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 highlight of the last few months was undoubtedly our event at Shap Wells Hotel in early September celebrating what has been achieved over the last four and a half years. We were blessed with fine weather so after a morning of informative and inspiring presentations, we were able to get out and explore the immediate area around Shap Wells and further afield in the Westmorland Dales. There have been a number of other “final” project events too with a traditional farm buildings conference in late September, an online webinar on our Little Asby project and an introduction to geology event in October, all very well supported. Our Singing Drumlin event at Bowber Head in early October was also a great success, attracting perhaps our most diverse audience yet with over 400 people attending across the three days.

Project work has continued on the ground too, despite some significant challenges thrown at us by the wet weather and site conditions. We were pleased to host drystone wall training days for agriculture students from Kendal College over six days in September, rebuilding a section of wall near Ravenstonedale. The conservation works at Smardale Limekilns are now complete (as are the separately funded resurfacing works to the Smardale Gill viaduct so Smardale is now fully accessible again). River restoration works at Bowber Head commenced in September with the in-channel works completed within the window allowed; further works are planned site and weather conditions allowing. We’re also undertaking some drystone wall conservation work, targetted at walls around the restored barns at Pendragon and Raisbeck, and the walls surveyed at Asby.

There’s lots to share in other ways. The highly popular Our Common Heritage exhibition has now moved from Appleby to Rheged, and our booklet packs are available for people to learn about the area’s geology, churches, farming landscape and legends. They’re free for now but will be on sale from the tourist information centres in the future.

There’s other work to complete too but the Scheme will draw to an end early in 2024. We’ve already said goodbye to Hannah, although she’s returned for one or two key events, but now we say goodbye to Nicola. She’s been with us since April 2017, for the Scheme’s development as well as the delivery phase, so we’ll miss her hugely. So much of what we’ve done bears her stamp. But she’s not going far, off to work with RSPB and other partners to the west of our area as part of Cumbria Connect. The rest of the team remain at Tebay for the next couple of months.

David Evans, Scheme Manager
November 2023

Autumn 2023 Newsletter>