The Howgill Fells are Silurian and Ordovician sandstone and gritstone uplands with distinctive high, rounded ridges and dome-like summits separated by long, steep-sided valleys; around half is National Park. The fells are remote, exposed, open, unenclosed common land, covered with a seasonally colourful mosaic of upland habitats, including poorly drained acid grassland and bracken, with some small remnant areas of upland heath, which offer long-distance panoramic views to surrounding uplands. Drainage is radial; incised rocky gills and ‘flashy’ streams flow into the rivers Lune, Rawthey and Eden. Large areas are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for their geology and active fluvial geomorphology. Lower, enclosed slopes offer a contrasting pastoral scene, with rough, rushy pastures grading into improved land, with some hay meadows and purple moor-grass, surrounded by drystone walls and hedges. Flower-rich verges occur along some quiet lanes. Livestock farming predominates, with sheep, Fell ponies and cattle. There is limited tree cover: mainly gill woodland and remnant broadleaved woods.
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|NE537: NCA Profile: 18 Howgill Fells:, PDF, 4.8 MB||2014/03/10|
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