The oil-shale bings of West Lothian, Scotland, are a group of post-industrial waste sites, unique in Britain and Western Europe. The industrial exploitation of oil-bearing rocks has created a habitat with its own distinctive flora and fauna. The floral diversity of individual sites has been documented as species lists in several studies. A comprehensive list of more than 350 plant species, with supplementary information on animal species, was compiled from an extensive literature review of these studies. From these data it was possible to determine the extent of species variation within and between bings, identify locally and nationally rare species, and thus to determine the importance of the oil-shale bing habitat at a local and national scale. The results will go some way to allay concerns about the loss of local biodiversity, generally throughout the country side, due to changes in agricultural practices and increased urbanisation. Findings from the bings and evidence from other types of derelict land suggest that species are not lost, they have moved to new habitats.