Association of Gardens Trusts

The Association of Gardens Trusts

Caring for historic gardens and designed landscapes

The Association, a national charity, consists of 35 County Gardens Trusts from all over England, and is affiliated to the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. Our focus is on promoting the enjoyment of gardens and parks to the general public. We learn about designed landscapes, engage in conservation, planning and garden research, and encourage gardens in schools.

Scroll down to find out about events near you and catch up on conservation news.

See County Gardens Trusts for contacts and to enquire about membership. Get involved! Find out more about garden heritage in your area.


Garden conservation
> Garden conservation

conservation reports and projects, government legislation

Learning about gardens
> Learning about gardens

encouraging school visits, supporting school projects, creating school gardens

Plant label 1874
> Garden research

articles, book reviews, links to databases and online archives

What's on?

Upcoming Events for 2014 and 2015:

Association of Gardens TrustsNews

Isle of Wight Gardens Trust Celebrates their 25th Anniversary in style with over 100 guests at the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes

IOWGT Chairmand Susan Dobbs (l) and AGT President Gilly Drummond (r) about to cut the cake!

IOWGT Chairman Susan Dobbs & AGT President Gilly DrummondTatton Park Cake for Cheshire Gardens Trust 10th anniversary

Cheshire Gardens Trust have also celebrated their10th Anniversary with a supper and a splendid Capability cake!!



Interim Report of the GHS/AGT Merger Project Board
County Gardens Trust's are invited to comment on the GHS/AGT Merger Project Board's interim report. Comments should be sent by 14th April 2014 to Mike Dawson AGT Vice Chairman at:


CB300 News: An ICOMOS-UK International Conference in collaboration with the University of Bath, in association with the Garden History Society and the National Trust, and supported by the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes.
9–11 September 2016
University of Bath, England

>More details
Deadline for abstracts: 31 August 2014

Garden Museum Open Days
A Day in the Garden with Tom Stuart-Smith and the Garden Museum

12 May, 14 July and 15 September 2014

Come and spend a day with one of Britain's most influential contemporary landscape designers, Tom Stuart-Smith.
>More details


MA Garden and Landscape History
The new MA Garden and Landscape History at the Institute of Historical Research, London University, is now enrolling for the autumn term 2014. >Further details


AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No. 29,
Spring 2014 edited by Liz Ware

AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No 28,
Autumn 2013 edited by Liz Ware

>Click here to read

AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No 27, Winter/Spring 2013 edited by Liz Ware
> Click here to read

The Garden History Society Mirco-News, WINTER 2013
Click here to view a copy


A NEW Series of Talks : Finding out about Garden History Research by Dr Twigs Way  at University of Cambridge Botanic Gardens. 4th April, May, 6th June, 20th June, 18 July (bookable individually). Held at the famous University of Cambridge Botanic gardens - with the opportunity of walking through these wonderful gardens included. >More details

Cambridge Glass house



Historic Gardens:Research in Action explores how archival research findings on historic gardens can contribute to garden restoration, conservation and management. More info>


CB300 Logo

Planning for 2016 Capability Brown 300 Celebrations given a First Round Heritage Lottery boost.
>More details about the Heritage Lottery award.

For additional information on CB300 celebrations, to register your support and for a Capability Brown Information Day at Compton Verney planned for Brown site owners, estate managers and volunteers on the 18 June please visit:

Gilly Drummond and Paul LincolnLeft: Gilly Drummond, Paul Lincoln LI, research volunteers and Gary Webb,Landscsape Manager walking the ground at Compton Verney.

Compton Verney

Symposium – Capability Brown and the Georgian Landscape at Compton Verney
- Tuesday 24 June led by Professor Tim Mowl


CB300 Logo

More CB300 News
Read new report from Kent Gardens Trust for the Brown site, Valence >More details

Useful new report including sources for all Capabiliy Brown researchers:
LANCELOT 'CAPABILITY' BROWN Research Impact Review prepared for English Heritage by University of East Anglia Landscape Group.

Click on this link to explore the CB300 site and to Discover, Learn and register your support:

The annual awards are sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust and administered by the PMSA.
The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture is offered for a sculpture installed in a public place within the last two years. The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Fountains is offered for a fountain installed in a public place within the last five years. The Marsh Award for Excellence in Conservation of a Public Sculpture or Fountain is offered for the conservation treatment or repair of an existing work in a public place within the last two years. For further information and to downloaded a nomination form visit the PMSA website, marsh-awards-2014. The deadline for receiving nominations is 30 April.


Planning template letters for use by County Gardens Trusts available for download now.

Impact of PV Arrays and Solar Farms

If the Array or Solar Farm adversely impacts on the designed views from a registered park or garden and/or its setting or on a significant park and garden that adds to local character and distinctiveness and, if not Registered, is ideally on a Local List, the CGT has a locus on which to object.


New Chairman for Hertfordshire Gardens Trust, interview in Hertfordshire Life >More details

Parks & Gardens UK
is the leading on-line resource for historic parks and gardens providing freely accessible, accurate and inspiring information on UK parks, gardens and designed landscapes and all activities concerned with their promotion, conservation and management.

The Historic Landscape Project WEB FORUM is having a makeover! Enter it from HERE and register to access CGT hints and tips, download useful resource materials, ask other members questions. Keep checking in for news and views of how other CGTs are gearing up and tackling conservation issues in their county.

Parkland trees in sunshine

The evaluation report for Phase I of the Historic Landscape Project is now available for you to download and digest. Click here for the report itself and here for the Appendices.  (It is also available straight from the Web Forum.)


Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year 2014 competition is launched.>More details

English Heritage: Find out what's at risk by searching or downloading the Risk Register here

Tributes to:
Fiona Grant, John Drake MBE
, Martin Wakeline, Mavis Batey and David Mawson


Congratulations to Norfolk Gardens Trust!!
In NGT's 25th Anniversary year, their splendid new book, including a foreword by HRH Prince Charles was recently launced. Norfolk Gardens and Designed Landscapes. The book is published by Windgather Press.

Warwickshire Gardens Trust
Ever since they appeared in ancient Egypt, obelisks have retained their power. The Obelisks of Warwickshire is a guidebook to 20 notable examples, together with many others in the county. >Further details

Dear Friend and Gardener
Letters on Life and Gardening

Christopher Lloyd and Beth Chatto
>Book Review by Dr Judith Rossiter

Venice and Veneto
The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto

>Book Review by Polly Burns, Suffolk Gardens Trust
>Frances Lincoln Publishers

Book reviews by Liz Ware:
Therapeutic Landscapes
A History of English Hospital Gardens since 1800 ,
by Clare Hickman

Hertfordshire –
A Lanscape History
by Anne Rowe and Tom Williamson
>More details

Glasshouses by Fiona Grant >More details.


New publications from English Heritage:
Register of Parks and Gardens Selection Guides >More details. New Designation Yearbook >More details

Grant of a Royal Charter to the Institute of Horticulture. >More details

IMPORTANT -New advice concerning conservation and management of war memorials. The War Memorials Trust has now published its new landscaping leaflet in their series of guidance for war memorial projects.

New Garden History Society project
to harness Conservation Management Plans for historic designed landscapes >More details

Plant Heritage's Threatened Plants Project
– conserving old, rare and valuable cultivars > More details

Parks for People

Gardens Trust members
please send in events information for the Whats On section of the home page and snippets of news, (i.e. short, interesting, amusing or odd items concerning gardens) to




Saturday April 26th 2014 at 2pm
Bedfordshire Gardens Trust AGM
in the historic Assembly Hall LEIGHTON MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Lecture by Sue Minter on “Alicia Amherst: The Well"
>More details

February to 27 April 2014
Garden Museum
Fashion and Gardens Exhibition

>More details.

Wednesday 30 April
The Future of London’s Trees - exploring opportunities, overcoming barriers. The London Parks and Gardens Trust will be running a Tree Forum at the Garden Museum on April 30 2014 from 6.30 pm until 8.30 pm. >More details

2 to 4 May
British gardens between the wars: 1918-1939

University of Cambridge
This course will be taught by garden and landscape historian, Dr Barbara Simms.
Email: | tel: +44 (0)1223 746262


Friday 9 May
10am -1pm

Garden History Course at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Written Clues in Garden History
Half-day course led by garden historian Dr Twigs Way
>More details


12 May
Garden Museum Open Day


Friday 16 May - 10.00am to 4.00pm
Yorkshire Gardens Trust Study Day
BRAMHAM PARK - Restoration of the Parterre Cascade
'The cascades are very pretty and the stone work admirably executed'. Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 6ND (just off the A1). This study day will focus on the recently completed restoration of the early C18 Parterre Cascade at Bramham (Grade 1, EH Register).
>More details and booking form.


16 - 18 May / 30 May - 1 June / 6 - 8 June
Three weekend courses from the University of Cambridge
Plants, Insects and Pollinators

>More details


5 June
Significance and Historic Landscapes training day organised by the Historic Landscape Project with Dorset Gardens Trust and English Heritage at Stourhead, Somerset.

You may be aware that much is made of Significance in the English Heritage Conservation Principles and the National Planning Policy Framework, and that the AGT-GHS Joint Conservation Committee has declared an intention to see Statements of Significance prepared for all historic designed landscapes in England. So there is quite a buzz around the subject at the moment, and I’m sure you’ll therefore find this opportunity to be an exciting one!

In line with conservation work across the heritage sector, we are encouraging County Gardens Trusts conservation groups to use Significance as a tool in assessing and commenting on development proposals and planning applications, and urging CGT research groups to see the production of Statements of Significance for sites as an essential part of their research work. With so many facets of interest, we do hope to see many of you at Stourhead. (And don’t forget that the famous rhododendrons will be looking lovely in June!)

In the first instance, we are offering 4 places per County Gardens Trust to those in the South West (Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire) – please book by 10th May. We are however pleased to receive expressions of interest from other CGTs, organisations or individuals and will be offering spare places to these applicants after 10th May.
More details and booking form

Friday 6 June
10am -1pm

Garden History Course at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Populating the Historic Garden
Half-day course led by garden historian Dr Twigs Way
>More details


Open Garden Squares Weekend

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 June 2014

>More details


18 June
A date for your diary –
Capability Brown Information Day announced

>More details

Friday 20 June
10am -1pm

Garden History Course at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Researching Historic Garden Sources in the Digital Age
Half-day course led by garden historian Dr Twigs Way
>More details

Tuesday 24 June 2014
Humanities Research Institute of the University of Buckingham & Compton Verney
Symposium – Capability Brown and the Georgian Landscape at Compton Verney >More details

14 July
Garden Museum Open Day


Friday 18 July
10am -1pm

Garden History Course at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Historic Garden Books and Herbaria
Half-day course led by garden historian Dr Twigs Way
>More details



(including the AGM and Business Meeting)
5, 6 & 7 September
Continuity and Change in Cheshire Gardens
Hosted by Cheshire Gardens Trust
The Queen Hotel, Chester
>Booking form

15 September
Garden Museum Open Day


Wednesday 1 October
Study Day - Hagley Hall, Worcestershire

Further details to follow

May 2014, 2 day seminar/workshop
Sept 2015,
3 day conference/symposium
Wilder by Design?
Managing landscape change and future ecologies.

>More details

Join your local Gardens Trust now!
> Join your local Gardens Trust
"My thought is always 'How little can I do', rather than how much, to achieve the most telling result."
Russell Page