run through any depressions, large or small, as many have bouldery bottoms hidden by grass or water and may also have secondary drops. Only enter depressions that have a control in them and only on the side where the kite is located. Always run around all other depressions.

There is a small area of pits and depressions that has been marked as OOB on the map. However a good path passes through the middle of this area. Stakes and tapes will indicate where you MUST keep to the path and watch for steep drops to either side.

Ponds: All ponds are man-made. All are marked on the map with an uncrossable bank line. They are of uncertain depth - you must keep away from the edges.

Undergrowth: 90% of the area is open moorland of variable runnablility. In general the higher up you are the easier the terrain. The slowest parts are indicated by the "Undergrowth - Slow Running" (wide green pinstripe) symbol. The boundaries are not exact and should not be relied on for navigation. Brambles, bracken and gorse only grow low down on some of the scarp slopes.

Linear Trace (same symbol as a Forest Ride): Parts of the moor have had vegetation removed providing good running in one direction. Generally there is no path. These lines are indicated by the "Linear Trace" symbol.

Fence crossing: All courses will cross a fence at one of two gates nearing the Finish. Other fences may be encountered that are broken or low. These may be crossed at any suitable point.

Special man-made object symbol: The 'O' symbol represents a shooting butt. The 'X' symbol represents a sculpture.

Entry Details

EOD only:
Seniors £8.00 (M/W21+)
Juniors £3.00 (M/W20-)
Dibber hire £1, but £40 if lost!

Dog restrictions

No dogs. This is grouse country.


At Registration: Toilets and undercover changing. You may leave kit here.
Meals prepared by Darwen Scouts: Meat or Vegetarian hot meals and hot & cold drinks available at nominal cost. Please order BEFORE your run on a first come first served basis.


BOF event number: 75746

Contacts / Officials

Planner: George Crawford-Smith PFO
Kevan Latham SELOC
Bridget Jardine PFO

For general enquiries e-mail