Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Limestone pavements

We had a walk in North Wales at the weekend in the glorious bank holiday weather. I chose this particular walk as it went past Bryn Alyn's limestone pavement. Limestone pavement is relatively uncommon in North Wales, and whilst this area isn't as extensive as some other areas such as the Burren in Ireland and Malham Cove in Yorkshire, it was still exciting to see.

The habitat is very distinctive, with pavement blocks (known as 'clints') being dissected by 'grikes' - the vertical fissures. It was fascinating to see. The limestone pavement has its own flora. Lots of early purple orchids were dotted around the turf surrounding the pavement area. Ordinarily, this post would be accompanied by a plethora of photos. Unfortunately, we had a bit of an equipment failure (the battery ran out!). Here's a picture of the view, though.
The rock garden at RHS Harlow Carr was made from limestone pavement, before the wholesale destruction of this habitat was made illegal.
We will be making a return visit to the site as it was so beautiful. We had fantastic views of buzzards overhead, and sighted a cuckoo. SomeBeans also discovered a wood for sale. Unfortunately at over £400,000, it was a little out of our price range. This time, however, we'll have spare batteries.

Lots more information about limestone pavement can be found here.


Bay Area Tendrils said...

An inspiring post! I recently visited a small-scale yet highly resonant environment in NYC, the Irish Hunger Memorial - I'll be posting it soon on BayAreaTendrils. Your photos and description brought back the terrain and textures of this space in lower Manhattan, near Ground Zero, where one can easily imagine another time and place far away.

chaiselongue said...

Looks like you had a beautiful day for the walk. I'm looking forward to the photos next time you go! I didn't know there was limestone in N Wales - I always associate it with slate.

Frances said...

Ah, Happy, a very interesting area. My friend Gail who I am going to stay with tonight in order to leave for the Chicago Spring Fling tomorrow morning together gardens on similar terrain with a shallow layer of clay soil over the stone. Clay and Limestone. We look forward to your next excursion with batteries! :-)