Limestone Country Project
The Limestone Country Project (LCP) began in June 2002 and ran until March 2007. It then continued under a year’s extension until June 2008. It was focussed on over 11,000 hectares of uplands around Ingleborough, Malham and Wharfedale - one of the United Kingdom's most important limestone landscapes, and land that has been designated as internationally important Special Areas for Conservation for the outstanding limestone geology, unique habitats and species.
The 300 million year old glacier scarred Carboniferous limestone and the thin overlying soils, in combination with a long history of mixed sheep and upland cattle grazing has resulted in a grassland habitat with a rich diversity of lime-loving grasses and wildflowers.
Over the last 50 years, however, a move to specialised sheep farming and a decline in cattle farming has lead to the growth of rank grasses and a loss of species and structural diversity.
The LCP aimed to restore this diversity on over 1,500 hectares of habitat by encouraging farmers to return to mixed farming using traditional breeds of cattle such as Blue Greys and Belted Galloways that can survive the harsh winters living off the rough grasses and do not graze so intensively as sheep.