Size:

35.23 ha (87.05 acres)

Grid reference:

NT030702

Map reference:

Explorer 349

OS Landranger 65

This varied woodland of broadleaves, conifers and open grassy areas is a tranquil retreat right on Livingston’s doorstep. Immerse yourself in greenery. Look out for roe deer and a wide variety of bird species, and enjoy the wild flowers in spring and summer.

Features

  • Parking nearby
  • Public access

How to get to North Wood

The 35-hectare (87-acre) site is situated between Dechmont and Livingston and bounded by the A89 road to the north and the M8 to the south.

Leave the M8 at Exit 3 and at the roundabout take the third exit onto the A899 towards Dechmont. At the next roundabout, turn left onto the A89. There is a junction into the wood – bear in mind when parking not to block the metal access gate.

The nearest train stations are Livingston North and Uphall.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stops are on the A89 at Wester Dechmont, next to the western end of the site, and Main Street, Dechmont, 300 metres from the eastern end of the site.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

There are several entrances to the wood, with the main ones off the Loan and Peel paths at either end of the site. These lit tarmac routes lead to the A89 and over the motorway and into the northern areas of Livingston. Most entrances have no barriers, although some leading from the A89 have gaps of approximately 1.2 metres.

The site has a path network of around 4.9km (3.5 miles), including surfaced trails and mown grass paths suitable for walkers, cyclists and horses. Paths are mainly linear although there are some circular routes, particularly towards the eastern end. Some paths can be muddy at times and steep in places, especially towards the A89. Paths link directly onto the Greenway network in Livingston, giving access to long-distance routes.

There is no onsite car park but you can park in the neighbouring streets in Dechmont and off the A89 at both the western and eastern ends of the site.

The nearest toilets are at Deer Park Service Station, around 1km (0.6 miles) away. These toilets have disabled facilities and are open 24 hours.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Look out for signs of the shy roe deer that roam the wood. The shrubby edges are an important habitat for birds, including blackbird, chaffinch, robin, thrush and wren.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

North Wood is made up of around 60% broadleaves and 40% conifers, though this is changing as we gradually replaces conifers with native trees.

Look out for:

Habitats

The western end of the site is mature woodland, but other areas were planted with conifers in the 1960s and 1970s, many of which were non-native. These areas are being slowly replanted with native broadleaf species, allowing the ground vegetation to flourish once again.

Explore:

History of North Wood

Signs of North Wood’s agricultural past can be seen in the remains of hedgebanks and drystone dykes to the west of the old quarry. The site was previously owned by the Livingston Development Corporation, which managed the town’s growth from 1962 to 1996.

Much of North Wood has been planted since the 1960s. Before this, the only woodland was at the extreme western end of the site and was associated with the North Lodge of Dechmont House and estate.

We bought the site in 1996 and cleared some areas of non-native conifers to create new native woodland. Over the years local schoolchildren and corporate partners have helped us plant and replace non-native conifers in North Wood and across Livingston.

Things to do in North Wood

North Wood - Management plan

Download

North Wood Management Plan

PDF  (133 KB)