Ingleborough NNR

Ingleborough National Nature Reserve (NNR) is managed by Natural England and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The reserve covers an impressive 1,014 hectares on some of the northern, north-eastern and eastern slopes surrounding Ingleborough, one of the famous Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This site is one of the best places to see a whole suite of habitats and species which are strongly influenced by the underlying geology. Where limestone occurs close to or on the surface the whole suite of limestone country habitats can be seen. Small base-rich wetlands can be seen with Yorkshire primrose, limestone pavement with bloody crane's-bill, calcareous grassland with common rock-rose and limestone rock outcrops, cliffs and scree with juniper. Elsewhere on deeper acid soils the full range of moorland and moorland fringe habitats occur. Upland dry heath can be seen with dwarf shrubs including bilberry and bog habitats dominated by hare's-tail cottongrass, with cranberry, round-leaved sundew and bog asphodel in the wetter areas. 'Rewilding' of some of these moorlands is underway at South House Moor.

In addition to all of the plant life there is of course a whole host of animal species which rely on these habitats, such as northern brown argus butterfly, curlew, roe deer and bats in the cave systems. Ingleborough NNR has also been an important site in the very successful Limestone Country Project. The benefits of grazing the limestone country habitats with traditional cattle breeds can be seen on this reserve thanks to the NNRs own cattle herd and dedicated farmers. There is a network of public rights of way running through the reserve as shown on the Ordnance Survey map mentioned above.

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Still summer’s song beats in my blood Alan Hartley

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