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Malham Tarn NNR

Malham Tarn NNR. Photography by Roger Henson. Click for larger image.

Location: The source of the River Aire, near Malham

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL2 - Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas

Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve (NNR) is part of the Malham Tarn Estate which is owned and managed by the National Trust in partnership with local farmers. The NNR is also designated as part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and it is a wetland of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention. The reserve consists of 147 hectares and is one of the best places to see a natural lime-rich lake (the tarn), blanket bog, fen, willow carr and purple moor-grass and rush pasture in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The tarn is said to be the highest marl lake in Britain at 380 metres above sea level and is rich in submerged aquatic plants. It is also home to six fish species, white-clawed crayfish, and bird life including the great crested grebe, moorhen, coot, tufted duck and teal. The blanket bog on Tarn Moss includes plant species such as wild cranberry, bearberry, bog rosemary, crowberry and bog asphodel. The fen has a whole host of species to see including bogbean and ragged robin. The willow carr includes dark-leaved willow, and the purple moor-grass and rush pasture includes species such as cross-leaved heath. In addition, breeding wading birds such as redshank, curlew, lapwing and oystercatcher use this mosiac of habitats.

Access and facilities:
The Pennine Way long distance trail runs through part of the reserve. Part of the nature reserve is an Open Access area and there are several public roads adjacent to the reserve with car parking areas, as shown on the Ordnance Survey map mentioned above. A permit needs to be obtained to visit the boardwalk around the fen. These can be sought in advance through the Malham Tarn Estate National Trust office.The Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre (opens in new window) is also within the reserve. There are some public transport links to the nearby village of Malham.

Further information about Malham Tarn NNR is available from:

National Trust - Malham Tarn and Malham Moor (webpage open in new window)

Natural England - Nature on the Map (webpage opens in new window)