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South House Pavement Nature Reserve

A narrow strip of limestone pavement in good condition, over half a mile long and 50m wide, South House Pavement offers magnificent scenery and interesting plant life; from ferns and grasses to rich mosses and lichens.

Surrounded by dry stone walls, typical in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, South House Pavement Nature Reserve is a fantastic example of a limestone pavement.

A great site for the sure-footed, the mosaic of narrow clints (blocks) and grykes (fissures) does mean it can be rather difficult to venture across, particularly in wet weather when it is best avoided.

An excellent site for limestone grassland species you can find ferns including rigid buckler fern and hart’s tongue fern. Herbs such as meadowsweet and spear thistle grow in the grykes, whilst small trees and shrubs like rowan, bird cherry and hawthorn are scattered across the nature reserve. There are some patches with thicker soil where heather is found. Beautiful pink hairy stonecrop grows at the edge of pools that form in depressions on the clint surface when it rains, or where the soil borders the bare rock.

Top Tip:

The summer flowers in the meadow and around the limestone pavement areas are exceptional; visit in June to see them at their best.

South House Pavement was once grazed, the rocky areas cleared in previous centuries. However the grykes in the pavement make it a dangerous site for livestock and there is no water supply. Management is now focussed on maintaining the dry stone walls and occasionally removing sycamore seedlings and rosebay willowherb which would otherwise grow and shade out the rich ground flora. The land here is now part of the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve.

Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife book, which has detailed information on all of Yorkshire Wildlife and Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s reserves, is available to buy now from our online shop.

Public Transport

Train (Settle-Carlisle line) station and occasional buses at Horton-in-Ribblesdale 2.5 miles away.


Take the B6479 Horton to Selside Road and turn off for South House. The nature reserve lies beyond South House on the lower slopes of Simon Fell, east of Ingleborough Hill. There is limited roadside parking. Enter the nature reserve by a small gate in the wall.

Want to see more of South House Pavement Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

South House Pavement Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group


Nearby nature reserves

Brae Pasture Nature Reserve
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Southerscales Nature Reserve
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Ashes Pasture
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Off B6479, Horton to Selside Road
North Yorkshire
BD24 0HU
Map reference
SD 776 744
Great for...
a family day out
geological interest
Best time to visit
Mar - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
5.16 hectares
National Nature Reserve (NNR)

Access is by permissive path from South House. There are no paths on the reserve. Hazards include some unstable clints and grikes, wet pavement can be slippery. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
There are no paths on the reserve.
Parking on roadside or near farmhouse (limited).
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570