Asby Scar Nature Reserve

Asby Scar nature reserve, is part of the rugged uplands of the Orton Fells. Its 759 acres (307 hectares) is considered one of Britain's finest examples of well-preserved limestone pavement. English Nature protects the area from grazing.

The reserve, northwest of Kirkby Stephen, is comprised of open moorland and is scattered with crags and grassy hummocks. Scars, screes, drystone walls, and fissures add to the mix.

Hawthorn Trees With Langdale Pikes In Background By Lakeland CamWoodland plants grow in the limestone fissures. Among them are harts tongue fern, wood anemone, dog's mercury, rigid buckler fern, and limestone fern. Uncommon herbs such as angular solomon's seal and bloody cranesbill grow in the pavements. Trees include small hawthorn, hazel, and ash.

The Orton Fells area was much settled in prehistoric times. Evidence abounds in ancient dykes, pathways, stone walled fields and hutments. A long barrow sits on Rayseat Pike. It contained remains of human bones.

Great Asby, three miles away, is the nearest village to the nature reserve. There is no car park for the reserve, no nature trails and no facilities.

Photo courtesy of Tony Richards

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