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Natural and cultural history

Landscape and land use

The land within the Pentland Hills Regional Park is owned by over 30 landowners. The City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council and Scottish Water own and maintain small sections.  

Designated as a Local Landscape Area, the landscape of the Regional Park is that of rolling hills, upland heather moorland, small pockets of woodland, and reservoirs.

Sheep farming is the dominant land use, with sheep graized on upland areas as well as in lowland sections. Crop farming takes place on some lower sections. Livery is becoming a source of income for many landowners, with more and more farmers leasing land for horses.

As well as farming, other traditional land uses continue, including shooting. Much of the heather moorland is maintained for grouse, pheasant and other birds that are shot in the annual shooting seaon.

There are nine reservoirs within the Regional Park, owned by Scottish Water, City of Edinburgh Council and private landowners. Many of these allow fishing: see the fishing in the Pentland Hills page for more details.

Dreghorn and Castlelaw are owned by the Ministry of Defence, and are used as training areas. Non-motorised public access is permitted, by permission of the Ministry of Defence.