|The River North
Esk rises near the Bore Stane high in the Pentland Hills above the
North Esk Reservoir. The reservoir was built by a consortium of Penicuik
mill owners in 1850 to help regulate the flow of water in the river
to give a constant supply to the numerous paper mills which had sprung
up in the valley. The engineer responsible was Thomas Stevenson, father
of Robert Louis Stevenson. As the mills closed down, the last one
to close only in 2004, the reservoir became a wildlife sanctuary.
The area is a SSSI in two categories, biologically for the special
flora and geologically for the unusual exposures west of Patie's Hill.
|There are several
reservoirs and many footpaths in the Pentland Hills, a large area
of which forms the Pentland Hills Regional Park. The Park is farmed
with grazing cattle and sheep roaming the hills and grouse shooting
in season. Keeping to established paths will help to conserve valuable
habitats and avoid disturbing ground nesting birds. There are two
army training grounds. Place names such as Monks Rig, ancient hill
forts and the remains of a Roman Road show that the Pentlands have
played a role in forming Scottish history. They have proved to be
a great source of inspiration to poets and artists over the centuries,
notably Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson's 'Hills of Home' feature
in many of his works and he remained haunted by the Pentlands until
his death in Samoa in 1894.
|The North Esk
Reservoir is out-with the Park area but there are paths to the reservoir
and beyond, rising to the point known as the Bore Stane, an outcrop
of rock from where magnificent views of Edinburgh and the Firth of
Forth can be seen. One starting point to explore this area is from
the village of Carlops where there is a convenient small car park.
to the reservoir