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Manchester & District
Orienteering Club

Birchwood, Warrington - Urban Event

Urban orienteering at Birchwood near Warrington 

  • All enquiries to 

Sat 05th Nov 2016

Type of event: Regional, Urban
Info updated: 07th Nov


Event Report

Organiser's Comments

Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoyed running in one of the most complex urban areas in the UK on such a fine day for November. Most of the comments I heard were very complimentary. There were one or two people who had difficulty working out if a gap existed in some of the most complex parts of the map.

I do apologise to anyone who tripped over the two small tree stumps at the start. When I laid out the start area, I had not noticed them at all. However a couple of people came to grief when they tripped over the stumps whilst examining their maps immediately after starting. When this happened, the start team took steps to redirect starters away from the obstacles and dispensed with their own hi-viz tabards in order to cover the stumps.

My thanks are due, to Paul Watson for coming up with the plan to use this area, to Chris Smithard (DEE) for the great map, to Trevor Hindle for taking on the planning challenge and to Andy Payne (DEE) for his helpful controlling. Also to all the MDOC volunteer helpers and to Warrington Borough Council.

Trevor Roberts

Controller's Comments

What a nice event – an excellent new area and map with sunshine as a bonus.

I heard a lot of positive comments about the area and Trevor Hindle’s courses. So many thanks to him for doing such a good job with the planning. Also thanks to Trevor Roberts for his excellent organisation and to the MDOC team for their help in putting on the event. Thanks also to Eddie Speak for printing the maps in time (just!) despite a heavy work schedule and doing the SI stuff.

Andy Payne

Planner's Comments

As you might imagine this event has been in the making for quite some time. Following a suggestion from Paul Watson that the area looked suitable for an urban event, discussions with Chris started in July 2015.

Planning the event, my first urban, has been a real learning process for me and I now have a long list of what to do and, more importantly, what not to do.

Many thanks to Andy who has patiently and meticulously done what every good controller does, and that is to challenge the planner to get the very best out of the area for everyone.

Trevor's efficient organisational skills ensured a very smooth running ship on the day.

Concerns over SI unit security were minimised as Eddie, amongst all his other jobs, managed to arrange for controls with proper security plates to be delivered and reprogramned.

Lastly thanks to you, the competitors, for entering and turning up on the day. Without you there would be no event. And thanks for all the positive comments it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Only 503 days to find the next new area, map, plan, control, organise etc.

Sunday 25th March 2018 - Save the date!

Trevor Hindle

Pre Event Info

Birchwood is situated close to the junction of the M6 and the M62. Leave the motorways at M6 junction 21 or M62 junction 11 and follow signs to Birchwood.

Nearest rail station is Birchwood which is adjacent to the shopping centre.


Nearest town: Warrington

Directions / Parking

Birchwood Shopping Centre, Benson Rd, Birchwood, WA3 7PG (3 hours free with no return for 1 hour) or park on local streets. 

Registration & Start Times

Event centre: Birchwood Leisure and Tennis Complex, Benson Road, Birchwood, Warrington, WA3 7PT at the north side of the car park opposite ALDI. 

Registration opens at 10am

Start times: 10.30 to 12.30. Courses close at 14.30. Start is 600m and finish is 900m from registration.

Course Information

1 Men’s Open

2 Women’s Open, Men’s Veterans (40+)

3 Women’s Veterans (40+), Men’s Super Veterans (55+)

4 Women’s Super Veterans (55+), Men’s Ultra Veterans (65+)

5 Women’s Ultra Veterans (65+)

6 Men’s Junior (16-), Women’s Junior (16-)

7 Men’s Young Junior (12-), Women’s Young Junior (12-)

An additional sprint course will be available for Entry on the day only. If you choose to run this as a second course, you must complete your competitive main course first.

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Entry Details

Pre-entry via Fabian4 ( closing date extended to 3rd November. Limited entry on the day. 

Seniors £8.00, Juniors (under 21) and students £3.00. A reduced fee of £2.00 to cover map costs will apply to the sprint if it is run as a second course. SI electronic punching will be used and dibbers for this will be available for hire from registration for £1 (free for juniors). Lost dibbers will be charged for at £30.00.

Terrain Description

Complex low density housing estate with numerous alleyways.

1:4000 scale, A3, New map 2016 by Chris Smithard (DEE), overprinted and waterproof


Toilets are available at the Leisure Complex and in the ASDA superstore at the car park.

Dogs allowed?

Dogs are not allowed inside the Leisure Complex. Whilst dogs are allowed on the streets we discourage taking them on a course.

Contacts / Officials

Organiser: Trevor Roberts Tel: 0161 439 6435

Planner: Trevor Hindle,

Controller: Andy Payne (DEE)

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

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