North Berwick Law
Saturday 31 October 2020

North Berwick Law  Saturday 31 October 2020

Thanks to all who came and the many helpers on CoVid measures, timing, starts and control collection.

Here are some comments by the course planner, Saartje Drijver:

Judging by the feedback I received at the finish banner, today’s event was a success. It was good to see such an even spread across the courses. Some commented on how much more varied the area was than they had appreciated. Most importantly all orienteers are accounted for.

The main learning from my first attempt at planning an event is to see the area from a visitor’s point of view rather than from a local perspective. For instance, I really did not expect any Light Green runners to go through the deep marsh when there is a gate that takes you through a dry strip of communal land – sorry about that.

I would welcome entries on Routegadget to learn about the choices people made.


Pre-event Information

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 31st October for our third local event since the easing of CoVid19 restrictions.

North Berwick Law will present different challenges from last month’s event. At Saltoun Big Wood the undergrowth density made accurate navigation very difficult. The area around the Law is clearer and at lower technical difficulty – but all courses will include the physical challenge of appreciable ascent and descent.

At this time of year all the paths have muddy sections and steeper parts which are very slippery – so footwear with good grips is essential.

Type of Event:

Local event in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) series

Entry and Start Times:

Due to the need to run the event with minimal risk of infection to competitors and helpers, and to comply with the government’s guidelines issued by sportscotland, everyone must enter in advance. There is no entry on the day. Entrants will be allocated to a 10 minute Start window.

Details of how to enter have been sent to ELO members initially. If there are spare places these will be offered to members of other local clubs and/or to members of the public who have registered interest in entering. If you need more information, contact us here.

Type of Terrain:

Berwick Law is a conical hill which rises above North Berwick and stands at 187 metres above sea level. The Law is a volcanic plug similar to Arthur’s Seat and the top has the remains of an Iron Age hill fort as well as the ruins of military buildings used by lookouts in time of war. A replica whale jawbone atop the Law provides a distinctive backdrop to the town.

The slopes of the Law get generally steeper and rockier as they approach the summit. Around the base there is open ground which tends to be wet with several ponds and marshes. The gorse cover has been reduced in recent years but is still quite extensive. There is an adjoining wooded area around the Whisky Bottle lochan.


  • There are many dangerous crags which must be avoided by all competitors.
  • A deep loch in the woods to the west and a shallower pond to the south west are passed by all courses.
  • The extensive marsh on the north side is becoming wetter and deeper due to wildlife management measures. It is fenced off from the junior courses and no competitors should attempt to cross it.
  • The path network is generally good but does have steep and muddy sections so appropriate footwear is needed.
  • Even close to paths there are some nettles and brambles so full leg cover is recommended.
  • A group of ponies grazes the Law. They do not pose a threat to the public but should not be approached and must not be fed.

Other Users:

The Law is particularly well used this year by the general public including dog walkers and families. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering. Please observe any out of bounds areas


The area is well used by dog walkers so dogs are welcome but should be kept under control particularly if ponies are nearby.


Nearest Town: North Berwick
Grid Ref: NT 552 842
Postcode: EH39 5NX


Please do not park at the Law car park as it will be in high demand from members of the public. There is a car park at North Berwick Sports Centre which is a 500 metre walk from Assembly, Registration and Download which are all at the Law car park. There is also on-street car parking within a few hundred metres to north or to the west of Assembly.

If you’d like to come by public transport, it’s a 20 minute walk from the rail station (trains from Edinburgh are roughly every half-hour on Saturdays) or a 5 minute walk from the 124 bus stop at North Berwick Sports Centre.  There are pavements and a footpath all the way.


Refreshments and toilets are available at North Berwick Sports Centre which is 500 metres from Assembly.

Course Information


Redrawn by Godfrey Beddard in 2019 and amended by Pete Younger in 2020.


CourseLength (km)Climb (m)Difficulty
White1.545Very easy
Light Green4.3175Harder
More details about colour coded courses is available on the Scottish Orienteering website.

Control Descriptions

There will be no loose descriptions, but they can be download in advance here.


All courses have sections which are steep and/or muddy so are not buggy friendly.


Saartje Drijver


Pete Younger

Safety and Risk

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

See the detailed Safety notes under the Terrain description on this page.

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, complete it fully 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.  If it is not in a labelled sealed envelope, it will be put in one and will be opened only in an emergency.  It will be shredded immediately after the event if you do not claim it back.


When entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.
We may also take photographs at the event for publicity purposes – please let us know if you do not want us to use your photograph in this way.
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3 thoughts on “North Berwick Law
Saturday 31 October 2020

  1. Phil Headford


    I am in Edinburgh the weekend 31 Oct /1 Nov 20. Wondered if you had any places left…Light Green would be fine. I am a member of BOF.

  2. Phil Headford

    Thank you to everyone for allowing me to compete on Saturday; the weather was very kind even though the wind caused a few teary eyes. Everyone was friendly and helpful which is what our sport should be about. Would you please pass my thanks to everyone in the the club and I hope Sheila gets better soon.

    Yours aye Phil Headford

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