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

Well, it’s been quite a year since we started in March 2019. We’ve recruited two teams which work really well together; the core Westmorland Dales team employed by Friends of the Lake District, the Westmorland Dales apprentice team by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. We’ve secured joint office and workshop premises on the banks of the River Lune at Tebay, with excellent access to the Westmorland Dales area. And we’ve developed a strong partnership, strengthened with the addition of some new members, which is critical to the successful delivery of our 21 projects.

Projects too have got underway with Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the Eden Rivers Trust, the Farmer Network and the Woodland Trust making a great start on their projects under the Natural Heritage theme. On the Cultural Heritage side the archaeological survey of Great Asby Scar has been largely completed, the traditional farm buildings survey is underway and an early excavation has been undertaken at Pendragon Castle. Under the Connecting Heritage theme, the apprentice project Skills for the Future has had a very positive impact, working on a broad range of sites whilst completing college work and other skills based training. Volunteering too is a thread that underpins many of the projects; new volunteers have been recruited and we’ve worked with specialist groups including Cumbria Geoconservation and Lunesdale Archaeology Society.

All this makes the current situation doubly frustrating, with the scheme gathering momentum, new projects about to start up and a host of engagement events and activities planned. Everything is understandably on hold until we have a better idea of how and when the lockdown will be eased. However, we are fortunate in that the scheme is in a relatively strong position with the flexibility to adapt timescales, budgets and projects to the challenges we face, with the support of our partners and, of course, our major funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Ultimately this may mean an extension to the scheme, but it is too early to plan far ahead. For the moment we have assumed a six-month delay to most of the projects and will recommence activities when it is safe to do so. In the meantime we are focussing on planning, fine-tuning some of our processes and making use of the government’s job retention scheme where sensible. Nicola and I will be our principal contacts in May, so contact us by email or me on 07814 305779. Our Love Your Landscape grants scheme is up and running, so get your thinking caps on.

Stay safe, and keep in touch.

David Evans

1 May 2020.