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Oakbank Bing

Oakbank Bing is located on the outskirts of Livingston and is owned by West Lothian Council. The area, once a hive of industrial activity, is now a beautiful landscaped environment which offers an attractive 2km circular walking route, a home for wildlife and stunning views.

Oakbank Bing
Oakbank Bing is one of numerous shale bings throughout West Lothian that provide a lasting reminder of the oil shale industry that occurred in the region from the late 19th to early 20th century. During this time, Oakbank oil works churned out oil shale in quantities reaching up to several million tonnes.

The old mining village located nearby, also called Oakbank, was purpose built to serve the industry. The opening of shale mines at Calderwood and Newfarm (today known as the Lanthorn in Dedridge, Livingston) sourced the shale for oil extraction. Over 3 million tonnes of the waste shale was produced, discarded and eventually piled upwards to form Oakbank Bing.

However, unlike other bings that have been erased from the environment, the site at Oakbank has been reclaimed and landscaped. These efforts, by West Lothian Council during the early 1990s, also linked the site with Almondell & Calderwood Country Park. Oakbank Bing appears today like a natural hill as its steep sides have been sloped and it has also been substantially reduced in height.

In addition, its terrain has been stabilised, top soiled and seeded with a range of trees, wildflowers and other plants. Oakbank Bing presents a number of recreational opportunities such as walking and having a picnic. At the summit, great views can be appreciated of the immediate West Lothian landscape and the Pentland Hills, whilst the path around the bing provides an impressive outlook down to Linhouse Water and over to Calderwood.