Braunton Burrows SouthSun 19 Nov

Level C DL3 SWOL

Regional level event

What does this mean?

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and 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. 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. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun6 App.

Terrain type: Sand Dunes

Last updated: Sat 25 November, 2023


Final results



Planner's Comments

I hope you all enjoyed the event, although perhaps not the sand blasting. The wind on top of the main ridge when I woke up controls on the Sunday morning was ferocious, and it didn't relent. My first planning visit coincided with another sand blasting day, you get to appreciate how the dunes can move over time. Braunton is a delight to plan on, it's an area that genuinely offers high levels of technical difficulty, but it still takes care to plan a course that provides those challenges whilst still being fair. Contours are not just fiddly little lines on the map, they show you the terrain, but reading the detail, especially where there are lots of smaller features that are not significant enough to be mapped, takes practice. Most of us also think it's easier with a 1:7.5k map rather than the more usual 1:10k, and we made that choice with you in mind.

I had at an early stage decided to reverse the overall flow of the courses from the previous event, simply to give you a different experience. This gave you a very technical start, no easy introduction, and hopefully your navigating improved as you went along. I had considered a balance between route-choice and technical orienteering throughout, and hopefully gave you a variety of different challenges. Some of the courses deliberately had the option for a route choice along the beach (and the controller and I had dutifully checked the safety of that choice too!), although I think the weather on the day put you all off from that choice. One to think about for next time you're there!

Thanks from me go to Chris for the mapping (not an easy job given the vegetation changes), Ian for challenging some of the choices I had made, Tom for getting everything organised smoothly, El for managing the SI so well, all the control collectors (if there's one job that planners really appreciate, it's volunteering to collect controls in afterwards), and in particular to you all for getting to the event, persevering with your runs in particularly horrible conditions, and all the wonderful comments you've provided!

Damian Wilson (Planner)

Controller's Comments

As Controller, my job is to oversee the organisation and planning of an event such that the Rules are followed and the event safety is reasonably addressed.

I can say that in this regard, Devon OC (all club members) and Tom and Damian in particular, are a pleasure to work with. In spite of the less than ideal conditions, everybody mucked in to ensure the the event ran smoothly. Thank you all, on behalf of the competitors.

As regards the courses, Damian said at the beginning that the area was very fast (if you are fit enough)! However, I insisted that he plan more or less within the BOF guidelines, as we had to take into account all the competitors abilities.

It turned out that we had some very fast times for those who weren't befuddled by the intricate terrain and a good spread of times by those that more or less were! I hope you enjoyed Damian's courses, which made excellent use of the area, if not the sand blasting, mainly in the early stages of your course.

Ian Whitehead

Thanks to Damian for his excellent courses, Ian for controlling, Tom for organising, and all of you for coming.


UPDATE: Entries extended until 17 November at 23:59 (Friday night), subject to map availability.

Braunton Burrows offers diverse terrain, including sand dunes with complex contour detail, more open areas with fast running, and small wooded areas. 

This event is part of the South West Orienteering League

(NB - there is an event in S Wales at Broughton Burrows on the same day - take care to enter the right event!)

Location Info

Near: Braunton
Lat,Lng: 51.07660,-4.18596
OS Grid Ref: SS467327
Postcode: EX33 2NX
What3Words: ///learns.teacher.whisk

Open an interactive map in:
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Directions / Parking

Crow Point, Braunton. Car parking in a public car park at the end of the crow point toll road. The toll road has a barrier that requires £2.50 in change. Please note this!

Signposted from toll road entrance

Registration will be in open space to the west of parking.

Start is 400m from registration
Finish is 800m from registration, signposted from toll road entrance.

Pre-event Details

Map / Terrain

Map: Scale 1:7500. Updated 2023 by Chris Johnson.

Terrain: Braunton Burrows is a large area of complex sand dunes adjoining the Taw estuary and the beach at Saunton Sands, high in places, mostly stabilised by grass or other vegetation. It makes for some very fast running, but progress is slower over steep and sandy areas and you will find your course will undulate considerably as it makes its way over the dunes. Vegetation in the competition area was extensively cleared early in 2023, although has been rapidly growing back over the summer. The flatter, lower, regions may either be dry or marshy, depending upon the recent rainfall and the depth of the water table. The many large depressions offer a very technical orienteering challenge with much contour detail. An intermittent path network is used by the easier courses. Although the mapper has done his best to map these accurately, paths at Braunton often change in definition as their usage alters, and can also move slightly, expect to find many unmapped and indistinct trails on the ground.

Course Information

CourseLength (km)Climb
ControlsTechnical Ability
Short Green2.8759Advanced
Light Green3.1759Intermediate


7Fairly Easy

Note that it is not possible to offer a white course.

This event will use the SportIdent electronic system. Control stations will be enabled for touch free punching (SIAC) but competitors will need to punch the start and finish control. All control sites will have a backup system in the event of control failure.

All control sites will have a backup system in the event of control failure.

All courses will cross a fence; you must cross only at a recognised crossing place and we mark these options as crossing points on the map

Read more about Course lengths and Difficulty here

Entry Details

Entry until 12th November 2023 here:

BOF members fees: £10 seniors, £5 novice, £3 juniors and students. Novice £5. Group £6 (2 maps). Dibber charge £1.

UPDATE: Entries extended until 17 November at 23:59 (Friday night), subject to map availability.

Seniors £12. Juniors and students £4. On the day entry, courses and additional map charge £1 - whilst maps are available.

Punching will be SI. SIAC enabled.

Purchase credit to use when entering any future Devon Orienteering Racesignup events. Buy Racesignup credits here

Registration and Start times

Registration open: 1000-1215

Start times: 1030 - 1230

Course closes: 1430



Dog restrictions

Dogs not allowed on course. Allowed on leads in registration area.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: email hidden; JavaScript is required (07938764579)

Planner: Damian Wilson

Controller: Ian Whitehead

Nearest A&E Hospital

North Devon District Hospital EX31 4JB
NHS Urgent care search

Safety Notes


With thanks to the Christie Estate for permission to the use the area.