Westmorland Dales receives National Lottery support
The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme in which Eden Tourism, Eden District Council’s tourism team is a partner, has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £2.27 million. 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 thank you to everyone who has contributed to the scheme to date, not least the National Lottery players who have made this funding possible.”
Sally Hemsley, Eden District Council’s Joint Tourism Manager said: "We are delighted to be a partner in this scheme and look forward to working together to help deliver this great project. It will help visitors to enjoy and understand this special landscape through improved interpretation and sustainable activities such as walking and cycling. Eden Tourism will be leading on the tourism business support elements of the scheme”.
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.