SUMMARY

Pollen data from a Lateglacial and Holocene sequence at Hallsenna Moor, Cumbria, NW England are described. The Lateglacial Interstadial pollen spectra indicate plant succession from open-habitat conditions through the development of Juniperus and Salix and willow scrub to the establishment of open Betula woodland. Based on radiocarbon dating evidence, the climatic amelioration marking the onset of the Interstadial occurred at 13 220 ± 180 14C yrs BP, whereas the phase of maximum birch woodland development is dated to 11 215 ± 65 14C yrs BP. A return to arctic conditions during the Loch Lomond Stadial led to the re-establishment of a tundra landscape in which steppe and halophytic taxa associated with bare moving soils were the dominant components of the vegetation. Only a partial Holocene record is preserved at the site (post c. 8200 14C yrs BP) and indicates mixed Quercus woodland with Alnus, Betula, Ulmus and Corylus avellana. A distinctive feature of the stratigraphical record at Hallsenna Moor is the marked break in sedimentation between the later Loch Lomond Stadial and the middle Holocene, a period spanning more than 2000 years. This appears to reflect a phase of drier climatic conditions, which corresponds with evidence from elsewhere in Britain and NW Europe.

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