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  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

Engaging people was at the heart of the Scheme and most of its projects to celebrate the area’s heritage. A programme of general public engagement events was held from online webinars to annual landscape forums; volunteers were recruited, trained and engaged; projects delivered with local primary and secondary schools, and other training events held; art, including sound sculptures, land art, theatre and music was imaginatively used to engage a board cross-section of people.

A range of coherent and structured community engagement activities and individual projects will add value to and underpin the entire scheme. The project will increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the area’s unique heritage and landscape, increase skills and create new learning opportunities. It will provide a lasting legacy for heritage, people and communities.

Project lead: Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Delivery Team

The Westmorland Dales is a remote and beautiful limestone landscape characterised by a long history of self-reliance, typified by small family owned upland farms, medieval villages and the historic village of Tebay. Due to the largely pastoral landscape it has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. ‘Celebrating and Engaging’ will focus on the resident population of 3,500 but will also engage the important neighbouring communities of Shap and Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, Penrith and Kendal who reside just outside the area.

 This project is the community engagement element of the scheme. It underpins all the 21 projects and celebrates all the projects key themes, supporting any community engagement aspects in the other projects. It will be a flexible project which responds to the needs and interests of the community, appealing to people of all ages, abilities and interest to be able to appreciate and be inspired by the landscapes of the area. There is an increasing disconnection of rural communities from the land, resulting in a loss of skills and understanding of local distinctiveness -traditions, styles and culture which this project will address. 

For the benefit of this plan “Community Engagement is defined as engaging local people primarily but also visitors of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and ethnicities in the Westmorland Dales area to raise awareness of the schemes main themes”. 

5 main audiences have been identified in the Landscape Conservation Action Plan:

  1. Local people
  2. Tourists
  3. Visitors
  4. Volunteers
  5. Under-represented Groups 

Project Purpose 

  • To increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the areas unique heritage and landscape,
  • To increase learning and volunteering opportunities enabling people to learn new skills, get active and improve people’s health and well-being.
  • To provide new and interesting, well promoted accessible events and activities that celebrate the distinctive landscape, attracting new people to the area, a larger and wider, more diverse audience.
  • To celebrate our common heritage, strengthening relationships between residents, interest groups and different parish communities creating a sense of unity.
  • To protect and enhance the local landscape through community engagement activities that will engender pride and a sense of responsibility ensuring that heritage is cherished and protected for future generations, encouraging community led conservation and restoration projects through the small grants scheme.
  • To increase sustainable tourism leading to economic improvements and improved quality of life for residents