About us

The Gardens Trust is the only UK national charity dedicated to protecting and conserving our heritage of designed landscapes. We campaign on their behalf, undertake research and conservation work, and encourage public appreciation and involvement. Through the national network of County and Country Garden Trusts, we have access to people and local expertise throughout the country. The Gardens Trust is also a membership organisation which relies on members and donors to support our work.

The Gardens Trust brings together people from all backgrounds united by a love and concern for historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Our interests cover garden history, the discovery and introduction of plants, garden archaeology and the relation of park and garden design to architecture, art, literature and society.

We are passionate about sharing our love of landscapes with the wider community, through campaigns such as Sharing Repton and Volunteers Save Space! These projects help local groups, schools, disabled people and other new audiences visit and enjoy our landscape heritage.

Our statutory work

The Gardens Trust is a statutory consultee in the English planning system. This means that local authorities have to consult us on any planning applications that affect gardens and landscapes listed on Historic England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest. We are always happy to discuss proposals with owners, developers or local people in order to get the best outcome. The Gardens Trust is supported in this important conservation role by local County Garden Trusts.

We work closely with the Welsh Historic Parks and Gardens Trust and Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage, who fulfil a similar role in their countries. There are no other organisations doing this work.

Find out more about our charitable objectives and governance.

Our members and volunteers

The Gardens Trust is a membership organisation, which publishes a regular newsletter and academic Journal for members. We also organise events such as garden visits, foreign tours and lectures, which members can book at reduced rates. Above all, by joining the Gardens Trust you would be helping to protect the landscapes you love. Find out more about becoming a member.

Since we have only a small staff team, the Gardens Trust relies heavily on volunteers to carry out its work. Volunteers undertake conservation, research the history of gardens, write articles, help us campaign and organise events. Our ability to protect historic parks and gardens is therefore dependent on their dedication and generosity. If you could give your time and skills as a Gardens Trust volunteer please email our administrator.

Our impact

Over the last year the Gardens Trust’s dedicated team of staff, volunteers and members have worked hard to continue protecting, conserving and advocating for historic green spaces.

Read our latest Impact Report

Our history

The Gardens Trust (formerly the Garden History Society) was founded in 1966 and renamed in 2015 following our merger with the Association of Gardens Trusts. Our journal Garden History has been published quarterly since 1970.

You can read more about the milestones in our history in an article celebrating ’50 years of the GHS’ by Tim Richardson, published in 2015 or find out more about the history of the County Gardens Trusts by Michael Dawson.