British Universities Orienteering Championships 2016

The start of BUCS relays 2014 on The Chevin, near Leeds

Image courtesy of Wendy Carlyle

Information last updated: 23nd February

The University of Bristol Orienteering Club is very excited to be BUCS Orienteering hosts 2016! The event will be held on the 20th-21st February in the Forest of Dean, Bristol, and the Cotswolds.




Updated without CS Overall scores

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General Information

This web page will be updated continually and will form the final details for the weekend. Please check back regularly.

The BUCS coordinator is Tom Dobra who can be emailed at

The event is being staged with the help of North Gloucester OC and Bristol OK. In addition to the named officials below, much organisation has been done by Abi Kerr and Sophie Gordon of University of Bristol OC, in addition to numerous other club members.

Here is a Google Map showing all BUCS Orienteering locations.


Entries are now closed. Students should enter through BUCScore, with full details on the  BUCS website. Although the form includes the accommodation and social, only the race entry fees are payable through this system. The remainder is to be paid by bank transfer with an email sent to club captains after entries close.

Guests should enter instead through this  Google Form, not BUCSScore. All enquiries regarding guest entries should be directed to the coordinator.

Individual fee: £11.50, Relay team fee: £24.00

Data Protection Act: All information will be passed onto University of Bristol Orienteering Club for the organisation of the event. Necessary data may be shared with the first aid cover and/or emergency services. The name, next of kin information and own phone number will be passed onto security staff at the University of Bristol Students' U nion. Dietary requirements will be shared anonymously with Cosmo. The name and British Orienteering number will be passed onto British Orienteering for results processing. All data will be destroyed within two weeks of the event, except for name, own phone number and British Orienteering number which will be retained for 7 years as an insurance requirement.


Since parking will be tight (and expensive in Bristol), please vehicle share as much as possible. There's plenty of space for minibuses. If you are planning to bring a coach, please email the coordinator.

Public transport to near the competition areas is very difficult, so if possible please provide your own road transport. If, however, this is not an option, please email the coordinator who can assist in arranging lifts from appropriate railway/coach stations. It would also be a good idea to post on the  BUCS Orienteering 2016 Facebook Group.

Bristol Airport has flights from all over the UK  with a good  bus service into the city centre. Cars can be hired from both the airport and the city centre.

Clothing and Equipment

For both days of orienteering, full leg and torso cover is mandatory. In the event of bad weather, cagoules may be made compulsory; you will not be permitted to start and disqualified if you do not carry it all the way round your course in this eventuality. Whistles are strongly advised, but may be made compulsory in severe weather.

Since winter can be cold and frequently wet in the south west, you should wear adequate warm clothing that is comfortable to run (or walk!) in. Grippy orienteering/fell running shoes are strongly advised for the steep muddy hillsides; cross-country spikes are unsuitable. Bring a towel and a full change of clothes for straight after each race.


SportIdent electronic punching will be used. All versions of dibbers may be used, including SI Air (although the contactless feature of the boxes will be disabled). The boxes will beep and flash to tell you that you have punched successfully. If this does not happen, you must punch the map with the backup pin-punch which will be attached to the stake underneath the SI box.

After your run, you must download, even if you retire. This is so we know that everyone has got back safely.

Dibbers are available for hire free of charge to students, with a £1.50 charge for non-student senior (21+) guests. Please request one by leaving your SI card number blank on the entry form. They can be collected from the enquiries tent in the assembly area on either day. If you require one on both days, you may keep it overnight, returning it at download at the relay. Lost/damaged dibbers will be charged at £30.

Race Numbers

A race number is required on both days of the competition. It must be worn clearly, visible to the front at all times whilst on the course. See the details for each day on assignment and collection procedure. Please bring your own pins if possible.

Complaints and Protests

If anyone feels the rules are not being followed, a complaint, if necessary in writing, should be made to Tom Dobra (weekend coordinator), or in his absence, Ed Nicholas, who will attempt to resolve it in consultation with the controller. If the the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, a written protest should be lodged with the controller for that race, via the coordinator, who will convene the jury.

BUCS 2017

Ed Nicholas invites universities to bid to host BUCS 2017. Enquiries and applications are best made in advance, although will be accepted at the BUCS weekend. Ed can be contacted by email at or by phone 07725 912593.

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Individual: Saturday 20th February

Start list now available

The BUCS individual races are at  Moseley Green in the Forest of Dean. The Men's A and Women's A courses are selection races for the World University Orienteering Championships 2016 in Hungary. Competitors wishing to be selected for the WUOC are to nominate themselves here. The new men's/women's open course is designed for newcomers to orienteering, such as cross-country runners.

Travel and Parking

Car and minibus parking (free of charge) will be along a gravel forest track leading to the assembly area. Vehicles must approach from the east (via the post code at the Rising Sun Inn, or Yorkley), turning left (south) into the parking track. The entrance will only be signed from the east and is at:

  • Grid reference SO 629081
  • Nearest post code GL15 4HN - from here drive south to the end of the road, turn right onto Yorkley Road, then the entrance is 250m on the left
  • Lat/lon 51.771056, -2.5390821

No exit until after 14:30. To exit, vehicles should continue driving forwards, following the main forest road loop round, emerging on Yorkley Road nearer Parkend. Drive cautiously as the courses cross this track. Turn left at the exit.

Coaches should drop off and pick-up NE-bound at SO 633080 (GL15 4TG; 51.769712, -2.5325847), then proceed to the Forestry Commission car park at Mallard's Pike picnic area for parking (SO 636092, GL15 4HD, 51.780741/-2.5288477). The route will not be signed. Please pay at the parking meter. Cost £10 for the day. Competitors should walk to assembly NE along the road to car parking entrance, then follow the car parking track, 1.3 km in total.

If approaching from southern/eastern England, there is a toll (£6.60 for cars) westbound on the Severn Crossing on the M48 (also on the M4). To avoid it, you may prefer to approach via Gloucester along the A48. There is no toll eastbound.


The assembly area is at the south end of the car parking. There will be catering, toilets, first aid, enquiries and the download tent. Hired dibbers may be collected from enquiries. There is space for club banners and tents.

Race numbers are to be collected from the enquiries tent. The bib numbers are on the start list published online, and on paper near enquiries.

Relay team declaration forms will be available at enquiries and must be completed and returned for all teams, regardless of whether you think you have pre-declared, by 16:00.


Cakes, soup and a roll, and hot drinks will all be for sale in the assembly area, in aid of the Welsh Junior Squad. Please do support them.


Starts will be 11:58-14:30.

The start is 1.7 km from the assembly area with 75 m of climb along muddy tracks. You must ensure you allow sufficient time to make your allocated time, allowing for time to collect your number.

For those arriving by coach, it is possible to go direct to the start (0.6 km) from the drop-off point by heading east along the road. However, there will be no official clothing dump, nor will bags be transported to the finish/assembly area. Hired dibbers and race numbers will need to be collected from the event centre.

It will be a timed start (no start box) with a 4 minute call up. If you miss your start, the start team will allow you to start in the next available slot (which could be a long wait). In this case, you should punch the start box to record your actual start time, however your time will not be adjusted unless it is the organiser's fault.

Because this is a World Universities selection race, the start list will be seeded and start time preferences are not possible.

Please ensure you clear before the start lane and punch the check box in the start lane.


Courses close at 16:30. You must download by then as a safety check, even if you retire.

Water will not be provided at the finish, which is at the assembly area. Please ensure you bring your own drinks.

Course Safety

All courses cross minor roads, on which the traffic will be fast-moving. There are no designated crossing points, nor will the roads be marshaled. "Runners crossing" signs will be in place, however do not depend on these; cross all roads carefully.

There are a number of low fences throughout the area which may be hard to spot; these are marked on the map.

This is a public forest with other users around, including cyclists and horse riders. Please be considerate to them.

Course Details

The open course (course 3) is designed for newcomers to orienteering, such as cross-country runners.

Course lengths are subject to final controlling.

Technical Difficulty
Estimated Winning Time
1 Men's A 10.5 km 415 m 5 60 minutes
2 Women's A, Men's B 7.3 km 260 m 5 60 minutes (for women)
3 Women's Open, Men's Open 4.4 km 115 m 3 40 minutes


Organiser: Tom Dobra, University of Bristol OC

Planner: Paul Gebbett, Bristol OK

Controller: Richard Cronin, North Gloucester OC

Risk assessment

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Accommodation and Social: Saturday Evening

Students should sign up for the accommodation, meal and club when entering through BUCScore. Guests should sign up via the main guest entry form. Payment will be by bank transfer in advance; details will be emailed shortly.

Travel & Parking

After the individual, head to Bristol over the Severn Bridge on the M48; there is no toll in this direction. If the bridge is shut by high winds, proceed westbound towards Cardiff on the M48 one junction, exit and rejoin the M4 eastbound towards Bristol. The accommodation, showers, dinner and club are all situated near The Triangle in the Clifton area of Bristol. Parking is available on the residential streets surrounding the accommodation from 5pm, at any time on University Walk, and in the accommodation car park from 6pm.

Here is a Google Map showing all BUCS Orienteering locations.


The accommodation (available from 6pm onwards) will be at Kingsdown Sports Centre, BS2 8HL, cost £5.50 (including breakfast). Please bring a sleeping bag and roll mat. Breakfast will be provided on Sunday morning and includes 2x pastries, 2x hot cross buns, 1 piece of fruit and 1 carton of juice. Dietary requirements will be catered for. 

Please be aware that the accommodation is located in a residential area. To that effect, avoid grouping outside the Kingsdown Sports Centre and be considerate of your neighbours for the night when returning from the social. Both alcohol and hot food are prohibited on the premises, and whilst the residence will be secure, we cannot guarantee the safety of any valuables left there.

Please note that accommodation will not be available on Friday night. We suggest staying near Gloucester, as it is a shorter drive and avoids the toll for the Severn Bridge on Saturday morning.


Showers are in the University's Centre for Sport Exercise and Health Indoor Sports Centre on Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TH. It is a ten minute walk from the accommodation or parking is available on near-by streets and on University Walk. Please be considerate to other gym users who also require access to the showers.

There are also showers available at the accommodation from 6pm.

Dinner, Prizegiving and Social

Dinner is at 8:15pm and will be a buffet at Cosmo on Triangle West, a 15 minute walk from the accommodation, including results and awarding of medals from the individual race. The cost will be £15.

Afterwards, the social will proceed to Bunker, a club opposite Cosmo. We have lots of wristbands to give out that guarantee club entry but do not include the entry price which is £3.

The fancy dress theme is childrens' television characters.


Accommodation: Mark Libby | Social: Alastair Stephenson. Both can be contacted at

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Relay: Sunday 21st February

The relays are at Cooper's Hill near Gloucester, famous for its annual cheese rolling event, as well as fast orienteering through detailed contours.

Travel & Parking

Parking is at Cranham Scout Centre, Cranham, Gloucestershire, GL4 8HP, which is approximately 55 minutes drive from Bristol, in the direction of most universities return journeys.. Leave Bristol following signs for M5 North, leave the M5 at Jct 11A following signs for the A417 eastbound, signed Cirencester. Take the first exit off the A417 for the A46 south, signed Stroud. Follow the A46 south for three miles through Brockworth (straight on at the roundabout) and up the hill. Cranham Scout Centre is signed off the A46 and is a very sharp left turn onto Buckholt Road and immediately right down into Cranham. It is 10 minutes after leaving the motorway.

Do not use the toilets at the Scout Centre, as we do not have permission for them. Instead, please use the three portable toilets near the assembly arena.

Bus Parking is at Painswick Abbey Bird Park which is on the same route to Cranham Scout Centre from the motorway, but is earlier on the right signed off the A46. Competitors can be dropped off straight after the right-turn off the main road, coaches can then proceed to park at the bottom of the hill. It is a different but similar distance walk to the arena from here as the Scout Centre.

This is the very sharp turn - if you're on a coach maybe ask your coach company if it's feasible! If not, leave the M5 at Jct 12 and approach via Stroud and Painswick.


The arena is 1.6km uphill walk (120m climb) on stone paths, allow 15 minutes. There is a road crossing - please cross carefully. It is hoped to offer a tent transfer service between individual and relay days. There will be three portable toilets near the road crossing which is 600m from the arena. There is a arena run-through for spectator interest. Here is an area map which is in no way to scale.

Because of Scheduled Ancient Monument restrictions, pegs etc. must not be pushed into the ground. This means that any banners or tents must be weighted down, not pegged in. For this reason, we suggest using pop-up tents where possible.

Team and their bib numbers will be on display in the arena. Team captains can collect bibs from registration.  RED  numbers for first leg,  WHITE  numbers for second leg,  BLUE  numbers for last leg. It is expected competitors will use their pins from the individual day, though there will be some spare.

Course Details

The terrain is deciduous woodland with plenty of features and little undergrowth. There are steep slopes to the northern and eastern sides of the hill and more gentle to the west. There are many pits, knolls and depressions across the area with platforms and gullies on the steep eastern slope. Good path network.

The courses comprise of three legs. All legs of all courses are forked and are planned to TD5. The start and finish are in the arena. The arena run-through (no control to punch) is 4-5 minutes from the end of all courses. Mini-mass starts for slower teams on legs 2 and 3 will be arranged at the planner's discretion and may be quite early due to the climb.

Start Distance
Climb Estimated Winning Time
Mens 10:00 4.9 km 305 m 105 minutes
Womens 10:10 4.2 km 235 m 90 minutes
Ad-Hoc 10:20 2.7 km 175 m 65 minutes

Scale 1:7500. Contour Interval 5m.

Course lengths are subject to final controlling. Courses close at 14:00.

Prize giving will be held as soon as possible after the majority of teams have finished.


Organisers: Tom Dobra, University of Bristol OC and Duncan Birtwistle, Wrekin Orienteers

Planner: Duncan Birtwistle, Wrekin Orienteers

Controller: Alice Bedwell, Bristol OK