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

Our new grant scheme is living up to its name by making its very first funding award to the Northern Viaduct Trust (NVT) in support of its fundraising effort to re-open the route across the top of Smardale Gill Viaduct to the public once more.

An award of £5,000 from our ‘Love Your Landscape’ grant scheme has kicked off the NVT’s fundraising campaign for this spectacular viaduct with its far reaching views across the Westmorland Dales.

We have created the grant scheme to fund small scale projects and works that help to connect people with the landscape or to conserve and enhance it.

David Evans, Westmorland Dales Scheme Manager,

“We are delighted to be able to support the repair of this viaduct via our ‘Love Your Landscape’ grant scheme and support the committed group of volunteers at the Northern Viaduct Trust.

“Our hope is that our award will encourage other funders and the general public to support the NVT’s fundraising campaign and restore access across this remarkable structure as soon as possible.”

“Our grant scheme is being made available to charities, voluntary and community groups, schools and other organisations in the Westmorland Dales area and I’d encourage anybody with small projects or works in mind to get in touch to see if we can help them too”.

Substantial works need to be undertaken on Smardale Gill Viaduct including the upgrade of handrails across the top of the viaduct and significant repairs to its stonework.

Neil Cleeveley, Chair of Northern Viaduct Trust said, 

“We were delighted to receive support from the ‘Love Your Landscape’ grant scheme. It has provided a great boost to the Trust and to our fundraising campaign but we still have a long way to go.

“Our priority is to re-open the viaduct to the public as soon as possible. We want to enable access to the environment around Smardale Gill viaduct for more people, particularly those with restricted mobility, by providing an accessible means of exploring the area, including Smardale Nature Reserve. 

“We’re a small charity with no regular income, and this is a massive undertaking for us. We will obviously be looking at some of the big heritage funders, but public support will be critical if we are to restore access to this magnificent viaduct. This is why we have launched our fundraising campaign and any amount that people are able to contribute will be most welcome. https://edenviaducts.org.uk/fundraising/