West Lothian Biodiversity Action Plan: Oil Shale Bings
This report establishes the importance of the West Lothian oil-shale bings at both a national (UK) and local (West Lothian) scale, for their contribution to local biodiversity, their historical importance, their education value, their social significance and their recreational function. The bings are post-industrial spoil heaps, the result of retorting mineral oil from deep-mined carboniferous shale beds at a time when Scotland was the major oil producing nation in the world. They are a unique habitat, not found elsewhere in Britain or Western Europe. The bings are home to several nationally (UK) rare and protected plant and animal species and are a major focus of identity in the local population.