Egypt Woods Ace of Herts

Provisional 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 From M40 Junction 2 (Beaconsfield) take the A355 S towards Farnham Common. Take the first exit on right, Burnham Road (2m width restriction), and follow O signs to Park Lane. Parking at SL1 8PL.

Coaches continue on A355, turn right onto Beeches Road at Farnham Common, then left onto Bedford Drive, follow this to Hawthorn Lane, then right onto Pumpkin Hill. At next junction turn right onto Park Lane and follow O signs.

From the S approach on A355 and turn left on Burnham Road 500m before the M40 junction, then follow signs as above.

Parking Parking is in the field immediately west of the farm.  The entrance to the field is single track and a one-way system will be operated. If conditions are very wet, you may be directed to the reserve parking, in a nearby field. Follow the directions of the parking marshals.

£?? parking charge collected at 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. We are also hoping to put on a string course for the very young, on the route to the Start. Course distances, climbs, and control counts are all provisional and may change during final planning and controlling.

Course South East League (SEL) Classes Length (km) Climb (m) Controls Loose Description (cm)
Black M21 12.8 195 24
Brown M35, M40 10.7 185 20
Short Brown M18, M20, M45, M50 W21 8.9 175 18
Blue M16, M55, M60 W35, W40 7.2 130 16
Short Blue M65 W18, W20, W45, W50, W55 5.8 105 12
Green M70 W16, W55, W60 4.9 70 12
Short Green M75 W65, W70 4.0 50 10
Very Short Green M80, M85+ W75, W80, W85+ 3.5 65 11
Light Green M14 W14 3.9 70 11
Orange M12 W12 3.4 40 12
Yellow M10 W10 2.6 30 10
White 1.5 25 7

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.

We plan to put on a string course for the very young, 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 You may enter online even on the day, subject to map availability.

In advance until 21st Feb: Seniors £14 (non-BO members £16)
Juniors £5 (non-BO members £7)
Late entries from Feb 22nd 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.
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.

Courses close at 14:00

Call up
-5 to -4
SI & SIAC check
-4 to -3
Loose Control Descriptions
-3 to -2
SIAC enable and test unit
-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
Although it will be a punching start, please start at your allocated start time if you can.
Finish The Finish control will be SIAC enabled. A short distance beyond the Finish will be a Safety Check control which needs to 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.

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

Rootstocks are not mapped and neither are isolated holly trees which can be easily avoided with only minor deviation.

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.
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.

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 crossing point across a minor road. The road is exceedingly quite 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. The fence has a few stiles and some of these may be highlighted with the crossing point symbol where they are likely to be relevant for route choice. 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 (White and Yellow do not), the best route is always to the side of it.

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)

First Aid
We will have a professional first aid team in attendance (Pro Medicus)
Refreshments Tom’s Burger Van
There will be portaloos
There are lots of places to get help:
  • Enquiries are in a tent, where you can ask any questions or get help, especially if you are a newcomer.
  • To collect hire cards or to update your course, start time or SI card number, please go to the Download tent.

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 the internet throughout the event, updated every few minutes. Full results will be published on and Routegadget as soon as possible after the event.

Dogs Dogs permitted on a lead in the car park only. Please tidy up after your dog.
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.