Lets Go Trig-Point Hunting

Back in the beginning of December 2016 I blogged about using other interests coupled with walking as a form of motivation to get outside. Well as a follow on from that blog I am looking at the pastime of Trig-point ‘bagging’.

If you have not come across Trig-points before, they are the common name for “triangulation pillars”. These are concrete pillars, about 4′ tall, which were used by the Ordnance Survey in order to determine the layout of the country and create accurate maps. They are generally found on the highest bit of ground in the area, so that there is a direct line of sight from one pillar to the next. By placing a theodolite on the top of the pillar, accurate angles between pairs of nearby trig-points could be measured in a process known as Triangulation.

There are over 6000 trig-points scattered across the UK from the north of Scotland to the west of Wales, wherever you go you will not be very far from one.  However, if you are not able to travel far from home then that is not a problem.

I have shown Hampshire as an example – the dots represents each of the 100’s of trig-points in the county. Although they tend to be placed on ‘high ground’ many are easily accessible from roads without too much climbing or scrambling. As an example – I have 12 trig-points within 7 miles of my quiet village location.

Not sure where to start?  That is the easy bit – visit trigpointing.uk where you can create your own account see where the nearest trig-points are to you and start ‘bagging’. They also provide an easy to use smartphone App which, at a glance, shows you the nearest trig-points, wherever you are.

Take the Grand Children with you and make it into an adventure, they will love the fact that they can use their smartphones and the app to go hunting outdoors in the fresh air. Some of them are hidden under vegetation (the trig-points, not the Grand Children) so may require a little more searching for, thereby increasing the anticipation and fun to be had.

Still not convinced? Then have a look at the website of my colleague and fellow Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion Tracy Purnell – mynyddblaidd.weebly.com You just can’t help but love Tracy and her two beautiful dogs, Asher & Marley. They are the epitome of trig-point bagging.

On a personal note – I am able to couple 3 different activities together when I visit trig-points.  As a Radio Amateur I communicate with other ‘Radio Hams’ from the trig-points as part of an award scheme.  So I can walk, talk & trig bag all at the same time (and they said men couldn’t multi-task!).

For further details about trig-points see the OS history of the trig





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