Limestone Flora

The limestone habitats of the Yorkshire Dales National Park harbour many species characteristic of base-rich conditions. Such calcicole species as blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea), birds-eye primrose (Primula farinosa) and limestone fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum) are typical of many sites around Malham.

This course aims to explore this specialist flora amid the magnificent Craven scenery. We will visit a variety of local habitats to gain experience of using keys and identifying a wide range of species in the field. We will concentrate on several important plant families including ferns, grasses and sedges.

The emphasis during the day will be on identification in the field and a proposed programme for this includes:

Friday: Local walk around the Centre after supper for limestone pavement and views
Saturday: Grassington for woodland and grasslands
Sunday: Limestone pavements around Ingleborough NNR
Monday: Base-rich flushes and fens at Malham Evenings will mainly be spent in the classroom to practice using keys, using microscopes to help confirm the identification of a few more difficult species, and understand why limestone supports such a specialist flora.

There will be an identification test on Monday afternoon for participants who are working towards the University certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification.

Key Information

Start date:


From £230


Field Studies Council




Biology, Nature & Wildlife


Malham Tarn

Contact Details: