[T]he Westmorland Dales is the area of Cumbria north of the Howgill Fells lying within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. If you are a resident of the area or a regular visitor, then there may be locations within this unique landscape that are of special significance to you.
As part of the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by Heritage Lottery, and thanks to a new web-based tool developed by Natural England, you now have the opportunity to add your own special places to an online map of the area and specify just what it is about them that you value so highly. Contributions will help to identify not just which places are important to people but why; it may be a view that is cherished, a location’s heritage or simply its tranquillity.
“Mapping Your Valued Places” has been developed by Natural England, the government’s advisers for the natural environment, as a way of engaging people in landscape conservation. It has been piloted in Arnside and Silverdale AONB, to inform their management plan, but this is the first time it will have been used in a landscape partnership scheme, helping inform the bid to Heritage Lottery later this year.
David Evans, the scheme’s development officer said: “We have been developing the scheme’s projects over the last year engaging lots of different groups, organisations, volunteers and individuals at events, in meetings and various activities. So this adds an exciting new tool to our belt. The more input the better, as we can get a better picture of those key places that are important to people and how our projects can help conserve them. The tool is up and running now, so just go to the website and get mapping. And encourage your friends, family and visitors to get mapping too.”
If you’d like to take part, visit the scheme’s website www.thewestmorlanddales.org.uk and follow the link to the mapping tool. After entering some general information you will then see a map of the Westmorland Dales area, to which you can add markers identifying the places that are important to you and why they are important.
If anyone has any questions about the tool contact David Evans or Nicola Estill on 01539 540046 or email [email protected]
There is also an opportunity to meet them in person to find out more about the scheme at a drop-in session being held at Orton Market Hall on Friday 20th April from 6 – 8pm or at an afternoon session of the project’s landscape forum on Saturday 21st April from 1.30pm onwards.
David and Nicola are employed by Friends of the Lake District on behalf of a much larger partnership covering the Westmorland Dales area.