Mealbank Quarry is a disused limestone quarry of 19th century origin which closed in 1910. It covers approximately seven hectares and is located near the village of Ingleton.
Why is it special?
The site is of national importance for its ecological, geological and archaeological interest.
Twenty species of butterfly have been recorded locally including Northern Brown Argus, a UK BAP priority species restricted to the limestone areas of northern England and Scotland. However, the site’s population is small and declining. The site also contains calcareous grassland and a small area of fen habitat, both of which are UK BAP priority habitats.
It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it contains a coal outcrop within the limestone which formed during a temporary emergence of the land surface during the Carboniferous period, as well as fossilised soil, coral beds and other features.
It is also designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument due to the ruins of a Hoffmann limekiln, a mid-19th century innovation which enabled the production of quicklime to become a continuous process, similar to the better preserved one at Langcliffe near Settle [link to D2?].
What will the project do?
An actively managed 4ha nature reserve will be created on part of the quarry. The project will include volunteer training, educational opportunities, on-site interpretation of the site’s ecological and geological interest, and managed public access to the site.
We are working with the site’s owner, Craven District Council, and tenant farmer to transfer site ownership or lease to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The project is supported by Butterfly Conservation (Yorkshire Branch), YDNPA, and Natural England.
Get in touch
If you’d like to find out more about this project, please contact Don Gamble, Stories in Stone Scheme Manager.
Thank you to Velela for providing the photo of the Northern Brown Argus