Limestone pavements are outcrops of rocks where the surface has been dissolved by water over millions of years into 'paving blocks.' They are also home to a number of rare and unusual plants. Globally they are a rare habitat threatened by extraction for the rock garden and water feature trade and are often degraded by poor land management.
There is very little limestone pavement found anywhere in the world, but Britain and Ireland have much of this habitat.
Limestone pavement is protected by law in the UK and it is an offence to damage or remove it from areas covered by Limestone Pavement Orders.
page: learn about the geology and geomorphology of limestone pavements
Ecology page: find out about the plants that
live on the pavements
Limestone pavement distribution: where
are pavements found in the UK and Ireland
Legal protection of limestone pavement: discover
how and why pavements are protected
Heritage” a booklet published by the Limestone Pavement Action
Group about limestone pavement can be found here (342kb, .pdf file so
you will need Adobe Acrobat)
Ground” Read about the trade in limestone pavement in this report
by TRAFFIC International (.pdf file 1.2MB download)
A concise list of academic papers about limestone pavements can be found here (updated Jan '06).
A comprehensive bilbliography can be found here (updated May '09).
The Rakes, Hutton Roof, Cumbria
Scar Close, Yorkshire