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Pennine Dales Upland Hay Meadows, England

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Chapter Summary

The English Pennine Dales are situated in the counties of North Yorkshire, Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland between the town of Grassington in the south and Allendale Town in the north within the central part of the chain of hills known as the Pennines. The soils of the Dale bottoms are loamy brown earths or calcareous brown earths which may be free-draining or partially gleyed and prone to winter water logging. The soils of the agriculturally unimproved meadows have low levels of extractable phosphorus and potassium. The traditionally-managed upland hay meadows occur in the valley bottoms and lower slopes between 200 and 400m. The enclosed meadows, together with other components of the upland landscape, provide important nesting and feeding habitat for various waders. The landscape of the Dales, with fields separated by dry stone walls and interspersed with stone barns, is the product of this traditional meadow management system.

Keywords: English Pennine Dales; meadow management system; upland hay meadows



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