Natural features and heights - OS 25K symbols

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright June 2010, David Hawgood; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

This is one of a series of articles which give photographs of features on the ground which have standard symbols on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, and also show the symbol. See OS 25K map symbolsExternal link for introduction to the series, and links to other articles in it. Ordnance Survey have told us that although the symbols are copyright they allow them to be copied without charge or specific licence.

Click on a photo thumbnail to see a page with a larger photo, and other photo details (in a new window). The photo page also has a section of the 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map; click on that map to see an Ordnance Survey Get-a-map section of 1:25,000 scale map.

Note that the Get-a-map links in the notes column do not open a new window; use the browser back button to return to this article.

Heights and contours

Ground survey height OS 25K symbol - Ground survey height NH9904 : Fiachaill a' Choire Chais, spot height 1141m by Stuart CankettMap linkExternal link There is an 1141 metre spot height
Trig pillar height OS 25K symbol - Trig pillar height NG1554 : Trig point on Biod an Athair by John AllanMap linkExternal link If one height is shown by a trig pillar symbol, it is that of the base of the trig pillar. If a second is shown in brackets it is that of the highest point of the hill.
Air survey height OS 25K symbol - Air survey height SH6736 : Craig y Gwynt summit by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Contours at 5 metre intervals OS 25K symbol - Contours at 5 metre intervals SU7577 : Farmland, Shiplake by Andrew SmithMap linkExternal link
Contours at 10 metre intervals OS 25K symbol - Contours at 10 metre intervals NS9412 : A cairn on Doddin by Walter BaxterMap linkExternal link
5 metre interval contour stopping at grid lineNY1549 : Track to The Hill Farm by Alexander P KappMap linkExternal link Use of 10 metre intervals between contours is by discrete areas. Some paper Explorer maps specify in the key that all contours are at 5 metre intervals, some sheets all at 10 metre. In the example shown here the interval changes south of the grid line at NY150500, and the 15 and 25 metre contours stop at that line.
Contours merge at steep face OS 25K symbol - Contours merge at steep face NJ0001 : Shelter Stone Crag by Callum BlackMap linkExternal link
Contours band together at cliff SH2181 : Cliffs on the north side of Henborth by Eric JonesMap linkExternal link The OS symbol key indicates that as contour lines get closer they merge to have just a single contour line at a cliff. In practice it seems that there is a wider contour line, as along these vertical cliffs on Anglesey

Rock features

Loose rocks OS 25K symbol - Loose rocks  NJ0004 : North from Cairngorm summit by Nigel BrownMap linkExternal link
Boulders OS 25K symbol - Boulders  SX5680 : Large boulders on Lynch Tor by Nigel MoleMap linkExternal link Most items called boulders by photographers have map symbols which are dots or very small circles; it is difficult to distinguish loose rocks from boulders.
Outcrop OS 25K symbol -  Outcrop SH6628 : Southern buttress on Rhinog Fawr by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Scree OS 25K symbol - Scree NY1505 : Wastwater Screes by Sarah CharlesworthMap linkExternal link

Note that the colour of rock features is being changed from black to grey - below are black versions:
 OS 25K symbol - rock symbols in black
Below are grey versions:
 OS 25K symbol - rock symbols in grey

Water, mud, sand and shingle

Water OS 25K symbol - Water SK9106 : Fishing in Rutland Water by Steve  FarehamMap linkExternal link
Water (narrow) OS 25K symbol - Water TL7797 : Field drain near the River Wissey by Bob JonesMap linkExternal link The symbols key for 25K maps does not have a "water features" section. Drains, rivers, canals and the sea are all shown by the blue colour. Watery words like spring and well and the names of water features also appear in blue.
Mud OS 25K symbol - Mud  TF6431 : Goal posts in the mud by Richard HumphreyMap linkExternal link
Sand OS 25K symbol - Sand SH6214 : Beach in the Mawddach estuary at Morfa Mawddach by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Sand and shingle OS 25K symbol - Sand and shingle SU4802 : Shingle, Calshot Spit by Maigheach-ghealMap linkExternal link

Map symbol images are Crown Copyright.
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