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Ashes Pasture

Ashes Pasture is a fine example of upland hay meadow with traditional Dales stone walls and barn.

An idyllic location in Ribblesdale adds to the charm of this diverse grassland nature reserve. in spring and summer the grassland is doted with orchids and other flowering plants and buzzing with bumblebees.
Positioned near the head of Ribblesdale this nature reserve enjoys fabulous views of the surrounding dale and meadows. Ashes Pasture consists of a mosaic of grassland types including acid pasture, fen meadow and calcareous flushes along with a small wooded gully on the eastern boundary. In spring and summer it is at its most colourful with a good show of orchids including common and heath spotted, early purple, fragrant, frog and northern marsh. A profusion of other flowering plants such as devil’s-bit scabious, great burnet, saw-wort, betony, lousewort and ragged robin add to the colour along with globeflower, wood cranesbill and marsh marigold on the lower slopes. The area is great for breeding birds and in spring you may be rewarded with views of the ‘bubbling’ display of curlews and the parachute display of meadow pipits. Black grouse are occasionally reported nearby and management of the nature reserve includes boosting potential black grouse habitat by creating a mosaic of tall and short vegetation and providing a range of food sources fromshoots and buds to invertebrates to feed chicks. The area of gully woodland on the eastern boundary followsa stream and adds further diversity. Plants found here include bluebells in spring followed by angelica, meadowsweet and giant bellflower. Ashes Pasture is grazed by cattle and sheep in autumn and winter, following the traditional grazing regime of the area, which helps to maintain its diverse flora. The nature reserve and the surrounding land is designated as a SSSI and there is a great view of the traditionally managed hay meadows and field barns typical of the Yorkshire Dales. There aren’t any paths around this nature reserve currently and we ask visitors to be aware of the fragile nature of the flowering plants.

Species and habitats

Fragrant Orchid

Nearby nature reserves

Southerscales Nature Reserve
2 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
South House Pavement Nature Reserve
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Brae Pasture Nature Reserve
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

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Reserve information

Ribblehead, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
Map reference
SD776 784
Great for...
Best time to visit
May - Jul
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6.00 hectares
National Park

There are no formal paths so visitors are asked to tread carefully.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Sheep from late summer.
Reserve manager