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The Durham Dales is the name given to a large area of Landscape, in the West of County Durham, consisting primarily, of the Durham portion of the North Penninesmarker, in Englandmarker.

Geography

They consist primarily of a series of high exposed moorlands, hills and mountains, a number exceeding a height of 2,000ft above sea-level. Along with the vallies or Dales, from which the area gets its name. Which include Teesdalemarker and Weardalemarker. The area covers roughly one third of County Durham, and is its least populous area.

Settlements

There are just a few market towns within the area; Barnard Castlemarker, Consettmarker, Middleton-in-Teesdalemarker, and Stanhope, though some also consider the Durham Dales to extend as far East as Bishop Aucklandmarker and Crook.There are a number of small villages to be found in the area, which in general tend to be sparsely populated, and spread out, being some distance away from one another. Which is in great constrast to much of the rest of County Durham, especially Eastern Durham.

List of villages in the Durham Dales

Geology

Like much of the North Pennines, they form an anticline, with Carboniferous Limestone, exposed at the surface. The Durham Dales like much of the Pennines, have long been exploited for their rich, mineralogical resources, notably lead, and Ironstone.

Ecology

Many of the high hills are occupied by moors, with peat-mosses, the higher ground being uncultivable and barely fit for pastures.As with much of the landscape of the Pennines they are generally upland areas of high moorland indented by the more fertile valleys of various rivers and streams.

The Durham Dales constitute the principal watershed for the county of Durham, as well as contributing to those of the neighbouring counties of; Cumbriamarker, Northumberlandmarker and North Yorkshire. The rivers Wear, Teesmarker, and Derwent all rise in the Durham Dales and flow Eastward towards the North Sea. The Derwent helping to form County Durhams' Northerly border, and the Teesmarker traditionally its Southern border.

Along the course of the Tees, are the three attractions of the High Forcemarker, Low Forcemarker and Cauldron Snoutmarker, waterfalls.


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