Harp Wood £75,000 Freehold


Previously farmland, West Mains Wood was planted up relatively recently, as part of a scheme to improve woodland coverage in the local area. Harp Wood is unusual within the whole wood as it contains trees and features that actually existed before the planting. As a result of this, the incidence and spread of native woodland flowers is particularly good. Overall the planted trees are doing very well and a wander through the trees is a pleasant woodland experience. To the east, an ancient hedge line has matured into a row of beech and hornbeam with mature birch immediately behind, this then gives way to a younger, planted area.

The wood as a whole is roughly divided by a shallow valley into which rainwater drains giving a diverse marshy area, which in turn runs into a small pond: the water flowing generally east. A number of grassy rides give pleasant and easy access throughout the whole wood.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.

There is a growing interest in hut, bothy and temporary shelter building, especially in Scotland; for those interested in erecting a hut or shelter, here is some interesting and very helpful guidance from Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Hut Campaign. Your Local Planning Authority should also be consulted.


The trees present in the wood are of two distinct ages. Mature birch, beech and hornbeam remain from the original farmland history, while a wide variety of both conifer and deciduous comprises the remainder. This more youthful section is mainly birch, alder, ash and rowan with an occasional oak for good measure. Above the hard standing is a small section of conifers which includes the mighty noble fir, which, left to mature, can achieve impressive proportions. Species which remain relatively small in comparison are also included, these being hazel, hawthorn and holly.

Already a goodly mix of woodland flowers can be seen, clover, buttercup and birds foot trefoil in plentiful supply. A good stand of bullrush occupies one end of the pond, whilst clumps of rosebay line the fringes of the rides.


A network of well-trodden trails crisis crossing the woodland floor are a sure sign of the woodland's incumbent inhabitants. Itinerant roe deer together with foraging badgers are creatures of habit and are the main culprits responsible for these silvan highways. Fox, stoat and weasel have less predictable habits but no doubt take advantage of these pathways too.

Although relatively low in stature, the trees are a well-used habitat by a wide variety of tits, finches and their larger cousins, woodcock, jay and magpie. A careful look around the pond often reveals that ever patient hunter the grey heron, constantly scanning the depths for an unwary amphibian.


The central pond is an obvious and valuable feature; with a rustic bench concealed behind the stoned hardstanding, a venue for a repose amongst the beauty of nature.

Access, tracks and footpaths

Right of access into the wood is off a minor road and then along a firm stone track, which is accessible by most cars leading all the way to the ridestop entrance.

Moving throughout the wood is facilitated by the presence of several open grassy rides which run along the boundaries and through the centre.

Rights and covenants

The sporting rights are owned and included in the sale.


Harp Wood is an exciting opportunity to acquire woodland in an early stage of development. Careful management and gentle intervention and guidance will ensure growth into maturity and diversity. Due to its position close to the major conurbations in the central belt, it would make an excellent bolt hole for those wishing to take a break from city life. Its diversity of habitat means that a wildlife watcher will always discover something new to stimulate interest.

In the not too distant future, a good, sustainable source of firewood for home use could easily be harvested.

Local area and history

Although hard to believe now, this area was once the focal point of the Scottish oil shale industry which extracted several million tons of oil-bearing mineral from beneath the earth. An obvious remaining feature is the nearby Five Sisters bings. Once regarded as an eyesore, they are now seen as an ecological asset as they have now been colonised by a variety of rare plants.

The woodland at West Mains was created as part of a landscape improvement scheme initiated by West Lothian Council and a local developer of nearby housing.

Well served by road and rail the wood is easily accessed from any of the surrounding conurbations.

Wood maps

Wood map


The boundaries of the wood are indicated by orange painted-top posts.

Find this wood


  • OS Landranger: OS No. 65
  • Grid ref: NS 999 605
  • Nearest post code: EH55 8LD
  • GPS coordinates: 55.8279, -3.59812

Location map


  • Harp Wood Wood is about 18 miles west of Edinburgh and about 30 miles east of Glasgow

For Directions From Bing Maps CLICK HERE enter your own postcode (Harp Wood entrance coordinates are already entered) and click on the blue "Go" box.

For Satnav; the postcode EH55 8NR is for the point shown by the red dot on the location map and coordinates are:N55:49:33 and W3:36:23

Or use our directions:

  • From West Calder take the A71 west, signposted Kilmarnock.
  • Bear left onto the A704 signposted Lanark(A706)
  • Follow a sharp right hand bend and take the next left signposted Woolfords and Auchengray.
  • Pass Rusha farm on the right and cross a small stream.
  • Travel alongside a belt of Scots pine and beech.
  • Take the next left through the trees into West Mains Crofts.
  • Continue to the end of the private road past the houses, this eventually becomes a stoned track leading to a deer fence and gate.
  • Drive through the gate and park immediately on the left taking care not to block the track, please make sure to shut the gate behind you.
  • Continuing on foot follow the stone track to the right through the wood for about 400m until you come across a well-marked ridestop on the left signed Harp Wood

How we support our buyers

Membership of the small woodland owners’ group

£300 for a woodland course of your choice

Free copies of our woodland book

One year's free membership of the royal forestry society

Please note this wood is owned by woodlands.co.uk.

Our regional managers are often out working in our woodlands, so if you email an offer and want to be sure it has been received, please phone our manager on their mobile phone. The first offer at the stated price which is accepted, whether by phone or email, has priority.

Please take care when viewing as the great outdoors can contain unexpected hazards and woodlands are no exception. You should exercise common sense and caution, such as wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding visiting during high winds.

These particulars are for guidance only and, though believed to be correct, do not form part of any contract. Woodland Investment Management Ltd hereby give notice under section 21 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 of their interest in the land being sold.

A delightfully varied and mixed woodland, featuring a small pond, located just south of the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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Managed by David and Sarah Alty

Telephone: 07795 104 594

Email: [email protected]