West Lothian's Local Geodiversity Sites

West Lothian's landscape has developed and been shaped over millions of years, by geological processes and by people. West Lothian's Local Geodiversity Sites have been selected to represent the variety of landscapes, landforms and rock features of the area. These sites have particular value, either for education and tourism; for academic research; for the history of science; or for their aesthetic appearance. In West Lothian, 51 Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS) have been identified.

The bedrock of this area formed during the Carboniferous Period (299-359 million years ago) and comprises both sedimentary and igneous rocks. Igneous rocks are the result of volcanic activity and the underground intrusion of magma. They are resistant to erosion and tend to form hills and high ground. In contrast, most of the low-lying areas are underlain by sedimentary rocks, which include limestone, coal, sandstone, mudstone and oil shale. 

For most of the last 300 million years, this area has been high ground, gradually being eroded by natural processes with rivers running eastwards towards the North Sea. During the Quaternary Ice Age of the last two million years, West Lothian has been covered by ice several times. These ice sheets have flowed from high ground to low ground, travelling west-east across the area, shaping the landscape and depositing glacial till, sand and gravel as they melted.

Many recent changes to the landscape have occurred from West Lothian's long history of mineral production. A wide range of materials have been produced, including coal, oil, limestone and building stone, and mining and related industries have had an impact on the county's character.
Further information about all aspects of West Lothian's geodiversity can be found from the Icon for pdf West Lothian Geodiversity report [596.25KB] produced by the British Geological Survey in 2006.

Please note that some of the Local Geodiversity Sites are also designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), or as Scheduled Monuments. It is an offence for anyone to intentionally or recklessly damage these protected natural features. On nationally protected sites, collecting is not allowed without the permission of Scottish Natural Heritage or West Lothian Council.

For more information on specific sites, click on any of the Local Geodiversity Sites listed below or find the site from the map.

Geodiversity sites
1. Baad Park Burn in the Pentland Hills 2. West Cairn Hill in the Pentland Hills 3. Linhouse Water (above Edinburgh - Carstairs Rail line Viaduct)
1. Baad Park Burn in the Pentland Hills2. West Cairn Hill in the Pentland Hills3. Linhouse Water (above Edinburgh - Carstairs Rail line Viaduct)
4. East Kirkton Quarry, near Bathgate 5. Five Sisters Shale Bings near West Calder 6. Seafield Law, east of Easter Inch Moss, Blackburn
4. East Kirkton Quarry, near Bathgate5. Five Sisters Shale Bings near West Calder6. Seafield Law, east of Easter Inch Moss, Blackburn
7. Greendykes Bing complex between Broxburn and Winchburgh 8. Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston 9. Murieston Water by Calderwood Country Park
7. Greendykes Bing complex8. Almond Valley Heritage Centre9. Murieston Water
10. Almondell and Calderwood Country Park 11. Upper Uphall 12. Union Canal in Winchburgh
10. Almondell and Calderwood Country Park11. Upper Uphall12. Union Canal in Winchburgh
13. Hopetoun Obelisk Quarry, Hopetoun Estate Society East Shore at Hopetoun near South Queensferry15 Society Point at Hopetoun near South Queensferry
13. Hopetoun Obelisk Quarry14. Society East Shore at Hopetoun15. Society Point at Hopetoun
16 Society Shore at Hopetoun near South Queensferry17 Hopetoun Shore near Hopetoun House by South Queensferry18 Abercorn Point near Hopetoun House by South Queensferry
16. Society Shore at Hopetoun17. Hopetoun Shore near Hopetoun House18. Abercorn Point near Hopetoun House
19 Midhope Burn south west of Hopetoun House20 Cairnpapple Hill in Bathgate Hills21 Wairdlaw Quarry south of Beecraigs Country Park Bathgate Hills
19. Midhope Burn20. Cairnpapple Hill in Bathgate Hills21. Wairdlaw Quarry
22 Union Canal Museum Linlithgow23 Levenseat working quarry south of Fauldhouse24 Levenseat quarries and mines south of Fauldhouse
22. Union Canal Museum, Linlithgow23. Levenseat working quarry, south of Fauldhouse24. Levenseat quarries & mines, south of Fauldhouse
25 Skolie Burn by Addiewell26 Petershill Quarries north east Bathgate27 Rifle Range Quarries Bathgate Hills
25. Skolie Burn by Addiewell  26. Petershill Quarries27. Rifle Range Quarries, Bathgate Hills
28 Hilderston Silver Mine Quarry Bathgate Hills29 Hilderston Silver Mine Bathgate Hills30 Hillhouse Quarry and Mine within Beecraigs Country Park
28. Hilderston Silver Mine Quarry29. Hilderston Silver Mine, Bathgate Hills30. Hillhouse Quarry and Mine
31 Carribber Glen on the River Avon near Linlithgow32 Wallaces Arch on the River Avon near Westfield Village33-34 Barbauchlaw and Barbauchlaw Burn Quarries Armadale
31. Carribber Glen on the River Avon32. Wallace's Arch on the River Avon near Westfield Village33 & 34. Barbauchlaw & Barbauchlaw Burn Quarries, Armadale
35 Carsie Hill near Linlithgow in the Bathgate Hills36 Auchinoon Quarry on the A70 Lang Whang near Harperigg Reservoir37 Linhouse Water Near the Edinburgh-Shotts rail line Viaduct
35. Carsie Hill near Linlithgow36. Auchinoon Quarry on the A70 37. Linhouse Water (Near the Edinburgh-Shotts rail line Viaduct)
38 The Knock Bathgate Hills39 Witch Craig Wall and viewpoint near Beecraigs Country Park40 Cockleroy Hill in Bathgate Hills
38. The Knock, Bathgate Hills39. Witch Craig Wall and viewpoint near Beecraigs Country Park40. Cockleroy Hill in Bathgate Hills
41 Beecraigs Quarry in Beecraigs Country Park42 Binny Craig in Bathgate Hills43 Kildimmery Quarry (Parkley Fishery)
41. Beecraigs Quarry42. Binny Craig in Bathgate Hills43. Kildimmery Quarry (Parkley Fishery)
44 Craigton Hill Quarry near Winchburgh45 Linhouse Water Calderwood at Oakbank near East Calder46 Torphichen Hill in the Bathgate Hills
44. Craigton Hill Quarry near Winchburgh45. Linhouse Water46. Torphichen Hill in the Bathgate Hills
47 Linlithgow Loch48 Tailend Moss by Bathgate49 Longridge Moss west of Stoneyburn in the Breich Valley
47. Linlithgow Loch48. Tailend Moss by Bathgate49. Longridge Moss, west of Stoneyburn
50 Easter Inch Moss between Blackburn and Seafield51 Calderwood within the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park 
50. Easter Inch Moss51. Calderwood within the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park