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Limestone pavement near Ribblehead Viaduct Credit: Wendy McDonnell


The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the most spectacular limestone landscapes anywhere.  Natural surface exposures of limestone provide conditions for some very characteristic communities of plants, mosses and lichens that are adapted to harsh, drought-prone conditions.  Humans have created artificial exposures through quarrying and extensive use of limestone and other rock in drystone walls.

The nature of limestone is such that it allows water to percolate through it, carving out extensive underground cave systems that provide ecological niches for a range of specialised animals to exploit.

For information on rocky habitats, follow the links to: