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

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme is holding a free exhibition in Appleby Tourist Information Centre from Tuesday 20th June to Saturday 16th September 2023. It is in celebration of the ‘Common Land’ of the Westmorland Dales; an intrinsic part of its farming heritage and underpinning the farming economy for centuries. 

Common Land is privately owned land that also has ‘Rights of Common’ over that land, often for the grazing of animals. At one time nearly half of the land in Britain was Common Land, but it now accounts for 3% of England, including large tracts of upland in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. 

The exhibition summarises the results of research into the history of Common Land across the Westmorland Dales using oral history interviews undertaken with commoners and representatives of the farming community. Visitors will have the opportunity to listen to some of these interviews and learn more about our changing relationship with Common Land in the Westmorland Dales. 

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer at the Westmorland Dales Scheme said: 

“The history of the Westmorland Commons is closely linked to the evolution of grazing animals, the rise and fall of specialised breeding stock, and the labour of tenant farmers working the common for hundreds of years. 

“We’re really excited to be able to share our own research about the rich and fascinating history of our Commons as well as providing the opportunity for people to listen to the voices of commoners and the farming communities that have helped to shape it.” 

More information and exhibition opening times>

View/Download Exhibition Poster (pdf)