History of Lochend Woods

Lochend Wood covers some 18 ha (45 acres) of generally flat or undulating land lying to the south of the town of Dunbar. It was originally part of the extensive lands and Barony of Lochend, and was the home of Sir Gideon Baillie in the early 17th century. The Baillies held the estate till 1664, when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sinclair of Longformacus.

In 1708 The Lochend estate was sold to George Warrender, merchant of Edinburgh, who became the first Warrender baronet in 1715. The Warrenders held the family seat until 1947, when Sir Victor Warrender sold the farms of Eweford and Hallhill, with Lochend Wood, to a local farmer.

Map of Lochend from 1854

In 1997 planning permission was granted to Hallhill Developments Ltd to build houses, a hotel and a golf course on the farm land around the woods. This included the construction of an access road, cutting through the wood and splitting it in two.

Ten years later, after lengthy negotiations with developers and solicitors, the ownership of the southern and eastern part of the woodland was at last passed to the community of Dunbar on 26 April 2007. The ‘Woodland Group’ are working towards improving the woods – for trees, for wildlife and for people.

Map of Lochend Woods (around 2003)

The Woodland was originally planted in the late 18th century, but the present trees date mainly from the period immediately after WWII. The outline of the woodland still follows the original boundary line, as shown on maps dating back to 1832. Tree species composition varies—Sycamore predominates, mixed with Ash, Beech, Elm, Larch, Pine and Spruce. There are also the remains of the old garden including Yew, Cedar, Walnut and Grand Fir.

Hog Deer

The beautiful gardens of Lochend House in the late 1800s

Buff-sided Robin (Petroica cerviniventris) illustrated by Elizabeth Gould (1804–1841) for John Gould’s (1804-1881) Birds of Australia (1972 Edition, 8 volumes). Digitally enhanced from our own facsimile book (1972 Edition, 8 volumes).