Butterdean Wood
Saturday 5th February 2022

Butterdean Wood  Saturday 5th February 2022

Butterdean Woods

Butterdean is near Gladsmuir village between Tranent and Haddington. It is a flat wood densely planted with conifers and patches of birch or ash. There is a good track and path network. The wood is home to a range of wildlife and some animal sculptures. It is managed by the Woodland Trust and East Lothian Council.

Please note that we are using a new event base: Parking, Enquiries and Start/Finish are all on the east side of the wood – see detailed directions below.

Planner’s Report

This was my first time as planner and was a learning experience. Fortunately I had a lot of support and the chance to visit the woods several times to check on potential control sites and conditions. These changed many times over the preceding months as several gales swept through the area. Many trees were brought down in Storm Arwen, some of which were cleared – But the white course required a diversion to avoid a dangerous area.

The woods were in very good condition, with low undergrowth and reasonably dry underfoot. Driving rain during the day caused the paths to churn up as time went on. It took 3 hours to put out the controls and less than 30 minutes for the winner to complete the Light Green course! I tried to absorb as much feedback as possible to distil into my next time as planner. Overall the comments were encouraging. There was one control that gained some notoriety for being a little hard to see, and the Orange course was perhaps at the upper end for that grade. But many claimed to have had fun, which is the most important thing for me.

Especial thanks to Ian for making several trips to assess the woods, Michael for updating the map, Beth for setting out the controls, and those that helped collect in the controls at the end of a long day. The hard background work of the ELO team goes without saying.


  • 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.

General Information

Type of event:

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


  • A flat wood mainly made up of conifers with patches of birch and ash. There is an extensive network of tracks and footpaths. The wood is varied in density with some runnable areas and other patches being very challenging to penetrate.
  • Even at this time of year knee-high brambles are present so leg cover is strongly recommended for all.
  • Please observe any out of bounds areas.
  • Several small coal pits within the woods are clearly fenced off and must not be entered.
  • Do not enter the badger sett area in the west of the wood. This is shown as OOB (out of bounds) on all maps but is not marked on the ground.
  • Two formerly crossable fields are now fenced off awaiting tree planting and are OOB.

Other Users

The area is 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.


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


There are no public toilets in the area. The nearest public toilets are in Haddington and in Tranent.


The bigger tracks are good but most of the smaller paths have sections which are muddy and/or very uneven with roots so the courses are not suitable for buggies.


Nearest Town: Gladsmuir
Grid Ref: NT464723
Nearest Postcode: EH33 2AL


Gladsmuir is on the A199 (the “old A1”) between Tranent and Haddington. Leave the A1 at the B6363 junction, east of Tranent (signposted Pencaitland and Longniddry). Follow the signed turning to Butterdean Wood and continue past the wood for 600m to the car park of Alba Trees tree nursery where we are parking for this event.
Do not park at the wood itself – spaces there are very limited and we are asked to keep them available for other users.

Public Transport

The 104 stops in Gladsmuir.

Registration & Start Times


This will be online (and for newcomers near the car parking) – look for the ELO flag and tent!
Please select an early start time if you want advice first or if you expect to take a long time completing your course.

Start and Finish:

Start and Finish are a 400m walk from the car park at the east side of the wood.

Unless you need to collect a hired SI dibber you can go straight to the Start where you will collect your map.

Download and dibber collection will be in the Alba Trees car park close to the Finish.

It is essential that you report to Download before leaving the wood even if you have not completed your course.

Start times will be from 1:30pm to 3:00pm.

Start times for Saturday are now published on the SiEntries system.
We have allocated start times to those on Orange and Light Green. We will attempt to be flexible on the day so if your time is not suitable, go to the start and the officials will fit you in.

Courses Close:

The courses will close at 4:00pm so it is essential that you report to the Finish by then, even if you have not completed your course.

Course Information


The map is printed at 1:5000 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.


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

CourseLength / Ascent Description
White1.7km / 10mVery easy
Yellow2.5km / 20mEasy
Orange3.2km / 30mModerate
Light Green3.7km / 50mDifficult

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


Ian Rowland


Lee Curtis

Entry Charges

Entry is cheaper if you are a current 2022 member of a club affiliated to Scottish or British Orienteering.

Please ensure that your membership has been renewed for 2022.

British/Scottish Orienteering member* (Pre-entry)Non‑member
Parent and Child (one parent with one child)£2.50£3.50
Larger Family Groups (one or more children accompanied by one or more adults)£3£5
Pair of Seniors£5£7
Pair of Juniors (no accompanying adults)£2£3

*Members of any orienteering club will receive a discount for pre-entry only.
**Note that although non-members are now permitted to take part, Covid regulations still limit the support we can give beginners.

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment (RA) 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.

You are advised to wash your hands after finishing your course to avoid the risk of infection and to carefully check for ticks. The full Risk Assessment will be available for inspection at Registration.

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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