Permanent Orienteering Courses


What is a Permanent Orienteering Course ( POC ) ? How do I get hold of the map ?
What is the purpose of a POC ? Where are the POCs in Lancashire ?
How can I find out if there is a POC near my home ?

What is a Permanent Orienteering Course ( POC ) ?

It is a number of permanent control points (usually about 20) identified by sturdy wooden posts with a code and an orienteering logo carved or painted on it. All the controls are shown on an overprinted map. They are usually situated in local parks or forests owned by councils, the National Trust or Forest Enterprise. Management of the courses may be by the owner of the land, or by the local orienteering club.


What is the purpose of a POC ?

The courses have many purposes, depending on your own specific needs. The great thing about them is that you can go at a time to suit you, on whatever day of the week you choose. If you are an experienced orienteer you may use them to fine tune some techniques, maybe pace counting, relocation or line orienteering. They are also an ideal way of introducing children and adults alike to the sport, where you can go at your own pace and spend as much time as you like figuring out the map. If you want to go in a pair or as a group, again, this is the perfect opportunity. You may have just started orienteering and are wanting to gain confidence in your skills outside of the pressures of an organized competition. So whether you're using them for training purposes or just for a more adventurous family stroll, the choice is entirely yours.

How can I find out if there is a POC near my home ?

There are Permanent Courses (POC's) all over the country, with new ones being launched every month. The North West has almost 40 courses. Unfortunately, less used courses can fall into disrepair, so the more people that make use of this excellent facility the better. The British Orienteering Federation publish a booklet with a list of all Permanent Orienteering Courses in the UK, details of which can be found on our Bibliography page.


How do I get hold of the map ?

Generally, the map packs can be bought from Visitor or Information Centres, cafès or shops near to the start of the courses. Included in the map pack will be an instruction sheet, an overprinted map, control descriptions and suggested courses varying in levels of difficulty. The cost of the map packs varies from 50p - £1.50. If an area does not have a suitable outlet for selling the map packs they can usually be bought through local Leisure Centres, Libraries or Council offices.

Where are the POCs In Lancashire ?

We only list Lancashire courses that are likely to be of interest to SROC members.

Area Nearest Town / Village Grid Reference Where To Buy The Map
Beacon Fell Country Park Longridge, Nr. Preston SD/570427 Visitor Centre / Café
Lever Park Rivington, Nr. Bolton SD/626138 Great House Barn Information Centre - 60p
(also has Tockholes maps)
Tockholes Blackburn SD/665214 Visitor Centre or Lever Park Information Centre if closed
University of Lancaster Campus Lancaster   Indoor Recreation Centre on Road SW2
Williamson Park Lancaster SD/490615 Pavilion Café by the Ashton Memorial - £1.50
Witton Country Park Blackburn SD/660280 Main Cafè (not the pavilion) - 80p
Worden Park Leyland SD/542208 Café in the centre of the park


Last Updated : 12.08.11