Limestone cliffs, outcrops and scree:
Great Rocks Dale
The White Peak is famous for its towering limestone cliffs. Smaller rock outcrops and areas of screes are often found in conjunction with these cliffs. Although many are natural in origin, often formed through the actions of water, those at Great Rocks Dale have been partially altered through the impact of quarrying at Tunstead, whilst the accessibility of others continues to make them a target of ongoing quarrying activity.
Despite their varying origins, all limestone exposures can support a wide range of flora and fauna: Cliff faces support plants such as green spleenwort and are important for craneflies, whilst fissures within cliff faces house ferns, including maidenhair fern.
Cliff ledges support shrubs such as rock whitebeam, tall herbs such as knapweed and harebell, and small flowers such as spring cinquefoil. Such ledges also provide important nesting sites for the returning peregrine and raven whilst caves provide winter hibernation sites for bats.
Screes found in association with limestone cliffs and outcrops house other plant species, including mosses and flowers such as herb robert, dog's mercury, marjoram, common rock-rose and dark red helleborine. Snails, slugs, woodlice and spiders also use the screes to hide under.