While on a recent break away and looking for places to visit I had a request from my daughter to visit a place she had learnt about in GCSE Geography. Always keen to encourage continued learning, I agreed and we set of for a place called Malham Cove, but it is not a cove on the coast, this cove is in the middle of the country some distance from any coastline!Malham Cove is a limestone formation 0.6 miles north of the village of Malham, North Yorkshire, England. The large, curved feature was formed by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago. The vertical face of the cliff is about 260 feet high. The top of the cove is a large area of deeply eroded limestone pavement, of a strange pattern rarely seen in England.
Limestone Pavements are a feature of Malham Cove and surrounding areas with the Clints (the blocks of limestone) and Grykes (the gaps) creating a unique wildlife habitat or micro-climate for rare wild flowers and ferns such as wood sorrel, Herb Robert, Green Spleenwort and Wall Rue.
If you visit this stunning location you will discover why Malham cove is one of the most popular places in the Yorkshire Dales national park.
Malham Cove the 70 metre (230ft) high, gently curving cliff of white limestone has amazed visitors for centuries. Over the last one and a half million years, Malham was probably covered at least three times with huge sheets of ice. As these glaciers ground their way over the landscape they plucked rock from the face of the Cove and carried it away. Each time the glaciers melted, huge floods of water further eroded the face of the Cove. The water flows underground now, but then, the ground was permanently frozen and so the glacial meltwater had to run over the top. The result was that a massive waterfall once thundered over the Cove.
Today, the sheer rock face of Malham Cove challenges climbers and also protects a pair of nesting peregrine falcons which can be viewed during the summer months diving and wheeling alongside the house martins and jackdaws that also call the Cove home.