Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund

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Shap CE Primary School have recently been working with us on the rocks element of the national curriculum with a focus on the 3 main rock types; igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and how they underpin the landscape of Cumbria and the Westmorland Dales.

Nicola Estill, our Community Engagement Officer delivered a session in school with rock boxes and experiments followed by a field trip in the Westmorland Dales. The children took part in an epic hike from Gamelands stone circle, visiting a limestone quarry then up to Great Asby Scar limestone pavement and to Castle Folds Romano- British Hill settlement.

What an adventure it was, the children were a delight and super enthusiastic! Many thanks also to Audrey Brown, a local geologist from Cumbria Geo-conservation who added the extra magic to bring these rocks to life! We hope you enjoy this collection of images we took as a record of a wonderful day...

Great Asby Scar National Nature Reserve (NNR) contains some of the best examples of Limestone Pavement in Britain. Limestone pavements are nationally rare and have been extensively damaged by removal for garden rockery stone. Since the glaciers of the last ice age melted (about 20,000 years ago), weathering of the limestone has created deep fissures, or grikes, which divide the pavement into blocks called clints.  

Woodland plants grow in the limestone fissures. Among them are harts tongue fern, wood anemone, dog’s mercury, rigid buckler fern, and limestone fern. Uncommon herbs such as angular solomon’s seal and bloody cranesbill grow in the pavements. Trees to look out for include small hawthorn, hazel, and ash. 

We hope you enjoy this film. You can find out more about geology walks in the Westmorland dales on our website: https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/westmorland-dales-geotrails-2022