Autumn Series (3/4)WycollerSat 16 October, 2021
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.
When George invited me to plan the event at Wycoller I wasn't sure what to expect as we had only recently moved into the area. I was pleased to find that it was a beautiful and varied area and I was excited about the boulders (we didn't have those in the South East)!
As the area is relatively small we decided to use Norwegian O (map memory) legs for the first part of the Technical course to add more of a challenge. The last time I took part in a Norwegian O event was in the days before contactless punching, and it used to be fine hanging the mini maps off the control stakes. Now we have SIAC it is necessary to move people away from the control to prevent them repeatedly 'punching' as they plan the next leg. The solution was a short tape to follow to Wendy's patent mini map holder at each control. When planning in Purple Pen it was straightforward to split the Norwegian legs into individual maps by inserting a map exchange at each control. Adjusting the print windows to produce the very small map areas was more challenging - I left that in George's capable hands!
The response to the 'surprise' on the Technical course varied between enthusiasm, switching to another course, and suggesting I might like to return to the South East! I don't think anyone should have worried though - I had planned the legs to have a few memorable features to help you find your way.
Bracken and livestock turned out to be the biggest problem. I first visited in May when there wasn't much bracken at all and was shocked when I returned in August to bracken that was head height in places. I replanned the courses to avoid the bracken, but by October we had lost the use of one field grazed by cattle, and the bracken appeared to be dying down. We made the decision to reinstate the legs in the bracken below the boulders to bring the Tech course back up to length. Apologies to those who found it tough going - I hope the delights of Wycoller made up for it.
Thanks George for your help and advice, and thank you to the excellent team of PFO helpers who made everything run so smoothly.
Dawn Figg - Planner.
Wycoller gave us all a grand day out. Historic setting, beautiful countryside, perfect weather for orienteering, superb courses, mezmerising map memory** for Tech competitors, though tough underfoot in parts! I hope you all enjoyed the challenge.
Thanks must go to all the PFO officials and helpers who rallied to the cause, many fulfilling several roles. On this occassion I think it is fitting to name them all: Judith and Andy for your welcome at the car park; Dawn for her excellent courses; David and Wendy for putting out assistance; Wendy too for the space-age design of her memory map-snippet holders (coutesy of Blue Peter and the milkman); Jim, Mary, Kay and Emma for start duties; Helen at the Finish sharing your happiness or offering compassion; the backroom boys & girls, Danny, Andy and Helen for download and results; Kevin and others from the above who collected in to complete the day. I hope I haven't missed anyone.
One bone of contention was the bracken (so tall it hid many of the large ISOM boulders) now beginning to die back but still like wading through treacle if your route choice went straight through. The tallest braken was marked on the map by the narrow green pinstripe symbol, so you should have expected slow going - better to run round? Our resolve is that the next event at Wycoller will be in the winter months when the going amongst the boulders will be easier.
**You can see all the memory map snippets in the event photos.
George Crawford-Smith - Organiser.
Definition of bracken (Merriam-Webster): a large coarse fern especially : a nearly cosmopolitan brake (Pteridium aquilinum) found in most tropical and temperate regions.
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.
Pre Event Info
Classic long distance courses.
Wycoller Country Park and Wycoller historic village are in the heart of Bronte country, with a link to Jane Eyre. Well worth a visit, anytime.
Near: Colne Lat,Lng: 53.85199,-2.11393 OS Grid Ref: SD926395 Postcode: BB8 8SY
Directions / Parking
From the west M65, NW or SW: WEST Parking will be at the Wycoller Village Car Park close to BB8 8SY. As you approach along Wycoller Road all public traffic is directed right into the main car park. Keep to the right and park in the reserved overflow car park. There is no charge at present. (What3Words ///embellish.expired.general ). There is no vehicular access to the village.
There are two routes to the Start from West Parking. Both follow the roadside path towards Wycoller village for 400m to a road/path junction.
(1) go right over a stile, direct to the Start (600m), following a field path and a lane. Total distance from West Parking to the Start is 1.0k.
or, (2) go left via Dibber issue / Download / Toilets / Bag drop / Key-drop (450m), then to the Start (500m). Total distance from West Parking to the Start is 1.35k.
From the East (Crosshills/Glusburn, A6068) or south-east (Haworth/Stanbury): EAST parking (What3Words ///cinemas.dignitary.hammer ) is available at the Atom Panopticon and then walk down to Wycoller village (550m), bearing half-left as soon as you leave the open fields. Dibber issue etc. are at the bottom of the hill beside the lake. The Start is a further 500m from here. Total distance from East Parking to the Start is 1.05k.
The Finish is 200m from Download.
Map / Terrain
Map scale 1:7500. A4.
Wycoller Country Park consists of grazing fields, rough pasture, woodland, open moors, with many large rock and water features. The historic village of Wycoller forms the backdrop to the event.
Wycoller Country Park is both a public recreation area and a working farm. Stock animals may be encountered in some fields. Please give them a wide berth.
Registration and Start times
Starts: From 13:00 to 14:15.
Courses Close: At 15:30
On-line only via SIEntries. Open from 16th October.
Entry fees: for both BOF members and non-BOF individuals.
Adult (M/W21+) £6.00,
Junior (M/W20-) and full time students £2.50.
Dibber hire £1, but £40 if lost.
If the event needs to be cancelled the PFO Event Cancellation Policy will apply.
No dogs on courses. This is sheep country. You may exercise your dogs at parking or after the event. Usual doggy etiquette.
Toilets at Dibber issue/Download.
There is a kiosk cafe (card payments accepted) in the centre of the village, near the ford, serving tea, coffee, refreshments, ice cream and snacks. OPen 10AM till 4PM weekends.
Wycoller Hall is thought to be “Ferndean Manor” in Charlotte Brontes novel “Jane Eyre”.
"The manor-house of Ferndean was a building of considerable antiquity, moderate size, and no architectural pretensions, deep buried in a wood. I had heard of it before……. To this house I came just ere dark on an evening marked by the characteristics of sad sky, cold gale, and continued small penetrating rain. The last mile I performed on foot, having dismissed the chaise and driver with the double remuneration I had promised. Even when within a very short distance of the manor-house, you could see nothing of it, so thick and dark grew the timber of the gloomy wood about it. Iron gates between granite pillars showed me where to enter, and passing through them, I found myself at once in the twilight of close-ranked trees."
Contacts / Officials
Planner: Dawn Figg PFO
Organiser and general information: