Thursday 3rd August 2023

Today is a long distance event

The forested sand dunes of Culbin with its raised beaches are extensive enough to provide two days-worth of terrain to orienteer through without having to worry about seeing many of the same features more than once – except for the stalls and club tents in the arena, that is!

For the final long distance event of Moray 2023 we take you to the delights of Culbin Forest with an arena tucked down below the “raised beach” which borders the forest. Access to the forest from the arena, which will be used for both days, is by kind permission of Davie and Dawn Nicolson and Forestry and Land Scotland.

Culbin was planted between the wars to stabilise shifting sand dunes; the resulting open pine forest on complex topography is perfect for orienteering. The forest is mainly runnable with good visibility though some pockets of gorse and deeper heather do exist. There is very little bracken, or water, and no rock. Hills are not high, but can have short steep faces. Some rides are reasonably clear to follow, but easy to miss on crossing. Some are revealed by having more ground vegetation, so it can be faster to run through the forest beside them.

Recent forestry work has created extraction lanes and vehicle tracks in parts of the area, and there are also traces of older vehicle tracks. In general these are not mapped, although white strips are used to show extraction lanes in some green areas. In fact it can be easier to run beside the extraction lanes rather than along them, because of the brashings and debris on the ground.



A selection of images from the race area…

Image Caption: Culbin map extract

Image Caption: Culbin forested dunes

Image Caption: Culbin map extract

Image Caption: Culbin forested dunes

Image Caption: Culbin forested dunes

Final Details

Important Information

Organising clubs:
Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC) supported by Clydeside Orienteers (CLYDE), Kingdom of Fife Orienteers (KFO), East Lothian Orienteers (ELO) and some members of Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK).
Margaret Dalgleish (ESOC) & Jayne McGregor (ESOC).
Simon Gregersen (ESOC) & Sabine Oechsner (ESOC).
Alan Halliday (MOR) & Peter Halling (ESOC).
Snab of Moy, Kintessack, IV36 2TG.
This parking is not suitable for any campervans or motorhomes whatever their size – it is the ground clearance and weight which means that they will not be permitted to park at Snab of Moy.
All parking for campervans is at Forres Academy Car Park, Burdsyard Road, Forres IV36 1FG with bussing from there. From the bus stop in Kintessack follow the tapes and marshals’ guidance to the Arena which is a 1.2 km walk.
For cars only: From Forres: Follow the A96 west out of Forres. After approximately 3 miles (just before Brodie Countryfare) turn right, over the railway, onto an unclassified road. Continue straight on for 1.1 miles then turn right at the T-junction onto another unclassified road. Follow this road for approximately 2 miles until the turn-off to Snab of Moy farm which is on the left.
For Campervans and Motorhomes: Parking is in the car park at Forres Academy, Burdsyard Road, Forres, IV36 1FG with additional bus transport to the arena. From the Findhorn Roundabout on the A96 take Victoria Road into Forres driving past Grant Park. Take South Street on your left (at the end of Grant Park before Andersons Primary School). At the roundabout take the second exit and immediately turn left onto Sanquhar Road and follow Sanquhar Road for 0.3 miles. Please follow the marshals’ instructions for parking.
Adjacent to parking.
Red, Blue and Green starts are co-located 3.5 km from the arena.
White start is 2.0 km from the arena. The walk to the starts is on paths and tracks and is almost flat.
There is a clothing dump (at your own risk) roughly 1.7 km from the arena and there are toilets on the way to the Red/Blue/Green starts.

Complex contours in forested dune.
You may encounter walkers, dogs, cyclists and possibly even horses on route to the starts and also whilst on your course. Please take care.
The Finish is remote, please ensure you have planned for this with your juniors.
On the route to the Green, Blue and Red starts, shortly after passing the turn off to the White start, please give way to junior competitors who are competing on their course.
Junior Courses:
Junior competitors will, on a very short section of their course, encounter people heading to their starts.
Base map using public access LiDAR data from
Original Survey & Cartography of current map, produced for event: Jon Hollingdale, 2022-23.
There is a single finish which is 2 km from the arena. The walk back to arena is on mostly on paths and tracks and is almost flat.
String and Off-string Courses:
Adjacent to the Arena.
Special Information:
Mapping notes: Areas of deep heather in white forest are indicatively mapped as vegetation slow running (vertical green lines). Thinning lanes in green forest are mapped with a thin white line. Many shallow (<1m) knolls are mapped using small form line shapes (<1.1mm long); larger/steeper knolls use ‘small knoll’ symbol.
See below for more details.
For many controls the feature should strictly be described as “middle”, especially for re-entrants and spurs, because there is so much detail in the circle. We have often used instead what seems to be a more informative description, where there are perhaps two similar features near the centre of the circle – disregarding others at the edges.
Day 4 is part of the UK Orienteering League series.
BOF Registration Number: 81097

Final Course Lengths

Course Class Length (km) Climb (m) Map Scale Start
1 M10B W10B 1.7 20 1:7,500 White
2 M10A M12B W10A W12B 2.9 35 1:7,500 White
3 W12A W14B 3.3 50 1:7,500 White
4 M12A M14B 3.6 50 1:7,500 White
5 W75S W85 2.1 40 1:7,500 White
6 M85 W70S W80 2.2 40 1:7,500 White
7 M75S M80 W65S W75L 2.4 40 1:7,500 White
8 White 1.7 20 1:7,500 White
9 Yellow 2.9 35 1:7,500 White
10 Orange 3.3 50 1:7,500 White
14 Light Green 3.5 55 1:7,500 Green
15 Green 4.5 70 1:10,000 Green
16 W14A W16B 3.5 50 1:7,500 Green
17 M14A M16B 4.5 75 1:7,500 Green
18 M70S W55S W60S W70L 3.4 70 1:7,500 Green
19 M65S W50S 3.7 65 1:7,500 Green
20 M75L W45S W65L 4.2 80 1:7,500 Green
21 M60S W40S 4.3 70 1:7,500 Green
22 W18S W20S W35S 4.5 70 1:10,000 Green
23 M55S W60L 4.7 80 1:7,500 Blue
24 M70L W55L 5.2 110 1:7,500 Blue
25 M18S W16A W21S 5.2 75 1:10,000 Blue
26 M50S 5.5 105 1:7,500 Blue
27 M45S W50L 5.6 90 1:7,500 Blue
28 M40S M65L 5.8 120 1:7,500 Blue
29 M20S M35S W45L 5.8 130 1:7,500 Blue
30 M60L W40L 6.4 125 1:7,500 Blue
31 M21S W18L W20L W35L 6.7 130 1:10,000 Blue
34 M16A W21L 6.8 130 1:10,000 Red
35 M55L 7.1 125 1:7,500 Red
36 M18L M50L 7.9 140 1:10,000 Red
37 M45L 8.5 140 1:10,000 Red
38 M40L 8.7 140 1:10,000 Red
39 M20L M21L M35L 8.8 140 1:10,000 Red
40 W21E 8.7 150 1:10,000 Red
41 M21E 10.9 190 1:10,000 Red

Thanks to the landowners who have made today’s event possible…

Forestry and Land Scotland Dawn and Davie Nicolson

Mapping Notes

ISOM 531 “Prominent man-made feature – X” is used for significant wooden platforms and shelters. NB many small dens and temporary structures are not mapped.

Roadside gorse has only been mapped where it is dense enough to significantly impede progress.

Culbin’s sand dune topography includes many thousands of small knolls, most of which are between 0.5m and 1.5m high. Whilst the specification sets a minimum height of 1m, in practice it is impossible for a runner at speed to distinguish between 0.9m and 1.1m knolls, especially on a slope, and a map that only included the latter would be unhelpful.

Larger and steeper knolls have been mapped using ISOM 109 “small knoll”
Shallower knolls are generally mapped with form lines: these are by necessity sometimes smaller than the specified minimum length of 1.1mm.
ISOM 113 “broken ground” has only been used where unavoidable

Culbin is a working forest and is subject to regular thinning operations which have left many machinery lanes.
These thinning lanes are mapped in areas of green forest using a thin (0.4mm) white line to avoid obscuring the contour detail.
Thinning and extraction lanes in white forest are not mapped

Areas of white forest with deep heather have been mapped using ISOM 407: vegetation slow running, good visibility” (vertical green lines). This is primarily intended to inform route-choice: the vegetation screen shows where the heather is an impediment to running, rather than the complete extent of heather and should not be relied on for fine navigation.

Distinct vegetation boundaries are shown using a green dashed line.
These are generally only marked where there is a clear boundary between blocks of a single colour, e.g. there is an obvious change from conifer to broadleaf but both areas are mapped using ISOM 406 “slow running”.