Traditional farm buildings make a very strong contribution to the distinctive landscape of the Westmorland Dales area but these structures are often overlooked and can be poorly understood.

Farm Buildings within the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP) boundary were surveyed and recorded from 2011 but this did not include structures within the Westmorland Dales; the area was only incorporated into the YDNP following an extension to the park’s boundary in 2016.

We'll be running a major survey planned to provide a better understanding of the number, distribution, type and condition of farm buildings that exist within the Westmorland Dales in order to update the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Historic Environment Record.

We've been running training events with volunteers in readiness to kick off the survey early in 2020. The work forms part of our ‘Traditional Farm Buildings’ project, one of 21 projects being run as part of the Westmorland Dales Scheme, supported by National Lottery players and a grant from the Heritage Fund.

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer,

The survey is a major undertaking and we have to say a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who have signed up to help us. The survey commences in 2020 but spans the lifetime of the Westmorland Dales Scheme, concluding in 2023.

Whilst we’ve had a fantastic response to our initial call for volunteers, there is still an opportunity for more people to join the team and help us to build a more detailed picture of the number and type of farm buildings that exist in the area.

Volunteers will undertake two levels of survey. The first level will be conducted from public rights of way and roads, and will include noting the location of structures and photographs from their viewpoint.

The second level will involve a more detailed survey of buildings; only carried out after permission from the landowner has been sought and granted. The survey will not impose any obligation on the owners of buildings to carry out works, and the future of these buildings remains almost entirely at their discretion.

The information collected will be added to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Historic Environment Record, which is their database for all historic buildings, sites and monuments. A copy of the survey information collected will be made available to all owners or occupiers upon request.

If you have any queries or are interested in volunteering, then please contact Hannah Kingsbury by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01539 756624.

More information about the project is available in the projects section of our website: www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/26-traditional-farm-buildings