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

The Westmorland Dales and Cumbria Wildlife Trust teams have joined up with local photographer and filmmaker Jon Chappell to produce a series of short films designed to help you identify the most common meadow wildflowers. So if you don’t know your meadow crane’s-bill from your wood crane’s-bill, or your oxeye daisy from your pignut then these films are for you.

The Westmorland Dales is home to some of the best flower rich meadows and verges in Cumbria, with a stunning array of wildflowers on display in June and July in particular. But apart from our daily walks during lockdown we may have missed the chance to enjoy them and, if we did, may not be familiar with all of their names.

Detailed close-up footage of the wildflowers has been captured at locations near Ravenstonedale in the spectacular meadows of Bowberhead and Piper Hole farms. The work forms part of a project to conserve species-rich meadows, grasslands and verges; just one of many projects that we are delivering.

Christa Nelson from Cumbria Wildlife Trust,
“Nationally these meadows have declined by 97% over the last 50 years but here were working to conserve them for all to enjoy. We’ve been surveying meadows with volunteers and restoring them with local famers and landowners, but it’s great to be able to share that work more widely. You can read more about our work at Bowberhead farm on our website at: www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/news/trust-saves-rare-wildflower-hay-meadows-westmorland-dales”

Nicola Estill, our community engagement officer said,
“We were really disappointed that National Meadows Day couldn’t take place this year. So we thought, why not produce a series of films to capture all these wildflowers when they were at their best? Luckily, we had local talent at our disposal and called on Jon Chappell to work his magic!”

Photographer and filmmaker Jon Chappell,
“I have always enjoyed filming wildlife. I did a few jobs for the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) and I’m fascinated by the behind-the-scenes sections of Blue Planet and other such epic nature shows. Filming flowers or animals in Cumbria involves the same technical challenges as filming for the NHU but it’s nice to be close to home.”
Jon Chappell has worked all over the world filming wildlife and landscapes but most recently he has decided to concentrate more on the local area. We feel very lucky to have this highly experienced camera man working on some of our projects so we asked him what it means to him to film his local landscapes? You can read his responses here...