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

Sounds like this…in the Westmorland Dales 

Sit back, close your eyes, slow down and experience a sound tour of the Westmorland Dales through this mosaic of sounds recorded at various locations by sound artist, Dan Fox. A mysterious and evocative medley of traditional music, local voices and sounds of the countryside.

From the sonorous tones of the St Lawrence Church organ in Crosby Ravensworth, to bird call on the windy upland commons, nostalgic snatches of local poetry read by local farmers, performances from local music groups and the sound of  steam trains dashing through the area. Step into a Westmorland Dales farm and imagine what it would be like to make a living from working the land. Swoop beneath bridges under the M6 where river and farmlife meet below the boom of passing motor traffic. Experience the eerie sounds of wind in the railings on Smardale Gill viaduct, lively streams and the buzzing of busy pollinators - but watch out for a low-flying jet coming through!

Dan Fox, who recorded the clips over three days in early May 2022 said:

Everywhere you go in the Westmorland Dales there is a pervasive noise of people, quarries and transport routes, a deep rumble in the distance, even on the wilds of the fells – an interesting interplay of nature and humankind

Full sound recordings from specific locations have also been added to the Aporee Global Sound map, enabling you to take a location-led tour of the Westmorland Dales. You can listen to them all here>

We are grateful to the following contributors, for helping enable this diversity of sounds to be captured:

  • Kirkby Stephen church choir, rehearsing ‘Jerusalem’ for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, on location in St Stephen’s Parish Church.
  • David Jones, organist at St Lawrence’s Church, Crosby Ravensworth
  • Kirkby Stephen Brass Band
  • Steve Dunning, local farmer, who read from Joseph W. Thwaites poem ‘Breetherdall’
  • Brenda Iveson, local farmer, who read from Eileen Todd’s poem ‘A “One Man” farm’