Limestone pavement

Limestone pavement was in the news some years ago.  This attractive and important habitat was begin hacked away from the tops of hills and mountains in the UK so that it could be deposited in private gardens.  Destruction of the landscape takes many forms, but when it is done just so that someone can landscape their garden….well, leave it there.  It looks much better where is was laid down millions of years ago.

This link explains exactly what limestone pavement is.

In my travels as a wildlife cameraman I have been lucky enough to film two examples of limestone pavement in the last couple of months. The first was in west Lancashire at a site overlooking Morecambe Bay.  Vegetation on limestone pavement is stunted, as herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs hang on in the tightest nooks and crannies where there is hardly and soil.  Don’t judge the age of a tree by its size: they may look diminutive, but they could be hundreds of years old.  At the Lancashire site we saw a bank vole running backwards and forwards across the rocky surface, which was peculiar behaviour but no doubt it had its reasons.

limestone pavement Brecon Beacons

The second site was in the Brecon Beacons.  This pictures is of an area of limestone pavement in a less busy part of the Beacons, even though it is right next to The Beacons Way.  Although not as extensive as the northern examples this site was just as interesting.  On a sunny day we expected to see common lizard, and we weren’t disappointed.  I filmed one sunning itself in a rocky crevices, then a small fly was daft enough to land on its head.  The lizard flicked its head a couple of times, causing the fly to fall off and be deftly gobbled up.