|Pentland Hills Regional Park , Lothians|
|Pentland Hills Regional Park Website|
The Pentland Hills Regional Park is a living, working landscape, that offers great opportunities to experience, learn about and enjoy the outdoors. Sculpted by glaciers and water, then shaped by people over thousands of years, the Pentland Hills are a special place for everyone. With around 10,000 hectares of countryside and over 100 km of waymarked paths, the Regional Park is a great place for walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing and orienteering. The Regional Park offers both gentle and challenging routes, taking you to summits, through cleughs and glens as well as around reservoirs. Vistas from the higher tops give a panoramic view across the Firth of Forth, the Borders and to Ben Lomond. The Park has two visitor centres, Harlaw House Visitor Centre and Flotterstone Information Centre that provide information, advice and displays on what to do and see in the Regional Park. Located adjacent to Harlaw House Visitor Centre is Harlaw Wildlife Garden, a lovely sun trap ideal for picnics. It holds a Green Flag in recognition of it being a quality greenspace.
History and heritage
The Pentland Hills Regional Park was designated in 1986. Majority of the land is in private ownership, with the City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and West Lothian Council all having statutory duties to their constituent parts of the Park. The City of Edinburgh Council is the leading authority of the Regional Park, with the City of Edinburgh Council Natural Heritage Service providing the Park services.
The Regional Park has four aims that the three local authorities agreed to adhere to: 1.To retain the essential character of the hills as a place for the peaceful enjoyment of the countryside; 2. Caring for the hills so that the landscape and the habitat is protected and enhanced; 3. Within this caring framework to encourage responsible public enjoyment of the hills; 4. co-ordination of these aims so that they co-exist with farming and other land uses within the Pentland Hills Regional Park.
The Park is rich with heritage; from archaeological sites including 12 scheduled ancient monuments, such as, hill forts and cairns, to geological sites that are 430 million years old including three Geodiversity sites. The Pentlands are also steeped in history, with the Battle of Rullion green taking place in 1666 as well as being the hunting ground for Sir Robert the Bruce.
The Park contains a variety of important habitats: heather moorland, woodland, open grassland and reservoirs. This rich mosaic of wildlife, open spaces, farmed land and natural beauty is a result of people having been part of the landscape for thousands of years. Working closely with farmers, landowners and communities, the Pentland Hills Regional Park seeks to retain the essential character of the hills. For bird watchers the Park is abundant with both resident and migrating species. The Park has three enclosed bird hides where hours can be spent watching the wildfowl. The Natural Heritage Service offers the opportunity for the public to help survey some of the rarer species in the Regional Park.
Two visitor centres: Harlaw House Visitor Centre and Flotterstone Information Centre
Natural Heritage Service
100km waymarked paths
Food and drink
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