Braunton Burrows: Devon League Event 6
Sun 19th Jun 2016
Info updated: 20th Jun
Type of event: District-(C)
Type of terrain:
Results: Braunton Burrows 19.6.16
Route Gadget: Routegadget
Planner's Comments: The opportunity to plan for a second time at Braunton Burrows was too good to resist, so it didn’t take me long to accept when the offer was made in January of this year.
It was just over six years since Braunton was last used for orienteering, so it was soon decided that a re-map would be required as, in particular, paths and vegetation had changed. To allow time for this to be fully completed, it was decided to use only the southern part of the area for this event (hopefully it will be possible for us to enjoy the whole area, in sunny conditions, another day!). John's new map was, in my opinion, excellent; especially so, as constant management of the vegetation on the dunes meant that small updates were required until fairly close to the event.
As is the case when planning any event on an area like Braunton, the most challenging courses to plan are the junior courses. Once you have these sorted, the ‘adult’ courses (short green upwards) usually fall into place fairly easily. The car park location gave me the chance to locate the start so that the adult courses went straight into a very technical area of dunes, whilst the junior courses were able to make use of the clearest path on the area so set them all off in the right direction. As is often the case when I plan, I wanted to ensure that the competitors on the adult courses had at least one long leg to contend with, and the leg from either controls 81 or 83 to controls 52 or 54 provided the perfect opportunity. This took people from the more typical sand dune terrain in to the flat area of Braunton, which is very different to the rest of the area; here, although the hills are smaller and quite subtle, they are still high enough to reduce visibility, which makes this part of the area very challenging indeed. It was interesting to watch competitors approach to this long leg; most people made their way very quickly to the edge of the big dunes, but I then witnessed a range of different approaches to the final part of the leg on the flat area – ranging from ‘just keep running fast and hope for the best’, to carefully checking off every feature.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy two warm and sunny days at Braunton whilst checking control sites, and it was also a beautiful day to hang the controls the day before the event. Unfortunately, we were let down in the weather department on the day. Notwithstanding this, I did enjoy my jog around the area during the event. It is always interesting to see how people are dealing with the challenges set and, most importantly of all, to see people enjoying the courses. On the whole, that appeared to be what I observed, and the comments I received from people as they finished or downloaded also appeared to reflect this – so thank you for your kind comments, and thank you for coming despite the weather.
Talking of thank you’s, there are a few people who I need to thank. So, in no particular order, thank you to:
Alan Simpson - for his guidance as controller.
Harry Fox - for his invaluable assistance in helping me hang all 54 controls, as well as checking some on the Sunday morning.
Phil Beale - for ensuring that the event was well organised with a good, and efficient, team of helpers in place.
John Pearce - for the many hours of work he put into producing the map.
The boys from Torquay Boys' Grammar School for quickly and efficiently collecting the controls. Ben Chesters
Organiser's Comments: I began work for the club by making contact with the new land agents managing the Christie Devon Estate last October. After not using Braunton Burrows for a number of years, the aim was to obtain permission to start using this fantastic area once again. Needless to say they have been very supportive in allowing this event as a re-introduction of orienteering on the Burrows, in the hope that by building a good relationship, we can look forward to some larger events, using the wider extent of the dunes, in future.
After all the months of lead up, it was a shame that the weather could not have been been kinder to us, but that did not seem to dampen people's spirits. Despite being wet through, I found it all worthwhile hearing the many favourable comments on Ben's excellent courses and the great terrain that everyone appeared to enjoy.
Although I have organised numerous events at my previous club, thanks must go to all the Devon team of helpers who supported me for my go at organising first since joining Devon OC. Phil Beale
Controller’s Comments: Thank you all for driving the distance and braving the rain at Braunton Burrows. At Download, there were numerous appreciative comments regarding the unspoilt beauty and serious technical challenge of the area, which is owned by the extensive Tapeley Estate
As you may know, this was our first visit since JK 2010. There have been access difficulties in the past, which are hopefully now resolved. The embargo on dogs was necessary to demonstrate to the Estate Manager that we orienteers can be trusted, and hopefully at a future visit we can ask that normal rules will apply – no dogs on courses, and dogs kept on lead in the Assembly area.
Using Fabian4 for pre-entries was an experiment to raise the profile of the event which we think worked.
On your behalf I would like to thank the two heroes of the day – Planner Ben Chesters and Organiser Phil Beale. Unquestionably they both gave their absolute all to their respective tasks.
I am afraid the soggy loose control descriptions printed on waterproof paper in non-waterproof ink were my oversight. I will know better next time. And there were a number of comments about the depiction of the vegetation. I would be very pleased to hear detailed comments from individuals that, for example, leg 5 – 6 on a given course was compromised by the vegetation indicated. Please email me at email@example.com, and I will forward your comments to our Mapper for this area. Alan Simpson
Pre Event Information
Final Details: Braunton Burrows Final Details (Posted 12.6.16)
For more information see the attached flier or details below:
This is the 6th -and final -event in Devon's 2015 -16 League. The event is open to all, regardless of age, experience or ability.
Devon OC are pleased to be holding the first event at Braunton Burrows for a number of years .
This is one of the largest areas of open sand dunes in England which will present a range of technically challenging courses to suit all levels of experience, located approx 8 miles west of Barnstaple.
The event will use the Southern part of the area only.
No dogs (under instruction by land owner).
Nearest town: Braunton
- Grid Ref: SS467327
- Postcode: EX33 2NY
- Latitude: 51.074448
- Longitude: -4.187734
- Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)
Directions / Parking
Car Park grid ref: SS467327
Access is via toll road (£1.50 per car)
The toll is payable at the Toll House at GR: SS482349
Please check the Devon website for any further and final details closer to the event.
Registration & Start Times
Entry times: 10.30am until 12.45pm
Starts: 11.00 until 13.00
Course closes: 15.00
Courses; Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Short Green, Green, Blue and Brown
A fun maze exercise will also be available close to the assembly area.
Help available to newcomers.
Explanation of colour courses
- White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
- Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
- Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
- Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
- Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
- Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
- Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
- Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.
Punch type: SI
Hire fee: £1.00
Due to the popularity of this area and also the 300 entry limit set by the land owner, pre-entry is preferred via http://www.fabian4.co.uk The first closing date is 5th June 2016.
Entry fees: £8 senior, £2 juniors under 21
Entry On the Day subject to limit not being exceeded +£1 per adult entry
Second runs £1
Contacts / Officials
Organiser: Philip Beale
Phone: 01271 860855
Planner: Ben Chesters
Controller: Alan Simpson
Safety and Risk
A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event. If you wish to report any safeguarding concerns to our national governing organisation, British Orienteering, please email .
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