Volunteer Support

The Gardens Trust’s Volunteer Support programme helps volunteers across the historic designed landscapes sector in their work to research, understand, protect and share historic parks, gardens and other designed green spaces. It receives partial funding from Historic England.

Volunteer support and team gathered in a bandstand.

Volunteers Save Space

In 2022, we broadened the scope of the project and launched the Volunteer Support programme which has received two-years’ partial funding from Historic England to run the ‘Volunteers Save Space!’ project. This aims to help more people to engage with their local parks and gardens heritage; and to encourage active participation in the conservation of these landscapes. We’ll do this by continuing to provide all our usual training, networking and one-to-one support to volunteers in the CGTs; but also offering training much more widely, and helping the GT and CGTs to connect to the resulting new, and more diverse, audiences.


To maximise the strengths of County Gardens Trusts we are helping them to build a crucial support network amongst themselves, with a calendar of opportunities to gather together and discuss issues important to their ongoing success. Under our ‘Volunteers Save Space’ project, other volunteers working in historic designed landscapes will also be welcome to attend many of these ‘Meet-Ups’. For details of upcoming networking events, please visit our events page or sign up to our monthly E-Bulletin on our homepage.

Working together

We also encourage a working together approach between volunteers and other relevant organisations, such as the Gardens Trust’s conservation team, local authorities, Historic England, Natural England, Parks & Gardens UK, Historic Environment Records and other amenity societies.

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



To support volunteers’ work conserving historic designed landscapes, the Volunteer Support programme facilitates or runs a range of training opportunities. These workshops have included Responding to Planning Applications, Research for Local Listing, Understanding Conservation Management Plans, Volunteers, Significance, Social Media, Settings and more. Forthcoming training events will be posted on our events page. To download free materials from past training events, please visit our online Resource Hub using the link on the right.


The Volunteer Support programme has evolved from the Historic Landscape Project, which was launched in south-east England in 2010, with funding from Natural England and the Association of Gardens Trust (AGT).  In 2013, supported by funding from the AGT, the Garden History Society and English Heritage, it expanded to cover the whole of England, offering training, support and networking opportunities to the 37 county-based gardens trusts (CGTs). After the merger of the AGT and GHS in 2015, the HLP was carried forward by the newly-formed Gardens Trust, with partial funding from Historic England.

Resource Hub

The Volunteer Support programme has created an extensive range of support materials and guidance for its training workshops, which can be downloaded for free from our online Resource Hub. The Hub also contains thought-provoking examples of work from CGTs, and the best of guidance from other organisations too. The Hub is primarily aimed at County Gardens Trust members, but we welcome all comers!

Our two part-time Volunteer Support Officers would love to hear from you:

Tamsin McMillan, Lead VSO: tamsinmcmillan@thegardenstrust.org
Sally Bate, VSO: sallybate@thegardenstrust.org

Sign up to our monthly e-bulletin on the homepage for advance notice of all our training and events.

Follow the GT on FacebookTwitter or Instagram for regular updates from the volunteer support team.