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Geodiversity in West Lothian

A comprehensive audit of West Lothian's geodiversity potential was undertaken by the British Geological Survey in 2006/7.

From the initial long list of several hundred potential sites, these have been assessed and around 50 are considered to represent West Lothian's best geological resource. More detailed site boundaries and accompanying citations covering their specific geological merit, socio-economic value and recommendations for retention and interpretation are provided in the pdf icon West Lothian placed-based Green Networks [3Mb] (subject to public consultation).

West Lothian Geodiversity: Geology and Landscape North Programme

A number of geodiversity leaflets for high profile sites are available:


West Lothian Geodiversity Action Plan (WL GAP) 2017 - 2022   

The Geodiversity Audit undertaken by BGS in 2006/07 reviewed the component elements of West Lothian's geodiversity, and its relevance to other interests, at local, regional, national and international levels. It was undertaken as a means of informing the framing of recommendations and action points designed to guide the sustainable management, planning, conservation and interpretation of all aspects of the Earth heritage of West Lothian.

The audit included evaluations of 122 sites and features of geological and landscape importance in West Lothian, four of which are currently protected nationally as geological features in SSSIs and six protected locally, that were originally known as Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS), but now termed Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS). These RIGS were shown in the West Lothian Local Plan adopted in 2009.  The list of 51 LGS selected expands this list of important sites to provide much better coverage at the local level.

A draft West Lothian Geodiversity Action Plan (WL GAP) was prepared but never finalised. It has now been revised and updated. The WL GAP will require some minor targeted consultation among partners, such as the Almond Valley Heritage Trust, British Geological Survey, Lothian & Borders GeoConservation Group, Soil Association, Scottish Wildlife Trust, to agree objectives, actions and timescales.


The main objectives of the WL GAP may be summarised as follows:

  • To promote overall awareness, understanding, enjoyment and care of West Lothian's geodiversity and its relationship with biodiversity through partnership and community involvement;
  • To 'embed' geodiversity into future development planning and environmental management, monitoring and interpretation policies; 
  • To provide guidance to West Lothian planners, landowners and other individuals and organisations on sustainable management of geodiversity in the area;
  • To identify threats to geological sites or features and recommend strategies to conserve and protect geological features;
  • To identify opportunities to enhance or restore the value of geodiversity features; and
  • To engage industry, local communities and voluntary groups in caring for West Lothian's geodiversity.

pdf icon West Lothian Geodiversity Action Plan [239kb]

Further general details of geological heritage are available: pdf icon West Lothian's Geological Heritage [233kb]