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

We're delighted to bring you three short films telling the story of three local legends set in the landscape of the Westmorland Dales.

The stories, retold and illustrated by local children, were premiered at our free storytelling event for local families in Kirkby Stephen on Wednesday 25th January. 80 people attended, half of them children from across the Westmorland Dales Scheme area. 

The event marked the final celebration of a schools project we ran during the autumn term in 2022. Seven local schools were engaged with storytelling sessions by renowned Cumbria-based storyteller, Emily Hennessey, and many of the children took part in storytelling workshops and follow-on art sessions. Their work was celebrated at the event with film premieres featuring the children’s retelling of three local legends and displays of their artwork. 

The three legends ‘retold’ by the children are closely tied to their local landscape setting, from the story of Mary Baines leading the hunt a merry dance down the Tebay gorge (The Witch of Tebay), to King Uther Pendragon’s attempts to divert the River Eden in Mallerstang (Tales of Pendragon Castle) and the strange antics of the Orton Dobbie in a remote farmhouse in the hills (The Orton Dobbie).

But enough talking! We'll let you watch them for yourselves...

Amanda Walters, Scheme Interpretation Officer said: 

"The school children loved seeing their creations come to life in the films and took a lot of pride and enjoyment in their work. I hope that the children will remember these stories and retell them to their own children, continuing the tradition of oral storytelling in the local area."

A booklet featuring the three stories will be produced alongside the three films and there will be further chances to see Emily Hennessey performing the three stories over the coming year, including at The Westmorland Dales Festival in July 2023.