email : firstname.lastname@example.org post : Wapentac, 15 Findon Street, Sheffield, S6 4QL, United Kingdom
Alison Counsell is the designer of the Wapentac Wapenmap. She lives very near the Peak District and loves walking. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1987 and has been working as a Metalsmith ever since. You can see some of her other work at www.alisoncounsell.com
Paul Besley is a member of Mountain Rescue and is training and working with Scout for SARDA. He is a member of the National Trust's Peak District Heritage and Archaeology Team, a ranger for the Peak District National Park, a walking guide and writer. paulbesley.blog
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do with a Wapenmap
The Wapenmap is the ideal birthday or christmas gift for those who love walking and the countryside. Based on the National Park network a Wapenmap is unique in offering a gift with more than personal touch to the recipient. Because it requires some involvement not only does it look beautiful when finished but it gives a sense of achievement at successfully matching what we remember of our walk and what we see on the map. Send as a gift through the first class post to someone you love or as a mementoe of a special day walking in the Wapenmap area
The Wapenmap can be mounted on a wall, placed on a desk, attached with the small magnets to a metal surface, such as a fridge door, or hung with nylon thread in front of a window so that sunlight shines through the contours and projects the contour image on an opposing wall.
Who would appreciate a Wapenmap
A Wapenmap map is of special interest to everyone who loves to look at a map or has an interest in maps and cartography. Nothing like the unique Wapenamp has ever been available before. To be able to make your own 3 dimensional map of your favourite area is incredibly satisfying. Wapenmap can be enjoyed by anyone who loves maps and the countryside. Walkers, ramblers and hikers, mountain bikers will all be familiar with the areas the Wapenmap cover. Hang gliders, para gliders will have launched themselves off many of the mountain tops on the Wapenamp. If you are interested in maps, cartography and the great outdoors then a Wapenmap is a perfect gift. The inclusion of small magnets means that the Wapenmap is not suitable for children under 12 years old, but anyone between 12 and 100 will gain much enjoyment from this gift map. Visit the different National Park areas within the Wapentac site by clicking on the Wapenmap Areas tab at the top of the page and you will be able to find a gift that is perfect for most lovers of the outdoors.
The History of Wapentac
Where does the name Wapentac comes from? In truth there were two roots of the word Wapentac for us. The first Wapentac comes from the Viking word for an area of land containing 100 dwellings in Northern England, these were known as Wapentac or Wapentakes as it is sometimes spelled. The second is less glamorous and a little more recent. In seventies Sheffield the local hostelry where the devotees of rock bands and climbing would congregate to drink beer and generally have a good time, was called the Wapentake Inn. Wapentake being the anglicised version of the Viking Wapentac. So walking across these British Isles in which we live, studying the landscape and having a good time has been in the blood of Wapentac for centuries.
Wapentac and Wapenmaps
The Wapenmap map grew out of a love for the wonderful countryside all around us and the creativity of Alison Counsell who developed the technique for turning Ordnance Survey maps in to beautiful representations of the areas we all love. The original Wapenmap map centred around beloved walks within the Peak District National Park, an area known and love by millions of walkers, and soon we were thinking of the other places where we spend our year, so the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the Western Highlands were be added to the collection of Wapenmap. The original Wapenmap map was a large centre piece made for corporate clients to display on walls. Then one christmas Alison Counsell designed a smaller version, capable of being sent in the post and included a gift card she had designed. Alison called this a Wapenmap. The recipient, her husband, was delighted and spent christmas day marveling at his Wapenmap map and showing the contours and footpath details to friends and family. Soon, other people were asking for a Wapenmap map and a new product and Wapentac was born. Each Wapenmap map is designed and manufactured in the British Isles by hand both because we believe this gives us control over quality and the ability to respond to your orders for a Wapenmap map. But just as important to everyone at Wapentac, is a belief in supporting local businesses and local people, particularly people who rely on and have a passion for the National Park and the British Countryside.
A Wapenmap is a gift map which has unique gift quality of being personal to the recipient. No other gift reflects the great outdoors as does a Wapenmap map and no other gift can bring back memories of a great day out in the a National Park when a mountain was climbed. A Wapenmap map is as unique as the individuals who spend time in this great countryside we have. Perhaps you want to send a Wapenmap map to a friend in memory of a wonderful walk along the Monsal Trail. Or perhaps you want a Wapenmap map for yourself as a reminder of the time you sat and watched a climber, climb up the face of Malham Cove. Whatever the reason at Wapentac we want to ensure there will be a Wapenmap map for you.
In the near future the range of Wapenmap map is to be added to. So the Lake District, Snowdonia, Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and Brecon Beacon National Park areas will be added to the Wapenamp map range. Scotland with the Cairngorms, Torridons and Isle of Skye come next. The long distance footpaths of the Pennine Way, Wainwrights Coast to Coast, The Three Peaks Challenge, South Downs Way and the West Highland Way are to become special Wapenmap map collections. Eventually there will be a superb collection of Wapenmap for you to keep and give as a gift. This is part of the fun of walking, getting out an Ordnance Survey map, looking for new footpaths, valleys and mountains to explore. So keep checking the Wapentac site for updates on the latest Wapenmap map or better still join the Wapentac email list for automatic notification. If you want to purchase a Wapenmap map visit the Wapentac store by clicking on the individual areas.
We at Wapentac would love to hear from you. What is your favourite walk or trail within a National Park. Is the Peak District National Park your favourite walking area or perhaps it is Snowdonia National Park on a winters day. Maybe you have discovered a wilderness area of Britain for the first time and want a Wapenmap map from Wapentac. Perhaps its a mountain bike trail you love or a particular fell run that has a special significance. It may be a National Trust property that has fond memories. However you love the conutryside Wapentac would love to hear about it, so contact us with ideas for the next series of Wapenmap maps by visiting the competition page.
Which is your favourite Wapenmap map? Send a photo of a Wapenmap map in taken in a favourite area to Wapentac. Each month we are going to place a secret Geocache map some where within the area of a Wapenmap map. By walking, rambling, cycling you will be able to find the cache using your GPS. The first outdoor fanatic to find the geocache and send us a photo will receive a Wapenmap map of their choice.
People at Wapentac like to explore and enjoy the great outdoors in many different ways as we explain below.
At Wapentac we have to admit to having an obsession with maps, map reading and navigation. We love maps of all kinds and being in the British Isles we are fortunate in having the excellent Ordnance Survey Landranger and Explorer series of map. We pore over a map looking for trig points, contours, hidden valleys and breathtaking viewpoints to explore and enjoy in the British countryside. If we see a group of walkers huddled together looking at a map we just cannot help joining in and pointing out a favourite footpath or mountain top.
The history of Ordnance Survey and how a map of the British Isles was developed is a facinating story. One of the ways to enjoy Ordnance Survey maps is to understand map reading and be able to relate that to the landscape. No detail is too small for the Ordnance Survey map. One of the most enigmatic details is a Trig Point or Triangulation Pillar. The Trig point is to be found on mountain tops and hill tops throughout Britain. The network of Trig Points was built in the 1930,s by a team of dedicated men, with the result being the first totally accurate mapping of the British Isles. Until the advent of GPS, it was Trig Point triangulation that let walkers know where they were standing in the counrtyside. Today although GPS has replaced Trig Points, Ordnance Survey maps are still very much an essential part of walking in the Countryside. A recent walking activity that started a few years ago was the sport of Trig Pointing or Trig Bagging. With over 6000 Trig Points around Britain, the aim of a trig pointer is to bag them all. As they are always at the highest points around this means lots of walking and lots of climbing up hills and mountains. But when you get to the top of the mountain the view is well worth it.
Walking, Rambling, Hiking
Walking has become one of the great pastimes in the last few decades. More people now are walking in the National Parks and discovering the delights of the countryside that surrounds us. With thousands of miles of footpaths to walk and long distance trails, like the Pennine Way and Wainwrights Coast to Coast to explore, people want to be more adventurous, poring over a map in a pub looking for hidden valleys or the best route up a mounitan is now probably more common than going to a football match. Walking gives health benefits for all ages and encourages a sense of adventure. Ordnance Survey can provide a detailed map of each area, showing contours, rivers, hills and dales making the enjoyment of the outdoors a sense of exploration. Walking in a land where old castles, secret valleys and isolated but breathtaking mountain tops can be found is all part of the adventure of a day out walking. Joining groups like the Ramblers Association enables people to enjoy rambling in the countryside together and increases the enjoyment of the mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers. The Hikers at Wapentac tend to focus on longer routes, or so they tell us. For them the allure of the Pennine Way, Wainwrights Coast to Coast, pull constantly like a thread unwinding from a ball of string. More long distance footpaths and challenges appear each year, so there is always something new to explore at Wapentac. The Three Peaks Challenge in the Yorkshire Dales national park is one of the most enduring as is the Lyke Wake Walk in the North Yorkshire Moors national park. Hiking in these parts is rigorous and demanding but also very rewarding. So whether you, like us, are Ramblers, Hikers or Walkers the great outdoors beckons and Wapentac provides the perfect gift for remembering those great days out walking, rambling and hiking in the National Parks and the British countryside.
The mountain bikers are always discussing their favourite trails with the fell runners. This is a more energetic way of experiencing our National Parks and the British countryside. There are thousands of miles of cycle ways waiting to be explored with the contours of the land giving thigh aching climbs and bone shaking decents. Mountain Bikes are now made to withstand huge amounts of knocks and scrapes and as long as safety is respected people of all ages can experience mountain biking in this wonderful countryside we have.
Fell Running and Orienteering
If you have ever been walking along a footpath and come across a group of people who look as though they should be on a race track then you have just stumbled upon a fell race. This sport is not for the faint hearted and requires strength and stamina to climb up a hill side or to the top of a mountain and then race back down again. Special fell running shoes magically help to keep fell runners upright as they charge down the mountain in apparent free fall. When out walking, if you come across a fell race, sit and watch, as this is one of the most exciting running sports on the planet.
This one really is for the tekkies. Geocaching is the latest in out door fun and for all ages and abilities. Using GPS technology you can add a treasure hunt to a walk in the countryside, thats basically what Geocaching is, so don't let dad tell you otherwise. There is a host of Geocache websites that hold details of thousands of Geocaches placed in National Parks, walking trails, moorlands, anywhere where it is fun to get too. By downloading map coordinates from the Geocache site and then getting out an Ordnance Survey map you can plan a route to the area, have a great days walking and find hidden treasure using the clues provided. Geocache people follow a strict code of not disturbing the countryside, so you will be safe in your explorations. Once found, take out a piece of treasure and leave something of your own for the next Geocache person to come along. When you get home, log your visit on the Geocache website and plan the next adventure. Wapentac will be placing Geocaches around the various routes shown on the Wapenmap map. You can then log on to the website find the Geocache and record your adventure.
The climbers at Wapentac talk excitedly about new routes and of course new gear. The Peak District, Lake District, Cairngorms, Torridons, Cuillins and Snowdonia have a rich history of climbing. In the Peak District many climbers started their climbing careers on Burbage Rocks, Froggat Edge, Stanage Edge, Curbar Edge as well as the Derwnet and Howden valleys. In the Lake district climbing areas around Ambleside and Keswick are a magnet for climbers. For mountaineers the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis and the Nevis range and Snowdonia offer more challenging and higher climbs.
We all love camping whether its on a site or wild camping in a remote part of Britain. Deep debates take place about the merits of tents, campsites, wild camping and where we will be spending our weekends. There are those who will have been off searching out a hidden geocache, who’s conversation is just as often about the latest GPS unit as it is about the scenery they enjoyed. At Wapentac, activities often center on one of the National Parks or a remote region of Scotland or Wales. Whether it is walking in the English countryside, orienteering, landscape photography, fly fishing or sailing there is always something to talk about come Monday.
National Park Areas
Britian has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and most of it is contained and protected within our National Parks. Did you know that the Peak District National Park is the second most visited National Park in the World. Or that the Lake District was the inspiration for some of the worlds greatest poets, writers and artists. The Lake district also contains Englands highest point Scafell Pike. Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons are areas of true wilderness as is the Scottish Highlands.
Walking in the countryside is one of the most popular pastimes and a great way to stay healhty. There are many family walks, walks of differing levels of difficulty from an easy stroll up the Dovedale Valley in the Peak District, to a strenuous climb to the top of Blencathra in the Lake District, to the exhilerating climb along the peaks of the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. At Wapentac we have tried to capture the love of the great outdoors and made that in to innovative the Wapenmap that you would want to keep and give to friends.
So you see, at Wapentac, the National Park for us is the breath of life, just like you.
Welcome to our website.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Wapentac and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Wapentac. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Wapentac takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.
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