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ClacksWeb - Clackmannanshire Council Online

The Ochil Hills

Whether you live in or travel to Clackmannanshire you cannot help but notice the dramatic change from the relatively flat, low-lying plain of Clackmannan to the tops of the Ochil Hills. The very steep southern slopes of the Ochils are the result of a large movement in the Earth's outer layer - its crust.

Over the Forth to the OchilsBetween 280 and 340 million years ago the land cracked and the land to the South of the crack shifted downwards some 10,000 feet. Geologists call this type of movement a fault and the Ochil Fault forms one of the finest geological features in Britain.

Of course, the Ochil Hills are no longer 10,000 feet high but have been reduced greatly in size over millions of years by wind, water and ice erosion.

The highest peak in the Ochils is Ben Cleuch which is 2,363 Feet (721 metres) and offers a challenge to any hillwalker intending to reach its summit.

Much of the Ochils were covered with trees in the past, however these have now been felled for wood and to create grazing land for sheep, making it difficult for plants to grow. Those that do are small and low, and any taller plants you'll see are those sheep don’t eat such as prickly gorse or poisonous bracken.

Contact information

Countryside Rangers
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000