For the first time in over 200 years, water flowed over the top of Malham Cove’s 260ft drop, making it, albeit briefly, the tallest waterfall in England by over doubling the size of the usual record holder. Hardraw Force usually holds the title of tallest waterfall in England at 100ft, but lost this for a short period of time due to Storm Desmond hitting England and flooding the Malham Cove area. For those who do not know, Malham Cove is a limestone formation in the Yorkshire Dales. It is usually dry, as the water that would form the waterfall flows through the cracks and gullies that are at its top and travel to the foot well at the bottom of the cliff.
Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Head of Ranger Services, Alan Hulme, has said that the recent storm left all water systems running in and around Malham Cove full, which caused the excess rain water to flow along the top of the cove. Alan Hulme went to see the waterfall flowing over Malham Cove and said that most of the village turned up to witness it, not surprising seeing as this was such a rare occurrence!
Malham Cove is a naturally formed limestone formation that came about during the ice age. The cove was created millions of years ago when the earth below Malham Cove dropped along a vertical crack in the rock known as the Mid Craven Fault. The land fell by around 100m creating a huge vertical cliff. This cliff original stood about 600 meters down from where Malham Cove is today. The cove’s rounded, semi-circular shape has been created over the millennia due to erosion. This erosion would predominantly be down to the impressive waterfall which flowed over the cove during the melting of many an ice age during the last two million years.
Malham Cove is considered to be one of England’s most beautiful and popular landmarks. It is quiet incredible to witness something no one in living memory has ever experienced. Unfortunately the waterfall has since stopped running but it is expected to run again if there is another large downpour of rain in the near future.