Friends of the Pentlands

The Friends of the Pentlands is a charity which seeks to protect and develop a love for the Pentland Hills. seeking individual and corporate members who share our aspirations for the future of the Pentland Hills. They provide outdoor recreation for over 600,000 people every year. Two new guides have been produced which are available free of charge and are full of interesting information.

The guide is a folded A2 sheet with information about the history  of the area, the natural landscape and access for various activities. A useful map denotes not only the walking routes you’d expect, but also golf courses, permanent orienteering courses, fisheries, farmers’ markets, bus routes and accommodation.

Produced with the support and advice of Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Borders Council, South Lanarkshire Council and the staff of the Pentland Hills Ranger Service it can be downloaded here

Another booklet which is quite fascinating is the Pentland Place Names Guide by John Baldwin and Peter Drummond. Beginning with some history to explain the various occupations to which the area was subject it explains the meanings of places according to their Gaelic, Scots, British or Northern English roots. The Pentland at one time formed the watershed between the Gaelic speaking culture and the British, itself formed from  Anglian and Scandinavian influences. The name itself comes from the British pen meaning head and llan meaning head or top of the church or enclosure.

The names of farms and settlements hint at previous lives once we know their original meanings and this 40 page booklet can be downloaded here.

As for the Friends, each year they organise a programme of walks and talks and undertake environmental projects such as a major way marking project, restoring a wildlife pond, replacing a bird hide, planting trees, and putting up bird boxes. For further information see here

Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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