Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

Mary Erskine School and Ravelston WoodsSat 23 Mar

Mary erskine and ravelston woods
Mary erskine and ravelston woods

Local Event

Last updated: Sun 31 March, 2024

Local event

Explanation of event types

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun App.

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Terrain type: Parkland & Woodland




Officials' Reports

Planners' Comments

This was my first attempt at planning since moving North and joining ESOC. Any questions I had about permissions, access, map printing etc. were quickly answered which left me to concentrate on the planning – the bit that I enjoy.

I decided to keep the White and Yellow courses within the school grounds because the path network in the woods is quite confusing. The school has well defined paths, but a lot of them around the school buildings which resulted in many short legs.

The longer courses used Ravelston Woods as well which fortunately didn't seem as slippery under foot as a couple of weeks go. Even so I tried to plan the courses to have legs going up the steepest slopes. For these courses I tried to make use of the varying terrain types; forest, sprint, and high speed parkland by repeatedly switching between them hoping to catch you out. In most of the route choices I think there was little difference in the options. You would have lost most time if you dithered. I apologise for the gratuitous slog around the last loop on each of these courses, but I was worried that the courses measured short. Next time I will measure distance on optimal route.

There were a lot of controls out in a small area. Even so courses doubled up. Where the control was used on the Green course I tried to place it so for the Green course the feature was visible first, but for the other courses the direction they approached it was highly visible.

On the day I had so much help I felt at times superfluous. A big thanks to Ali and Bry who helped hang controls. They were so quick I had 90 minutes to double check all the control sites before first starts. A thank you to the school helpers who collected the controls in. It left me with nothing to do.

Lastly any feedback, negative or positive, is welcomed. There were a couple of comments on the day that the map needed updating.

Kevin Harding

Organisers' Comments

It was a beautiful day at Mary Erskine for this fun collab between ESOC and ESMS schools. Because the schools provided most of the volunteers needed, my job was an easy one. I found some willing mentors to show the pupils the ropes of hosting an event and sat back to watch all the teaching and learning going. The school is a great spot for some ‘spectator controls’ and we saw competitors at all levels getting the most out of this area, coming back over the lawns at a sprint or a toddle. Rona Molloy masterminded the ESMS side of things, delivering seamless cover for all the main posts. Many thanks her, and to all the pupil volunteers. I really felt that using hosts on their home turf added some shine to this event. Thanks too to my own team, who did great work in the background, and the events team for teeing everything up to run like clockwork.

Catherine MacColl


Local event organised in partnership with the Mary Erskine and Stewarts Melville schools Orienteering club (ESMS)

Pre-event Information

Location Info

Near: Edinburgh
Lat,Lng: 55.95038,-3.25319
OS Grid Ref: NT218737
Postcode: EH4 3NN
What3Words: ///move.dart.olive

Open an interactive map in:
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Directions / Parking

The event will be based just outside the Mary Erskine School Sports Centre (Post Code: EH4 3NT) which can be approached from Ravelston Dykes, where although there is a small car park, you are requested to use the small car park dedicated for the Mary Erskine School Sports Centre on the opposite side of the school grounds, just off Craigleith Rise (///pages.nods.glaze). If there are no spaces left, please park in surrounding streets. Please be considerate of local residents if you are parking in public streets. If you are changing your clothes in your car please try to be discreet!!

Please try to walk, use public transport or bike to the event if you possibly can.

Car share: Edinburgh based orienteers are welcome to join the newly expanded Edinburgh Orienteers - Car sharing WhatsApp group. Please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for the joining link.

Public Transport Options

By bus  - check the  Lothian Buses website. Route 38 passes near the event.

By bike – Please see this map on the Edinburgh Council Quiet Routes website. for dedicated cycleways

There will be a bag drop tent location near Registration

Map / Terrain

Terrain: Grounds of the Mary Erskine school plus the intricate and steep area of Ravelston Woods

Course Maps: Based on the 2005 version by Peel Services Ltd and last updated in 2021. The maps will be printed on waterproof paper, the control descriptions will be printed on the map (no loose control descriptions) and the map scale will be 1:3500.

Safety Notes

  • Other Users: Ravelston Woods is very well used by the general public, including dog walkers, runners and bikers. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.
  • Please respect the Out of Bounds area in the school grounds (don't want to upset the groundsman)
  • Dogs are not allowed as the event takes place on school grounds
  • Course Closure Time: All courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start to be brought in (before it gets dark. All competitors should be back at Download by 4pm.
  • You must report to Download even if you do not complete your course, so we know you are back safely, and we don’t have to mount a search for you.

Please read and respect the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

Course Information

As for all ESOC local events, there will be White, Yellow and Orange and Long Orange courses for beginners and improvers, plus a Green course for more experienced orienteers.

  • Yellow and White courses are completely within the school grounds. Both use school driveways which might have slow moving traffic on
  • Orange/Long Orange/ Green use Ravelston woods too which has steep slopes, numerous crags and quarry workings 1 fenced off and 1 only partially fenced. Only TD5 -Green - course has a route option that can take you up around the quarry.

Here are the final course lengths and climb. Course lengths are straight line, and optimal routes will be longer for the legs around the school buildings

NB: All maps are A4 size and Orange, Long Orange and Green are double-sided ie the courses is in 2 parts and you will need to turn the map over part way.

CourseLength (km)Climb (m)No of Controls
Long Orange3.55521

See the Facilities section for details of the pre-event coaching open to all ESOC members.

Read more about Course lengths and Difficulty here

Entry Details

Pte-entry using RaceSignUp will be required for this event. (direct link will be added nearer the time). Entries open at 10am on Monday 11th March and will close at 8pm on Friday 22nd March

However, If you want to guarantee a map for your chosen course you MUST pre-enter by 2pm on Tuesday 19th March.

Entry on the day (EOD): Entry on the day will be available at Registration as long as maps are available.

On the RaceSignUp page you can view

- an entry list for all competitors and their chosen start blocks (scroll down to the Start List section). Please note that you can arrive at the start any time within your block.
- a list of maps left (in the Courses box) ie entry limit-no of entries, from 3pm on Tuesday 19th March

Entry Fees: For 2024 we have a new range of Individual entry fees following membership restructuring by British Orienteering and increases in levy charges to support insurance cover for all competitors

CategoryBOF MembersSOA MembersNon Members
Seniors (over 25)£4.50£5.50£6.50
Juniors/Students/Young adults (21-25)£2.50£3.50£4.50

As well as individuals the entry system also allows pairs, groups or families who wish to go round a course together (sharing one map and dibber) to enter using a sliding scale of fees. Full details of how to enter pairs and groups (or as a Student) are on the RaceSignUp entry page. NB The RaceSignUp entry process for these categories has also changed for 2024

CategoryBOF membersSOA only membersNon members
2 Seniors£5.50£6.50£7.50
2 Juniors£3.00£4.00£5.00
1 Senior + 1 Junior£5.00£6.00£7.00
1 Senior + 2 Juniors£5.50£6.50£7.50
2 Seniors + 1 Junior£6.00£7.00£8.00
2 Seniors + 2 Juniors£6.50£7.50£8.50
2 Seniors + 3 Juniors£7.00£8.00£9.00

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.

We have SI dibbers for hire free of charge via the pre-entry system 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.

Registration and Start times

REGISTRATION: This will be very close to the Sports Hall and will be open from around 12.45pm until 14.15pm. Download will be very close to Registration and the Start and Finish will also be close by.

Hired dibbers and White & Yellow maps should be collected from Registration

START TIMES: Starts will run from 13:00 to 14:30. Please choose an early start time if you think you might take a long time out on your course. You must be back at Download by 4pm.


  • There are no toilets available but there are numerous options for calling in at a supermarket or shopping centre on your way to the event.
  • Pre-Event Coaching - for ESOC members only. Want to improve your orienteering skills? There will be coaching available before the event from 11:30 - 12:30 to help you get the most from the event and improve your orienteering skills. The coaching will be available for both adults and juniors and we will split participants into suitable groups with exercises appropriate for their skill levels. The coaching is available for ESOC members only and is free of charge. Juniors must be accompanied at all times. You must pre-register by 2pm Tuesday 19th March for the coaching session by signing up as part of the online event registration on Racesignup. More details will be sent to those who sign up before the deadline. Any queries please get in touch with email hidden; JavaScript is required

Dog restrictions

Dogs are NOT ALLOWED as the event takes place on school grounds

Nearest A&E Hospital

See under Important Event Information NHS Urgent care search