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.

Heights and contours

DescriptionSymbolPhotoNotes
Ground survey height OS25K Height from ground surveyNH9904 : Fiachaill a' Choire Chais, spot height 1141m by Stuart CankettMap linkExternal link There is an 1141 metre spot height
Trig pillar height OS25K Height - trig pillarNG1554 : 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 OS25K Height from air surveySH6736 : Craig y Gwynt summit by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Contours at 5 metre intervals OS25K Heights - contours at 5m intervalSU7577 : Farmland, Shiplake by Andrew SmithMap linkExternal link
Contours at 10 metre intervals OS25K Heights - contours at 10m intervalsNS9412 : A cairn on Doddin by Walter BaxterMap linkExternal link
Contours merge at steep face OS25K Heights - contours merge at cliffNJ0001 : 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

DescriptionSymbolPhotoNotes
Loose rocks OS25K Rocks - looseNJ0004 : North from Cairngorm summit by Nigel BrownMap linkExternal link
Boulders OS25K Rocks - bouldersSX5680 : 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 OS25K Rocks - outcrop]SH6628 : Southern buttress on Rhinog Fawr by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Scree OS25K Rocks - screeNY1505 : 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:
 OS25K Rocks - black symbols
Below are grey versions:
 OS25K Rocks - grey symbols

Water, mud, sand and shingle

DescriptionSymbolPhotoNotes
Water Os25K WaterSK9106 : Fishing in Rutland Water by Steve  FarehamMap linkExternal link
Water features Os25K WaterTL7797 : 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 OS25K Water fringes - mudTF6431 : Goal posts in the mud by Richard HumphreyMap linkExternal link
Sand OS25K Water fringes - sandSH6214 : Beach in the Mawddach estuary at Morfa Mawddach by Rudi WinterMap linkExternal link
Sand and shingle OS25K Water fringes - sand and shingleSU4802 : Shingle, Calshot Spit by Maigheach-ghealMap linkExternal link


Map symbol images are Crown Copyright.
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