About The Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership

In 2011 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved funding of £1.9 million for the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership. The area has remarkable natural features and associations with historic, cultural and wildlife sites of enduring appeal to scientists, artists and authors, and visitors from far and wide.

The activities of the Landscape Partnership over the period 2011-2016 were guided by a Landscape Conservation Action Plan, with a range of programmes and projects supported by the HLF, Durham County Council and other organisations.

The Landscape Partnership incorporated organisations and individuals who could contribute in some way to the project through their activity in the area, ownership of land, knowledge and skill, preparedness to help, or contributions of funds or in kind assistance. This involved local authority members, public and voluntary organisations and members of the local community with specific expertise.

The initial bid was submitted by a small group dedicated to the conservation of the area, which they described as a ‘lost’ landscape outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines AONB. The area is, however, of equal beauty and has many notable features and associations, with historic and cultural sites that have been and continue to be of considerable appeal to scientists, artists and authors, as well as visitors from the locality and farther afield: William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, John Sell Cotman, J.M.W Turner and the early photographer Elijah Yeoman, amongst others. The area is also vital for wildlife, containing valuable quality habitat of national and international importance.


The Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership inspired people to re-discover the lost landscapes of Teesdale, celebrate its unique beauty and character, and benefit from its rich cultural heritage.

In particular the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership helped people:

  • To re-discover the particular visual qualities of Teesdale drawing on the historic and cultural legacy of artists, scientist and others who have explored the area and foster creativity and imagination through art, crafts and other media.
  • To understand the historic value of the local landscape and how it has been shaped over time.
  • To conserve or restore the built and natural features that characterise the area.
  • To take action to protect the local environment and wildlife, and increase biodiversity.
  • To enhance the quality and amenity value of public and community spaces, key views and settings for enjoyment and learning.
  • To engage individuals and communities in learning, training, skills and new technology to understand and interpret the local landscape, traditions and heritage and improve access, especially by those who might be disadvantaged or excluded from activities.
  • To promote opportunities for cooperation, mutual support and volunteering within the community to develop strategies and action so that the benefits of partnership can be sustained long term.