Two MBEs awarded for garden history

The Gardens Trust, county/country gardens trusts,  and Historic England are celebrating the great news of two MBEs that have been awarded for achievements in the garden history world.

Steffie Shields (left) is recognised as a great ambassador for garden heritage and her work with the Gardens Trust and county gardens trusts. Her nomination will have recognised the breadth, depth and value of her voluntary work, leadership and expertise, and in particular as a Capability Brown scholar. Her MBE citation captures this as ‘services to Conservation Heritage’.

The Capability Brown Festival gets a second accolade with John Phibbs’ MBE. The honour recognises John (above) as the founder of the festival, his expertise and his enthusiastic work in championing Capability Brown and now, of course, Repton landscapes.

The two worthy recipients will also readily acknowledge that the honours are a great way of celebrating the successes in the heritage sector and the whole community of people involved in making things happen. As Steffie said on being congratulated via Twitter ‘steady on! thank you @thegardenstrust but we are all in this together! I’ve learned so much from so many… cannot begin to say how much I have appreciated support along the road & hope we can ALL be so proud of #countygardenstrusts achievements in garden conservation & education’.

British honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service, and the nomination process includes proof of wide support for the award.  In the end whether someone gets an honour – and the honour they get – is decided by an honours committee. The committee’s recommendations go to the Prime Minister and then to the Queen, who awards the honour. Steffie and John’s MBEs show national recognition of the importance of our garden heritage and its conservation work.

Congratulations Steffie, John and everyone at the Gardens Trust and county gardens trusts.

Jenifer White
National Landscape Advisor, Historic England

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith