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Great Wood


Sun 29 Oct

Near: Nether Stowey
Level of event: Regional

Type of event: Race

Wooded hillside in the heart of Quantock Hills. Part of the South West Orienteering League (SWOL)

Updated with planner, controller and organiser comments


Updated Results 30/10/23

The download issue has been sorted and Rosie has a number of items left behind by competitors including a rather nice pair of trainers. Contact to claim them.

Planner comments from Steve Robertson:

Most planners heave a sigh of relief when the first competitors return successfully from each course – I am no exception. Plus, the positive comments at download make all the effort worthwhile.

All the modern tools (Apps, GPS, mapping, and planning software) make the planning task easier, but it still requires time in the forest to try to make the map as accurate as possible and not to plan courses that lead most competitors through impenetrable rhododendron thickets. Although I am always surprised by some route choices that show in Routegadget.

Apologies to those on the longer courses who had some long path/track runs to get from the northern start to the southern finish.

The Quantocks are steep in places, and it is always difficult to get the right balance of length and climb to ensure reasonable winning times. This mailto: treasurer@quantockorie...seemed to have been achieved except for the Brown course where times were about 10 percent higher than expected.

Thanks to Damian for his helpful feedback and the early start on Sunday to ensure everything was in place before the event.

Controller comments from Damian Wilson:

I hope you all enjoyed the event. I'm not sure how we all (except for Steve) evaded the rain, but I think we're all thankful for that. With the potential for poor weather, and with limited daylight, the care we take of our competitors and officials becomes all the more important. We had a minor panic for two seconds when someone turned up to download and asked whether we had a risk assessment (we did, and it's part of the controllers job to make sure that we do) but it soon transpired that they were looking out for good practice for their own activity.

Great Wood has some lovely runnable terrain; the challenge is linking it together in ways that keep the climb acceptable. It was a long climb to the start, hopefully you appreciated that we didn't ask you to run up it. Steve did a great job at providing a variety of courses of the right lengths and difficulties, and Rosie also did a great job at getting us to think about our volunteers when designing the flow.

And, indeed, thank you to all the volunteers who made the event happen so smoothly. It's always rewarding as a controller to see the event underway, and to see everyone safely back.

Organiser comments from Rosie Wych:

A big thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard yesterday - often doing multiple jobs with no complaint. The willingness of those who volunteered without even running is appreciated. The sun shone and

Steve should be congratulated on producing courses which to my knowledge met with nothing but compliments - apart possibly from some climb being mentioned!

There is a download issue which is causing some confusion in results for some of the competitors on the easiest courses which Andy hopes to resolve and prevent in future. Apologies to those who this affects and explanation hopefully will follow.

Forest League 2023/24 Series Info

Our league events are 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.

Please note that for the 2023/24 season, all our league events will be Regional events (Level C).

Anyone can get a result for an event, but for it to be included in the league scoring you have to be a member of a British Orienteering affiliated club at the time of entry.

Events list for Forest League 2023-24

Code of Conduct

Please make sure you have read and comply with the Participant Code Of Conduct and, if applicable, the Parent Code Of Conduct.

Directions / Parking

Google Map (What3Words: spoons.snug.extremely)

Ramscombe is signposted from the village of Over Stowey with a brown tourist sign. O signed then at second left road junction and into the forest. Post code (TA5 1HN) is for The Foxy Bean Café at Adscombe which is located immediately before the forest entrance. This will be open 10-4 for drinks, cake etc.

Parking: Linear parking on forest roads – see map below. Follow directions of parking officials which will take you around the one way system. Do not use the public car parks. Toilets will be passed on this route – temporary parking available here. Do not block access forest roads. Distance to Enquiries 100-500 metres.

At time of writing the new payment machines are not working so no charge for parking.

Course Information

Map 1:10000 for all courses. Contour interval 5m.

A3 for Brown, Blue, Green and Light Green. A4 for other courses.

There is no map legend on the map – legend sheets available at the pre-start together with White and Yellow course maps.

Control descriptions on the map and available in start box. White and Yellow text/Orange text and pictorial, all others pictorial.

Short Green102.9km140m
Light Green93.3km175m

Entry Details

ClassPre-entryLate / On the day entry
Senior £10 £12
Senior Novice £5 £6
Junior £5 £6
Group £7 £9
  • Junior - anyone 21 years or younger at the time of the event, regardless of the course they are running.
  • Senior novice - an adult running White, Yellow or Orange.
  • Group - all going round a course together, two maps provided.

A standard SI dibber can be hired for free (or £2 for a contactless SIAC dibber). Failure to return it will incur the cost of a replacement (£30 for SI, £60 for SIAC).

Please note that if you enter on the day you run the risk that we have run out of maps for your preferred course.

Please consider buying a pack of pre-entry credits in advance. This costs you the same but saves the club a lot in credit card fees.

Buy credits


Pre-entries close 22nd October

Registration & Start Times

Enquiries and Download and First Aid: Tent/van near the first public car park – a section of forest road here is designated parking for helpers only.

Procedure/Event details:

  • Competitors pre entered with their own dibber may go straight to the start. Competitors who have hired a dibber should collect it from enquiries.
  • SI controls are SIAC enabled with manual punching of start and finish. Pin punches will be at each control site for use if SI box should malfunction.
  • START is 650 metres away with 100 metres of steady climb. Allow 15 minutes at a gentle pace.
  • FINISH for White, Yellow, Orange and Short Green is close by so clothing could be left at own risk in a waterproof bag. FINISH for other courses is 600 metres on the further side of download – no clothing transfer possible.
  • Competitor registration from 10.30 (10 for helpers). Starts 11.00 to 13.00 (helpers can start from 10.30)
  • Courses close and controls collected from 14.30 . Remember to download.
  • Please dress according to the weather – waterproof may be compulsory
  • Forestry England have stipulated that competitors should carefully clean all footwear and clothing of mud, leaves and debris after visiting the forest as a basic bio-security measure against Phytophthora and Chalara. It is also advisable to check for ticks.
  • Whistle check at beginning of climb to the start.
  • The area is popular with mountain bikers, horse riders etc. who have been made aware of the event. Please be courteous and considerate at all times.
  • If lost, competitors on the short courses should head south down onto the main valley forest road.
  • The same for other competitors until they have crossed to the southern side of the area and then obviously they should go back north back into the valley.

Dog restrictions

Well behaved dogs under close control accepted


Please dress according to the weather – waterproof may be compulsory.

Whistle check at beginning of climb to the start.

If lost, competitors on the short courses should head south down onto the main valley forest road. The same for other competitors until they have crossed to the southern side of the area and then obviously they should go back north back into the valley.

leg covering yes
waterproofs depends on weather
whistle yes
U16 accompanied by responsible adult no
reflective clothing required no
headtorch required no

Change Log

  • 22/10/23 - Final details added
  • 03/10/23 - Added pre-entries closing date
  • 01/10/23 - Link added for pre-entries
  • 24/09/23 - Noted distance to start from assembly
  • 19/09/23 - Tweaks to course details
  • 14/09/23 - Update with course details

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Steve Robertson

Controller: Damian Wilson (DEVON)

Organiser: Rosie Wych

Photo Gallery

Great Wood

Great Wood
Credit: IDS Photos

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