Orienteering Maps

Orienteering maps are drawn using magnetic north rather than ‘grid’ or ‘true’ north, and are printed in up to five standard colours. 

The colours are an integral part of the map symbols:

  • Black is used for most man-made features such as buildings and rock features such as cliffs, crags and boulders.
  • Brown is used to show landform, including contour lines, gullies, pits and knolls (small hills).
  • Blue is used for water features such as lakes, ponds, marshes and streams.
  • White and Green are used to depict the density of woodland and the extent to which it impedes progress. Open ‘runnable’ woodland is left white with progressively darker shades of green mean increased density.
  • Yellow is used for unwooded areas with a solid yellow for grassy spaces such as playing fields and a paler yellow for rougher terrain (‘rough open’) such as heather.
  • Combinations of Yellow and Green show other types of terrain which will be explained in the legend.