Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club



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ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 18th Mar 2017

Info updated: 19th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland



This is the link to the results

This is the link for winsplits

Organiser's comments

The rain and low cloud this morning wasn't in the forecast.  Worst affected were David and Margaret, putting out controls.  Putting up the tents in the rain wasn't much fun either.   The route to Registration was a sea of mud before we started.  Would anyone come to this event?

Oh yes!  Before we knew it, the rain had stopped and loads of people arrived; the usual mix of familiar faces and new ones, all warmly welcomed.   We had a Birthday party, several people in Edinburgh for different reasons and looking for an event, some milestones achieved in running a White Course alone for the first time, and much appreciation of David's courses, which is very reassuring for a first-time Planner.   We all got out of the car park and through the barrier without problems, and are grateful to the MOD who let us in.  It's just amazing how much fun these events can be under any conditions!

Photos: There are some photos up on ESOC's facebook page, have a look at some fun in the puddles.

Planner's comments (written on evening of the event)

Well at 1230 today, when the rain was hammering down I must confess I wasn't expecting many people to brave the wet, wind and mud to come to our event...and on a rugby weekend.

My planning visits to Dreghorn flashed before my eyes, walking through a smoke grenade cloud between two groups of soldiers shooting at one another, finding bullets and booby trap trip wires when walking in the woods, helping rescue a trapped sheep...

But it got brighter and they came! It was good to see a group of girls splashing and kicking in the ankle deep mud to remember that orienteers, and the kids in particular, don't mind getting mucky.

As a novice planner I found the whole experience very interesting, from reading about course requirements, using Condes for the first time and getting out and about to see what was possible on the ground. I would recommend the experience to anyone and receiving the very polite and positive feedback from participants was a nice end to a long day.

My thanks to all involved in the day but to Margaret and Janet in particular for sharing some of their knowledge and experience and all their support and encouragement along the way.

General Information

Dress: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately.  This event will be partly on open hillside on the lower northern slopes of the North Pentland Hills.  The Green course will be on higher, more exposed areas.  It is especially important on this area to dress appropriately for the weather conditions on the day.

Map: Attached for information is a picture of an old map of the general area for this event - sorry about poor quality.  The area to be actually used for this event will not cover all of the area shown on this picture.

Terrain:  Open hillside, some woodland areas on the lower slopes.  Path and fence network.  This area can be muddy.

Other Users: This area is extensively used by all sectors of the general public and is also part of the training area used by soldiers from the nearby Dreghorn Barracks. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.  More information later about the military use of the area for training purposes. 

Dogs:  Dogs are allowed and should be kept under close control at all times.  Note that there is usually sheep around this competition area.    

Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  Dusk followed by darkness is still fairly early at this time of year, especially in poor weather, so it is important to start bringing in controls at 4pm.

Safety Issues:  1.  Army training, This orienteering area is used by the Army for training.  It is close to Dreghorn Barracks.  We do not know if there will be training on the day of the event however those responsible for juniors should make them aware that they may possibly see or hear Army training operations. Juniors should also be told not to pick up anything whilst out on their course.  There will be no danger to the public or to orienteers (this is a very public area) but noises, including bangs, can be scary for youngsters.   2. Electricity Pylons, There are large electricity pylons on this area.  These are strictly out of bounds to everyone. 


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


The postcode given is for the Travelodge at Dreghorn Services and is ONLY a guide to reach the general area. Head for the Edinburgh city bypass (A720) and exit at the Dreghorn Junction.  Coming from the eastbound carriageway of the bypass (or from the city via Dreghorn Link) cross over the bypass and follow the road around to the right as though you were heading back on to the westbound carriageway of the bypass (note this part of the westbound slip is a two way road). The turning to the parking area is 50m from the corner on the left.  
From the westbound carriageway of the bypass head to the top of the Dreghorn junction slip road go straight across (again, note two way road here) as though you were heading back on to the westbound carriageway.  After 50m turn left. 

NOTE: there is now an access barrier with a height restriction, just after the final left turn mentioned above, to gain access to the Dreghorn parking area - approach with care.  This access barrier will be manned by ESOC volunteers for the duration of the event; 13.00 - 16.15.   It will be opened to allow all orienteers through.  We have managed to arrange to have parking for orienteers near registration - this is through another gate taking you to the track parallel to the public parking area but out of sight of the public parking and the city bypass - this will be clearly signed on the day.  Everyone will need to be out of this part of the parking area by 16.15 at the latest.     

You can reach this orienteering area reasonably easily by public transport.  Lothian Buses service 16  to the stop near roundabout at Dreghorn Link is the best option. Follow Dreghorn Link towards the bypass and follow intstructions as above.  Note that the roads here are very busy, take great care when crossing. 

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: Very close to parking.

Registration will be from 1.30pm to 2.30pm for newcomers to orienteering and will run from 1.30pm to 3pm for experienced orienteers. 

It is not necessary - or possible – to pre-enter for this event.  Everyone is very welcome, just to turn up.  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.

Registration Form - We know how time consuming, and occasionally frustrating, it can be for our competitors to have to complete the Registration Form outside in the cold and wet of a Scottish Saturday afternoon so we have produced an ESOC  ADVANCE REGISTRATION FORM for you to complete and print off and bring with you to the event. This will save a lot of time and the forms easier to read!!  Apologies to those experienced Saturday attendees who feel they don't need the sample at the top of the page but it will be very helpful to our newcomers and properly completed, legible registration forms are a huge help to those manning our computers during and after the event.  

Thank you in advance for helping us by completing the form and bringing it with you.

 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: Current members of an orienteering club who have their own registered SI can continue 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. 

START AND FINISH will be very close to Registration. Start times will be from 1.30pm to 3pm.

COURSE CLOSURE TIME: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  Dusk followed by darkness is still fairly early at this time of year so it is important to start bringing in controls at 4pm otherwise head torches would be needed!! Please make sure you arrive in plenty of time to register, get to the start and complete your course before controls begin to be brought in.

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.

WHITE COURSE NOTE: we've bent the rules!! At local events we like to keep the registration, start and finish close to each other. Because of the terrain at Dreghorn it was only possible to do this if we bent the rules a bit for the White course!  It starts off following a fence and stream before reaching the track. None of the course is in the woods and it is grassy under foot when not on the track. We think it is a fun white course even though we've bent the rules.

Most of the white course is in view from the registration area.  From the vantage point of the small hill, Chucklie Knowe, near registration the whole of the white and yellow courses are visible. They do not visit the woods.

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

Seniors (born 1996 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non-members - £6

Juniors (born 1997 or later)
British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

Family Groups (Adults + children)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non- members - £6

Note: A family group for the above entry fee purposes comprises up to a maximum of 2 adults and up to 3 children. 

Extra adults are £1 each and extra juniors are 50 pence each. 

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  If you have your own SI (dibber) please bring it with you. We'll have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost. If you would like to buy your own SI-Card then a variety are available directly from SportIdent UK.   The choice may be confusing and it may help you to know that the SI-Cards which ESOC hires out are very similar to the most basic model shown on the linked page - the SI-Card 8.

Contacts / Officials


Phone: Janet on 0131 225 7771

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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