Oakbank Bing

Oakbank Bing represents a remnant of the West Lothian oil shale industry, located on the right bank of the River Almond, next to the 'ghost' village of Oakbank and 1 mile (1.5 km) southwest of East Calder. Extending to 13 ha (32 acres), The bing is composed of the spent baked shale that had been processed in the Oakbank Oil Works which lay adjacent and operated between 1862 and 1932. A railway brought the oil-shale from the Oakbank Mine by Mid Calder to have paraffin oil extracted, which was used for lighting.

This bing is not as large as some (46m / 151 feet above its surroundings, 175m / 574 feet above sea level), but was stabilised, top soiled and planted with native broadleaf trees and wildflowers by West Lothian Council in the early 1990s. Nitrogen-fixing plants were introduced to provide nutrients to an otherwise sterile substrate. Now forming part of the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, a path and steps lead to the summit, which offers fine views of West Lothian and the Pentland Hills.

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