Little Asby is common land situated on one of the most important limestone landscapes in England. The land has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation. Mazonwath, adjoins this land and is a rough grassland habitat being managed to support ground nesting birds such as curlews and lapwings.

Our volunteers have rebuilt a number of dry stone wall sheepfolds and shelters (bields), and spread native tree berries to encourage a more varied habitat. We support our common rights holders in managing the common sustainably, for example, by reducing sheep numbers and introducing cattle grazing. We are the Secretary of the Little Asby Commoners Association. We have recorded nearly 200 archaeological sites on the common and regularly monitor the ecology on the common. We welcome open access for walkers on the common.

Reasons to visit:

  • Investigate some of the 196 archaeology sites on the common
  • Enjoy a 360 degree view of the Lake District, Northern Howgills and Pennines
  • Enjoy the upland limestone pavement, a contrast to the Lake District area
  • Enjoy the regenerating heather (summer/autumn)
  • Enjoy the feelings of remoteness, wildness and tranquillity
  • Best time to visit: summer/autumn

Reports of some spectacular visitors to Sunbiggin Tarn on our property at Little Asby on 1st May 2017. Marsh Harrier and Osprey drop by for a visit.


This is situated about five miles east of Orton.

It can be reached via the the C3070 from Raisebeck to Little Asby , or the C3074 from Newbiggin-on-Lune. The grid ref of the joining of these two roads is 090686 (OL19 Explorer map Howgill Fells). There are no direct bus services across the Common, but buses from Appleby and Kirkby Stephen may pass nearby.


Open access on the common at all times.

More information:

Little Asby History

Little Asby Archaeology

Little Asby Common - A rare limestone landscape (pdf)

This property  benefits from a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, funded by the ‘European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development’ which enables us to do habitat and landscape enhancement.