Limestone Pavement Flora

Limestone pavements are striking geological features of the Stories in Stone area. Limestone pavements were formed under a soil and woodland cover and have been exposed principally through forest clearance and agricultural management over many hundreds of years. They support a diverse flora with many rare and uncommon species and are a Priority Biodiversity Action Plan habitat.

What’s the problem?

Intensive grazing has reduced the natural regeneration of trees and shrubs and has prevented flora from flourishing. Fencing off areas to exclude sheep and to enable the natural regeneration of trees and shrubs, together with small-scale low-density tree and shrub planting on grassland areas, provides more favourable conditions for the regeneration of vegetation (trees, scrub and grike flora) on the pavements.

Where is this going to happen?

Two sites had been identified for work but a fungal survey revealed the presence of a nationally rare fungi which would be adversely affected if grazing was discontinued, and so we are working with Natural England to identify new sites that would benefit from the work. We are also offering grants to landowners and tenants interested in getting involved.


As well as the obvious wildlife benefits, the project will increase the understanding and enjoyment of limestone pavement among local people and visitors. Natural England will use the project to talk about landscape change, habitat enhancement and biodiversity gain with visiting schools, guided walks and specialist groups. The benefit to landowners and tenants is reduced injury or loss of livestock by preventing access to the deep grikes in the limestone pavement.


We are working with Natural England, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, landowners and tenant farmers.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from landowners, farmers and organisations that manage land with areas of limestone pavement.

Are there deadlines for applying?

The next deadline is 10am on Tuesday 23 October. Subject to funding there may be a further round in 2019.

You can download the grants guidance and application form by clicking on the buttons below. 

Grant application guidance

Application form

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about this project, please contact Chris Lodge, Stories in Stone Project Officer.