AN ORIENTEER and map-maker from Ilkley is celebrating winning a prestigious national award.

British Orienteering has named Tony Thornley as the winner of The Chichester Trophy in mapping.

The award is made for the best map produced by an amateur mapper with scores awarded for specification, cartography and presentation.

Judges Ray Barnes, Brian Bullen and Susan Marsden agreed that Mr Thornley’s map of Arncliffe and Kilnsey North was the best map that was used in 2019.

Mr Thornley - a member of Airienteers, which organises orienteering events in Airedale, Wharfedale, Leeds and Bradford - said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the Chichester Trophy for my map for last year’s British Championships.

“The trophy is very special - it is the binnacle compass from the ‘round the world’ yacht Gipsy Moth V, mounted on a wooden plinth.

“Sir Francis Chichester presented it to British Orienteering when he was president in 1971, shortly before he died.

“Along with the BOC M21E King of the Forest trophy it is probably the most iconic and special of all of the British Orienteering Federation’s awards.

“As well as making the first single-handed circumnavigation of the world, Sir Francis was a navigator and map maker so the Chichester Trophy represents a cartographic tradition.

“I first won this trophy for a map of a Lake District area on the shore of Lake Coniston in 1979, so have been into moorland maps for many years.

“My orienteering mapping goes back almost 50 years and I have made well over a hundred maps.”

Acting Chair of British Orienteering’s Map Advisory Group, Terry Smith, said: “The stated aim of the Mapping Awards is to encourage and recognise high standards of mapping.

“The judges found it exceedingly difficult to differentiate between many of the maps submitted for several of the trophies.

“All those who submitted maps should be immensely proud of their achievements.

“The judges would like to send their appreciation and congratulations to all entries for the high standard this year.”

Mr Thornley added: “A big thank you to many friends who have helped me develop my mapping skills, to those who made last year’s British Orienteering Championships a success, and to my wife Jo for tolerating endless orienteering projects.

“I hope we can get back to making and using maps soon.”