Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme finished in early 2024 with projects successfully delivered by a wide range of project partners, community groups and individuals. 
Over the coming months, we’ll be updating this site to highlight what’s been achieved, so please keep checking back.

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 to the north of the Howgill Fells and located 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 has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £2.27 million it was announced today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, 21 projects will be delivered by a partnership of organisations over a four year period. These will aim to reveal, conserve and celebrate the rich geology, wildlife, cultural heritage and spectacular limestone landscapes of the Westmorland Dales. The area lies to the north of the Howgill Fells in Cumbria, extending over 200 sq km from Maulds Meaburn in the north to Tebay in the south-west and Ravenstonedale in the south-east.

This remote and beautiful pastoral landscape has a unique mix of habitats and remarkably intact pattern of historical settlements and features. It boasts 79 Scheduled Monuments, 19 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and two National Nature Reserves. However, it has been largely ’hidden’ for the last 70 years, tucked away between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

Commenting on the award, Carl Lis, chairman, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said,

“Following the recent designation of the Westmorland Dales as part of the National Park, this wonderful news gives us the opportunity to create a strong foundation for its future.  The injection of resources will help us reveal and conserve the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage; and promote the understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities, its tranquil and unspoilt character, and its unique heritage.

“At the heart of our efforts will be a focus on what is distinctive about the Westmorland Dales, using this to bring benefits that will help sustain the local economy in the coming years.”

David Evans, development officer at Friends of the Lake District who are acting as lead body on behalf of the Partnership said,

“We can’t wait to get started on the delivery of the scheme. We’ve worked with volunteers, community organisations, interest groups, farmers, landowners and businesses throughout the planning phase to help shape the projects. Now we look forward to working with these groups again to deliver a fantastic range of projects which will bring long-term benefits for the area’s unique heritage, and those who live in, work in and visit the area. A big thankyou to  everyone who has contributed to the scheme to date, not least the National Lottery players who have made this funding possible.”

(Pictured) Orton Primary School Children Sifting Soil during the Village Test Pit Trial Excavation

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of Heritage Lottery Fund, said,

“Thanks to the money raised by the National Lottery, we have an opportunity to reveal what makes the Westmorland Dales such a special place. This scheme will help to reveal the cultural and natural influences that have shaped the landscape and will provide opportunities for communities, visitors and volunteers to celebrate and share this remarkable story.”

The total value of the scheme is estimated at £3.45m, with £2.27m from HLF and £1.18m match funding in cash and volunteer time. The scheme will be delivered through a broad partnership of organisations working closely with communities in the area. Friends of the Lake District will continue to be the lead partner with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority as the accountable body.