Natural England - Ingleborough NNR

Ingleborough NNR

Ingleborough NNR is renowned for the wildlife and geology of its limestone pavements and other limestone features.


County: North Yorkshire

Main habitats: Limestone Pavement, Upland

Area: 1014 ha

Why visit: Ingleborough is one of the famous Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Together with Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, this mountainous area is renowned and protected for its special wildlife, geology and spectacular scenery.

Here you will find flower-rich meadows and pastures, heather-clad moors, ancient woodland and some of Britain’s finest limestone pavements. The dramatic limestone landscape of Ingleborough has been created by the forces of nature, and modified by the hand of Man.

Formed from sediments laid down in a shallow tropical sea over 300 million years ago, the limestone rocks have been eroded ever since. Glaciers on the surface and water underground have combined to create wide, U-shaped valleys, extensive limestone pavements and a vast network of caves and passages.

People have lived in and farmed this area for thousands of years. On the NNR there are the remains of abandoned settlements, old limekilns, many miles of dry-stone walls and field barns that are typical of the Dales’ landscape.

In managing the NNR, Natural England aims to protect and enhance the site’s biodiversity and geodiversity, support scientific research and promote opportunities for access and recreation.

Each year there is a programme of public events and educational work with schools and colleges.

Work to look after this reserve involves Natural England, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. It would not be possible without the support of the local farming community and other partners.

Lying within the overall Ingleborough NNR boundary are two nature reserves owned and managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trustexternal link.

These are Southerscalesexternal link and South House pavementexternal link, two extensive areas of limestone pavement that support a superb variety of wildflowers and ferns that thrive amongst the characteristic pattern of clints (blocks)and grikes (fissures). Further information about each site can be found on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s website.

The NNR does not have formal opening hours. 90% of the reserve is mapped as Open Access land, and can be visited throughout the year.

Two parts of the reserve, Scar Close and Colt Park Wood require a permit to visit. These are available free of charge by contacting the NNR Team at Colt Park Barn.

NNR staff are usually on the site each weekday between 9am and 5pm, and sometimes at weekends and Bank Holidays.

Dogs are permitted on the NNR, but visitors should look for any signs or notices that may ask dogs to be kept on leads or under close control on parts of the NNR at certain times of year (i.e. during the bird breeding season).

Please note that special permission is needed to carry out any studies involving fieldwork or specimen collection.

Further information

For further information about the reserve, contact Colin Newlands, Senior Reserve Manager on 015242 42021