Upland Peat – Ingleborough

Ingleborough hillfort viewed from Simon Fell

Ingleborough hillfort viewed from Simon Fell

I am in the middle of spending a happy couple of weeks back out in the Yorkshire Dales in the vicinity of Ingleborough. We are doing another landscape survey in advance of a programme of peatland restoration works. The survey involves looking at peat erosion scars and any drainage gullies for exposed artefacts such as flint flake scatters. I haven’t managed to get to the summit of Ingleborough so far this year but I should do, weather permitting, by the end of the project.

Trow Gill, Ingleborough

Trow Gill, Ingleborough

As I have previously mentioned I am quite partial to limestone scenery and the patterns of erosion and the forces of nature that have shaped it greatly over time. The gorge at Trow Gill is a fine example and is located sandwiched between Ingleborough Cave and the Gaping Gill pot hole. It is particularly scenic at the southern mouth where you follow the footpath up into its narrow confines.

Ash tree growing out of a shake hole, Ingleborough

Ash tree growing out of a shake hole, Ingleborough

The shake hole pocked area is a contrast between elevated sparse grassland with swathes of blanket peat and lower scarp slopes with exposed limestone pavement fringes. It is on these lower slopes where the greatest concentration of archaeological sites are to be found.

Peat erosion at Lord's Seat, Simon Fell, Ingleborough

Peat erosion at Lord’s Seat, Simon Fell, Ingleborough

Today I was quite taken with the colour differentiations between the grassland, eroded areas of peat, standing water and sphagnum mosses.

Bright green moss

Bright green moss

Close up of bright green moss

Close up of bright green moss

Moist mossy exposures

Sunlight and brooding sky

Sunlight and brooding sky

Today brought a long car journey followed by a whistle-stop tour in the morning murk and driving rain around a small parcel of moorland near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales. Thankfully the cloud lifted in the afternoon leaving a brooding and occasionally bright sky.

Dark day in the Dales

Dark day in the Dales

We were doing landscape survey in advance of a programme of peatland restoration works. The survey entailed looking at peat erosion scars and any drainage gullies for exposed artefacts such as flint flake scatters. This was difficult due to the area being quite waterlogged in places.

Tufty regrowth

Tufty regrowth

We also covered the ground looking for upstanding archaeological monuments to record, which must then be avoided by any vehicles coming onto the moorland to do any later remedial works. In these parts the archaeology is almost entirely associated with lead mining as is seen at the extensive lead mining complex nearby at Grassington.

Lead mining near Grassington, Yorkshire Dales

Lead mining near Grassington, Yorkshire Dales

I am a bit too fond of limestone scenery, especially limestone pavement, but unfortunately the light conditions and my poor photography didn’t do it much justice today!

Eerie limestone pavement

Eerie limestone pavement

I did really like these spooky trees that we found protruding from the limestone pavement as we headed back down into the valley, and I am quite partial to the different ways limestone erodes over time.

Eroded limestone boulder

Eroded limestone boulder