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Five Sisters in the Mist

Five Sisters in the Mist  - Copyright Dougie Milne Photography 2018

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The Five Sisters Bing, at West Calder, West Lothian, seen through the mist from Livingston.

Photographers in Central Scotland, myself included, are prone to getting up at stupid o'clock in the morning and waltzing off to the Highlands to grab a shot of the hills, lochs and glens. But this shot was taken less than a mile from my front door.

The Five Sisters is a man made structure - the spoil from the shale oil industry that was the backbone of the West Lothian economy in the 19th and early 20th century. Its proper name is the Westwood Bing, after the Westwood Oil Works from which it came. The oil works closed in 1962, but the huge piles of spoil - some of which are up to 90 metres high - dominate the landscape across the county. The bings have become sites of ecological and historical importance, and are now a protected industrial monument.

Westwood House, a 19th century stately home, became engulfed as the bing grew, and is still buried underneath the Five Sisters.

This picture was taken on 9 January 2018.