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

Welcome to our autumn newsletter after what has been an almost perfect summer. It’s the first time we’ve really been able to fulfil a full programme of events, activities and projects, minimally disrupted by Covid and bad weather.

Read it here>

The second season of excavations at Little Asby Common was successfully completed in September, our first traditional farm building has been beautifully restored at Pendragon Castle, and the Lune Rivers Trust’s project monitoring riverine species on the tributaries of the Upper Lune is underway.

The Small-scale Heritage Features surveys of seven villages and the Digging the Past excavations at Ravenstonedale have also finished although much remains to be done to analyse the results, to write up the reports and interpret them for wider dissemination. Our enthusiastic volunteers were crucial to the success of many of these projects, which also provided a rich range of experience for our four apprentices. And it’s been full steam ahead on many of our other projects too including those funded through our Love Your Landscape grants.
We’ve been busy with events starting with those at the beginning of July to celebrate National Meadows Day at Bowber Head, a well-attended and sunny Westmorland Dales Day in Kirkby Stephen at the end of the month, wild play days at Jubilee Park and Morland in August, and a Wilding Theatre event in Orton in September. It’s been wonderful to meet up with so many people out enjoying the fine weather and our local heritage, including those living just down the road to those living on the other side of the world. The Farmer Network’s public events have been particularly popular with guided walks at Bowderdale Head and Bonnie View House farms.
The other key thing we’ve done is to submit our application to our key funders, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to extend the scheme from spring to autumn 2023. Their support and that of other key funders including the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has been absolutely central to the scheme, and the extension is critical to ensure we can complete all our projects as intended. That includes any final grants through our Love Your Landscape project, the deadline for which is the end of November, and a number of major projects still in the planning including the restoration of Smardale Lime Kilns, and further river and traditional farm building restoration projects. This winter we’ll be holding our final series of Westmorland Dales Wednesday webinars, there will be a couple of volunteer get-togethers and much more besides starting off with our Dry Stone Wall Study Day at Asby on 8th October.
This newsletter gives a snapshot of what we’re up to so apologies to those projects and events which haven’t had a mention. We'll be circulating a separate update shortly with a review of summer events and activities organised by our Community Engagement Officer, Nicola Estill. 

Enjoy the autumn and, as always, please keep an eye on our website to see what else is happening and feel free to circulate this newsletter to friends, family and colleagues. 

David Evans, Scheme Manager
September 2022