Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme ran from March 2019 to February 2024. Its vision was to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. 

Download the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme Summary Report for an overview of the Scheme's successes.


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

A fabulous array of woolly workshops with talented textiles experts have taken place this spring with the aim of promoting and preserving wool based heritage skills.

In the modern world wool textiles are becoming overlooked in favour of synthetic fabrics which are much less sustainable. Susan Denham Smith (of Wild Wool Barn in Ennerdale) delivered the first two workshops.

During ‘ From Fleece to Yarn’ participants learnt how to process wool, washing and preparing fleece with combs and carders to create a fluffy roll of uniform fibre called a ‘rolag’. Draft out some of the rolag and the magic of spinning begins using either drop spinners or spinning wheels to create yarn.

A weaving workshop followed on using a simple and traditional weaving loom known as a Rigid Heddle Loom and Herwick Wool to create a weft faced mat. The heddle in the middle held the threads and was lifted up and down as the shuttle is passed backwards and forwards.

June Hill delivered the final two events. Knitting with giant knitting needles and a Wild Wool Heritage Talk. June Hill, from Crosby Ravensworth has a life-long interest in sheep, wool, spinning and knitting and spent 11 years with the Wool Clip in Caldbeck.

Knitting has a very long history, its like making bread and other traditional crafts that women in particular did every day, so ordinary that it never really got mentioned in history. It is only in the last 600 years it has become a refined craft. Knitting sticks and knitting belts were used from the seventeenth to the twentieth century to anchor the needle to enable knitting with one hand. Knitting was once a constant activity for women, men and children in some Dales villages.