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

Our summer programme of events and activities kicks off at the beginning of July with National Meadows Day at Bowber Head, Westmorland Dales Weekend in Kirkby Stephen at the end of July, the Singing Viaduct in Smardale at the end of August and culminating in our Celebration Event at Shap Wells Hotel on 7th September. Let’s hope for some more summer weather so the events and the fantastic venues can be enjoyed to the full.

Our volunteers have been an integral part of the success of our projects so we’re holding a volunteer get-together on 12th July to celebrate their input and signpost future volunteer opportunities with our partner organisations. Training for teachers has already been delivered by Eden Rivers Trust.

This all follows a busy few months with our landscape forum in Maulds Meaburn back in April, a series of highly popular wool events, the production of the Legends booklet with local schools and the launch of the Our Common Heritage Exhibition at Shap. The latter, a wonderful reflection of the importance of the commoning tradition based on oral history interviews and research, is now on tour. It is in Appleby until mid-September before moving on to Penrith in the autumn and perhaps other venues in 2024. It’s been a real success.

And there’s plenty of project activity on the ground too. Spring saw the completion of the restoration work on the medieval well at Grange Hall, Asby, part-funded by one of our Love Your Landscape grants. Conservation work has started on the industrial-scale lime kilns at Smardale, at the same time as essential drainage works take place on the Smardale Gill viaduct (which is temporally closed.)  River restoration works are due to commence at Bowber Head later in the summer and working with sculptor Andy Kay and Tebay Parish Council we’re about to submit a planning application for a sculpture of a steam engine on the roundabout at Tebay, celebrating the area’s railway heritage.

Finally, we say goodbye to Hannah Kingsbury, who’s been such a brilliant part of the team, but is moving on to a role with a similar project with Dartmoor National Park. We wish her well, but she will be back for our Celebration event in September, so make sure you’re there too.

David Evans, Scheme Manager
June 2023

Summer 2023 Newsletter>