Anston Stones

83 acres of native limestone woodland, a small surviving fragment of a forest that goes back to after the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Traces of human habitation such as flint fragments going back 10,000 years has been found here, as well as 1,600 year old Romano-British pottery.

The limestone was also quarried from nearby Anston Quarry (1 mile south next to the Chesterfield Canal).

stream through the woods

Walking into the wood is like walking into something from Tolkein novel – it is a dense thicket with gnarled tree roots and limestone caves. In May it smells heavily of wild garlic, and in the autumn rotting trunks can be coated with mushrooms (illegal to pick in a Site of Special and Scientific Interest/SSSI by the way). I took some Brazilian friends for a walk there once and they said that it reminded them of the south Brazil rainforests.

It’s holding up pretty well although there’s some illegal motorcyling there by some of the local yobbery.

limestone outcrop

The stream that runs through the limestone gorge is Anston Brook.

limestone outcrop

A railway line also runs through the gorge.

limestone outcrop

Above the gorge is a meadow, replete with birch and willow:

limestone meadow