Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme ran from March 2019 to February 2024. Its vision was to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. 

Download the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme Summary Report for an overview of the Scheme's successes.


Welcome …

… to the Westmorland Dales website.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aimed to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Specifically, its objectives were to:

  • Reveal the area’s hidden heritage.
  • Conserve what makes the area special.
  • Engage people in enjoying and benefitting from their heritage.
  • Sustain the benefits of the scheme in the long-term.

This was achieved through a programme of projects developed and delivered through the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership, led by Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and mainly funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It ran over a five-year period from March 2019 to February 2024.

Here you can discover what makes the area so special, find out about the scheme’s projects, and view and download resources produced.

The Westmorland Dales

The Westmorland Dales is a beautiful area of Cumbria lying  north of the Howgill Fells and within the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It stretches from Tebay in the south-west to Kirkby Stephen in the east and to Maulds Meaburn in the north-west. At its heart are the limestone fells above Orton and Asby, rich in natural and cultural heritage, and with magnificent views to the Pennines, the Howgills and the Lakeland fells. It drains into the Lune river catchment to the south and the Eden river catchment to the north. Relatively overlooked compared with its better-known neighbours, our projects have aimed to reveal its heritage for more to enjoy without detracting from its unique qualities. (Click on map for larger image)

Contact information

Friends of the Lake District
Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7SS
Main Telephone:  01539 720788
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Yoredale, Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3EL
Main Telephone:  01969 652300

Lune Rivers Trust undertook surveys in the tributaries of the upper Lune for salmon, trout, sea trout and other river species, including native crayfish to understand the prevalence of key species in the area.

Project lead: Tim Pitt, Lune Rivers Trust

The involvement of Lune Rivers Trust developed relatively late in the Scheme. Limited resources were available for river restoration and natural flood management within the upper Lune catchment, so this project concentrated on surveying key indicator species in the main tributaries. The aim was to collect better data that would inform later conservation projects.

This project included:

eDNA testing in the summer of 2021 to detect the presence of White Clawed Crayfish and other species.

Electro-fishing of rivers and becks within the upper Lune catchment in 2022 and 2023 with staff, volunteers and apprentices. 12 locations were sampled in 2022, but it was only possible to survey 8 locations in 2023 due to the abnormally high river levels.

The training and licencing of LRT staff in crayfish surveying in 2022. Again, due to high river levels it was only possible to survey one location for White Clawed Crayfish in 2023.

The limited results of the 2023 survey are being analysed, but a summary of the 2022 findings is available on the webinar recording on this website:

Salmon, Trout and Crayfish in the Upper Lune webinar

In general, disappointingly low numbers of key fish species were recorded throughout the project area, although one or two tributaries, including the Birk Beck, were significantly better. The presence of White-Clawed Crayfish was detected on two becks, Chapel Beck and Rais Beck.

Further information is available from the Lune Rivers Trust website.