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

Shap CE Primary School have recently been working with us on the rocks element of the national curriculum with a focus on the 3 main rock types; igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and how they underpin the landscape of Cumbria and the Westmorland Dales.

Nicola Estill, our Community Engagement Officer delivered a session in school with rock boxes and experiments followed by a field trip in the Westmorland Dales. The children took part in an epic hike from Gamelands stone circle, visiting a limestone quarry then up to Great Asby Scar limestone pavement and to Castle Folds Romano- British Hill settlement.

What an adventure it was, the children were a delight and super enthusiastic! Many thanks also to Audrey Brown, a local geologist from Cumbria Geo-conservation who added the extra magic to bring these rocks to life! We hope you enjoy this collection of images we took as a record of a wonderful day...

Great Asby Scar National Nature Reserve (NNR) contains some of the best examples of Limestone Pavement in Britain. Limestone pavements are nationally rare and have been extensively damaged by removal for garden rockery stone. Since the glaciers of the last ice age melted (about 20,000 years ago), weathering of the limestone has created deep fissures, or grikes, which divide the pavement into blocks called clints.  

Woodland plants grow in the limestone fissures. Among them are harts tongue fern, wood anemone, dog’s mercury, rigid buckler fern, and limestone fern. Uncommon herbs such as angular solomon’s seal and bloody cranesbill grow in the pavements. Trees to look out for include small hawthorn, hazel, and ash. 

We hope you enjoy this film. You can find out more about geology walks in the Westmorland dales on our website: https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/westmorland-dales-geotrails-2022