Outdoor enthusiast seeks to list Britain’s ‘holes’

For those of you that have climbed every Munro, ticked off each Marilyn and collected all the Corbetts and now find there is no outlet for your wanderlust, help may be at hand thanks to outdoor enthusiast and hill list compiler Alan Dawson.

Alan has hit upon the novel idea of creating a list of ‘holes’ across Britain that walkers are invited to visit and ‘bag,’ in the time honoured tradition.

“Just about every mountain, hill or mound in Britain has made it onto one list or another – from the Scottish Munros to the Nuttalls in England and Wales. My aim to create a list of British holes seeks to redress the balance.”

“Many of the holes I’ve visited are filled with rich history and are just as unique and compelling as their convex cousins and they deserve to be recognised.”

Alan’s quest to list the nation’s holes has come to light thanks to serial hill measurer Myrddyn Phillips, who together with his associates Graham Jackson and John Barnard has been responsible for reclassifying a number of hills in Scotland and Wales, including Glyder Fawrlast year.

Myrddyn says: “All my life I’ve had a love of hill walking, but when I heard about Alan’s intriguing idea of creating a list of ‘holes’ I couldn’t resist finding out more.”

Myrddyn met Alan Dawson in at a hole in Cheshire known locally as ‘Mad Allen’s Hole’ and his video interview gives more background into the project, to list Britain’s holes and the fascinating story that surrounds ‘Mad Allen’ himself. He also discusses how he is deciding which holes to include in his list.

At Ordnance Survey we’re undecided whether to support Alan’s idea of recognising holes on the landscape. Places that are of interest to tourists like caves or potholing sites are already shown on our maps, but Alan’s idea could require recognising many more, possibly with their own map symbol.

This mock up provides one possible version of what such a ‘hole’ symbol might look like.

What a 'Hole' symbol could look like.

What a ‘Hole’ symbol could look like.

Do you think Alan’s idea is a good one? Should more holes be recognised on our maps? Would you be interested in bagging Britain’s holes, or is the idea something that is better off buried?

Let us know what you think.

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3 Responses

  1. Please see below some info on the launch of the Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp – a new walking event taking place this Summer.

    Let me know if you’d like more information or photos, or if you’d like to sign up and get YOMPING by taking part in the event itself!
    Look forward to hearing from you,


    Thursday 10 February 2011 saw the launch of the Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp – Scotland’s new big annual walk – taking teams on an epic 24 hour adventure through 54 miles of stunning Perthshire scenery to raise money for serving and former soldiers and their families.

    Taking place Saturday 25 June to Sunday 26 June 2011, the Yomp is a walking challenge with a difference. Walkers, their families and supporters will be part of a walking festival and will be treated to live bands, fireworks and a magic lit forest trail along the route. Unlike other walking challenges, the Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp offers something for everyone with a bronze, silver or gold challenge open to walkers of any ability and a ‘Mini Yomp’ to encourage families with little ones to share in the fun.

    Supporting the event is adventurer, TV presenter and Chief Scout of the Scout Association Bear Grylls who holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, says of the event: “It’s an epic challenge for an epic cause! This one is going to take guts, endurance and heart. Three great things to live by! Go for it Guys!”

    Starting at Blairgowrie the Yomp will lead teams of 3-6 through Kirkmichael, Spittal of Glenshee and Kirton of Glenisla with checkpoints and support teams on hand along the way.

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