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Cothelstone Hill & 20 Acre Wood


Sat 16 Sept

Near: West Bagborough
Level of event: Local

Type of event: Race

Our 20th anniversary series of the Forest League got underway here.

Reports still welcomed- please submit to webmaster (see contacts page)


Results and Splits

Mark R - before...

Mark R - before...

...and after his mud bath

...and after his mud bath

After... and still some white showing

After... and still some white showing

The mud challenge

Curious as to how bad the pre-advertised mud would be on Sunday, we ran a little experiment, with newcomer Mark Rest kindly agreed to provide some 'before and after' shots for us. In the 'before' picture, he's sporting a freshly laundered tracksuit and ice white trainers. Appropriately dressed for the parking field but definitely not for the courses. But by running the Green course, the hope was that Mark might avoid track running and hence the worst of the mud in the woods. The 'after' photo shows he actually didn't do a bad job. Or at least, the trainers weren't totally caked in mud!

Actually, like a few others who've joined us and other SW clubs over the past few years, Mark has orienteering 'previous', having last ran for Southern Navigators OC a couple of decades back. We hope he returns- next time with some clothes he doesn't mind getting ruined!

- Jeff Pakes

PS- An admission: I too wore white trainers on my O debut at a muddy Staple Hill in 2004!


Message to helpers from the organiser

Thank you for help on Saturday, you did a great job especially as we were a few people short. The weather was very kind to us and I think most of you managed to get a muddy run / walk in!

- Pete Shirvington

A rather youthful download team!

A rather youthful download team!

The event team

Co-organisersPete Shirvington & Chris Philip
Co-plannersGraham Hartley, Tom & Chris Hasler
ComputersAndy Rimes, Jeff Pakes, Andrew Page, Evelyn Maynard, Sam Shirvington, Brian Fletcher
RegistrationPye & Carter families
Parking & road crossingSteve Elliston, Jim Pearson, Ray & Sue Toomer, Jim Mallinson
Start & finishBill Vigar, Chris & Vikki Page, Rosie Wych
Control collectionTom & Chris Hasler, Chris Philip

Thanks to those working behind the scenes too.

Thanks to Vikki Page for the photography in the image gallery below and the title picture...

16 photographs uploaded- did you feature?

Forest League (QOFL) Series Info

A local event open to all, beginner or experienced orienteer, young or old and there are colour-coded courses suitable for all.

We have six of these events a year and together they form the Forest League (QOFL). The series starts in the Autumn and continues at approximately one event per month until the spring.

Link to QOFL team lists - members, please check which events you are down to help at

Directions / Parking


Approaching from the M5, Taunton and Bridgwater, the event will be signed from the Pines cafe crossroads and then from Park End.


Plan A

Parking & registration in a field adjacent to and accessed from from Birches Corner. Parking and registration will be in that field. Charge £1 per vehicle.

The preferred field is to the West of Birches Corner; this is the field we used for the QOFL at neighbouring Lydeard Hill in February.

The contingency plan is to use the field to the East, adjacent to 20 Acre Wood.

Plan B

Parking on road. Registration would be in the field to the East of Birches Corner.


Drivers please contact organiser in advance.

Course Information

A range of courses suitable for all ages and abilities:

CourseLength (km)Height gain (m)
Short Green3.8115
Light Green3.4150

The map scale for this area is 1:7,500 for the more senior courses and 1:5,000 for the shorter / junior ones.

Road crossings

There is a manned crossing for all courses (except White) with timed controls either side. The Short Green, Green and Blue courses have two further road crossings (unmanned). There is good visibility at both of these, but competitors are warned that some vehicles travel quite fast on these roads and that they are responsible for their own safety when making a crossing.

Start & Finish

The distances to / from these depend on the parking plan used- see table further below and the section on Parking above for details.

To the start

The Start is accessed through the fields to the East of Birches Corner, adjacent to 20 Acre Wood.

Assuming that the grass hasn't been cut, competitors are being requested to walk round the outside of each field, within two metres of the perimeter hedge.

If the grass has been cut for hay, you can cut across where you like but you must still only using proper entrances and exits from the field.

From the finish

Please take care returning from the finish to the West field as Birches Corner is a blind corner.

Distances from registration & download

Parking planto Car parkingto Startfrom Finish
West fieldup to 200m600m400m
East fieldup to 200m500m300m
Roadup to 500m500m300m

Entry Details

Category of entry


Beat the Trail
Family*- separate runs16n/a
Group (1 dibber and up to 2 maps)8n/a

*The family rate is a concessionary rates. Maximum two adults per family.

SI card (dibber) Hire - standard is £1, contact-less is £2 (only if contact-less mode is activated)

Additional runs (for all)- £1 each

Charge for lost dibber - £40 (SI), £65 (SIAC)

Filling out a Registration form (link) in advance will quicken up the entry process on the day.

The non-member premium has been dropped for 2019/20.

Electronic timing

The Sportident (SI) timing system will be used but contact-less punching (SIAC) will not be enabled, unless stated otherwise.

Those of you who have your own SI card please bring it to registration to speed up the registration process.

Registration & Start Times

Registration from: 10:30

Start times from: 11.00 to 13.00

Courses close: 14:30

The aim is for helpers on later shifts to be able to register from 10.00 and take their runs from 10.30.

Terrain Description

A big mixture of terrain including open grassland on the top for the longer courses & steep woodland (thick undergrowth in places) for medium and long courses. On all courses, the paths are quite overgrown with brambles & nettles & often very muddy.

Dog restrictions

Dogs allowed in field & woods but should be kept on a non-extendable lead & only one dog per person.


Paths are overgrown and very muddy. Therefore:

  • long sleeves and long trousers are highly recommended for all courses.
  • wellies or walking boots are recommended for participants/parents on the shorter courses. Trainers will be highly unsuitable.
  • O-shoes will be needed for longer courses.


Team 1 will be in running this event.

To ensure a smooth and timely handover from those on the earlier shifts, those on a later shifts are encouraged to start as early as possible. That is, as near to 10.30 as you can (TBC). Please note the distances to the start, shown above.

Bristol OK event

Why not enjoy a weekend of orienteering? There's a score event at Ashton Courtthe next day (Sunday 17th). That was the destination for the recent club outing, at the summer relays.

Contacts / Officials

Co-planner: Graham Hartley 01934 744893

Co-planners: Tom & Chris Hasler 01823 338921

Co-organiser: Pete Shirvington 01278 683951

Co-organiser: Chris Philip 01823 252938

Photo Gallery

Cothelstone Hill

Cothelstone Hill
Credit: Derek Harper



Flora & Tamsin

Flora & Tamsin

Mark, Sarah & Owen

Mark, Sarah & Owen

Jim P

Jim P

Important Event Information

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. All participants must report to download whether they finish their course or not.

Privacy: when participating in our events/activities your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports. Read our data protection page to see how we look after your personal data.

Photography: QO has an agreed policy on the taking of photographs at events, based on national guidance. This provides a sensible balance between the benefits and risks associated with the taking and use of images. If you are unsure about acceptable practice, please speak to the event organiser.

Safeguarding: QO is aware of it's responsibilities in safeguarding and child protection. To comply with The Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018, we now provide an email address for individuals to report concerns to the Lead Safeguarding Officer. This address is