Limestone pavement on Hutton Roof Crags
Hutton Roof Crags has extensive areas of limestone pavement as well as grassland and woodland. The hill forms the Hutton Roof Crags Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the Morecambe Bay Pavements Special Area of Conservation, as well as hosting a National Nature Reserve. A significant proportion of the UK's 20 km2 of limestone pavement is to be found on Hutton Roof Crags and the neighbouring Farleton Knott.
Although part of the hill is grass grazed by sheep, and part is forested, much remains open common land, and it is here that most of the limestone pavement is to be found. However, much has been removed over the years for many purposes including building, agricultural fertiliser, and production of millstones, but is now protected by law and it is an offence to remove any. The limestone is over 300 metres thick, and was laid down during the Carboniferous period some 350 million years ago. The limestone pavements here occupy an intermediate position between the low-lying pavements of Gait Barrows some 8 km to the west, and those on Ingleborough, 19 km to the east.
Plants including rigid buckler fern, angular Solomonís seal, limestone fern, and dark red helleborine are to be found on the pavement. The nationally scarce rigid buckler-fern Dryopteris submontana is abundant on Hutton Roof Crags. Blue moor grass is also nationally scarce but abundant here.
Access is possible via the public footpath running across the north of the fell, but is probably easier through the woods to the south-west.