Dechmont Law is a recreational area on the northern fringe of Livingston and to the south of the M8 motorway. Dechmont Law is the focal point of this wild expanse of 66 hectare open space which encompasses grassland, mixed woodland and a series of footpaths.
Tucked away behind a quiet residential area, Dechmont Law can be accessed from a car park beside Deans Community High School. The area takes its name from the notable hill that sits within its boundary. Known as Dechmont Law (Law is a Scots word for 'hill'), it is the uppermost point in the Livingston area with an elevation of 217m. To the north east is a secondary hill called Deer Hill.
Dating from the Carboniferous period, Dechmont Law is one of several volcanic plugs scattered around the Lothian landscape. Its steep slopes display signs of Bronze and Iron Age earthworks and its ideal strategic position make it possible that a hillfort once stood here. The summit, which has a triangulation pillar, offers wonderful 360 degree views across the region. Points of interest include the Pentland Hills in the south and Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat and the Forth Bridges in the east.
However, the area is perhaps most well-known for a UFO incident in 1979 where a forestry worker was apparently assaulted by unexplained spherical objects within a woodland clearing. In spite of wide-ranging official investigations, the 'Livingston Incident', remains a mystery to this day. It's unlikely that you will witness an extraterrestrial encounter on your visit to Dechmont Law, but it will offer a scenic walking area featuring a variety of environments where you can wander along intriguing footpaths set in open grassland and explore the adjoining woodland.
Dechmont Law has an array of wildlife to offer. To the north is a band of mainly coniferous woodland (species such as Spruce and Pine). This habitat supports numerous beautiful bird species such as Goldcrests, Coal tits and Crossbills. Dead logs found scattered around the forest floor accommodate invertebrate species like Centipedes, Woodlice and Beetles. The open grassland and small zones of broadleaf tree planting to the south is dominated by Rabbits. This abundance of Rabbit make it ideal territory for Fox sightings, given that they naturally prey on Rabbit. The occasional Roe Deer spotting is also possible in the area.
- Free parking at Eastwood Park next to Deans Community High School.
- A number of resting benches situated throughout the site.
- Signposts, map, bins and dog waste bins.
- Closest public toilet at Carmondean Shopping Centre less than 1km away.
- Refreshments available from Carmondean Shopping Centre.
- Orienteering course and numerous cross-country routes.
- Surfaced footpaths have good width but can have some minor gradient in sections.
- Access to Dechmont Law is via very steep unsurfaced footpaths.
Dechmont Law is located in Deans, Livingston. The area has excellent transport links and is easily accessible. Two roundabouts provide access to Deans, these are the Deans Roundabout and the Eliburn North Roundabout. Livingston North train station is located a 10-15 minutes walk from Dechmont Law and it is serviced with trains from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The site has several well serviced Bus stops located nearby on North Deans Road or Knightsridge West Road.