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




AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter OUT NOW.....
No 30. Autumn 2014
Edited by Liz Ware
>Click here to read


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CB300 September 2014 Newsletter
>Click here to read the latest news on CB300

Emma Schofield, AGT Education Schools Co-ordinator was presented with the Judges Award for "Inspiring work with children” and her school, Boston West Academy won RHS Gold the first time of entering in the East Midlands In Bloom Awards.
Click on the link to (Learning Outside the Classroom) and click on LOtC Awards 2014 at the bottom of the page to find Emma’s name to vote - very easy - couple of clicks and she rightly deserves this. Voting closes on the 14 November, so do vote for Emma now………………

AGT Volunteer of the Year Award for 2014 announced at the AGT Annual Conference on 5 September at Chester - Congratulations to Janice Bennetts of Hampshire Gardens Trust and all the other nominees. >More details


Garden Museum Director, Christopher Woodward's swim from Oxford to London.........................

You will by now have heard about the epic swim by Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum. He swam from Oxford to London to raise funds for the Museum's development project and more specifically for the recreation of the Tradescants' Ark at its heart.


It's difficult to imagine the time, dedication and focus needed to train for and then to carry out such a remarkable feat. To continue to direct one of the UK's most successful small museums at the same time surely puts Christopher into the league of the super-human. Certainly, it more than demonstrates the passion that Christopher and his Garden Museum team feel for the project ahead.

The Museum's Summer 2014 Journal is dedicated to the development of its new archive. We are fortunate to be able to include a link to it on our website. As the Friends of the Garden Museum among you will recognise, it is as always, an engaging and enjoyable read, but it also gives us the chance to understand the thinking behind the collection policy of this, the first ever archive of garden design.

Enjoy it and then consider ways in which you and your CGT can help. Christopher Woodward and his team face the enormous task of match funding £3,069,000. As you will see from the final paragraph, any donation however small, will help to demonstrate the support they need. Garden Museum Journal - Summer 2014

HLFHLF have published its State of UK Public Parks Report StateOfUKParks2014_full_report
and to coincide with this publication, English Heritage has released a report by Dr Katy Layton-Jones - 'National Review of Research Priorities for Urban Parks, Designed Landscapes, and Open Spaces'.
Research report available on-line here.

Halt UK Parks Slide into Crisis letter from Dave Morris, Campaigns Officer, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, which appeared in the Guardian on the 16 July.

SAVE OUR PARKS! Protect and invest in the UK's public green spaces - halt the slide into crisis
>Save our Parks Petition

AGT/GHS Proposed Merger

Mike Dawson should be your first point of contact for any queries in relation to the merger.

Dorset Gardens Trust Bursary Scheme


Lincolnshire Open School Grounds Weekend
Emma Schofield, AGT Education Co-ordinator, inspired by London Open Garden Squares Weekend, launched the first "Lincolnshire Open School Grounds Weekend"  to encourage and support local school gardens with six schools taking part on Saturday 5th July and Sunday 6th July...
>More details

Welsh Historic Small Grants Scheme
The trustees of The Welsh Historic Gardens Trust (WHGT) are launching a Small Grants Scheme in 2014 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Trust in 1989. The trustees’ aim is to raise a minimum of £25,000 to mark the quarter-centenary and to use this funding solely for such projects.  It is anticipated that the fund will continue in future years and so become a lasting scheme. 
>More details

"Congratulations to Devon Gardens Trust! and thanks to the tireless research and boundless enthusiasm of Angela Dodd-Crompton. The Italian Garden at Great Ambrook, Italian Garden, east of Great Ambrook Avenue, Great Ambrook, Ipplepen, Newton Abbot has been Awarded Registered Park and Garden Status and added to the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. The site is now listed at Grade II."

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.

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CB300 News
Ceryl Evans has been appointed as the CB300 Project Manager
>More information and contact details

A recent Financial Times article by Jane Owen worth reading, coupled with a video worth seeing  - Capability. Brown continuing to inspire restoration and landscape management at Euston in Suffolk in time for 2016!
>More details >Video link

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.

ICOMOS-UK International Conference

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

Association of Gardens Trusts - Archive


AGT Eyecatcher Newsletter No 29,
Autumn 2013 edited by Liz Ware
>Click here to read

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 read

Parks & Gardens UK > MAY NEWSLETTER

The Pulham Legacy - May 2014 Newsletter

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.

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.)

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


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

Advice concerning conservation and management of War Memorials.

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




Wednesday 1 October
Study Day - Hagley Hall, Worcestershire

Worcestershire. DY9 9LG
Speaker Joe Hawkins:  Head of Landscape at Hagley Hall
>Flyer and booking as a pdf

>Flyer and booking form as a word doc
BBC news reports on Hagley Hall
Parks & Gardens UK detailed info on Hagley Hall
Hagley Hall official site


Saturday October 4th 2014
A Study Day to mark the restoration of the Swiss Garden at Old Warden.
To be held at Princess Charlotte Room, Shuttleworth Aerodrome, Old Warden, nr Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9EP. >more details


7 October 2014
3rd SOUTH WEST Regional Forum
The Deane House, Belvedere Rd, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1HE at 10.00am
Deane House Location
BOOKING FORM for SW CGTs Regional Forum October 2014

SW Regional Forum programme Oct 2014 draft vs 2




Winter Lecture Series
Starting 13 October 2014 through to 9 March 2015
Monday evenings, 7-8 pm (6.30 for a glass of wine)

The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street  (Entrance: through courtyard to far end, down stairs). London EC1M 6EL
LP> lecture list 2014-15

Monday 20 October 2014
9.45am for 10.15am start to 4.00pm

Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS. Meet with CGTs near you – exchange ideas and hear from our key partners in conserving historic landscapes!
>More details
>Booking form as a Word Doc

Tuesday 21 October
6.30pm to 9.00pm
at The Garden Museum
London Parks & Gardens Trust, presentation of new reasearch
>More details and booking form


Tuesday 28 October 2014
10.00am to 4.00pm

The Athenaeum, Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1LU. Meet with CGTs near you – exchange ideas and hear from our key partners in conserving historic landscapes!
>Booking form as a Word Doc
>More information and/or to BOOK ONLINE


Tuesday 4 November 2014
10.00am to 4.15pm
RESPONDING TO PLANNING APPLICATIONS affecting historic designed landscapes

The Gallery, Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ
A user-friendly and pragmatic introduction to what you need to know in order to help your trust protect local landscapes through the planning system. Previously run at least once in each region - this is the last currently planned so book now! Previously described by course participants as "Enjoyable" - we rest our case!
>More information and/or to BOOK ONLINE


Tuesday 11 November 2014
1pm to 4.30pm

The Gallery, Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ
Practise using what you know to write an effective, punchy letter in response to planning applications to support your trust to protect your local landscapes. Plenty of discussion and tips here!
>More information and/or to BOOK ONLINE


Thursday 4 – Friday 5 December 2014
 9.00am – 5.00pm 

Tree Issues for Horticultural Professionals
at The RHS Garden Wisley GU23 6QB
>More details


Wednesday 6 May 2015
Research and Recording Study Day
St. Giles House, Wimborne, Dorset

(by kind permission of The Earl of Shaftesbury)
More details

Sept 2015,
3 day conference/symposium
Wilder by Design?
Managing landscape change and future ecologies.

>More details



Welsh Historic Gardens Trust breaking news.......
HRH Prince of Wales (Patron, Welsh Historic Gardens Trust)  helped to celebrate WHGT 25th Anniversary at Dyffryn Gardens on Tuesday 1st July by launching a Small Grants Scheme


If you missed the Welsh Historic Gardens Trusts appearance on Eggheads on Monday 25 August, 6.30pm BBC2, check it out on Catchup and see how they fared…………


Dorset Gardens Trust celebrated a landmark 25 Years
 >More details and photos

May 2014

May 1989


Isle of Wight Gardens Trust celebrated 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!!





The New English Garden
by Tim Richardson, Photographs by ANDREW LAWSON

A Comprehensive overview of the contemporary English garden scene, by the dream team of Tim Richardson, most perceptive and insightful of contemporary writers on gardens, and
renowned garden photographer Andrew Lawson.
>More details



Author Karen Platt is pleased to announce the release of her latest garden book Karen Platt’s Common-Botanical Plant Names. The book is one of the biggest of its kind, containing 40,000 cross-referenced common plant names from around the world.  “It’s a labour of love, I have worked on it for the past ten years. I find the common plant names very interesting. At last gardeners can see if the same common name is used in other areas of the world or not.” Platt told us.  Karen Platt’s Common-Botanical Plant Names is available exclusively for download. Price 7.99 and will shortly be available at all booksellers. Contact:


British gardens in time
British Gardens in Time
by Katie Campbell
At last a fully and gloriously illustrated book on garden history.  See these iconic gardens on Iplayer!! and then read Katie Campbell's accompanying book! >More details


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

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

More book reviews







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


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



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