Waggoners Wells and CommonsSun 5 Feb, 2023
South East League event
National level event
Explanation of Event levels
Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Training are non competitive events used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships.
Terrain type: Woodland & Forest
Orienteers crave variety – and wildness. Contrast this with golfers who are happy to trudge round the same manicured formulaic “course” again and again! We prefer a fuzzy universe. The aim in planning on Waggoners Wells was to provide both variety and wildness. It’s not the most technical of areas, but, if you found yourself on a single-bearing leg, the idea was that there would be others to look forward to where you had choice and the need to navigate. And there is a reasonable amount of wildness: it’s fairly hilly and rough underfoot.
Re-mapping with LiDAR the full seven square kilometres extent of Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Common area took some time – at approx. one hour per hectare do the math – and invited using it for long courses. As is the case in most southern forests, potential juicy 2km legs are ruled out by the path network, but a speculative 16km course for a world-ranking event was floated. Our IOF advisor ruled against this, largely due to the lack of technical challenge. However, how about a real “Long-O”? Back in the day, before the term has been recently misapplied to Classic distance, a couple of loops of this area could supply a 35km/65 control course, like we used to do. Anyone up for this now?
So much for whimsy. The limitations on planning a conventional event here, aside from the path network and, of course, gorse, included forest management, on-going up to the week of the event. The current project is to restore more of the land to heath, by felling conifer plantation and thinning deciduous woodland. In the last couple of years the area had also been threatened with extensive fencing to contain cattle (though modern fence-less husbandry is almost certainly cheaper) which could have constrained courses to gates – can’t have those orienteers straying off the paths, can we? Fortunately this hasn’t yet materialised.
Gorse: we’d hoped that Waggoners Wells’ reputation hadn’t put too many people off the trip down the A3. Since you were last here quite a bit has been cleared, but Ludshott still has plenty of gorse and heather. Careful map-reading, though, should have allowed the people on the longer courses to thread your way through. And on Blue you could avoid it completely, as the shorter courses stuck to woodland and the relatively clear heath of Bramshott.
Did you enjoy the view of the Wells as you dipped down into the valley?
Returning to variety, planners also crave variety - of chosen routes - so it has been pleasing on Route Gadget to see how some of the brightest orienteering brains disagreed on apparently straightforward optimum lines, and came up with ideas the planner hadn’t thought of.
Tom Edelsten, Planner
Jeremy and the whole Guildford club ensured that the event ran smoothly with a well coordinated team making my life relaxing on the day. Tom produced an excellent range of courses which hopefully tested you both navigationally and physically. Given Tom is an M80, I was seriously impressed with the amount of work and km’s put in during the mapping and planning, particularly around the event date itself – if I can achieve a percentage of this activity when I reach the same age I will be very happy!! Well done Tom – an inspiration to us all.
Apologies to those who were delayed at the start in the first twenty minutes while we replaced four controls which had been vandalised (all subsequently recovered). Unfortunately this is always a risk in public areas, having oc⁹curred within 1 hour of the controls being placed. As Tom mentioned in his report we have been dealing with a changing forest right up until the event. We took the view not to map the many extraction lanes – I hope this did not confuse you too much – looking at Routegadget I get the impression it didn’t. Mapping the density of gorse was also a challenge – again looking at Routegadget it appears this did not deter too many competitors.
Well done to the whole team from Guildford Orienteers.
Gordon Parker (SLOW) Controller
A National event with a full set of colour-coded courses on an area much of which was last used in 2008.
Near: Haslemere Lat,Lng: 51.11503,-0.77521 Postcode: GU26 6JL What3Words: //////cookbooks.rotate.goal
Map / Terrain
Previous Waggoners Wells/Ludshott Common map on RouteGadget (2008): https://www.go.routegadget.co....
Recent Bramshott Common map on RouteGadget (2021): https://www.slow.routegadget.c...
White 1.9km 15m climb
Yellow 2.4km 45m climb
Orange 2.9km 55m climb
Light Green 3.5km 125m climb
Very Short Green 3.1km 90m climb
Short Green 3.6km 150m climb
Green 4.5km 155m climb
Short Blue 5.1km 175m climb
Blue 6.4km 175m climb
Short Brown 7.8km 200m climb
Brown 9.6km 240m climb
Black 11.5km 320m climb
Entries on racesignup
Registration and Start times
Start times from 10:30 to 12:30
Toilets and Tom's wagon in the Assembly area
Dogs allowed under control in the car park but not on the courses please.
Contacts / Officials
Organiser: Jeremy Wilde (email@example.com)
Planner: Tom Edelsten
Controller: Gordon Parker (SLOW)