Devon Orienteering


Woodbury Common South

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Devon League Event

Sun 23 Jan 2022

Info updated: 24th Jan
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Woodland


Results: Woodbury South (Initial comments below) 

Route Gadget:


Many thanks to John Pearce for planning today's courses (and also for John's role as mapper), to Dawn Williamson for organising and to everyone involved (of which there was quite a number) in helping. This includes those on car parking duties, the SI team, Torquay Boys' for control collecting, those responsible for equipment, first aiders and others not mentioned specifically! Thank you. It was great to see so many people at the event and making the most of the dry (but cold) January conditions. 

Many thanks to East Devon Pebblebed Heath Conservation Trust for allowing the club to hold this orienteering event on their land. Thanks also to SC Group for their kind permission in allowing us to park at their site.

Planner's Report:  Thank you all for coming to what proved to be a successful event. Your comments, both complimentary and ‘constructive’, were appreciated, and a couple of map changes will be made for the next edition.

My thanks, of course, go especially to Dawn as organiser and Bryan as controller. Her teams worked with the usual Devon efficiency and friendliness. Bryan ensured the courses were of a reasonable length and standard. And it was especially great to have access to the quarry car park for the first time. I know that took considerable negotiation by Bryan; let’s hope we can use it for future events.

Unknown to competitors would be the help given by Ian and Helen Marsden of HH, who stepped in to help me put out/check/wake controls when it was uncertain if Bryan would be available.

The planning had to consider several restraints which left you running far more on paths than ideal. Lympstone Common (not on final map) was made OOB; the gorse in many areas has become too thick; and we were asked to stay out of the marshes, which in mid-winter was going to happen anyway. However, we were lucky with the weather. I had to plan for possible snow, a gale, heavy rain or even fog in a highly exposed area. Courses therefore were rather shorter than a summer version – and the winning times (ex-Green) reflected this. Bryan (as controller) agreed that to make the Green interesting it could come south of the road, and that added inevitable length.

I hope the three long courses all appreciated the long leg that the S area permitted. I was interested in the chats at the end how few people had taken the shortest central route – and how many had gone east (longer by 200m) or west up the road to the car park (greatest climb). At least all options were used!

And a final vote of thanks to Steve, Tom and the boys who collected controls in so efficiently. We were packed up and away shortly after 3.30 – to a welcome hot bath!

John Pearce


Please note that Bryan Smith (Blue) should be recorded in the results as non-competitive.

Pre Event Information

Final Details (Updated 13.1.22)  can be found here: Woodbury Common South V2

This is the 5th event in the 2021-22 Devon League.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to East Devon Pebblebed Heath Conservation Trust for allowing the club to hold this orienteering event on their land.

Thanks to SC Group for their kind permission in allowing us to park at their site.

Drivers and pedestrians using the car park site should understand the agreement with Devon Orienteering Club that SC Group will not be held liable for vehicle damage or personal injury whilst event participants use their site.

Terrain:  The whole area has been used for military training from WWII to the present day. No one should pick up any object they are unsure about.

All courses have to come down a steep gravel path at some stage. For the Yellow course this is just after 1/2 way round and is not too long (30m). For the other courses, however, it is 75m and steeper. PLEASE BE PREPARED TO WALK DOWN these sections and consider other competitors as well as the general public.

Marshes will be cold and wet! Most course legs avoid them, but where there is a choice, it is advisable to go round. The main valley marsh is an SSSI and is marked OOB.

Yellow, Orange, Light Green and Short Green courses do not cross the road. They are of standard length and technical difficulty. The yellow course will have smiley faces at a few key points.

The Green, Blue and Brown courses cross roads three times, hence they are slightly longer than usual (to give some interesting navigation). However, one road has a barbed wire fence along the N side of some sections. This is shown in purple and should not be crossed. Crossing the road anywhere between these sections is acceptable.

Mappers Notes: The map is 1:10,000, with only one non-standard symbol. Old building foundations are shown conventionally as dashed or solid line oblongs. However partially exposed ones are shown by L - at the appropriate orientation. All foundations are likely to be more complex shapes than the symbols imply.

Unfortunately, we did not receive permission to put controls on Lympstone Common, which has restrained the planning somewhat, as has the thickening of the gorse on the open heathland. Therefore longer courses have more path running than usual.

Facilities: Toilet

Safety: Every effort will be made to ensure the event is safe for competitors, volunteers and the public. We ask that at all times you adhere to the government’s guidance on social distancing and follow the British Orienteering’s Code of Conduct (link here).

The area is exposed and, considering the time of year and it is possible that cagoules (with hoods or other warm head gear) will be required to be carried.  Running in shorts is not permitted. Devon OC operate a “No whistle, no go” policy.

Dogs: As part of the access agreement, the landowner has requested that there are no dogs accompanying runners on their courses.


Nearest town: Woodbury Common

Directions / Parking

Postcode: EX5 1HD (Approximate) 

Car park will open from 10am.

The approach to the car park is on the main road (B3180) east of Woodbury. You must approach the car park from the North, signs are from 4 Firs junction at SY 031863. This is the cross roads of the B2179 and B3180. There is no right turn into the carpark if you are approaching from the south.

What 3 Words – august.joined.hello

Registration & Start Times

Pre-entry is via Pre-entry is required for all courses though there will be some maps available for Entry on the Day for the yellow, orange and light green courses.

Entries close on 23:00, January 15th 2022. Starts are from 10.30-13.00, and courses will close 15.00. If you are a slower runner please choose an early start to ensure that you finish by 3pm. Controls will be collected from 15:00pm.

Start/Finish. The start and finish are close to each other. Both are about 400m from the car park. Clothing may be left at the path junction between them, though at this time it is not known if there will be a marshall close by after the start team has finished.

Course Information

This is a Local event with a range of courses available: Brown, Blue, Green, Short Green, Light Green, Orange and Yellow. There will be no White course as the area is unsuitable. One of the tracks on the Yellow course is steep with loose pebbles and therefore younger, less confident, juniors may benefit from direct supervision or shadowing.

Course Details. These are subject to final controlling:

Course                Length.      Climb.     Controls        Scale

Brown                6.4km.        200m.       19              1:10000

Blue                   5.5km.        155m.       15               1:10000

Green                5.1km.        135m.       16               1:10000

Short Green       3.4km.        115m.       12               1:10000  

Light Green        3.6km.        135m.      13                1:10000

Orange               3.0km.         85m.       12                1:10000

Yellow                2.0km.         60m.        8                 1:10000

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

Standard entry fees apply.

£10 standard adult
£3 juniors and students

Punching will be using SI. SI card (dibber) hire will be available for £1.00.

SIAC will be enabled. 

Contacts / Officials

Planner: John Pearce

Organisers: Dawn Williamson

Risk Assessor: Bryan Smith

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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