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The Yorkshire Naturalists' Union are delighted to welcome the Natural England reserve team at Ingleborough National Nature Reserve as an affiliated society of the YNU!   Colin Newlands, Senior Reserve Manager, tells us a bit about the reserve and their reasons for joining the YNU:

An introduction to Ingleborough National Nature Reserve

Ingleborough National Nature Reserve (NNR) lies at the heart of the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Renowned for its wildlife and geology, it is part of the larger Ingleborough Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Ingleborough Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC), these designations acknowledge the national and international importance of the habitats, species and earth science features of the mountain massif. Ingleborough NNR covers 1,012 hectares and incorporates many characteristic upland habitats such as ash woodland, limestone pastures, limestone pavements, hay meadows and blanket mire. Reserve management aims to protect and enhance the site’s biodiversity and geodiversity, support scientific research and enable visitors to  enjoy and learn about this unique landscape.

The origins of the reserve go back to 1962 when Colt Park Wood near Ribblehead was purchased by the Nature Conservancy and designated as a National Nature Reserve in its own right. Since then, through lease and acquisition, the reserve has grown to the size it is today. In addition to land owned and managed by Natural England, the NNR incorporates two reserves belonging to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Southerscales and South House Pavement.

The NNR has long been studied by naturalists including visits by the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union and affiliated societies. The reserve is part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme, National Plant Monitoring Scheme and UK Environmental Change Network. In addition, we carry out regular moth trapping and other recording in support of the Yorkshire Dales National Park species action plans.

However, there is still much to learn about the reserve and new species to discover, particularly with under-recorded groups such as fungi and invertebrates. In joining the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union we look forward to developing the ongoing study and recording of the NNR and extend a warm welcome to YNU members who would like to visit.

A leaflet giving more information about the reserve can be found by following this link.

Colin Newlands

Senior Reserve Manager, Natural England

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Photos by Colin Newland: Colt Park Wood and meadows with Pen-y-ghent in the background (top) and Ingleborough from Scar Close limestone pavement (bottom)

(2nd February 2017)