Marhofn 280.16 - May 2014

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Tumpdate 2014

Mark Jackson

It is no exaggeration to say that 2013 was the most significant year for the Tumps (hills with <30m drop) since the compilation of the list in 2009, due entirely to the grace and goodwill of the rest of the Database of British Hills / hill-bagging team, who agreed for the Tumps to be added to and for the P30 Appendix (a list of all the Tumps not already in the Database, in compatible format) to be made available through the Database's website. Believe me when I say a lot of work was done behind the scenes, and most of it not by me.

Perhaps it is my youth, but interactive portals like hill-bagging seem to be the future, at any rate for lists as large as the Tumps. It has also been observed that addition of a list to that website seems to result in a sharp increase in its bagging popularity. How else do several subdeweys have logs? At any rate, to say that I was taken aback at the level of interest would be an understatement, with the most-logged Tump (Lose Hill) being ticked 60 times, and hundreds of walkers sending in logs for thousands of Tumps - literally in the case of Rob W, who submitted 3000. Adrian's Tump Hall of Fame grew, and a Google group was set up for discussion of the list.

Put bluntly, the data for the Tumps (or at least those not part of any other list) is by and large far less accurate than for other lists. The original list was compiled without recourse to 1:10000 maps or old maps, but with the sudden increase in visibility those were soon consulted, leading to a host of changes. Jim Bloomer, George Gradwell and Andrew Tibbetts (custodian of the Appendix for many years) have been the most prolific tweakers, with literally thousands of contributions between them, but the list of people to be thanked runs into the dozens.

The most significant area of change was in the addition of new sea stacks. When there is no spot height, it is very difficult to work out the height of a sea stack just by squinting at the contours - because said contours tend to be mostly on top of one another. Fortunately, large-scale mapping offered a wider array of spot heights, and no fewer than 125 new sea stacks were added to the list in the first three months after the addition to hill-bagging, along with many other hills. There were also plenty of deletions (mostly due to the presence of new col spot heights on large-scale maps), relocations, replacements and name changes. A few hills were also promoted to the Database proper, e.g. by being promoted to subhump or by being part of a new list (Synges) added to the Database.

Naturally, the changes are far too numerous to be listed here, and in any case I have already taken up too much space in a magazine ideally for those bagging rather more prominent hills. So let me finish with a reminder that the Tumps change registers are available at and an invitation to go out and climb some. What's the nearest Tump to your home?

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