Environmental Geology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 160–166 | Cite as

The legal protection of limestone pavements in Great Britain

  • H. S. Goldie
Original Articles


The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was passed to provide strengthened legal protection for threatened wildlife and environmental features in Britain. Limestone pavements were included specifically in section 34 of this act because their unique features were being damaged or destroyed through various causes. Limestone Pavement Orders (LPOs) are made under this act. This review considers why this protection became necessary, how the legislation is being implemented, what problems have arisen during implementation, and what progress has been made in making LPOs. Enforcement of the law, monitoring of sites after LPOs have been made, and management of pavement sites are discussed with reference to limestone pavements in NW England. Effectiveness of the legislation is difficult to assess because legal processes are incomplete, but there are indications that it is being effective in Britain. However, commercial threats to these landforms may simply have been shifted to Eire. The British experience with legal protection of these fragile karst features may aid conservationists in other nations.

Key words

Legal protection Limestone pavements 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ford DC, Williams PW (1989) Karst geomorphology and hydrology. London: Unwin Hyman. 601 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldie HS (1981) Morphometry of the limestone pavements of Farleton Knott (Cumbria, England). Trans Cave Res Assoc 8(4):207–224Google Scholar
  3. Goldie HS (1987) Human impact on limestone pavements in the British Isles. In: Kunaver J (Ed), Karst and man. Proceedings, international symposium on human influence in karst, Postojna, Yugoslavia. Department of Geography, University E. Kardelj, Ljubljana, pp 179–199Google Scholar
  4. H.M.S.O. (1981) Wildlife and Countryside Act. London: Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  5. Sweeting MM (1972) Karst landforms. London: MacmillanGoogle Scholar
  6. Waltham AC (1983) A review of karst conservation sites in Britain. Stud Speleol 4(Sept 1983):85–92Google Scholar
  7. Ward SD, Evans DF (1976) Conservation assessment of British limestone pavements based on floristic criteria. Biol Conserv 9: 217–233Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. S. Goldie
    • 1
  1. 1.Terrain Analysis Unit, Department of GeographyUniversity of DurhamEngland

Personalised recommendations