Inland rock outcrops & scree

Stunning inland cliffs and scree are very characteristic of the special Yorkshire Dales landscape.

The majority of natural cliffs in the Yorkshire Dales occur in limestone areas, predominantly in the South of the National Park. Exposed limestone cliffs support species such as wild thyme and blue moor grass in association with specialist cliff species such as common whitlowgrass, hairy rock-cress, thale cress, hoary whitlowgrass and wall whitlowgrass, biting stonecrop and the rare winter hutchinsia. More shaded and sheltered cliffs support ferns such as wall-rue, maidenhair spleenwort, green spleenwort, brittle bladder-fern and lesser clubmoss. Wetter flushed cliffs support marsh hawk’s-beard, Pyrenean scurvygrass, mossy saxifrage and stone bramble. In very sheltered, stable areas more robust flowering plants can occur such as, rock-rose, small scabious, bloody crane’s-bill and marjoram. Limestone screes also support a rich diversity of lime-loving species such as herb Robert and more specialist species such as the limestone polypody fern.

At risk?

Inland rock outcrops, cliffs and scree are of high biodiversity importance and under threat. Consequently, this habitat is on the UK list of priority habitats for biodiversity action and has a Local Habitat Action Plan in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The unfolding of Grass Wood throughout the year is a story of rich fulfilment. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

Facts at your fingertips