North York Moors

North York Moors, Yorkshire (c) Adrian Warren and Dae Sasitorn

Britain from the Air - North York Moors

Marvellous moorland

The North York Moors contains one of the most spectacular and unusual valleys in Britain - Newtondale. The valley is wide, deep and curving and could not have been created by the tiny stream that now runs through it.

Much more power was needed to carve the gorge out of the surrounding hills. In fact it was shaped from torrents of water released from melting ice sheets some 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age.

The valley may have been created very quickly - in just a few decades - by the flood waters, which at their highest are thought to have been about ten times the volume of the River Thames.

Heather moorland

The North York Moors National Park is also renowned for its heather moorland. This covers about a third of the park and is the largest area of heather moor in England and Wales. Taken together, all the heather moors in the UK make up nearly three quarters of the world’s total.

Springy to walk on, the heather is specially adapted to the harsh windy moorland conditions with small leaves that stop it losing too much water.

Local game

Grouse are only found in Britain and are wild birds. Red grouse are at the centre of an important local game industry (shooting) that helps keep the moorland economy alive.

Inevitably views differ about the sport. Gamekeepers manage the moorlands to both support the bird’s habitat and to monitor and, where necessary conserve, bird numbers. They are not an easy target as they fly low and fast at speeds of up to 120 kph.

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North York Moors, Yorkshire, YO18 8RB

Grid reference: SE 73216 97266
Find out more:

North York Moors National Park

Britain from the Air - North York Moors credits

Thank you to -

Adrian Warren and Dae Sasitorn for aerial photography

Text researched and written by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world”.
Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey.