Ingleborough Complex

Site details

UK map showing location of Ingleborough Complex Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Ingleborough Complex SAC/SCI/cSAC


When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

5130 Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands
Ingleborough represents upland Juniperus communis formations on a calcareous substrate in northern England. It occurs here at its highest altitude on limestone in the UK. Amid stands of calcareous grassland it has the only large stands of juniper on 8240 Limestone pavements at high altitude in the UK. The scrub is of the relatively species-poor type typical of these situations.
7230 Alkaline fens
Spring-fed flush fens of NVC type M10 Carex dioicaPinguicula vulgaris mire are extensive across Ingleborough, commonly associated with calcareous grassland types, but also found amidst acid grasslands and heathland communities. They are often species-rich communities, in which rare or locally distributed species such as bird’s-eye primrose Primula farinosa, black bog-rush Schoenus nigricans, few-flowered spike-rush Eleocharis quinqueflora and flat-sedge Blysmus compressus are frequent.
8210 Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation
Ingleborough is one of three sites representing the Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation found in northern England. Crevice communities occur on extensive limestone scars and are characteristic of the area. The flora has a mix of northern and southern species, including purple saxifrage Saxifraga oppositifolia, yellow saxifrage S. aizoides, alpine meadow-grass Poa alpina, hoary whitlowgrass Draba incana, lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus, wall lettuce Mycelis muralis and baneberry Actaea spicata.
8240 Limestone pavements  * Priority feature
Ingleborough is one of four sites in northern England representing Limestone pavements on Carboniferous limestone. It has the most extensive series of Limestone pavements in the UK, varying from moderate altitude to montane in character (300-640 m). The pavements range from those where grazing is completely excluded (Colt Park Wood National Nature Reserve), to some where grazing is restricted (pavements amidst cattle-grazed pastures) and others within common land intensively grazed by sheep. Characteristic species include baneberry Actaea spicata (more abundant here than elsewhere), great bellflower Campanula latifolia, found only here as a limestone pavement species, lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis, marsh hawk’s-beard Crepis paludosa, wall lettuce Mycelis muralis, lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus and mountain melick Melica nutans. Among the ferns, green spleenwort Asplenium viride, brittle bladder-fern Cystopteris fragilis and hard shield-fern Polystichum aculeatum occur on most pavements. Rigid buckler-fern Dryopteris submontana and limestone fern Gymnocarpium robertianum are widespread but much less abundant than at Morecambe Bay Pavements. Dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis and wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella occur on most pavements.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)
7130 Blanket bogs (* if active bog)  * Priority feature
7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion)  * Priority feature
9180 Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines  * Priority feature

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Not applicable.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

Not applicable.

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.