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Malhamdale Natural History

Malham Moor and the surrounding area is wonderfully rich in natural history.  This wealth stems from the climate and the geology – the limestone laid down beneath ancient seas and capped by sandstone deposits, raised up, fractured by fault lines and scoured by glaciers to form the watershed of our modern rivers.  In the ice ages glacial melt wore deep valleys now often left dry as the hydrology seeks underground ways.  The relic gritstone caps shape the profile of the highest hills, manifesting in craggy edges as well as in erratic boulders abandoned by the retreating ice.  The rich variety of landscape thus formed results in diverse habitats.   

Land adjoining High Trenhouse, including Malham Tarn estate,  is owned by the National Trust.  The estate supports a centre run by the Field Studies Council, which, while enabling young students to learn from nature, also offers public courses that help people appreciate this wonderful area.  Malham Tarn is a designated Ramsar site – a wetland of world class significance, largely because of its particular juxtaposition of calcium rich waters and acid peat bog – a combination that creates unique ecosysytems.  The whole area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  

It is perhaps for birds that the area is best known – from the peregrine falcons nesting at Malham Cove to the characteristic ground nesting birds of the uplands – pewits, skylarks, curlews and oystercatchers that fill the summer air with sound – plus all the migrants that seek out this rich landscape.  Others find delight in the flowers of the limestone pastures, on the tarn moss and fenlands, in the secret gardens in the grikes of the limestone pavements, or the rare species found on the upper slopes of Penyghent – and all the butterflies and insects in symbiotic relationship with them.

Malhamdale Natural History
Limestone Pavement on Malham Cove

Snow at High Trenhouse!

Let us share some pictures with you……..taken at High Trenhouse today


Picture Gallery June 2009

Thought it might be nice to share some photographs with you, taken yesterday at High Trenhouse

Picture Gallery June 2009
The Road to Arncliffe
Picture Gallery June 2009
Spring Lambs
Picture Gallery June 2009
Malham Moor
Picture Gallery June 2009
Flowers at High Trenhouse

High Trenhouse History

High Trenhouse Managment Centre is situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park overlooking Malham Tarn. Bought in 1976 as a run down farmstead it was transformed over a number of years into the residential venue seen today. However High Trenhouse has a long and interesting history.

During the Bronze and Iron Ages, the surrounding area was settled by farmers who used the land for grazing. Following the Roman conquest of Britain the upland areas were not seen as attractive and the only Roman presence in the area was a marching camp on Malham Moor. During the Medieval period the lands were owned by the Monasteries, and their use for grazing continued.  The High Trenhouse dwelling was originally built as a lodge for Fountains Abbey, at a time when much of the land on Malham Moor was owned by the monastic estates. The lodge housed a tenant, together with two or three shepherds and boys, who looked after the sheep

Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the Malham Moor estate changed hands several times until it was eventually acquired by Thomas Lister, the first Lord Ribblesdale, in the mid 1700s. It was sold to businessman James Morrison in 1852 and on his death inherited by his son, Walter. While visiting Walter Morrison in 1858, author Charles Kingsley used Malham Tarn as the inspiration for the novel the “The Water-Babies”. When Walter Morrison died in 1921, High Trenhouse and several other farms entered independent ownership while the Tarn House estate was eventually gifted to the National Trust. High Trenhouse was a thousand acre sheep farm until 1976 when the land was divided and the house acquired by the current owner.

High Trenhouse History
Inspiration for "The Water Babies" by Charles Kingsle