Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund


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A short film has been created by ‘The Farmer Network’ revealing local practices of sheep management on the fells of Westmorland Dales. It demonstrates the practice of ‘fell gathering’ and is the first in a series of films being created to highlight key events in the farming calendar. 

The Farmer Network provides help and support to farmers in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales and this film forms part of a project it is delivering on behalf of the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme with the support of match funding from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Sustainable Development Fund.

‘Sustaining Farming in the Westmorland Dales’ is a project designed to reveal how the farming community manage the landscape of the Westmorland Dales. The first film in the series features Mark Curr, a third generation farmer at Bowderdale Head, explaining how his flock of 640 Swaledale sheep are gathered from the fell and why they are brought down to the farm.

Pictured: Mark Curr at Bowderdale Head. Photography by Wayne Hutchinson

Carol Moffat, Project Manager for The Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria Farmer Network said: 

“We’ve always provided help and support to farmers in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales but we also work hard to let the public know about the value of their work and the role that our farmers play in managing and shaping the landscape for the benefit of all. 

“This film demonstrates the challenges that all fell farmers face not only in terms of the physical demands of their day to day work but the economic pressures that they endure.” 

David Evans, Scheme Manager, Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme, 

“Farming forms a key component of the cultural identity of the area and lies at the heart of many communities within the Westmorland Dales. It is a landscape that has been shaped by the efforts of farmers like Mark for generations. 

“In sharing their stories, we begin to reveal the hidden heritage of the area and start to enable more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape.” 

Click below to watch the film or visit: https://youtu.be/28FQdcPzDdM to view via YouTube.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme, which has been funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to engage people in revealing, conserving, enjoying and sustaining the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales. More information scheme is available on its website at: www.thewestmorlanddales.org.uk