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

Students from Kendal College Agriculture Course took part in drystone walling training over six days under tuition from expert wallers Josh Shields, Stephen Lord and David Law in the heart of the Westmorland Dales near Ravenstonedale. 

The training was organised by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme to give more young farmers an opportunity to learn this valuable heritage skills. 

50 students from Kendal College’s T Level and apprenticeship courses walled 135 metres on a very dilapidated wall at Three Milestones Quarry. This site is managed by Kirkby Stephen United Charities who needed help and support to begin restoration on the wall. 

Pictured: Kendal College students dismantling dilapidated drystone wall (limestone) ready for the rebuild

Nicola Estill, Community Engagement Officer with the Westmorland Dales Scheme said: 

“There has been a dramatic reduction in young people with countryside and management skills in the Westmorland Dales and our hope is that these sessions will start to address some of that shortfall. It was hard work but incredibly rewarding.”   

Dilapidated walls were dismantled and string lines placed to ensure the rebuilt wall would follow in its original line. Large foundation stones were seated and layers of stones built up to create two sides to the new walling with smaller stones used to fill the gap between them. ‘Through’ stones were laid through the entire width of the wall at intervals with a final line of coping stones added along the top of the wall, providing weight and stability to the finished drystone wall.   

Pictured: Kendal College Students with rebuilt wall well on its way to completion

Richard Gardiner, Course Lecturer said: 

“I am really proud of these students. They had a great attitude and just got on with it, considering it was a fairly wild, wind-blown spot on the fell. They each participated in two training sessions and dramatically improved on the second session which made it worthwhile for us all.”

Pictured: Kendal College students add 'coping' stones to complete the drystone wall in challenging conditions.

Pictured: Kendal College Students, trainers and mudpacks

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. You’ll find more information about its work at www.thewestmorlanddales.org.uk