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 to the north of the Howgill Fells and located 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

2.5 Dry Stone Walls Project Homepage>

Volunteers from the Asby and Crosby Ravensworth tree groups, Friends of the Lake District and others enjoyed three days of hedgelaying last week at Gaythorne Hall in the heart of the Westmorland Dales.

By managing a hedge by ‘laying’, trees are encouraged to regenerate; this extends their life, and that of the hedge as a whole. A well laid hedge can act as great barrier to livestock movement and also protection and shelter from the worst of winter weather. Hedges can also help prevent soil erosion, capture pollutants, and allow wildlife to move more freely across the countryside.

Under the expert tuition of Stephen Lord and John Nicholson, volunteers got a taste of the basics. They tackled a 55m length of hedgerow, planted about 15 years ago, which will form an important wildlife refuge and landscape feature in a beautiful location in the Scalebeck valley. Gaythorne Hall itself has a rich history. Once a monastic farm which was attached to Bylands Abbey in Yorkshire it is now part of the Levens Estate and featured in the 1990s mini-series “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

The free training days were organised by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme. It hopes to run more days like this over the next two years to give more people opportunities to learn valuable heritage skills. There has been a dramatic reduction in people with countryside and management skills and it is hoped that days like these will help to address some of the shortfall.

Having caught the bug, some volunteers are already looking to develop their new found skills further in the neighbouring parishes of Asby and Crosby Ravensworth, or on sites owned by Friends of the Lake District. After attending the training, one volunteer said:

“Immediately, on the way home, I noticed a hedge that could do with laying! I would like to be able to apply these skills locally, with members of the Crosby Ravensworth Tree Group, of which I am a part. It would be a shame not to use what I’ve learnt, and learn more through practice.”

Nicola Estill, co-ordinator of the taster days on behalf of the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme said:

“Stephen and John were brilliant tutors, sharing their huge knowledge and experience, and the volunteers seemed to love every minute of it. What a perfect location too, exactly the sort of activity that the Heritage Fund is keen to support.”

More information about events and training offered by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership are available via its website