25 April 2015: Field meeting: Whitbarrow, Southern Lakeland

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25 April 2015: Field meeting: Whitbarrow, Southern Lakeland

Post by David Gibson » Mon 12 Jan 2015 17:51

25 April 2015: Field meeting: Whitbarrow, Southern Lakeland

A copy of the circular for this meeting can be downloaded from here

Exploring the Limestone Landscapes of Whitbarrow, southern Lakeland

This field meeting will involve a walk of approximately 8km to the Whitbarrow limestone outcrop, to be led by Dr. Phillip Murphy, of the University of Leeds. The meeting place will be at the hamlet of Millside, off the A590 between Levens and Lindale, southern Lakeland.

There will be a small charge of £6 (£3 for BCRA members), payable on the day. Attendees will be provided with a copy of a new BCRA Cave Studies Series booklet, Exploring the Limestone Landscapes of the Cumbrian Ring, written by Dr. Murphy, of which this walk comprises one excursion.

Further information...

Most of the Whitbarrow limestone outcrop, including extensive pavements, and the closely associated acidic grassland, juniper scrub, heath and woodland, fall with-in the Whitbarrow SSSI. Part of this is also the Whitbarrow NNR, and a small part of that is also the Whitbarrow Scar LNR. It is not surprising therefore that this whole area is highly regarded by conservationists for its rich mix of largely natural environmental facilities that com-bine to support an equally rich invertebrate, bird and small mammal community, quite apart from its superb karst features.

The steep cliff of White Scar dominates the view of the south end of the Whitbarrow Plateau, when approaching southern Lakeland from the east. Its lower screes have been extensively removed, adding to the dominance. The Lyth Valley, crossed immediately before this, is famous for growing damsons. Here the valley floor was carved out into deep basins by ice-flows, and these have since been deep-filled with fertile soil. Extensively around Morecambe Bay, shallow basins have been filled in this way with sediment and now form the ‘marshes’ and ‘mosses’ of the area, e. g. Foulshaw Moss, Arnside Moss and Silverdale Moss. However, between the mountains to the north, the ice excavated even deeper basins that now give the area its famous name: The Lake District.

The detailed programme is still in preparation, but is expected to last from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. It will enable the various limestone pavements, caves, mine levels and geological, glacial and hydrological features to be visited and discussed. Attendees should provide their own lunch packs and refreshments. Pre-registration for the Field Meeting is essential and should be made to the meeting secretary, Dr. Trevor Faulkner (see http://bcra.org.uk/contact.html) by Friday 10 April 2015 at the latest, although earlier indications will be appreciated. More detailed information will be provided by email to those who pre-register.

BCRA re-launched cave science field meetings in 2008 and participants have enjoyed many successful events since then. We hope you will come and support this one so that similar activities can be staged in the future.

9 January 2015 , Trevor Faulkner