Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme finished in early 2024 with projects successfully delivered by a wide range of project partners, community groups and individuals. 
Over the coming months, we’ll be updating this site to highlight what’s been achieved, so please keep checking back.

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 to the north of the Howgill Fells and located 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

Eight countryside worker apprentices were employed by YDNPA, and one cultural heritage trainee, who developed their skills and experience in undertaking a variety of projects with a wide range of partners, acting as great ambassadors for the Scheme and the organisation. Most have gone on to work in the conservation sector.

Eight 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.