British Orienteering

Did you know?

The formal initial meeting to set up the Federation was held at 7.30pm on 17th June 1967

Celebrating 50 Years - 2067 to 2017
The Route - Entries are now open

Welcome to British Orienteering

Orienteering is an exciting and challenging outdoor sport that exercises both mind and body. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map; as a competitive sport the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time choosing your own best route; as a recreational activity it does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run or walk making progress at your own pace on the courses planned to suit you.

Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban areas, parks and school playgrounds. Orienteering is a fulfilling sport for runners and walkers of all ages who want to test themselves mentally as well as physically or who want to add variety to their leisure activities. Read More


UK Orienteering League races 3 and 4

Races 3 and 4 in the UK Orienteering League season were hosted last weekend by Octavian Droobers (OD). First up was the Rugby Urban event on Saturday, which used a variety of terrain including various parks, the town centre and a hospital towards the end of most courses.  Rugby Athletics Club was the event centre, meaning that competitors could warm up on the track and spectate the last few controls around the track in the spring sunshine.  As well as being a UKOL race, this event was also part of the UK Urban League, and as a consequence, it attracted competitors from all over the country.

On Sunday the competition moved to Bentley Woods just on the outskirts of Atherstone. It was the Midlands Championships, which for the Elite Age categories was a Middle Distance race, and for all other categories (Juniors and Veterans) a Long Distance race. The sun shone again, and competitors could be seen over the last 500m of their courses as they streamed down the hill into the arena.

Several competitors managed to achieve a win in both races within their UKOL age class - well done to Alison Sloman (W80), Peter Gorvett (M70), Steve Whitehead (M65), Ruth Rhodes (W75) and Alison Simmons (W60).  For Alison Sloman, that now makes it 4 wins from 4 UKOL races!

In the clubs competition, the Midlands clubs were well represented last weekend, and have moved up the rankings. The top 5 clubs at this stage of the season are now:

  1. SYO (South Yorkshire), 1838 points
  2. OD (Octavian Droobers), 1778 points
  3. BOK (Bristol), 1745 points
  4. WCOC (West Cumberland), 1669 points
  5. DEE (Deeside), 1559 points

This season the UKOL will be competed over 20 races between now and November, with the winners determined by the sum of their best 10 scores from the 20.

Individual scores.

The next 3 UKOL races are over the Easter Weekend, at the JK Festival events in the south of England.

Item posted by Martin Ward


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THE ROUTE debuts at Delamere Forest





At the weekend the first ever ROUTE event hit Delamere Forest and participants were treated to an outdoor experience like no other.

Starting at 10am on a bright Saturday morning (25 March), a host of long time orienteers and newcomers alike eagerly dibbed and explored Delamere Forest on what was a very successful inaugural event.

Combining three orienteering inspired events, THE ROUTE, is an opportunity for the public to explore some of the UK’s most beautiful Forestry Commission sites in a unique way.

Event Organiser and Managing Director of Perfect Motion, Chris Simon, said:  "What a fantastic venue to kick of our trio of ROUTE events.
The weather was beautiful and everyone taking part had an excellent time. Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who took part.  Thames Chase and Cannock Chase are in for treat.”

A huge well done to our winners:

  • ROUTE BREAKER: Sarah Davies and Ian Bettely – “The Woolly Jumpers” (46 points in 49 minutes and 43 seconds)
  • ROUTE CAMP: Christopher Callow (106 points in 59 minutes and 43 seconds) and Alex Young (64 points in 55 minutes and 13 seconds)
  • ROUTE RUNNER: Joe Taunton (136 points in 29 minutes and 39 seconds)and Jennie Tayefi (136 points in 54 minutes and 12 seconds)

The full results of the event can be found here.

Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive of British Orienteering, said: “We are delighted to be in partnership with Perfect Motion and TrailPlus and are pleased with the success of the launch of THE ROUTE at Delamere Forest. Our aim is to raise the profile of orienteering skills across the country.  We feel THE ROUTE is an exciting and engaging way of bringing newcomers to the sport.  Bookings are still open for the next two events and we can’t wait to see you there.” 

Next up on THE ROUTE calendar is Thames Chase in Upminster on Saturday 8th April.

For more information and to make a booking click here


Item posted by Jennie Taylor, Marketing Manager

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World Orienteering Day - Just two months to go!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

All schools, all orienteering clubs and all countries all over the world are encouraged to participate in World Orienteering Day. 

Be part of something bigger!  More than 330 events are registered for the upcoming World Orienteering Day on May 24th 2017. With events registered in 45 countries across 6 continents, this year’s WOD has got off to an excellent start. We hope you are all considering how to implement a fun activity in your school, in your club, in your village, in your city or in your country. 

What event are you planning?

There are many inspirational event ideas and free promotional resources to download available here.

For more information email Project Leader:



Item posted by Jennie Taylor, Marketing Manager.

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British Orienteering Annual General Meeting

The 36th Annual General Meeting of the British Orienteering Federation will be held on Friday 14th April 2017 at The Lecture Centre, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, starting at 5.00pm in lecture room 061. This is during the JK weekend and will be held after the Sprint event.

The proposals for this year’s Annual General Meeting are:

Proposal 1: Adoption of Accounts
That the accounts for the financial year ending 31 December 2016 be adopted.
Proposed: The Board of Directors
Copies of the accounts will be available at the AGM and will be published on the website prior to the AGM 2017.

Proposal 2: Appointment of Auditors
That Grant Thornton UK LLP be appointed as the auditors for the 2017 accounts to be presented at the 2018 AGM.
Proposed: The Board of Directors

Supporting Statement
The audit by Grant Thornton undertaken for the 2016 Accounts was again thorough and challenging. In 2013, the opportunity was taken to seek competitive tenders for the 2014 audit. After consideration of the tenders, the Board nominated Grant Thornton UK LLP for reappointment as auditors on the understanding that different partners and audit staff be involved in future audits. This was agreed at the 2014 AGM, and a new partner was allocated to the audit.

Grant Thornton have indicated that they are content to again undertake the audit in 2017 and the Board now proposes that Grant Thornton UK LLP be appointed as our auditors for 2017.

Membership Fees and Event Levy 2018
No proposal is made to change the membership fees and event levy from 1st January 2018. They will remain the same as they are in 2017.

From 1st January 2018 until amended, fees will be as follows:
                Senior member – £10.00
                Junior member – £3.30
                Levy per senior – equivalent event participant – £1.50
                Club affiliation fee – £46.00
                University club affiliation fee – £9.20
                Proposed: The Board of Directors

Supporting Statement
The membership fees and event levy were raised significantly at the EGM held in October 2016 and the Board has decided to leave the fees and levy static at the same level as in 2017.

Membership and levy fees are British Orienteering’s main source of non-grant, non-conditional income. This income is vital in paying for the services that British Orienteering provide to the membership, including many of the behind-the-scenes costs of administering and developing the sport.

After the change to the Articles of Association agreed at the 2012 AGM, British Orienteering are now able to distribute AGM documents electronically.

An incredible 98% of our members have email addresses in the membership database and we are therefore providing access to electronic copies of the AGM documentation.

To view the AGM booklet access this link.

To view the Annual report access this link.

To view the Audited Accounts, access this link.

By distributing the documents electronically, we will be able to make a considerable saving on print and postage, part of our drive to cut costs wherever possible.

If any member would like us to post a copy of the AGM documents directly to them, please email

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM or receiving your proxy vote.

Item posted by Scott Parker, Administrator.

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JK Entries Closing and British Championships Price Increase Update!

Entries for the Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering, which starts with the Sprint event on the 14th April 2017 at Brunel University, will close at midnight on Sunday 12th March 2017.

Late entry may be possible but only if maps and start times are available.  New entries will be placed on a waiting list with no payment required as there is no guarantee of being offered a place.  If we can accept your entry you will receive an email after 20 March inviting you to make payment to complete your entry.

Relay entries close on the 19th March 2017

Have you entered? There is only two days left to avoid disappointment! Enter via Si Entries here.


Prices for the British Long distance entries, taking place at High Dam in the heart of the Lake District on the 6th May 2017, will increase at midnight on Sunday 12th March 2017. Enter now via Fabian4 to take advantage of the cheaper rate!

Prices for Seniors, M/W 21 and above, will increase from £28.00 to £30.00 whilst juniors, M/W20 and below and Students M/W21 and above, will increase from £14.00 to £16.00.

Entries for the relay championships will increase from £51 to £54 per team for Seniors and from £27.00 to £30.00 per team for Juniors on Saturday 18th March 2017. 

The final closing date for British Championships entries is Sunday 9th April 2017.

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Volunteer Awards - 3 Days Left to Nominate!

With only three days left the countdown is progressing, with closing dates for nominations fast apporaching.

If you would like to make a nomination for one of the categories below, please complete the nomination form and send it into before 5:00pm on Friday 10th March 2017.

The Award Categories open for nominations: 

Club of the Year Award
A proactive club that is an important part of the local community, demonstrates a commitment to development of the club, members, volunteers and coaches and provides a range of activities that promote the club and engage both members and the wider community.
The Club of the Year nomination form is available here.

University Club of the Year Award
A proactive university club that demonstrates a commitment to development of the club, members, volunteers and coaches and provides a range of activities that promote the club and engage both members and the wider student population.
The University Club of the Year nomination form can be found here.

Young Volunteer of the Year Award
A volunteer under the age of 25 who has demonstrated a commitment to supporting delivery of orienteering activity with passion, energy and enthusiasm.  The Young Volunteer of the Year Award nomination form can be found here.

A person or persons who have made a very significant contribution to orienteering over a period of years with an emphasis on ‘field' activities rather than committee work.  Silva Award nomination form.

Coach of the Year Award
Coach of the Year award is looking for coaches who demonstrate success in engaging new people in orienteering, improving performance of orienteers and mentoring and developing other coaches.  The Coach of the Year Award nomination form can be found here.

The nominations will be judged by the Development Steering Group and the awards will be presented at the British Orienteering’s 2017 Annual General Meeting on Friday 14 April 2017 at Brunel University, Uxbridge.

Further details are available here.

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Results after first two UKOL races

The first two UK Orienteering (UKOL) races were hosted by Lakeland Orienteering Club last weekend. As expected, the British Night Orienteering Championships, at Great Tower Wood, were particularly challenging for the 400 or so competitors. Not only was it pitch black, but it was also raining and quite misty in places, and very wet underfoot, making navigation difficult and progress slow. The winners certainly deserved their prizes, and the fifty UKOL points awarded for first place on each age class.

The following day was the Northern Championships held on the Bigland Estate. Conditions were also very wet, and out on the open hillside also quite windy. Around 800 competitors (of age classes between 10 and 85) ran on courses from 1.6km to 14km in length. The LOC team did a great job of organising the pair of events in what were quite challenging conditions.

This season the UKOL will be competed over 20 races between now and November, with the winners determined by the sum of their best 10 scores from the 20.  Winning a race scores 50 points, and after two races five competitors have managed a perfect score of 100, for winning them both! Very well done to Eilidh Campbell (W16), Alison Sloman (W80), Graham Gristwood (M21), David Roome (M35) and Quentin Harding (M55).

In the Club competition (which takes the best 15 scores from runners across a range of age classes), it is no surprise to see the local Cumbrian clubs high up on the ranking at this stage. Clubs from elsewhere in the country will no doubt move up the table as events are held nearer to them. The top 5 clubs in the club competition so far are:

  1. WCOC (West Cumberland), 1269 points
  2. SYO (South Yorkshire), 1242 points
  3. LOC (Lakeland), 1097 points
  4. BOK (Bristol), 1019 points
  5. AIRE (Airedale & Wharfedale), 955 points

Individual scores.

Item posted by Martin Ward


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UK Orienteering League 2017 starts this weekend

This weekend sees the start of the UK Orienteering League (UKOL), a competition for all age categories from 16 upwards held at events across the country between February and November. UKOL Races 1 and 2 are both being hosted by Lakeland Orienteering Club (LOC) this coming weekend - firstly the British Night Orienteering Championships, followed the next day by the Northern Championships.

The British Night Orienteering Championships will take place on Great Tower Wood, a small but technically complex area of woodland near Newby Bridge in the Lake District.  The organisers say "competitors should look forward to a significant navigational challenge." What is already a tricky area during daylight will no doubt be a lot harder at night, and the experienced planner Derek Allison will set courses that will really test the best orienteers.

The Northern Championships will be held on Bigland Estate, one of LOC's best areas for orienteering, and used for a World Ranking Event in April 2015. The organisers describe it as follows: "a superb and varied mix of Lake District terrain with almost no green on the map. The most testing part of the area in terms of both running and navigation is an area of broadleaf woodland on a steep slope. This includes many knolls, re-entrants and rock features. Above the wooded slope lies a plateau visited by longer courses, divided by numerous walls into enclosures of open and semi-open fell and woodland. These all contain intricate contour, rock and marsh detail."  With the longest course for Elite Men being 14km (with 730m of ascent), it'll be a good test of early season fitness. The Elite Women have 9.6km to cover, with 460m of ascent.

Results from the races will be on the LOC website by Sunday evening. Results for the UKOL races, both this weekend and the remainder of the season, will be published on the UKOL web page.

Thanks in advance to Lakeland OC for hosting the races this weekend. Good luck to everyone competing in them!

Item posted by Martin Ward.

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British Orienteerig is 50 years old - almost!

British Orienteering 50 years old – almost!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the British Orienteering Federation.  The inaugural meeting was held at 7.30 p.m. on 17 June 1967 in Barnard Castle, and the first British Orienteering Championships were held in Hamsterley Forest, Co. Durham the following day.

Early records of orienteering in Britain include a visit to Scotland by Malcolm Murray from Sweden in the 1930s, and “various outbreaks of orienteering activity but none on a coordinated basis” in the 1940s.

David Lee, still active in North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club, recalls an occasion in 1959:
“Peter Palmer returned to Cambridge in 1958 … where his brother Michael was the Captain of the University Hare and Hounds in 1958-59, and Peter was a great help to him with training ideas over that year.  So in the Spring Term we arrived for our usual training session to be told that we were going to ‘orienteer’.  Black-and-white O.S. maps were doled out and a course was marked on the map.  We were also given a compass.   To ensure safety (!!) we competed in pairs.  I believe the event was to the west of the town and involved crossing fields but no forest.  The winning pair were from the University 3rd and 4th team.  Several pairs who were 1st team were rather further behind.”

Stirrings in Scotland

Organised orienteering started in Scotland in the early 60s with the help in particular of the Swede Baron CA Lagerfelt from Stockholm.  The first recognisable event in Scotland was held on the Penicuik Estate on 16th April 1961, and the second at Braid Hills Golf Course, Edinburgh on 29th October that year.  The Scottish Orienteering Association was founded on 24th June 1962, with the first Scottish Championships held on the same weekend at Craig a’ Barns (Dunkeld) as part of a ‘demonstration event’ by visiting Swedes.  Laurie Liddell was the first Scottish Orienteering Association President.  Over the following couple of years, growth in the south-east of Scotland, based around Edinburgh Southern Harriers (Sandy Robertson) and Edinburgh University (Laurie Liddell and others) was particularly strong.

District courses for Instructors were organised in many parts of Scotland in the 2 years following.  In 1964 orienteering was featured in a 7-minute film on Scottish TV. The book ‘Know the Game: Orienteering’, written by Laurie Liddell, Tony Chapman and John Macfadyen was first published in 1965; it ran to several editions and, updated, was still on bookshop shelves in the early 80s.  A Schools Association was formed in 1965 and activity was growing in many different areas.

First steps in England

In England, the West Midlands Orienteering Association was inaugurated on 13th October 1963 following a ‘practice race’ in the Wyre Forest.  The first orienteering club to be formed in England was South Ribble Orienteering Club, in 1964.  Prime movers were Gerry Charnley, who was a member of both South Ribble Search and Rescue Team and Clayton-le-Moors Harriers and Ken Turner who was the first Chairman.  The running club won the team competition in the second Scottish Orienteering Championships in 1963, and soon afterwards, on 24th November 1963, the first ‘proper’ o-event in England organised by a club was held at Whitewell near Clitheroe.  Gerry Charnley went on to play a major part in the development of orienteering in the NW of England until his untimely death in the Lake District mountains in 1982.

In the south of England, a group of well-known ex-athletes – Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher, John Disley, Martin Hyman, Gordon Pirie and Bruce Tulloh – started orienteering following a Surrey Education Committee course led by Disley, but soon found that speed and fitness alone didn’t bring success.  Southern Navigators was the first southern club, formed in 1965, with Peter Palmer and Chris James being other prime movers in south of England developments. Within the following year, races were also organised in North Wales, the south-west of England and the Peak District.

Scots and English collaborate – but process is slow

The next big step was the formation of the English Orienteering Association at a meeting in Bishops Castle on 31st October 1965.  Five regional associations were represented. An Executive Committee was set up with Chris Brasher as Chairman, Gerry Charnley the Secretary and John Disley the Treasurer.  The Scottish Orienteering Association’s suggestion to have a joint meeting in Edinburgh with the new English Orienteering Association, to consider affiliation to the International Orienteering Federation, was welcomed, but for one reason or another it was not held until March 1967 in Dalbeattie, in conjunction with the 1966 Scottish Championships which had been deferred from the autumn because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The joint meeting agreed on the need to form a British Orienteering Federation, because “it had been made abundantly clear that membership of the International Orienteering Federation could only be obtained through British membership”.  It was clear too that government grant-aid would only be forthcoming if the new Federation established itself with a standard framework of national associations and English regions.  An Extra General Meeting of the English Orienteering Association in April 1967 recommended the change and agreed to the disbanding of the English Orienteering Association at the time British Orienteering Federation was formed.

“Within 50 miles of Kendal”

So the ground was laid for the formation of the British Orienteering Federation.  Tony Chapman and Chris Brasher, Chairmen of the Scottish and English Orienteering Associations respectively, began the invitation to the first British Orienteering Federation Championships and Annual General Meeting with the words: “This is the preliminary announcement and entry form for a championship, run by an organisation that does not exist. So let us explain.

Intending participants were told that the Championships “will be held within 50 miles of the town of Kendal, Westmorland on Sunday 18th June 1967” and that “the inaugural meeting of the British Orienteering Federation will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 17th June 1967 at a venue within ten miles of the Championship area.” Regarding accommodation, “a list of suitable hotels, guest houses, hostels etc. will be sent out with the Championship Programme.  The organisers have arranged for a limited number of beds in a military camp, but these are only available to male competitors and individuals will have to provide their own sleeping bags.  All others will be obliged to negotiate for their own accommodation.”

The Annual General Meeting venue, revealed just a week beforehand, proved to be in Barnard Castle, 45 miles from Kendal, with the Championships venue, Hamsterley Forest, the full 50 miles away.  Such was the secrecy felt to be required at that time!

Scotland focused highly on schools

The introduction of orienteering in schools was from the outset high on the Scottish Orienteering Association agenda.  Many Instructors’ courses were held, and the good level of activity led to the first Scottish Orienteering Association Schools Championships being held at Achray on 28th March 1964.

Sponsorship was obtained for this event: “The Scottish Milk Marketing Board has very kindly agreed to supply free milk to competitors on completion of the course.  The Mobile Milk Bar will of course also be available to spectators throughout the afternoon”, as the final details
put it.


First World Orienteering Championships participation in 1966

Enthusiasm for competing abroad was high, and the main goal was participation in the World Orienteering Championships.  In May 1966 the International Orienteering Federation Council accepted both England and Scotland as temporary members, pending the formation of a British federation.  The English Orienteering Association paid an International Orienteering Federation affiliation fee of 400 Swedish Crowns, and selected a team of ten athletes to take part in the World Orienteering Championships.

The team was astonished to find, on arrival at the venue in Finland, that the Relay team had to be selected from amongst the six participating in the Individual race, as opposed to being four additional athletes.  It seems that a vital Bulletin giving this information failed to reach the team beforehand.  After much representation it was accepted, on the basis of giving more runners some international experience, that the rule could be broken in the circumstances.  But in the end two of the team, Toby Norris and Chris James who were down to run third and fourth leg respectively, never got a competitive run because the team was timed out at the end of the second leg.

The 1966 World Orienteering Championships had 11 nations competing with 58 competitors on the 14.1km Individual course.  This was won by Aage Hadler, Norway in 1.36.02.  Best British runner was Alistair Patten, and the other runners were Gordon Pirie, Dave Griffiths, John Disley, Mike Murray and Tony Walker.  First and second legs in the Relay were run by Chris Brasher (who came to the finish ahead of the Bulgarian and Austrian runners) and Bob Astles.


First British Orienteering Championships sponsored by Guinness

News from Chris Brasher in the
English Orienteering Association Newsletter no. 3, Spring 1967:

“Guinness is good for us!  The firm of Arthur Guinness & Co., who make that delicious dark drink, have become Orienteering’s first sponsor.  At the British Orienteering Championships on 18th June they will present us with a handsome trophy for the Men’s team event, 400 numbered bibs for all major competitions and a cheque for £500 to set up an office."



Report by: Clive Allen (Southern Navigators)
Source:  British Orienteering Archive, University of Sheffield


Item posted by Jennie Taylor, Marketing Manager


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Calling for Awards Nominations!

Who do you think deserves recognition for their contributions and great work in our sport? 

The countdown is progressing with closing dates for nominations fast approaching.

Club and Volunteer Awards

  • Club of the Year Award
  • University Club of the Year Award
  • Young Volunteer of the Year Award
  • SILVA Award – for a very significant contribution to orienteering
  • Coach of the Year Award

Further details and nomination forms can be found here.

The closing date for these awards is:  Friday 10 March 2017

All entries are to be emailed to:


Mapping Awards

  • Chichester Trophy
    For the best map by an amateur mapper
  • Silva Trophy
    For the best map produced by professional mappers
  • Walsh Trophy
    For the best urban or sprint map

These awards are for maps first used in competition during 2016. To be eligible, maps should be of new areas or significant extensions/major revisions to existing maps. Submissions should state briefly the mapper involvement.

Scoring is based on specification, cartography and presentation.

Please send electronic copies of maps, preferably either pdf or OCAD files with this nomination form to:

Closing date for entries:  before Monday 27 February 2017.


Bonington Trophy

Awarded annually for the 'best contribution to mapping' which can cover a whole range of activities related to mapping

Bonington Trophy submissions should use this nomination form to:

Closing date for entries:  before Monday 27 February 2017.



All awards will be presented at the British Orienteering Annual General Meeting on Friday 14 April 2017

Further information about all of these awards is available here

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News Headlines


Jackie Newton to leave British Orienteering

Jackie Newton, the British Orienteering Talent & Performance Manager, has accepted a position with Athletics Northern Ireland as their Director of Coaching & Athlete Development.

WOC test races in Estonia

Up to date details for the WOC test races in Estonia and the training camp are now available. The closing date is April 17th so please enter quickly if you intend to compete.

Women In Orienteering Report

The recent research into women in orienteering that took place between January and March this year has now been completed. The initial survey got an incredible response with 373 responses from all over the country. The survey results were then investigate

THE ROUTE debuts at Delamere Forest

Last weekend saw the first ever ROUTE event hit Delamere Forest, and participants were treated to an outdoor experience like no other.

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