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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Sounds like this…in the Westmorland Dales 

Sit back, close your eyes, slow down and experience a sound tour of the Westmorland Dales through this mosaic of sounds recorded at various locations by sound artist, Dan Fox. A mysterious and evocative medley of traditional music, local voices and sounds of the countryside.

From the sonorous tones of the St Lawrence Church organ in Crosby Ravensworth, to bird call on the windy upland commons, nostalgic snatches of local poetry read by local farmers, performances from local music groups and the sound of  steam trains dashing through the area. Step into a Westmorland Dales farm and imagine what it would be like to make a living from working the land. Swoop beneath bridges under the M6 where river and farmlife meet below the boom of passing motor traffic. Experience the eerie sounds of wind in the railings on Smardale Gill viaduct, lively streams and the buzzing of busy pollinators - but watch out for a low-flying jet coming through!

Dan Fox, who recorded the clips over three days in early May 2022 said:

Everywhere you go in the Westmorland Dales there is a pervasive noise of people, quarries and transport routes, a deep rumble in the distance, even on the wilds of the fells – an interesting interplay of nature and humankind

Full sound recordings from specific locations have also been added to the Aporee Global Sound map, enabling you to take a location-led tour of the Westmorland Dales. You can listen to them all here>

We are grateful to the following contributors, for helping enable this diversity of sounds to be captured:

  • Kirkby Stephen church choir, rehearsing ‘Jerusalem’ for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, on location in St Stephen’s Parish Church.
  • David Jones, organist at St Lawrence’s Church, Crosby Ravensworth
  • Kirkby Stephen Brass Band
  • Steve Dunning, local farmer, who read from Joseph W. Thwaites poem ‘Breetherdall’
  • Brenda Iveson, local farmer, who read from Eileen Todd’s poem ‘A “One Man” farm’