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

Celebrating Dark Skies with Polestar Planetarium

A BIG thank you to all the schools and people who took part in our Dark Skies Celebration with Polestar planetarium. We really had a fantastic week celebrating our dark skies. The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the darkest skies in the country. We have large areas of unpolluted night sky where it’s possible to see the Milky Way, planets, meteors and even the Northern Lights. To celebrate our exceptional dark skies and our recent designation as an international Dark Sky Reserve, the 'Polestar Planetarium' delivered a superb multimedia experience bringing the cosmos to life finishing with our constellations in the northern hemisphere.

The dome is the largest in Northern England and the presenter Richard Lake created a unique and awe inspiring experience that captivated us all. 

We delivered 16 shows over 3 days at Maulds Meaburn Village Institute and Kirkby Stephen Grammar School who were fantastic hosts and their support is very much appreciated. In total over 460 children and young people have taken part, 9 schools, 50 teachers plus 2 evening events.

Nicola Estill, community engagement officer, “I am hoping it will encourage us all to look up, address light pollution and perhaps reflect a little about our rather special green and blue planet.”

A bonus film clip for you: A quick way to take down the planetarium and create a bit of a stir! This is also what would of happened in case of fire/emergency situation.