heath is a term used to describe the heathland vegetation that grows
on leached mineral soils or superficial deposits (e.g. loess) overlying
limestone bedrock. It develops mainly on plateau sites and north-facing
slopes where rain has leached the carbonate from the surface soil,
rendering it acidic enough to support typical calcifugous (lime-hating)
species like ling, western gorse and tormentil.
Stands of limestone heath are usually quite small, and they often
occur in close juxtaposition with rich limestone grassland, thereby
presenting an intriguing small-scale mosaic of calcifugous and calcicolous
plants apparently growing together. A good example of limestone heath
can be seen close to the car park at Blackmoor Reserve and on Crook
An area of limestone heath on the south-east ridge of Crook Peak.
Here, lime-hating plants such as ling and western gorse thrive on
leached acidic mineral soils developed on limestone bedrock.