Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Mary Erskine School and Ravelston Woods

Image of the Mary Erskine and Ravelston Woods map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 17th Mar 2018

Info updated: 17th Mar
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland


Results are here

Winsplits are here

LOST PROPERTY: A pair of blue/white ski gloves (possibly child size) were found on the sofa in Reception.  We aren't sure if they belong to an orienteer or one of the many others who were using the facilities today so they have been left at the Mary Erskine Sports Centre reception and can be collected from there.

ORGANISER'S COMMENTS: The freezing cold was the main thing to contend with for all helpers today. Very grateful indeed to all who put up with this to make the event happen.  People soon get warm running about, but not sitting at a table filling in forms!  We're very grateful to the staff at the Sports Centre too, who allowed us to partly move inside. 

PLANNER'S COMMENTS: Thanks to everyone who came to enjoy the courses today despite the "Mini Beast from the East" making an appearance and giving us some very cold weather.  I hope you have all warmed up now!
Mary Erskine is a great little area with a range of terrain, and I aimed to make the longer courses as challenging as possible by keeping the legs short.  This did make the courses fairly dense in terms of controls near each other and legs crossing over, which probably made it a bit trickier sometimes to work out where you were actually supposed to go next!  The west part of the wood is particularly good and all of the longer courses got into that section.  The longer courses also all had the control in the middle of the tunnel, and I know not everyone loved crawling through that but thought it would be something a bit different for you!
After doing the armchair planning, I moved various controls to avoid some of the muddier and steeper parts of the wood and also some controls moved because of the difficulty of sticking them into the ground or attaching them to something. There was construction work over in the south-east which was mapped as at last weekend with the out of bounds shading etc. but had all changed again by the time we were there today, so sorry about that but I'm sure you call coped no problem.
Since the green criss-crossed such a lot, I put the light green together as another option, and this simply used controls from other courses so was an easy thing to add as another option.  Not many people ran that course as it turned out!
It was brilliant to see so many recently joined ESOC members at the event, and thank you to everyone who helped with all of the different jobs.

General Information

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  

Terrain:  School grounds and adjoining woodland.  

Other Users: There are likely to be other sports users around the pitches of the Sports Centre and School.  Ravelston Woods are used by the general public, including those with young children using the adjacent playpark, and dog walkers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

Dogs: Dogs allowed on leads in the car park only. Not to be taken into the school grounds at all.

Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  

Medical Conditions: If you, or anyone in your group (including juniors), have a medical condition that first aiders or health professionals should know about in the event of accident or illness during the course of the event please print off the Medical Form, fully complete it and bring it along to the event.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Please leave the completed Medical Form at Event Registration.  It will be put in a sealed envelope and only be opened in an emergency.  It will be destroyed immediately after the event.   If you prefer, you can bring your completed form in a sealed envelope with your name (or the relevant person's name) on the front and hand it in when you arrive.  


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


Head for the car park for the Mary Erskine Sports Centre which is entered from Craigleith Rise, off Ravelston Dykes.  You should be able to get close to this event by bus.  Check out Lothian Buses for information about services.

PARKING UPDATE: The car park at Craigleith Rise is currently somewhat reduced in size due to machinery in the process of enlarging it.  If full, it may be necessary to park in the adjacent streets.  If you need to park in the adjacent streets please be considerate of local residents.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: At Sports Centre building within the School grounds.

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 online, ptint off and bring with you to the event. This will save a lot of time typescript makes the forms so much 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 typing your details on to 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 will be orienteering on their own and have their own SI registered in their own name 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.   

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.  It is dusk followed by darkness very early at this time of year so it is even more 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 newcomers and improvers, a Light Green Course (shorter and a bit easier than the Green Course) and a Green Course for experienced orienteers. 

This small area lends itself well to a Green Course, visiting terrain including woodland, parkland and complex buildings with many changes of direction and different leg lengths, and also a Light Green Course, similar but shorter and easier.  Along with the standard White, Yellow and Orange Courses, there is a challenge at every standard at this delightful venue.    

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 1997 or earlier)
British/Scottish Orienteering members - £4
Non-members - £6

Juniors (born 1998 or later)
British/Scottish Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

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

Family Groups (Adults + children)
British/Scottish 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.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE INFORMATION: Please note that participants who are not members of an orienteering club automatically have Public Liability insurance cover provided by British Orienteering/Scottish Orienteering only for their first three "taster" sessions (i.e. events). Thereafter, if they wish to continue with this cover, they should become a member of an orienteering club, such as ESOC, which, depending on the membership option chosen, includes membership of British Orienteering and/or Scottish Orienteering.  Details of how to join ESOC are here or pick up an application form at this event. There are many benefits of being a member of an orienteeering club and one of these is lower entry fees at most events.

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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