Devon Orienteering


Hound Tor: Devon League Event 3

Image of the  map

Sun 14 Feb 2016

Info updated: 16th Feb
Type of event: District-(C)
Type of terrain: Moorland


Results: Hound Tor 14.2.16 Results

Route Gadget: routegadget

Splitsbrowser: splitsbrowser

Photographs: flickr Hound Tor 

Please note: The flickr photographs are courtesy of Mark Lockett -many thanks, Mark, great pictures!  Splitsbrowser now shows the correct number of controls on each course. Well done, Roger! 


Planner’s Report

Putting on orienteering events on Dartmoor in the winter is always a bit of risk.  In this case, we had heavy rain in the days running up to the event, and slushy snow and thick mist at Hound Tor on Sunday morning.  When putting out the controls on Saturday I have never seen the Becka Brook so high – and was very appreciative of the new footbridge at the southern crossing point.  Still, it takes more than a bit of rain or snow to put off the hardy orienteering fraternity!  We even had a couple of Swiss orienteers who seemed to enjoy the challenge of Dartmoor in the winter.

Thanks go to the controller Andy Reynolds, for his wise council in planning for the event, and for help putting out, checking and collecting controls.  Jamie did some valuable map updating over Christmas, but as always, the moorland paths come and go, and the gorse keeps growing! Given the weather we were right to keep the courses on the shorter side, and select more straightforward control locations. The results show that the Blue course in particular saw some close competition.  By starting the courses in the horse jump area we were able to provide a different set of navigational challenges for the shorter courses, although maybe the yellow was a little long? Still, it was encouraging to hear the positive responses from the muddy runners coming in after their battle with the misty, snowy conditions.

Graham Dugdale organized the event very efficiently, and was ably supported by Alison Reynolds, Bryan Smith and Alan Simpson (the SI Team), who seemed to enjoy grappling with the complexities of the Sportident Config+ software when trying to account for the final few runners.  The Griersons, the Greens and Steve Perrelle all contributed to a successful event. My particular thanks go to James Jackson and Robin Carter for manning the start and collecting controls.  Many of you enjoyed the cakes, so I have passed your thanks on to Anne.


Organiser's Report

In October, when I first visited Hound Tor in preparation for this event, the bracken was rampant and many of the paths were hidden.  Well, the winter weather and overnight snow certainly presented a different picture early on Sunday morning although the paths were still hidden.  We had plans to use the field behind the carpark for parking, but the winter rains put paid to that a few weeks ago and the car park only just coped with an unexpectedly large turn-out. Apologies for the waterlogged path from registration to the start, which was designed to keep competitors and traffic apart, but was probably worse on the day than anything we had envisaged in planning.  Early starters may have been hampered by the poor visibility due to low cloud, which eventually improved giving some advantage to later starters, although by then paths were muddier.  My thanks to all the club members (Robin and James, Ruth and Bryan, Peter and Katharine, Roger and Jill, Helen, Alan, Steve and Alison) who helped to deliver a successful event and to Rob Parkinson (Planner) and Andy Reynolds (Controller) for making my job as organiser so much easier. Graham Dugdale

Pre Event Information

This event is at Hound Tor, near Widecombe. It is the third event in the Devon League 2015-16 and is a Level C Ranking Event. The event is open to all, regardless of age, experience or ability. 

Hound Tor 14.2.16 flier

Advice to Competitors:

This is an open moorland course with a risk of very cold conditions, consider bringing extra clothing for your run and if waiting for others before and after. When travelling to the event beware of competitors walking to the start. Please share lifts if possible as car parking is limited. A toilet will be provided.  Public toilets are available at Haytor car park.

Please bring a cagoule and whistle.  Whilst it is always advisable to carry a whistle, in the event of adverse conditions cagoule and whistle may be made mandatory. Take care when on the rocky parts of the course, which can be slippery particularly in wet weather. 

The start is 500 metres from the car park. This will be signed mainly on moorland paths, but will have a short stretch on road. Please take care leaving the parking area and on the road to the start.

The area includes the Hound Tor medieval village and competitors should take care when passing through it.  No controls will be sited in the ruins. Becka Brook should only be crossed by the footbridges marked on the map. (only Brown and Blue courses). Please respect other users of the area, particularly riders.

Competitors may encounter cattle and wild ponies, please take care not to alarm them. Dogs should be under control at all times.

Remember to download, even if you do not complete your course.

In the event of extreme weather check the Devon OC website before setting out.

Safety Bearing (if lost); head west to the road.  If east of Becka Brook (brown and blue courses only), alternatively head south to the road.

Hound Tor medieval village ruins consists of a cluster of 13th century stone longhouses – in which the family lived at one end and the animals at the other – on land that was originally farmed in the Bronze Age. The village was probably deserted in the early 15th century.

Read more about the history of Hound Tor Deserted Medieval Village History


Nearest town: Bovey Tracey

Directions / Parking

Directions to Hound Tor:

From the Drumbridges junction on the A38 take the A382 to Bovey Tracey.  Follow the A382 through a set of lights and the first roundabout (signed Moretonhampstead and Town Centre) to the second roundabout.  Here turn left on the B3387 (signed Haytor and Widecombe).  Following the B3387, bear left at Five Wyches Cross, pass the Edgemoor Hotel and climb to Haytor.  Pass the Haytor carparks on your left (the upper carpark can be used if you are lift sharing) and Haytor on your right and proceed to Hemsworthy Gate.  Here take the right turn, still on the B3387 (signed Widecombe 1.5 miles).  After half a mile at Harefoot Cross leave the B3387 taking the right fork.  Proceed for a mile to Swallerton Gate, then bear right.  The carpark is 70 yards on the left at SX739792.  Satnav TQ13 9XQ

Parking will be at Swallerton Gate carpark (SX739792).  As parking is limited competitors are asked to car share. The event will be signed from the B3387 Widecombe to Bovey Tracey road at Harefoot Cross (SX737767).

Registration & Start Times

Registration:   10.00 – 12.00

Starts:             10.30 – 12.30

Courses Closes: 14.30

Course Information

The following courses will be available: Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Green, Blue, Brown.

  Length km Height m Description
Yellow 2.2 70 On tracks and paths, Controls at most junctions. No route choice
Orange 2.7 75 On tracks and paths and other line features. Controls further apart. Some controls on point features not far from line features. Some route choice
Light Green 3.4 80 Controls not on paths and other line features but usually not very far from an attack point on a line feature. Route choice
Green 4.1 95 Full technical difficulty but not too long
Blue  5.7 220 Full technical difficulty and longer
Brown 7.4 270 Full technical difficulty, longer still and more climb

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.

Entry Details

All course are Entry On Day.   

Fees: Seniors £8,  Juniors £2,  Families (with juniors) £2

The event will use SI: Dibber hire  £1  

Contacts / Officials

Organiser:        Graham Dugdale   (tel 01626 852944)


Planner:            Rob Parkinson

Controller:       Andy Reynolds

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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