Saturday Series at Penn Wood

Saturday Series

27th November 2021

Location: Penn Wood, between High Wycombe and Amersham
Nearest Postcode: HP7 0PX

We can confirm that today’s event is ON.

But remember that the weather is very cold and windy, so come dressed accordingly.  And please ensure you are back at the download tent by 1pm latest, so that our volunteers can head home promptly.

The event will be held in a COVID-secure manner in accordance with British Orienteering’s operational guidance. It is really important that all participants read the COVID-19 Code of Conduct and abide by it before, during and after competing.  It has recently been updated so please click the link above to read the latest version.

Our Saturday Series events are primarily designed for newcomers to orienteering and for improvers, but experienced orienteers are also welcome.

This event will be SIAC enabled

Directions / Parking

The event is at Penn Street, which is signposted off the A404 between High Wycombe and Amersham, at SU924965, HP7 0QW. Parking on hard standing in the industrial estate behind the Hit or Miss pub, at SU 923956, HP7 0PX.

Please do not park on the roadside in Penn Street or in the pub car parks.

Terrain Description

Penn Wood is generally flat with a good network of paths. It has a very varied mixture of conifer, beech and oak, and some semi open areas. There are a number of ponds and many pits and depressions, some quite large, as a result of ancient clay and flint workings. There are many small knolls and generally only those more than 1m high have been mapped.

- Do not climb on the large timber stacks in the vicinity of Registration/Download and the Finish. They can easily collapse causing serious injuries. Stay off them.
- The area has a few ponds, please keep children away from them.
- There may be cows grazing in some of the enclosures. Please avoid them.

We are grateful to the following for allowing use of these areas:
- The Woodland Trust for Penn Wood.
- Sam Buckles for allowing use of the Commercial Estate and the De Havilland Court offices for car parking.

The Map

The A4 map was updated by Bob and Pattie Beresford during March 2020 and is at 1:10000 scale, with 5m contours, on waterproof paper.
There have been numerous forestry thinning operations in the NE part of the wood, resulting in unmapped extraction lanes and brashings in the parts affected. The courses have been planned to avoid these areas by offering route choice through them.

IMPORTANT: fences must not be crossed except by using the gates. Our future use of the area depends on your compliance. Courses have been planned accordingly.

Start Times

THERE WILL BE NO ENTRY ON THE DAY. You must pre-enter, via Fabian4, using the link at the top of this page.

Starts will be from 10.15 to 11.45am. It is about 400m from the car park to the entrance to the wood, where the Download tent is located. (You will be coming to the Download tent on your way back from the Finish, so you may want to leave some clothing nearby to collect on your way back.) It is then a further 400m to the Start. Just follow the tapes from the industrial estate, across the road at the crossing point, past the cricket field and into Penn Wood.
From the Finish, it is about 100m to the Download tent, and then 400m back to the car park.

IMPORTANT: Courses close at 1pm. You must report to the download tent by 1pm latest, even if you retire or have not finished. The controls will be collected from 13.00.


YELLOW: 2.3km, 6 controls. Suitable for juniors with some experience or for supervised newcomers, and for family groups.
ORANGE: 3.4km, 8 controls. Suitable for adult beginners and experienced juniors.
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5km, 8 controls. More challenging; for improvers and those with a bit of experience. Most controls away from paths and more route choices.
GREEN: 4.1km, 12 controls. Most challenging. Only for those with experience at orienteering. More navigation and longer legs between controls.
RED: 5.0km, 12 controls. Longer, but less challenging navigationally. Ideal for runners new to orienteering. You still need to be able to read a map, but it is more like an unmarked trail race.

There is very little climb on all courses, no more than 30m.
Planning has concentrated on offering legs with route choice on all except Yellow.
Courses subject to final controlling.

If you're a runner trying orienteering for the first time, the Red course is ideal - you will probably run 7 to 8km doing it; if that is too much, then Orange might be more suitable, or Light Green if you are confident about your navigation.
For family groups, we recommend the Orange course, or Yellow if you want something shorter.
For juniors, Yellow is a good course, though juniors new to the sport should be accompanied.

No courses cross any public roads. But there is a road crossing to get to the start. Under 16s need to be supervised.

Course lengths are straight line distances between the control points. You can expect to run around 20% more than the stated distances!

Note that Penn Wood is a challenging area for orienteering, one we have used for quite major events. So do not overestimate your skills - it's better to err on the side of caution, and come away ready for a bigger challenge next time, than to find yourself frustrated and lost.

How To Enter

Pre-entry only through Fabian4 using the link at the top of the page. There will be no entry on the day.

You don't have to be a member of an orienteering club to enter this event. On Fabian4, just show your club name as IND (for Independent)

Small family or other groups are welcome, but please enter only the Yellow, Orange or Red courses. Enter as a senior. Change the name if you wish, for example to Jones Family.

Entry Cost

Entries (note we have a limit of 150 entries, so be quick) - BOF members £6, non-members and family groups £8, Juniors & Students £3
Timing chip hire £1 (essential if you do not own one). Lost timing chips charged at £65.


Toilet in the car park

A couple of nice pubs in Penn Street for post run refreshment

Further Information

If you need advice or help in entering via Fabian4, this document may help. If you do find yourself stuck, then email Alun, or phone him on 07967 605307

Click here to read our policy on refunds if you have to cancel because you are required to isolate for COVID reasons


Organiser: Mark Thompson    email organiser      07469 212 700


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