THE Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust has put in a bid to lease 45 acres of land on the original battlefield site.

The charity has had a long-standing desire to farm this land with crops that would have been used at the time of the battle, and keep the area suitable for surface archaeology.

The land – four fields next to the B6371 Coal Road, south of the former Cockenzie Power Station site – has recently become available for seasonal lease (April to October), for offers over £5,000 per annum, from East Lothian Council.

Gordon Prestoungrange from the battle trust said: “We are optimistic that we can work with East Lothian Council to create and maintain this area as a ‘green lung’ of the community.

“It’s a lovely place, with the Waggonway running through it, and we are hopeful to preserve it for years to come.”

The trust has been continually making plans to ensure the protection of the land, which is thought to be the burial site of hundreds of battle soldiers.

“The Waggonway is the first railway in Scotland,” added Gordon. “We have ambitions to grow the original crops on the land so that they are harvested in September and we can see the real conditions in which the battle was fought.”

The four fields lie immediately north and south of the former coal handling plant off the B6371.