Ballowfield Nature Reserve is on the Askrigg to Carperby road approximately 1/2 mile past Woodhall village heading towards Carperby. It is also known locally as Bungalow Town.
This area of grassland has one of the most unique plant communities in the Yorkshire Dales. This is why it is protected as a Special Area for Conservation under European Law, and is part of a much larger area including the woodland known as Hawbank.
What makes this piece of grassland so special is the unusual plants found here which would more normally be found on cliffs and salt marshes. Each one is here because of the lead mining industry that scarred the land over 200 years ago.
The Eller Beck has carried lead from the mines into the grassland and where it is particularly concentrated you will find specially adapted plants like thrift, scurvy grass, and spring sandwort (leadwort). On the spoil heaps you may be lucky enough to find the unusual fern, moonwort and the tiny alpine pennycress. They are all known as metallophytes because of their ability to tolerate the high levels of lead in the soil.
wild dog violets – primroses – lesser celandine – sweet cecily – bluebells – wild arum – self heal – ground ivy- scurvy grass- ribwort plantain