Association of Gardens Trusts

Historic Landscape Project

Conservation through Partnership

The Historic Landscape Project is a capacity building programme from The Gardens Trust (with funding from Historic England), working to support County Gardens Trusts in taking a proactive role in the conservation of historic designed landscapes. What they say about us:

“Motivational – thank you!”
“Lots of notes, lots of emails to bash out, lots of food for thought and lots of fun”
“Collectively put the question of my local GT and my potential involvement on my mental map
where hereto it hadn’t existed!”

“One of the best and most informative workshops for the County Gardens Trusts I have attended”
“The exercises were also useful for embedding principles. It all cleared up a fairy ‘foggy’ area for me”
“I felt complex issues were introduced in a very clear and accessible way”


Download HLP leaflet

Enter CGT Web Forum Join the CGT email discussion group at



The Planning System in England and the Protection of Historic Parks and Gardens, new guidance leaflet available for download below.


Historic parks and gardens are ‘heritage assets’ for planning purposes. The Gardens Trust is determined to raise awareness of historic designed landscapes and to ensure that the protection afforded to them by the National Planning Policy Framework is implemented and is effective and sustainable. The role of local planning authorities is central to this process. In recognition of the close partnership between the Gardens Trust and local planning authorities, the Gardens Trust has published a guidance leaflet to explain the place of historic designed landscapes in the planning system, the importance of assessing significance, the statutory consultation obligations, and the role of the Gardens Trust and the County Gardens Trusts. This leaflet is intended primarily to help local planning authorities, but is freely available to all. >Planning leaflet



To support CGTs, the HLP facilitates or runs a range of training opportunities. These workshops have included Responding to Planning Applications, Research for Local Listing, Understanding CMPs, Volunteers, Significance, Social Media, Settings and more.

Upcoming events are:

  • 'Growing Relationships: Communicating our role in the planning system' workshop, 11am-3pm, 10th March 2016, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ.
    A free workshop for members of County Gardens Trusts and The Gardens Trusts on how to communicate with local planning authorities and others to maximise awareness of the position of CGTs in the planning system and the statutory status of TGT. This workshop is intended to complement the publication by The Gardens Trust of a new leaflet for local planning authorities on parks and gardens in the planning system and help CGTs to choose ways to use the leaflet to best effect.
    Details or booking from
  • West Midlands Regional Forum, 27th April 2016, at the Tennis Court Club, Leamington Spa
    Details or booking from Caroline Ikin at
  • East Regional Forum, 28th April 2016, at the British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford IP24 2PU, organised by Norfolk Gardens Trust.
    Trusts and likeminded supporters from the East meet to make contacts, build relationships, and discuss their current projects and recent experiences and learning curves, and topical issues such as research and recording projects, the potential for inter-CGT liasion on events, and ways of approaching planning applications.
    Details or booking from
  • South East and London Regional Forum, 3 May 2016, at The Gallery, Cowcross Street, London
    Details or booking from Caroline Ikin at
    The forum will focus on planning a project, with speakers from the HLF, the Walled Kitchen Garden Network and NADFAS as well as CGTs sharing their experiences of planning and executing a project.
  • South West Regional Forum, organised by Devon Gardens Trust, Spring 2016, details to follow or email
  • 'The Significance of Historic Parks and Gardens', 10am-5pm, 12th May 2016, at Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 3JY.
    A day of fun and learning to look at the Significance of historic designed landscapes, with particular reference to that of Burghley House, in celebration of the Capability Brown Festival. Free to CGT and TGT members, the day will include a tour of the Burghley 'Gardens of Surprise' by Head Gardener John Burrows, lunch in the Loggia, and an introduction to ways of assessing Significance by Historic England's Andy Brown.
    Details or booking from
  • East Midlands Regional Forum, details tbc
    Please register an interest with Linden Groves at
  • North Regional Forum, 9th June, Durham, organised by Northumbria Gardens Trust.
    Please register an interest with Linden Groves at

Delegates on historic parkland training writing at picnic table in grassland and sunshine Trainees compare old maps Trainer describes historic parkland scene Temple Newsam


Toolkit of support materials

There is an extensive range of support materials and guidance from the HLP’s workshops and more, which can be downloaded from our Resource Hub. It is primarily aimed at County Gardens Trust members, but we welcome all comers!



Building networks

To maximise the strengths of County Gardens Trusts we are helping them to build a crucial support network amongst themselves, with ongoing Regional CGT Forums (details of forthcoming Forums listed above).

We have also launched a buzzy online email discussion group. To access this group and join the discussion as well as receive regular HLP updates, please visit

Let’s get talking! Whether you are a CGT member or just an interested friend, do join the County Gardens Trusts’ email discussion group at


Conservation through Partnership

We have also been encouraging a working together approach between CGTs and other relevant organisations, such as, of course, The Gardens Trust (particularly on planning applications), Historic England (on At Risk and Designation work), Parks and Gardens UK (making CGT research available to a wide audience), Natural England (advising on environmental stewardship schemes), local authorities’ Historic Environment Records (giving a practical conservation application to CGT research) and the Capability Brown Tercentenary Festival (as a focus for CGTs’ research work).

If you or your organisation would like to benefit from better links with your local County Gardens Trust, please contact us at

You can download the Methodology and Evaluation Report from the first three year pilot of this project HERE, which talks about how we work with our partners. The appendices can be downloaded separately HERE.

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Who are we?

The Historic Landscape Project is staffed by 2 part time officers.

Caroline Ikin covers:

  • West Midlands (Hereford & Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire);
  • South East (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex);
  • London;
  • South West (Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire).

Linden Groves covers:

  • East Midlands (Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire);
  • East (Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk);
  • North (Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumbria, Yorkshire).

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Tower above Juniper Hall Swainston pond Kidbrooke shady walks South Hill Park lake

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