East of Scotland Championships
Vogrie Country Park
Saturday 11 December 2021

East of Scotland Championships  Vogrie Country Park  Saturday 11 December 2021

Vogrie Burn and Tyne Water - Photo Credit: Jim Barton - geograph.org.uk/p/3705507

Organiser’s Report

We are SO glad that we managed to hold the 2021 East of Scotland Championships just in time before we get to 2022. It was touch and go, and many thanks are due to ESOC for postponing their scheduled local event till January to leave the date free for us.

Michael’s planning was meticulous and the work on Plan B courses in the two weeks between the cancellation and the new date took over his life. Thanks to Jenny and family for lending him to orienteering for the time it took. I heard nothing but praise for his mapping and courses from competitors as they finished. While just over two years ago I spotted the potential for the golf course area when it became a footgolf course, it was Michael who had the idea of mapping the very interesting quarry area and Trina who negotiated with the various landowners there. A map from the 1890s show ‘old quarries’, we have not managed work any further back to find out when they were active.

Thanks are due to many people. Jo Cooke, the park ranger at Vogrie gave us a lot of help, and the staff of Midlothian Council got the tree works completed just in time for the event to go ahead. Dee McEwan was very cooperative not only in allowing the Blue and Brown courses to cross the track through the stable fields but also keeping horses off the tracks on the day of the event. Kate Robertson of Currie Hill Farm and James Callander of Crichton Mains also allowed us to use their land.

With the change of dates, some of the ELO team who were to help on the first date had to apologise, but fortunately about an equal number of members who had not been able to enter on the first date, came forward in the last couple of days and offered help, enabling a rota of helpers to be prepared so that everyone who wanted to compete was able to do so. Thank you to Pete Y, Jamie, Jenny, Pete B, Chris, Steph, Duncan, Debbie, Martyn, Victoria, Dermot (and Magnus), Jonah, and of course, Robin who dealt with all the entries and start lists twice through, as well as download and results.

With 66 controls, 18 warning posts on the golf course and various notices and tapes in the quarry and stable areas and only a short window of daylight after everyone had finished their courses, we were very glad of the team of control collectors – Paul (Interlopers), Joel, Debbie, Duncan, Ian, Neil, Steph and Evgueni – and I was very grateful for everyone who not only packed up the kit from start, string, download, first aid and prizegiving but also carried everything across to the car park for me.

Two weeks till the Festive Frolic!

Planner’s Report

Little did I know in November 2019 when I agreed to plan this event at Vogrie that it would be subject to so much disruption. First covid meant that the ESOA Champs couldn’t take place in November 2020, then a local score event rearranged for September 2020 using the golf course extension was cancelled by the local levels changing in Midlothian the week before the event and finally Storm Arwen prevented the event taking place in November 2021. Here we are in December and thanks to many many people it finally took place. 

It was lovely to have permission from Vogrie and from neighbouring landowners to extend the map into the golf course and the former quarries to the south. Hopefully almost everyone was able to experience new parts of Vogrie that were previously unknown to them. 

Storm Arwen caused a panic two weeks ago! My thanks go to Sheila Strain and Roger Scrutton who helped to place the controls on the Friday morning before the storm hit and then for returning on Sunday to pick up the units again in the snow and put them back out again the day before the event actually took place. The Organiser and Controller definitely spent more time in the forest than normal. We had to replan a “plan B” of courses because of dangerous trees closing two paths but thanks go to Midlothian Council for getting the tree surgery done so quickly to allow the park to be fully open for the event!

It was a privilege to plan in an area of contrasting runnability and it was interesting to see that the transitions, particularly into the golf course did cause some time losses. It was good too see younger children enjoying the string, white and yellow courses, especially those who had gone along having intended to go to the ESOC event which was kindly moved to accommodate the championships. We hope you enjoyed a taste of a larger event and that we’ll see you again soon. 

The map and the courses benefited greatly from carefully thought through feedback from the controller, Roger Scrutton, and the day was a better one for that so I would like to finish by thanking him for his input.


  • Simple results are here.
  • Routegadget allows you to plot your route, either by hand or by downloading a gpx file from a watch or phone and to look where you and others went.
  • Winsplits Online gives another way of comparing your times for each leg.
  • British Orienteering collect results from all events and publish ranking scores for larger events.

Advance Information

Type of event:

East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) Championships;
East Lothian Orienteers Club Championships; and
South of Scotland Orienteering League (SoSOL) event.

Vogrie Country Park is a woodland estate managed by Midlothian Council. The Tyne Water runs through the park in a steep sided valley which can provide a physical challenge. Vogrie usually hosts a Saturday parkrun and has a popular playground but its varied terrain and 12 mile path network make this a popular venue for orienteering, particularly for those new to the sport. For the more experienced there are plenty of ways to navigate between controls both on paths and off them!

For the East of Scotland Orienteering (ESOA) Championships we are grateful to the ranger service and neighbouring landowners who have allowed us to greatly extend the range of the map into the former golf course and into some areas of disused quarries which provide regions of intricate contour detail.

Vogrie - Open Woodland on steep slopes
Vogrie – Open Woodland on steep slopes


  • A mixture of parkland, woodland and disused quarries with fast running over a former golf course and slower going along steep sided deans.

Other Users

The woods are very well used 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 all out of bounds areas, particularly the unfenced.

Horses – Vogrie is adjacent to a riding stables and you may encounter horses on any course. Please give way to horses especially on the Blue and Brown courses.


The area is well used by dog walkers so dogs are welcome to come with orienteers.


Toilets are available at next to the car park. We have learnt that the Gents’ toilets adjacent to the start and finish are out of order.


The White course is suitable for buggies although it does have some steep sections.

Wind Warning:

Note that in the event of wind strength approaching 45 mph the Rangers will close the park. If this looks like a possibility, watch for announcements on the website and Twitter.


There will be a prizegiving as soon as possible. Trophies are for eligible winners for the East of Scotland Champions, ie members of the East of Scotland clubs who are running an appropriate course. There will also be certificates and/or token prizes for the lesser places, and for winners who are not eligible for trophies. The photograph on the certificates was taken a few years ago by Ronnie Leask, late of ESOC.

ELO’s club champions will also be announced.

Take the opportunity to sample the café while you wait which will be open all day. 


Nearest Town: Gorebridge
Grid Ref: NT 276 632
Nearest Postcode: EH23 4NU


Vogrie is on the B6372 which runs from the A7 at Gorebridge to the A68 North of Pathhead.
There is a £2 parking charge which is paid (in cash or by card) at the barrier on exit.
While you are free to park anywhere in the car park, it would be considerate to the regular users of the car park if you were to park in the overflow parking to the NW of the main car park.
A route will be taped from there to Start/Finish/Download which will skirt round the main car park, but parents should ensure that children are kept away from the car park and particularly from cars which might reverse.

Public Transport

A limited bus service travels to the Edgehead and Dewarton crossroads, from where the park can be accessed on foot.

Nearest Defibrillator:

Thanks go to Vogrie parkrun for lending us their portable defibrillator for this event.

Registration & Start Times


This will be online only!
Please select an early start time if you think you might take a long time to complete your course.

Start and Finish:

Start and Finish are adjacent to Vogrie House – 700 metres, allow 8-10 minutes walk, from the overflow car park. The route will be taped from the car park.

Start times will be 11:00 to 12:30. (A later first start so that we don’t clash with parkrun).

White and Yellow course maps will be available at start before entering the start grid. Other maps will be picked up after starting.

Loose control descriptions will be available in the start lanes.

Courses Close:

With darkness falling early, the courses will close strictly at 14:30 and controls will be collected in from then. If you think you may overrun this, please ask for an earlier start.

If you are still out at 14:30 please return direct to Finish.

String Course

A free string course for our youngest orienteers (follow the string from control to control with a map) will be available.

Course Information


The map is printed at 1:7500 with 5m contours.


SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used – we will have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost.

Units, apart from start and finish, will be set for contactless punching. SIACs for contactless punching can be hired for £2.50 (£60 charge if lost).


There will be White, Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Short Green, Green, Blue and Brown courses.

Course Length / Ascent Description
White1.7 km / 45 mVery Easy
Yellow2.1 km / 55 mEasy
Orange2.6 km / 85 mModerate
Light Green3.2 km / 100 mDifficult
Short Green3.3 km / 90 mVery Difficult
Green3.9 km / 90 mVery Difficult
Blue5.7 km / 170 mVery Difficult
Brown7.4 km / 240 mVery Difficult

More details about the colour coding is available on the Scottish Orienteering website.


Sheila Strain


Michael Atkinson


Roger Scrutton (ESOC)

Other Information:

Everyone is welcome to enter their preferred course as as individual, pair or group.

But, to be eligible to win a trophy you must:
– be a member of one of the clubs in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association
– run as a solo individual
– run the correct course for your age-class (see below).

For safety, an M/W10 may be shadowed by a adult and remain competitive provided the adult stays well behind, does not speak to the junior and does not carry a map of the course.

Age Class Course Age Class Course
M10 Yellow W10 Yellow
M12 Orange W12 Orange
M14 Light Green W14 Light Green
M16 Blue W16 Green
M18 Brown W18 Blue
M20 Brown W20 Blue
M21 Brown W21 Blue
M35 Brown W35 Blue
M40 Brown W40 Blue
M45 Blue W45 Green
M50 Blue W50 Green
M55 Blue W55 Green
M60 Blue W60 Green
M65 Green W65 Short Green
M70 Green W70 Short Green
M75+ Short Green W75+ Short Green

Safety and Risk

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

  • It is December in Scotland! Check the forecast and wear or carry suitable clothing.
  • Storm Arwen left hanging branches which could fall.  The foresters have been in and brought down branches overhanging paths, and the planner and controller have been through the wood and moved other pieces of timber. Nevertheless watch out for, and don’t run under, any hanging branches that you spot. Avoid a pile of stacked timber in the quarry area.
  • There are a number of steep, muddy or rocky slippery slopes on longer courses, so studded shoes or ‘dobs’ are recommended.
  • Bracken, brambles and nettles are dying down and courses have been planned to avoid the worst areas. Nevertheless, full leg cover is required.
  • There are football-sized target holes on the old golf course, which will be marked with a stake with black/yellow tape.
  • Wooden bridges which cross the streams may be slippery especially if wet. Likewise the boardwalk over the marsh. Slow down and cross carefully.
  • Blue and brown courses pass below dangerous vertical crags. Black/yellow tape will close off a path which leads above the crags. Don’t go that way!
  • Blue and brown courses will follow a route marked with white tape to avoid a rubbish tip, then along a track through fields with horses and stables. Riders have been warned to avoid the track but if a horse and rider come near, then please give way and to allow them to pass safely.

First Aid

A first aid kit will be available at download.
The nearest Accident and Emergency and Minor Injuries Departments are at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Directions of how to get there will be available at Download.


Do not come if you are showing any symptoms of Covid 19 or if you have tested positive or have been asked to quarantine or self-isolate

Whilst in ‘the field of play’ between parking and downloading:

  • Keep a 1 m distance from others, both other competitors and members of the public, especially when waiting to start and at download.
  • wait your turn at controls and move away quickly once you have punched

All competitors are asked to read and abide by the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

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 will appear in the results section of this website and may appear 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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5 thoughts on “East of Scotland Championships
Vogrie Country Park
Saturday 11 December 2021

  1. Andrew Cunningham

    Hi there.

    I’ve just signed up to do the light green course – first time orienteering since the 90’s and very much looking for to it!

    I’ve paid the entry fee but can’t see how to select a start time?

    Also – what has changed in the last 30 years? I notice electronic tags are mentioned.

    1. Michael Post author

      Orienteering itself has not changed – still a map and compass – but you will receive an electronic ‘dibber’ at registration which you need to insert into the top of each control box. Rarely, if a box fails there are punches on them as well.

      South London Orienteers produced a good video which shows something of what will be going on – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26Zc5AVkFis

      We look forward to seeing you in Vogrie – the autumnal colours are looking fantastic there just now!

  2. David Nisbet

    Sorry for all the hassle that the postponement is giving your club. I wasn’t able to attend the event on the original date. Will there be a chance to enter for the revised date (once that is decided)?

    1. Michael Post author

      Once we confirm a new date, we will indeed open entries again for those who were unable to enter originally. We will also be able to refund those who are no unable to come.

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