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Regional event counting in the YHOA Superleague at Burbage Moor

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Sun 6th Nov 2016

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Planners Comments:

Well, that was tough - probably tougher than I or many of you would have liked. First of all I'm sorry that a number of people had to retire and I hope nobody had their day completely ruined by the experience. I'd enjoyed a glorious Saturday & Sunday morning putting out all the controls and then the weather turned foul just as the first coach arrived at Assembly. Having spent many, many days on the area which included running the Black and Brown courses myself 2 weeks prior to the event I knew the bracken and heather were going to be tough, but in combination with a biting cold Northerly wind, rain, sleet and snow (all in the first hour) it made for very heavy going, so everyone has my admiration for turning up and giving it a go.

I'd like to thank all of you who passed on your comments - even a couple of people who retired told me they'd actually enjoyed the technical challenge but the physical aspect had just been too tough. I was asked about the use of the birch woodland and the quarry below Millstone Edge so I'd like to comment on this and some other aspects of the planning.

I made the decision to base the event in close proximity to the Assembly car park as soon as I knew we were bussing people from Dysons. Having a compact Start / Finish / Assembly area makes a huge difference to the organisation of any event, especially one where parking is a bit of a challenge, but the most important aspect for me as Planner was that it allowed full use of the very technical birch wood area adjacent to the Start which is one of the best parts of Burbage I think. It also gave me the opportunity to use the complex boulders area for the longer courses, and the quarry below Millstone Edge as a tricky area in which to place the final few controls. We haven't really used this area before and I think it made an interesting variation to the usual Burbage event. Linking these complex areas together with some long route-choice legs completed the planning for the technical courses. This was easier said than done with the bracken causing one or two revisions to the courses during the summer, and up until 2-3 weeks before the event I was still quite concerned about the undergrowth; so much so that Brian Shaw (Organiser) and I spent a few hours clearing the path out of the Start.

I think Ian Cooper did a superb job with the map for which I am very grateful, and I know he spent a huge amount of time on the area through all the seasons, painstakingly mapping some areas which I didn't even use(!). I did receive some comments about the scale of the map and this is something I will pass on to the next person who plans on Burbage. In the comfort of your living room when you look at a map you've been working on at an enlarged scale for 12 months, everything appears crystal clear and you know the difference between a small crag and a boulder which are 15m apart. However when you're on the ground, flailing around knee-deep in undergrowth, in the teeth of a howling gale, with rain / sleet / snow, and fatigue setting in, I can see the case for a 1:5000 extract on the more complex areas. I believe there were also some issues with the map falling apart on the folds after prolonged exposure to the rain, which is a shame. I hope nobody had their run ruined by that. Having said that, I must pass on my thanks to Mick Lucking at Hassall & Lucking printers who was exceptionally helpful in setting the maps up for printing.

Finally a few additional thanks - to Brian Shaw for organising the event as efficiently as ever, to Martin Ward for his expert advice and relaxed approach to Controlling which was very much appreciated, to Mark Chapman and Peter Tryner for collecting controls, and especially to Colin Lynch who went above and beyond the call of duty in helping me collect the final few controls as night set in and by which stage I was a broken man. And of course thanks to you all for coming.



Event details

5th Nov: Pre-entries are closed.  Entry on the day is available on all courses.
Please make sure that you bring a cagoule as it will be compulsory to wear or carry one.

Final details available via link above

A level C event with courses from White - Black. This event is also part of the YHOA Superleague.


Parking (apart from split starts) is several miles from the Start & Finish, competitors will be bused to the start & finish.
Burbage is at 1000ft and can be exposed.  Please bring a cagoule as it is compulsory to carry one.


Burbage Moor 9km SSW of Sheffield.

IMPORTANT: Due to very limited parking at the Start / Finish parking and busing has been arranged.  Parking will be on hard standing at Dyson Technical Ceramics site (GR 296790, Postcode S17 3BJ) on the A621 Baslow Road 1km N of the Owler Bar roundabout. No parking fee.

Busing to and from Burbage from 9:30, the start and finish are close to the bus stop at burbage.  A marquee is available to leave kit etc.

There will be limited public parking near the Start/Finish ONLY for parents with split starts (£3.50 CARD ONLY!). This facility is only available for pre-entry, please tick the appropriate box on your Fabian entry form.

Public transport is available, bus 272 stops at Surprise View once an hour, next to the start/finish area.  Grindleford railway station is around a 30 minute walk.

Terrain & Map

The event utilises the western part of Burbage which includes some of the most technical bits as well as some new areas. Burbage is mostly open heather moorland with some coniferous forest, felled areas and detailed rocky terrain. Some bracken but courses have been planned to avoid the worst..

Map is 1:10000 A3 or A4 with 5m contours. Map updated by Ian Cooper autumn 2016. Printed by Hassall and Lucking.


Registration: 10:00 - 12:00
Starts anytime from 10:30 - 12:30
Courses Close: 14:30

Costs and Entry

Pre-entry is now closed.  Entry on the day is available at no extra cost subject to map availability, pick up a registration form at Dysons before boarding the bus.

Adults £12 (£10 for members of an orienteering club)
(Adults running White - Orange £7)
Juniors / Students £4
Families (2 Seniors + 1 or more junior) £28 (£24 for members of an orienteering club)
If you do not have an SI card (dibber) you will have to hire one for £1.  Lost SI cards will be charged at £30.

YHOA Superleague

All courses are open to all, however the event is also part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Superleague. For your run to count in the Superleague you need to do the appropriate course as indicated in the table. More information on the league can be found here YHOA Superleague.

Orienteering Courses Available

If you complete a course and there is still time you are welcome to try another.

Competitors take part at their own risk. Burbage is above 1000ft and can be very exposed.  Pl
All courses are open to all.

Course Superleague Classes Distance / Climb Technical Level Who is it for?
White   1.3km
1 The easiest course and a great place for children to start.  The course is entirely on paths and each time you have to make a decision - which path to take, there will be a control point.
Yellow M10/W10 2.3km
2 The next step up and a good place for teenagers etc. to start.  The course will use paths but also other line features - Fences, streams etc.
It will also no longer have a control every time you need to decide where you are going. For example you may need to make a couple of turns on paths between controls
Orange M12/W12 3.2km

Harder still, the Orange course introduces:

  • Choosing routes - e.g. should I go round the paths to the left or right
  • Using 'Point Features' as control sites
  • Basic use of a compass

This is a good place for confident adult beginners to start.

Light Green M14/W14 3.8km

Ideal for improvers  The navigation difficulty increases and you start to use simple contours and point features and route choice.

Very Short Green W75/W80 2.3km
5 As hard as the area will allow.  The following courses increase in length
Short Green M75,M80, W65,W70 3.3km
Green M70, W16, W55,W60 4.7km
Short Blue M65, W18,W20, W45,W50 4.9km
Blue M16, M55,M60, W35,W40 5.6km
Short Brown M18,M20, M45,M50, W21 6.4km
Brown M35,M40 7.2km
Black M21 8.8km

Other Information

Dogs: Welcome in the car park but not on the buses or on courses.


Organiser:        Brian Shaw (SYO) 07768 928432 email: drgbshawATgmaildotcom
Planners:          Karl Marshall  (SYO)
Controller:       Martin Ward   (SYO)

Venue Details

Burbage Moor is predominately open moorland with heather and moor grass.  Areas of complex rock detail and sometimes steep detailed contour features, together with the central woodland, whose runnablity is increasing year by year, provide a variety of orienteering challenges.  There are many transient sheep tracks which can be helpful and the deer are starting to encroach from Big Moor, which may lead to more tracks.  The quality of the orienteering is high enough to allow level A events such as the Compassport Cup Final 2010 and National Event/Senior Home International in 2006.

Burbage has a long history that dates back at least 4,000 years from the prehistoric sites such as Carl Wark hillfort, burial barrows and cairn fields, through medieval packhorse routes and iron smelting sites to centuries of millstone making. Much more recently the moors were used as training grounds and the location of an aircraft decoy defence during World War 2.

Safety & 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 a competitor has a pre-existing medical condition that they think should be declared, please complete a medical form at enquiries. The sealed envelope will only be opened in an emergency.


SYO 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. Read our photography policy.


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