Ling Gill is a deep, narrow, wooded limestone ravine that is located close to the Pennine Way as it makes its way through upper Ribblesdale.
The gill is a rare example of sub-alpine ash woodland and as such has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve. Access to Ling Gill is permitted though not encouraged. The whole area is fenced off to protect the rare plants from sheep grazing and presumably also the sheep from the risk of a lethal fall into the ravine.
The only practical way down into the gill is to scramble down alongside a couple of waterfalls below Ling Gill Bridge at the head of the ravine. This is easier said than done and requires great care and dry conditions to be practical. Unfortunately on my visit it was far too wet to attempt.
Those who do venture in are asked to avoid stepping into Ling Gill Beck. This is to avoid the risk of spreading crayfish plague, Ling Gill being a home to Britain’s native and sadly endangered white-claw crayfish.
Despite being unable to enter the ravine myself a few small detours from the Pennine Way brought some fine views down into the wooded gorge.
For some spectacular photos from someone who has explored the gill please visit Stephen Oldfield’s excellent blog A Three Peaks Up and Under.