Limestone pavements

There is thin band of limestone running east-west across the south of the National Park. In places this limestone is exposed at the surface, particularly on higher ground. This forms a network of small, scattered pavements totalling only about 20 ha. Many of these pavements have been damaged by the removal of the stone blocks known as clints. However, others have not been so disturbed or at least were damaged long ago.

The thin fissures provide shelter and protection for plants like limestone fern and herb Robert. The flowers on the pavements and surrounding grasslands attract a number of flying insects while the rocks themselves catch the sun, attracting common lizards and slow-worms.

Where pavements have been left ungrazed, woodland has developed over them. These wooded pavements provide refuge for small mammals, while the shade and bare rock encourage the growth of lichens and mosses.

For more information see: Limestone Pavement Conservation

Use the navigation bar on the left to explore other rock habitats.