From January 2021 we are hoping to run a series of weekly health and heritage walks around the Westmorland Dales, taking in fabulous views, history and wildlife. These short walks will allow you to appreciate the area’s heritage, whilst getting you out into the fresh air. Please keep an eye on our website for more information, but if you are interested in attending our walks you can contact us on [email protected]

Before this most recent lockdown we were able to hold two walks. Keith Cooper, a local historian, led a walk around the village of Great Asby, exploring the development of the village through its built heritage and particularly focussing on how water was harnessed for the village’s industry, all of which was informed by research he had undertaken. Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer for the scheme, also led a walk from Ravenstonedale to Smardale Bridge, discussing the extent of the mid-16th century Ravenstonedale Park, earthwork remains of a field system of Iron Age or Romano-British date, as well as pillow mounds (medieval rabbit warrens). 

In addition, Friends of the Lake District offer a series of Leaders’ Landscape Training sessions every year. These are aimed at outdoor practitioners to help deepen their understanding of Cumbria’s landscapes and enable them to pass on their new-found knowledge to those with whom they work.

This year team members took a group to explore one of the Westmorland Dales’ ‘Hidden Landscapes’, the archaeology of Great Asby Scar. Participants gained insights into how the landscape had been developed since the prehistoric period, specific highlights included the scheduled monuments Castle Folds and Gamelands Stone Circle, as well as shielings, cairns and lime kilns.