Malham Cove waterfall brought back to life

Water flowing over Malham Cove

Record levels of rainfall at the weekend meant that Malham Cove became a waterfall, the first time water has been seen flowing over the top in living memory for many people.

Malham Cove is an impressive limestone cliff on the outskirts of Malham village, formed at the end of the last ice age by meltwater from glaciers. Today thousands of people visit this awe inspiring place each year, standing at the foot of the 80m cliff face or climbing the steep steps to marvel at the far reaching views from the top.

Limestone is pretty permeable, so water is absorbed into the ground fairly rapidly and into the large cave system beneath. Once the caves fill up with water then the water stops being absorbed by the limestone and instead travels on top of it.

Although the waterfall only flowed for a few hours it is thought that Malham Cove briefly became the tallest unbroken waterfall in England, a record normally held by Hardraw Force in Wensleydale.