Thursday, 7 February 2019

Greendykes Bing and Greendykes Bing South

7 February 2019
Participants: Just me
Where: Greendykes Bing, 185m/607', P 88m, TuMP, OS 65, NT 087 738 and Greendykes Bing South Top, 128m/419', P 43m, TuMP, OS 65, NT 091 733
A grass covered plateau that could be anywhere but is in fact the summit area of the old Greendykea Bing near Broxburn, West Lothian.
Greendykes Bing is a vast waste heap composed of residue from the destructive distillation of shale to extract oil. It has been designated as a Scheduled Historic Monument as one of the very few intact spent shale bings left in central Scotland and to prevent it being quarried as hard-core for road construction. The shale oil industry was locally important for about a century and its pioneer, James "Paraffin" Young (1811-83) developed refining techniques still used in the oil industry today. The operating company was the Broxburn Oil Company which was active from the 1860's to around 1940.
It is also a TuMP and because of its history, one of the more interesting.
I parked on the B8020 beside the Corecut factory. The main track up the bing started opposite, steep in places and deeply rutted due to the many trail bikers that obviously use the bing for entertainment. Some of the drops are amazing, not for me! I wasn't really prepared for the scenery on top but it shows the scale of the bing. I wandered about for a while, no trail riders today, I had it to myself. Some photographs.....

The bing has a south top, also a TuMP. There looked to be some steep drops between the two so I went back the way I came and drove round to East Mains Industrial Estate in Broxburn and tackled bing mark 2 from there. This was much muddier lower down but again I found a reasonable way up to a much smaller plateau. The main bing could be seen well from here....

Some photos from the south top.....

Not the usual hills but definitely a hill. I must also research more into the shale oil industry.

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