Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

September Social 2016Monday 12 September

We ventured into West Lothian on a balmy evening, to enjoy the wildlife of Almondell and run along the banks of the River Almond.

Twenty Club members and one Interløper attended the social at Almondell Country Park organised by Heather and Steve, who are lucky enough to live inside the country park. We met in the Visitor Centre which is beautifully situated in the valley of the river Almond. It was clear as soon as we arrived that even on a lovely evening it would seem darker here because of being in the valley surrounded by trees.

The Interløper was Ken Daly, who is mapping the area as part of his project to link up maps of Calder Wood, some of the parks in Livingston and along the river Almond to Almondell Country Park. A very welcome interloper indeed.

The weather was good, but very muggy, so everyone was 'glowing' at the end of their run and drinks were required to rehydrate.

We were given a choice of a 35-minute score or a 50-minute score, answering questions at a number of points marked on the map. The map was a 1:3,000 scale, but because of the shape of the area (elongated) it had to be printed on both sides. This confused a few. More problematic was that a few people didn’t remember to bring a head-torch and, in the latter stages of the run, they were seen to wait at the 'controls' so that they could make use of someone else’s light source!

Heather had warned us that those who exceeded the time deadline might be penalised severely and she was as good as her word and penalised those who were late back. This probably affected the results, however everyone still had a great time and enjoyed the evening.

The results were as follows:
35-minute score: 1st, Margaret Dalgleish; 2nd, Ewart Scott; 3rd, Robert & Fiona Findlay
50-minute score: 1st, Mark Rowe; 2nd, Martin Caldwell; 3rd, Rachel Fawthrop

The evening ended with the usual soft drinks and an excellent spread of food provided by Heather and Steve. A lot of the chat related to the exploits at SOL5 (Uath Lochans) the previous day. Club President Ewart thanked Ken for mapping the area and Heather and Steve for organising an excellent evening.

For those who didn’t make it along on Monday evening, Almondell Country Park is well worth a visit. There is plenty of interesting wildlife and there is a good variety of information boards around the park to help you get to know about the history and the wildlife there.

Attached is a copy of the questions and answers. Just reading this will give you a flavour of the area!

Les Dalgleish

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