Orienteering Competition 2013

The annual East Lothian Schools Orienteering Competition will take place at

 John Muir Country Park on Friday 22nd March 2013

 We hope to see as many schools as possible represented at this great competitive event. Make the most of the last day of term. Please get in touch direct with Martyn (mpegg@eastlothian.gov.uk) with any questions or queries. The most pertinment information is displayed below.

The competition has four entry classes.

  • P4/5 – must compete as pairs. 1.6km line course
  • P6/7 – must compete solo. 1.75km line course
  • S2 Challenge – must compete solo. Score course – 35 minutes allowed
  • Staff Challenge – as S2 but with separate trophy and honours

Schools and staff may arrive at any time from 0900 – 1500.

Registration will take place in the main field. The competition area is in the woods. Toilets; playpark; a beautiful beach; all within two minutes walking time of the registration field.

Please could each school give an indication of likely numbers and approximate arrival time (to Martyn) at the car park field (registration field – look for the banners) of John Muir Country Park.

Please ensure that all pupil competitors have done some previous orienteering training. There will be no opportunity for any input from Outdoor Learning Staff on the day.

Entry is available on the day and all that we require is a written list of children for regiatration – forms are available below.

Forms for event available on links below
Pupil list Primary 4/5
Pupil list Primary 6/7
Pupil list Secondary

Ross High Pupils Reaching High Places

As part of their John Muir Award pupils from Ross High ventured out of school and into the woods.  Here, with the help of the Rangers and Outdoor Learning service, they aimed to discover more about the benefits of the woodlands for themselves as well as the wildlife.  Taking on various challenges they perfected their animal climbing skills (which will be explored later…)

The woods were not a new discovery of a wild place for the group.  On a previous visit to the area they had selected and cut down sections of trees to begin laying down a new path to make area more accessible for everyone.  


 Revisiting this area again they were able to see how their work had been continued.  In further exploring the woods it was obvious that not everybody is as careful and considerate of the woodlands as one would hope or expect.  To help conserve the area and make the woods safer to enjoy for themselves and others (human and wildlife) a quick sweep and litter pick of the woodland floor was done.  There was plenty to be found…


 Having helped make the area cleaner and safe for everyone the pupils had a go at completing some woodland challenges.  The first was to try and get between two large oak trees by balancing on a single line!  Here were some of the different ways.  Everyone managed to get across but maybe not quite as fast or graceful as a squirrel would have!


Next the pupils tried their hand at climbing up trees (well a cable ladder attached up a tree!)  


It was a lot harder than it looked!  Most pupils, however, were able to get all the way to the top and this gave them a chance to see things from and in a different way.

Finally there was a chance to have a go at ‘flying’!

As humans it is great to think about and admire lots of different things.  The pupils decided there were lots of abilities different animals had that they would quite like – including to fly like a bird and have the speed of a cheetah.

Overall it was great to explore more of this woodland area, discover different ways of enjoying it by thinking about how different animals climb around and use the woods, and to make it a cleaner place for everyone to enjoy.  Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about and sharing in this experience and maybe you will get a chance to go down to the woods today (or sometime soon)…


Go for It Girls



It was a pleasure to attend the presentation and awards afternoon of the Go for It Girls. A select group of girls from East Lothian who have spent the past year working towards their John Muir Explorer Award. The girls gave an excellent oral presentation on their work; produced a wall display of captioned photos of themselves at work; were presented with certificates; presented certificates to staff that had worked with them to support them in achieving their award. A fantastic afternoon was topped off with a wonderful buffet.


The girls have been working hard over the past year challenging themselves through adventurous activities in wild places; gaining increased environmental knowledge whilst picking up knowledge and skills to do with their topic of mammals;sharing experiences;teamwork skills;incresing confidennce through sharing their experiences to a wider audience. The Awards were well deserved and the girls had been required to work very hard to achieve this – often in quite challenging outdoor environments.


Go for It? – too right they did and they are all ready to begin on their next challenge in life.

Go for It Girls storm Holyrood

Go for It Girls – an inspiring group of young females from schools all across East Lothian who have spent the last year working with Leigh Shearer and a little support from the Outdoor Learning Service – accepted an invitation to share some of their experiences over this past year in parliament and with some MSP’s.

The title of the event at Holyrood was Citizens Enjoying Nature. Four groups were represented giving short presentations on some of the work that was being done by these bodies to promote more visitors into the countryside. The four groups giving presentations were Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Badgers; Scottish Wildlife Trust(SWT); Scottish Countryside Ranger Association(SCRA).

All very interesting presentations on how each of these bodies are encouraging more people into more areas of countryside more often. As part of the SCRA presentation East Lothian’s very own Ranger Leigh Shearer gave a presentation on how the Go for It Girls had been inspiried by the Ranger Service to get out into their own back yard countryside and make a positive contribution to it through partaking in the John Muir Award.

Leigh’s presentation can be viewed below


The girls from the group that attended the presentations worked the room beautifully at the end of the presentations and also made the most of the opportunity to speak to their local MSP (Iain Gray) about their endeavours – see image below

Well done to all girls involved in this project and they will continue their great work by mentoring this next years group.

Somewhere…beyond the Sea

As part of The Explorer John Muir Award for pupils from Ross High, East Lothian Ranger Service and The Outdoor Education Service came together to deliver a very different exploring experience. Coasteering or extreme rockpooling. Next week the pupils are investigating life within rockpools – this week they were the life in the rockpools and the rest of the intertidal zone.

The pupils have been working with the Ranger and Outdoor Education Services since August 2009. The exploring began high up in the Moorfoots at the source of the river Esk and is now drawing to a close investigating the mouth of the river and beyond.

The whole river study programme has consisted of: map work and model making of the river; journey to source; gorge walking; land use/ measurement in mid section; canoeing on Gladshouse resevoir; River dipping at the mouth/ human impact and fishing; coasteering; rockpooling; coastal fishing industry; boat trip to Bass Rock; celebration and presentation of certificates back in school. Further information and pictures on the work that the pupils have been doing can be found here

The final celebration and presentation will take place in June.