Rewilding in the Yorkshire Dales & Northern Monk Brewery
Normally closed to the general public, Scar Close National Nature Reserve is a unique mountainous landscape in the Yorkshire Dales. It is an area of limestone pavement that has been ungrazed for 34 years and has a vibrancy and a diversity in bird, plant, mammal and invertebrate life not found elsewhere in the Dales.
During our trip, we were taken around the reserve by its manager, Colin Newlands, as well as Mark Fisher of the Wildland Research Institute (University of Leeds). They talked us through the history, ecology, and development of Scar Close.
The Reserve is managed by Natural England as part of their Ingleborough National Nature Reserve network under non-intervention principles such as fencing out grazing livestock. We may also make a side trip to the adjacent YWT reserve of Southerscales, managed using conservation grazing, which would allow us to make interesting comparisons as regards biodiversity and landscape.
Once there, due to important restrictions on how many people could be on the site at a given time, we will divide into two groups: one group will walk for two hours and the other will walk for three hours. After the walk, we’ll stop at a lovely traditional Yorkshire pub for lunch.
Back in Leeds, we visited the Northern Monk Brewery where we decamped to talk about the day’s memories. (Brewery address: Marshalls Mill, Holbeck LS11 9YJ)