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Biodiversity in West Lothian

Protecting, connecting, conserving and enhancing biodiversity throughout the area, whether rural or urban, is important for the health of our environment, wildlife and our communities.

Biodiversity NEW

From habitat mapping carried out in 2022, we know that grassland habitats cover the largest area of land in West Lothian (including farmland). Other habitats in the landscape include a variety of woodland types including many Ancient Woodlands, old industrial bings and quarries often with unique flora and fauna, the waterways of the Rivers Almond and Avon and the peatlands of Blawhorn, Easter Inch and Black Moss.

Due to expanding populations in the Central Belt of Scotland, urbanisation, transport, pollution and the human demand for natural resources that all these bring, there are many pressures on our habitats. Maintaining diversity and quality of habitats and protecting vulnerable species throughout the area, whether rural or urban, is important for the health of our environment, wildlife and our communities.

Ecology and Biodiversity Team

West Lothian Council has an Ecology and Biodiversity Team to help the council locally address the global nature crisis. This team is responsible for creating and delivering policy and plans relating to biodiversity and climate change, implementing biodiversity enhancement projects, facilitating community engagement and inputting into the council's planning process - ensuring that biodiversity is taken into account, from the strategic Local Development Plan to individual planning applications.

Contact us

The Ecology and Biodiversity team can be contacted at Ecology& (opens new window)

There are many sites throughout West Lothian which have formal designations and are protected for their local, regional, national or international importance.
An image relating to Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Local Biodiversity Action Plans identify the local priorities for protecting and enhancing ecosystems, habitats and species in each Local Authority area. They are comprehensive plans that all partners can work to, enabling a joined-up approach across the area.
An image relating to Biodiversity and Planning
Due to growing populations in the Central Belt, environmental pressures and threats are priority issues for the council to address. New international binding targets and subsequent climate change and biodiversity-related policies and legislation also aim to halt biodiversity loss and protect, connect and enhance habitats.
An image relating to Biodiversity - How You Can Help
The health of our natural surroundings has a proven effect on our own health, and diversity in our environment provides better resilience to climate change. So it's in everyone's best interests to do what we can to preserve and improve biodiversity. There are many things we can all do...
An image relating to Biodiversity - Information and Updates
This page highlights projects that the Ecology and Biodiversity Team are currently working on and any relevant information updates.