Ace of Herts, Egypt and Burnham

Final details

You may print these details using the button at the bottom of the page. Any changes from now will be outlined here:

Mar 1: These are now final details.

Welcome to the Ace of Herts, Hertfordshire Orienteering’s biggest event of the year, which is a round of the South East Orienteering League. It’s not just for experts, there are courses suitable for everybody and help for newcomers.

We thank Portman Burtley Estates for allowing us to use Egypt Woods and the City of London Corporation for allowing us to use Burnham Beeches for the very longest courses.

Location Abbey Park Farm, Abbey Park Lane, SL1 8PH, OS Grid: SU941866, W3W: melon.crisis.switch.
Directions Please follow these directions to keep cars separate from people on the way to start / finish.

From M40 Junction 2 (Beaconsfield) take the A355 S towards Farnham Common. Take the first exit on right at HP9 2SE (SU 949 887), Burnham Road (2m width restriction), and follow O signs to Park Lane.

From the S approach on A355 and turn left on Burnham Road 500m before the M40 junction at HP9 2SE (SU 949 887), then follow signs as above.

If you are bringing a large vehicle which would have an issue with the 2m width restriction, please contact the Organiser.

Parking Parking is in the field immediately west of the farm.  The entrance to the field will also be used by competitors on the way to from the start.  So please take care, although we will separate and marshal the flows. Follow the directions of the parking marshals.

No parking charge. In the interests of free flow of traffic we have decided not to collect cash on the gate.

Public Transport Burnham and Beaconsfield stations are each about 5.5km away.
Courses The table below sets out the courses applicable to age groups for the South East League. There will also be a string course for the very young, on the route to the Start.

Course South East League (SEL) Classes Length (km) Climb (m) Controls Loose Description (cm)
Black M21 12.8 190 24 23.4
Brown M35, M40 10.6 175 19 19.8
Short Brown M18, M20, M45, M50 W21 8.9 150 18 19.2
Blue M16, M55, M60 W35, W40 7.2 120 16 17.8
Short Blue M65 W18, W20, W45, W50, W55 5.8 85 12 15
Green M70 W16, W55, W60 5.0 65 12 13.6
Short Green M75 W65, W70 4.0 55 10 12.1
Very Short Green M80, M85+ W75, W80, W85+ 3.5 65 11 12.9
Light Green M14 W14 3.8 60 11 12.9
Orange M12 W12 3.5 45 13 14.3
Yellow M10 W10 2.6 30 10 12.1
White 1.5 25 7 10

You may enter any course, but you will only score maximum SEL points if you run your own age class or above.

Yellow and Orange courses are planned to the full technical difficulty appropriate to the course so, for example, the Yellow course follows clear linear features but not necessarily paths. Juniors should take care and ensure they check the control codes.

Control descriptions on the maps will be textual for White and Yellow courses and symbolic for the Orange to Black courses. Loose control descriptions for the White to Orange courses will be available in both text and symbol formats, and in symbol format only for all remaining courses.

The string course for the very young, is just off the route to the Start; start-times from 10:30 to 14:00. No charge, prizes for all who enter!

Entry & Fees Entries are now open via SIEntries We have now committed on numbers of maps, so entries are dependent on map availability. All entries must still be made online, up to noon on the day. We suggest you enter before you leave home!

Late entries from Feb 23rd Seniors £16 (non-BO members £18)
Juniors £6 (non-BO members £8)

SIAC hire £2.   Charge for lost SIAC £65.

All entry queries to

Punching Timing will use the SportIdent system. You may use either a standard SI dibber or a ‘contactless’ SIAC.

SIAC users must punch the start control but finish is ‘fly-by’. Everyone must punch the safety control after the Finish control.

Start Start times are between 10:00 and 12:30.  The start is 1 km from the parking field and it is 700 m back from the finish. We will have a clothing dump at the junction of the paths on the way to the start and back from the finish. The clothing dump will not be marshalled or covered, you may want to bring a carrier bag.

Please take care on the way to the start. Part of the field entrance will be taped off to separate pedestrians and vehicles. The route crosses the lane at a marshalled crossing then follows the lane for 250m. Orienteers’ vehicles should not be coming that way but the lane gets some traffic so please keep to one side and follow marshals’ instructions. Younger juniors should be accompanied.

Courses close at 14:00. Please choose your start time giving plenty of time to get back by then, as controls will be collected starting 14:00. You can change your start time on SI Entries up to 17:00 on Saturday.

Call up
-5 to -4
Clear, SI & SIAC check
-4 to -3
Loose Control Descriptions
-3 to -2
SIAC test unit, Safety notices
-2 to -1
Blank maps
-1 to 0
Only cross start line on final beep
Punch start unit then pick up map from box and go
White and Yellow maps will be available before the -5 line.
Although it will be a punching start, please start at your allocated start time if you can. If you miss your start time we will fit you in, if you request an earlier start we will try to fit you in, but some courses are quite full and you may need to wait.
Any course changes, including on the day, must be done via SI Entries to ensure we stay within the numbers of available maps.
Finish The Finish control will be SIAC enabled. A short distance beyond the Finish will be a Safety Check control which must be punched in the traditional way by all competitors.
Terrain Egypt Woods, the northern part of the map, is a mixed commercial woodland on either side of a broad valley. It is mostly very runnable, though with bracken and brashings in some areas. There are relatively few paths. Most courses are within Egypt Woods, including Hangings Wood which we haven’t used since 2010.

The very longest courses also visit Burnham Beeches, the southern part of the map. This is an ancient, predominantly deciduous woodland with some complex contour features on the sides of a valley. Again runnability is good apart from some areas of thicker woodland and holly thickets.

Map Scale 1:10,000 with 5m contours. Waterproof paper.

A4 for all courses, except Black and Brown which will have A3.

The undergrowth screen, which is limited in use, generally signifies brambles and windblow. Bracken which is not mapped is fairly low lying and does not significantly impede progress or visibility.

Depending on the rainfall in the weeks leading up to the event some depressions and pits may be water filled.

Rootstocks are not mapped and neither are isolated holly trees which can be easily avoided with only minor deviation. Some minor areas of windblow are mapped with various levels of green.

Out of Bounds
These are denoted by olive green or by magenta cross hatching. Do not cross them, irrespective of whether the line between controls passes over them. The courses have been planned so that there is no advantage in crossing any of these areas. They include:

  • Swallow holes – dangerous (see Safety section)
  • Marshland (Black and Brown only) – ecologically sensitive mire.
  • Cultivated land.
  • Sensitive archaeological remains

Also, in Burnham a condition of our licence is that any areas roped, taped or fenced off must not be entered, so irrespective of any markings or not on the map do not enter these areas.

Additionally, the perimeter roads are out of bounds in their entirety and this is emphasised with magenta crosses in certain locations.

Courses from Short Blue upwards use Hangings Wood which is accessed, and returned from, via a mandatory, marshalled crossing point across a minor road. The road is exceedingly quiet but please take care.

Hangings Wood is divided by a field surrounded by a high fence but readily crossed by numerous gates all of which are highlighted on the map. Courses are designed so that using the gates is always a good route choice. Please close the gates after yourself.

There is a crossable 3 wire barbed-wire fence running east-west along the boundary between Egypt Woods and Burnham Beeches which will be crossed by the Brown & Black courses but is forbidden to cross for other courses to ensure we remain within our numbers limit for Burnham. Please take care crossing the fence.

Safety Swallow holes appear as very large wet depressions, usually fairly overgrown. Anybody entering them is at risk of drowning. They are marked as Out of Bounds on the map, but the best advice is: Do not enter any feature looking like this unless you know there is a control there. Even if your course goes near one, the best route is always to the side of it. The swallow holes we are aware of are all in Burnham Beeches and hence are only of concern to runners on the Brown and Black courses.

Cross streams with care

Whistles are compulsory for all competitors and a check will be made before starting.

Full leg and torso cover is mandatory. In the event of bad weather cagoules may be compulsory – signs will be exhibited on the route to the Start before you leave the arena.

Competitors should be aware that, in addition to the general public and dog walkers, horse riding and cycling takes place in Burnham Beeches. Please take care and be respectful of others in the area.

An emergency number is printed on the map (Organiser)

If you have a medical condition you want to let the organisers or medical team be aware of please leave a sealed envelope with your name on the front at enquiries, and don’t enter a course beyond your capabilities.

Lone competitors to leave contact details and / or car keys at enquiries

First Aid
We will have a professional first aid team in attendance (Pro Medicus)
Refreshments Tom’s Burger Van
Orienteering Equipment Compass Point
There will be portable toilets
To get help:
  • Enquiries are in a marquee, where you can ask any questions or get help, especially if you are a newcomer.
  • Download and SI card collection are in the same marquee. If you need to change course, please do so on SI Entries to be sure there’s a map available. SI card numbers can be changed at Download.

There is a separate marquee for kit dump or just shelter.

Results Times taken between each control and your total time for the course will be printed for you at download.

We expect to publish interim results to throughout the event, updated every few minutes. Full results will be published on the same page and on Routegadget as soon as possible after the event. We aim to do so that evening.

Dogs Sorry but no dogs allowed in either the car park or Egypt Woods.
Planners Laura and Kevin Parkes
Organiser Stu Levene
m: 07920 510511
Controller Paul Todd (LOK)
The small print

Event registered with British Orienteering, no 80328.

Orienteering is a great sport for youngsters. If you bring children or at-risk adults, please help us to keep to British Orienteering’s safeguarding policy. Anyone taking photos or videos of people other than their immediate family should be aware of sections 5 and 6 of that policy and contact the event organiser.

Your personal data is used for results and insurance, see our privacy policy.

If you enjoyed this event and you’re not yet a member, why not join the club and British Orienteering? There are plenty of good reasons for joining.