Myrddyn Phillips

Myrddyn Phillips

A hillwalking fan and amateur surveyor is handing outdoor fans an early Christmas present: an online guide to a new set of peaks to tick off.

Myrddyn Phillips, one of three hill sleuths who regularly measure the heights of British mountains, has devised a set of almost 300 hills in England for peakbaggers to tackle.

The Fours are the English version of Mr Phillips’s earlier Pedwar compilation in Wales.

He said the list of 400m hills should take walkers in England to new heights.

The challenge list is published in a downloadable and printable format online, free of charge.

Mr Phillips said: “This challenge is the Fours, a listing of English hills that comprise 296 summits taking in the length of the country, from the Cheviot Hills in the North to Bodmin Moor in the South-West.

“These English ‘Fours’ are spread across some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes that England has to offer.”

Helm Crag is in the list of the Fours

Helm Crag is in the list of the Fours

The list, an updated version of one which first appeared on an online group in 2002, includes well loved Lake District peaks Helm Crag and Cat Bells, includes hills between 400m and 500m in height, with a drop of at least 30m.

There are an additional 225 ‘subs’ which are between 390m and 399m or have between 20m and 29m of prominence.

Because mapping heights are considered only accurate to 10m, Mr Phillips said, these extra hills might qualify as Fours.

He said: “Over recent years, some of those completing the 2,000ft hewitt mountains progress toward the deweys.

“These are the 500m hills, first listed in published format by Michael Dewey. However, the uplands in Britain south of the Scottish border do not start at a height of 500m.

“There are many hill areas throughout England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and also Ireland where land at 400m or above comprises wild, little frequented moorland that is mountainous in nature.

“For those intrepid hillwalkers who are nearing their completion of English hewitts and deweys, an extension to attempt a full completion of the English uplands would need to take in the Fours.

Mark Trengove

Mark Trengove

“This would prove a considerable undertaking, but would leave the hillwalker with an intimate knowledge of all the upland areas of England.”

The Fours list is available to print off, free of charge from the Europeaklist website. There is also an e-book version available.

Europeaklist website and the Fours editor Mark Trengove said: “The Europeaklist website has been in operation for a number of years.

“We specialise in listings of European hills and mountains from a variety of countries, but we also indulge ourselves in publishing some new British listings, so far not published elsewhere.’’

Aled Williams

Aled Williams

The Fours companion volume of Y Pedwarau benefited from the extensive place-name research undertaken by Aled Williams, and he has helped in this volume with extensive hill name research being conducted in the border country areas of Shropshire, where hill names of Welsh origin are found.

Mr Williams also extended this research to the South-West of England where careful scrutiny of old documents confirmed names of hills, for instance Swell Tor. This place-name research is continuing, with both Aled Williams and Myrddyn Phillips being part of the Hill Names in Wales Research team.

Mr Phillips regularly teams up with John Barnard and Graham Jackson of G&J Surveys in their expeditions to measure the heights of peaks.

The Fours list can be downloaded from the Europeakslist website.

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