Don’t be afraid of the dark

Navigating effectively in the dark requires a higher level of skill than in the light. What better way to learn and practice these skills then on a CPD Night navigation course with East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service?

We still have places left on the Night Nav course we are running next Wednesday 5th December between 5pm and 8pm. If you are interested in attending please email
to reserve your place. You will then be provided with details of what to bring and where to meet.

… then next time you’re caught out after a dark with a tired, bedgraggled and lost DofE group you’ll be glad you came!

MGS AH Geographers get an inclination

Yesterday Musselburgh Grammer’s Advanced Higher Geographers were out and about around East Lothian seeing some of it’s fine Geographical features and practicing some Geographical fieldwork Methods and Techniques.

First stop was a bracing visit to Yellowcraig beach to investigate the sand-dune progression model. The students collected change of slope measurements using inclinonmeters and sampled plant species change from the shore-line inland to the fixed dunes.

After that it was off to the John Muir Country Park to make ‘basecamp’.

From here we discussed the competing land-uses and potential conflicts of the land-users of the area; recreation, farming, watersports and forestry. Plus interviewing some visitors who looked like they had travelled far to visit the park; they were LAMentaly uncomunicative though.

Final session was a dicussion, view and field-sketch of meanders by Heddrewick Hill. (And had the tide not been so high as to make the river run inland we could have taken some measurements of the flow!)

For an ‘all pictuer’ slide-show – click here

MGS Int2 Geographers go for a meander

Musselburgh Grammar School’s Intermediate 2 Geographers were treated to a feast of East Lothian’s Geographical highlights on a fieldtrip on Tuesday.

The trip started with a visit to Cove to see some examples of coastal scenery; headlands and bays, arches, stacks and caves … and a dead seal.

After that it was off to Linn Dean to get up close (and wet) with a Geography text book picture perfect waterfall.

From there there was an after-lunch field sketch session and dicussion of lower river course features and processes at Hedderwick Hill.

Hopefully seeing these featurers and proccess ‘live and in action’ will help these pupils better understand the physical geography of East Lothian. Thanks to Ms Taylor for her help and support.

To see an ‘all pictures slideshow’ – click here.

S1 pupils Walk the Line

Not a pupil tribute to country music legend Johnny Cash but a reference to some amazing slacklining completed by S1 pupils during the annual S1 Outdoor Learning Challenge.


The annual S1 Challenge took place at Pressmennan Woods on Friday 23rd November. It dawned a bright and breezy day and stayed dry throughout.

Deuchrie Dod

It was wonderful to see all secondary schools represented at this Challenge. This amounted to around 80 S1 pupils competing for school pride and the much sought after S1 trophy.

The pupils journeyed throughout Pressmennan Woods and to the summit of Deuchrie Dod – completing a series of challenges across the day. These challenges consisted of fire making; canister retrieval (with fiendish puzzles within); becoming knotted (from overhand to butterfly);map memory running up and down a hillside; accurate use of a compass at the viewpoint challenge; orienteering; slacklining.

The winning team on the day was from Knox Academy.

Knox S1 Challenge Winning Team 2012

Knox Academy have now won all of the challenges in this academic year so far. Will this running streak continue? See you at the S6 challenge event in December to find out.

The next all school Outdoor Learning Challenge happens on the Friday 7th December. We look forward to seeing all schools represented once again at this event.

More photos from the day available here

Full of Beans

Thanks must go to some hardy souls who offered to help evaluate some new kit that recently arrived at Outdoor Learning.

Canoes are an excellent way of getting folks of all ability afloat. Howevever for some people a little more support is needed than for others when it comes to back and leg support. Up until now we have always strived to provide the best comfort and fit possible by using foam padding, rucsacs, canoe/kayak airbags. Using a wide variety of objects it always took a little time to get someone well supported in this manner.

Now we have sourced a couple of bean bags especially designed to fit on the floor of a canoe and support a paddler in place really easily, comfortably and warm.

The bags are made of old sailcloth and able to get wet and be dried without any rotting!

Thanks to Fiona and Ian for coming down onto the water for a wee while and giving their honest feedback on the bags. It was all positive feedback with wheelchairs left far behind on the bankside!