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Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

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Castlelaw Hill

Image of the Castlelaw map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 18th Apr 2020

Info updated: 24th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Forest

General Information

Castlelaw is a super area for orienteering at all skill levels.  At this event we will have the usual local event courses (including a Green course) plus we are looking into having a 10k Long Green course.  Something for absolutely everyone. 

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Much of the area is open hillside which is fairly exposed.  It can be windy even on the sunniest of spring days.  Please come prepared for any conditions. 

Terrain:  Mostly open, exposed hillside.  There are some patches of runnable woodland on the map and there are paths and tracks on some parts of the competition area. 

Other Users: The Pentland Hills are used fairly extensively by the general public.  In particular you may encounter hill runners, walkers, dog walkers and mountain bikers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

SAFETY: 

1. Army use of parts of the area: Please note that some parts of the Pentlands, including much of Castlelaw Hill and surrounding hills, are used by the Army for training and it is possible you could encounter army personnel whilst out on your course.  You may also find used shells and other debris discarded by the Army whilst on training exercises.  Please do not touch or pick up any discarded Army debris while orienteering. Please advise any junior within your care of this important point.  Castlelaw Army shooting ranges are on the map, close to the start and finish and it is possible that training could  be going on there at the same time as our event (meaning there could be banging noises during the event).

2. Mud: Winter and early Spring weather can result in plenty of mud around the area and it is almost always slippery in places.  Some of the mud has has been created by animals. Please take care.

3. Farm animals: Sheep are plentiful around the area.  Care should be taken to clean hands after running and before eating. Children should be advised of the imortance of doing this.

LAMBS:  Lambing will be in full swing at Castlelaw.  The shepherds know we are coming, and are fine with that, with the important proviso that ALL GATES ARE KEPT CLOSED AND LATCHED.  If you open one to go through, close it behind you. There are gates on all courses, including the White course so unaccompanied juniors should be reminded to properly close all gates they go through.   'Gates' includes the turnstile/kissing gate on the way to the start and back from the Finish.  Sheep know how to get through these turnstiles if the swing gate is left unlatched.  

Dogs: Dogs will hopefully be allowed provided they are under close control at all times but we will be double-checking nearer the time with the shepherd.  Note that there could be lambs around the hills at this time of year so it is especially important to keep dogs under close control. 

Course Closure Time: Please note that the White, Yellow, Orange and Green courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  If we offer a Long Green course the course closure time may possibly be a little later.  Please however come and start early if you think you will take a longish time to complete your course.

Location

map location

Nearest town: Penicuik

Directions

Parking will be close to the gateway on to the hillside at Castlelaw Hill Fort . The Ministry of Defence (MOD) charge us to use the area (parking and competition area) and to help offset this cost we feel the fairest way is to charge £2 per car on arrival.  Please park as directed by helpers on the day.

Castlelaw is reached from an unclassified road which leaves the A702 approximately 2.8 miles South of the Lothianburn junction of Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) (and also from Midlothian Ski Centre at Hillend).  The unclassified road is signed with a brown sign to 'Castlelaw Hill Fort' and a military sign to 'Castlelaw Ranges'.  If heading South turn right towards Castlelaw near a farmhouse and just after some bad bends - if you reach the Flotterstone Inn you have missed the turn to Castlelaw and need to turn round and go back up the hill towards the junction.  If coming from the South then the unclassified road is up the hill on the left after you pass the Flotterstone Inn.    

Registration & Start Times

Registration and Starts from 1.30pm to 2.30pm for newcomers to orienteering and from 1.30pm to just before 3pm (sharp) for experienced orienteers.  Registration, Start and Finish will be a short walk from parking but you should still leave enough time to arrive, park, register and pay and get to the start by 3pm.  

COURSE CLOSURE TIME: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will be brought in.  You should be back at Registration/Download by 4pm.  Whether you are a newcomer or have been to a lot of events, please try to come and start early if you think you might take a long time over your course.

It is not necessary - or possible – to pre-enter for this event.  Everyone is very welcome, just to turn up.  You can however save time by printing off and completing the ESOC  ADVANCE REGISTRATION FORM and bring it with you to the event. This will save a lot of time and typed forms easier to read so we should get your name right on the results!!    

If you would like a little more advance information about the registration process at a local event why not read our QUICK GUIDE TO REGISTRATION?

NOTE FOR CURRENT ORIENTEERING CLUB MEMBERS: If you are a current member of an orienteering club orienteering on your own and have your own SI registered in your own name you can to come to Registration and go through the speedy entry system.  If in any doubt whether this applies to you then it is best to complete the attached application form and bring it with you. 

DATA PROTECTION:  Completion of the Registration/Entry Form for this event confirms your agreement to have your entry details stored on a computer system and for your name and age class to appear in the results on the ESOC website and the British Orienteering website. More information about ESOC's Data Privacy Policy

Course Information

As usual for ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for beginners and improvers. There will also be a Green course for experienced orienteers and possibly a Long Green course also for experienced orienteers. Please check again nearer the event for full details of courses to be offered at this event.

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Entry Details

TBC but it will be entry on the day for all courses.

Contacts / Officials

Email for early enquiries:  

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

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