Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund

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Nine work-based apprenticeships in environmental management and cultural heritage conservation plus certificated vocational training. It will provide the opportunity for young people to conserve special features of their local area and deliver substantial heritage and conservation gains during the lifetime of the project.

Project lead: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

The Westmorland Dales provides some of England's finest countryside, a landscape rich in heritage and a significant economic asset for the region. This needs sensitive management by expertly trained individuals.

However, the local availability of key countryside management skills is increasingly difficult to find or develop. In addition rural communities are trying to adapt to the rapidly changing economics of their areas; one consequence being the dramatic loss of skilled individuals from the Dales. 

The scheme will provide individuals with an opportunity to develop environmental management and heritage conservation skills. 

The land based sector including agriculture suffers particularly from lack of access to training and skills development, 80% of businesses employ less than 5 people and are unable to invest in training; this is a key barrier to economic growth and development in Cumbria. 

This project will address the identified deficit of skilled people able to take up positions in the Land based sector, particularly those with skills in heritage crafts. There is an established lack of recruitment to the sector that will become critical over within the next 20 years. It is estimated that the sector will require 595,000 entrants between now and 2020.

Project Purpose

  • Improve the local skills base in skills which relate to conservation and enhancement of the landscape
  • Enable training based on projects delivered through the Westmorland Dales projects
  • Support the sustainability of the environment, economy and communities of this special area
  • Help individuals to gain employment which enables them to remain living and working in the area.