Ribblehead Viaduct photo thanks to Paul Hunter
The Ingleborough Dales area
The landscape of the Ingleborough Dales has been exploited and adapted by generations of local people, incomers and visitors. A fascinating landscape, with a rich, highly visible archaeological record, an iconic farming pattern of stone-built barns and dry stone walls, rare limestone habitats, and a hidden subterranean world. It is also a landscape under stress, with three large active quarries, intensive farming, and millions of visitors every year.
Stories in Stone
The Stories in Stone scheme, which ran from 2016 to 2021, concentrated on the stunning limestone landscape around the peak of Ingleborough and aimed to restore, protect and celebrate the area's natural, built and cultural heritage, to ensure that this ancient landscape is protected for future generations.
Stories in Stone was developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership and was mainly funded by players of the National Lottery through the Heritage Fund.
The scheme brought together a range of public, private and community bodies to conserve, enhance and celebrate the unique historical and natural elements of the Ingleborough Dales’ landscape. Through improved access and new learning opportunities, it enabled and inspired a wide range of people to discover, enjoy and contribute to the landscape in a way that ensures a healthy future for this very special place.
Explore the Ingleborough Dales
Discover what makes the Ingleborough Dales area so special with online courses, activities and other resources, and find out about the Stories in Stone conservation and community projects.
In total 170 individual projects were delivered through the Stories in Stone scheme. These projects embraced natural, built and cultural heritage restoration, creative and digital interpretation, physical and intellectual access improvements, social inclusion, educational activities, oral histories, digital archiving, volunteering, sustainable transport, benefits to the local economy, and skills training.
The scheme developed and supported many of the skills needed for the long-term management of the area, and helped to foster a deeper understanding of the area’s heritage for schoolchildren, residents, visitors, volunteers and heritage managers.
Children learn about the Ingleborough area through our 'Schools out' educational activities
A number of initiatives have emerged as a result of the Stories in Stone scheme, based on partnership working at a landscape-scale.
The involvement of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England in the Stories in Stone scheme ‘shone a light’ on the area, encouraging these organisations to invest more staff, volunteers and resources. This has supported the recent formation of the Wild Ingleborough partnership, which brings together six organisations including YDMT.
Launched in summer 2021, Wild Ingleborough is a landscape-scale conservation project creating a wilder future for this part of the Yorkshire Dales. The project aims to combat the impacts of the climate crisis and aid nature’s recovery across this large upland area.
This is a key legacy of Stories in Stone, and builds on its nature conservation and community engagement work.
Learn more about our work
25 years ago we joined forces with other organisations to expand tree cover across the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas. Since then, we’ve supported the planting of over 1.5 million native broadleaf trees.
When Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust first started restoring hay meadows in 2006, less than four square miles of species-rich hay meadow habitat remained in the whole of the UK.
Rural Apprenticeships give young people who live in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas the chance to stay here and gives them skills to help care for this special area.