Board of Trustees

Christopher Blandford

Chris Blandford is a landscape architect, master planner, and heritage specialist. Until 2017 he was Chairman and CEO of the award-winning CBA Studios, which he founded in 1977. Working nationally and internationally, he gained a broad range of technical experience in both the conservation and development fields, as well as considerable managerial and commercial expertise. He is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute, ICOMOS Trustee, President of World Heritage UK, and Vice Chairman of the South Downs National Park Design Review Panel. He has regularly advised government on design, heritage and environmental matters. In retirement he lives and works in the Weald of Sussex surrounded by the extensive garden that he and his wife have created over 40 years.

Sarah Dickinson

Sarah Dickinson is enjoying a second career as a landscape designer and planting consultant following a career in the City as a property lawyer. She has an MSc in the Conservation of Historic Gardens and Cultural Landscapes from Bath University and is on the Council of the Surrey Gardens Trust and editor of their newsletter.

She is Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Gardens Trust.

Dr Marion Harney

Dr Marion Harney is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation and Director of Learning and Teaching (PGT), Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Writer, architectural, landscape and cultural historian specialising in conservation research and multi-disciplinary conservation education, she is a Director of the Gardens Trust and Vice Chair of their Conservation Committee. Marion is a member of National Trust Council and their Historic Environment Advisory Group; Member of ICOMOS-UK Cultural Landscapes and Historic Gardens Committee and Member of the Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Group and Chair of their Research Committee.

Virginia Hinze

Virginia Hinze is a landscape architect with a qualification in historic designed landscape conservation. Her work for East Sussex County Council included many designed landscape restoration projects and as English Heritage’s South-East regional landscape architect she undertook planning casework and many mentoring and monitoring projects for the Heritage Lottery Fund, specialising in public park restoration. Subsequent work as a consultant included designing and delivering training courses to the former AGT and County Gardens Trusts. She is a founder and current Council member of Sussex Gardens Trust and a former Council member of the GHS. She is co-chair of the Education and Events Committee of the Gardens Trust.

Peter Hughes QC, Chairman

Peter Hughes is Chairman of the Board of the Gardens Trust. After a career as a barrister in private practice, head of a large London set of chambers, and, from 2007, as a Circuit Judge, Peter Hughes retired from the Judiciary in July 2018. As head of chambers he had significant managerial and administrative experience. He is due to begin a master’s degree course in Garden and Landscape History at London University in October 2018. He lives with his wife in the Lake District, where they care for an Arts and Craft house and garden. He is a member of the Cumbria Gardens Trust and, having been a member of the Garden History Society, of the Gardens Trust.

Dr Sally Jeffery

Dr Sally Jeffery, FSA, studied History of Art at Birkbeck College, where she wrote her doctoral thesis. She was architectural and garden historian at the City of London for sixteen years, then helped to set up the MA Garden History at Birkbeck, and was a tutor until its closure, and is now an independent lecturer and scholar. She is a Vice Chair of the Education and Events Committee of the Gardens Trust, and organises the winter lectures.

David Lambert

David Lambert is a director of the Parks Agency and for ten years was GHS Conservation Officer His interests include public parks, allotments and cemeteries as well as eighteenth-century poetry and gardens. He currently serves on a number of specialist advisory panels including the National Trust, Historic England, the World Monuments Fund and Historic Royal Palaces. He is a member of the Gardens Trust Conservation Committee.

Dr David Marsh

Dr David Marsh is a garden historian, lecturer and writer. He obtained a PhD in Garden History from Birkbeck College in 2005. He is co-convener of the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes seminar at Institute of Historical Research, London University, 2011 to date and is currently involved in setting up a national programme for garden history education in conjunction with a number of other interest groups. David is co-Chair of the Education and Events Committee of the Gardens Trust and Registrar of Research.

Maureen Nolan, Honorary Secretary

Maureen Nolan is Honorary Secretary of the Gardens Trust. She is a Chartered Secretary with over 30 years’ experience in governance and company secretarial work. She has a BSc in Mathematics and Biophysics and an MSc in Information Science. She has worked for a range of organisations in the public, private and charitable sectors, including Transport for London, ICSA and Age Concern England. Maureen is presently Company Secretary and Trustee of the London Parks and Gardens Trust (LPGT) and Company Secretary of the Gas Safe Charity.

Thadian Pillai

Thadian Pillai is a Design & Strategy Consultant for gardens and designed landscapes. He works across private, public and third sectors, including with diverse organisations such as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Southbank Centre; in such contexts, often specialising in social value and audience development He lectures on subjects relating to gardens and the visual arts, including recently at Parliament in Seoul, to the National Government of South Korea. He is the former Chair of Essex Gardens Trust (2017-2019), and currently sits on the Heritage Steering Committee of an Essex-based Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project.

Peter Waine

Peter Waine has a business background having been on both PLC and private company boards. He has been visiting professor at Warwick and Cass Business schools. He was Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) from 2008 to 2014 and has also been Chairman of the Tree Council and of the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale. He is a former Trustee of the Royal Opera House and an author of a number of business books and books on the English countryside.

Lisa Watson, Honorary Treasurer and Vice Chairman

Lisa Watson is Honorary Treasurer and Vice Chairman of the Gardens Trust. She is Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee. She worked for the National Trust at Stowe Landscape Garden for 17 years, starting as a volunteer and then becoming Estate Secretary until she retired in 2009. She has been Company Secretary of the London Gardens Trust and is their Treasurer and currently Interim Chairman. She was Treasurer of the Association of Gardens Trust.

Chloe Bennett

Chloe Bennett is ex-officio on the Board of the Gardens Trust. She is Chairman of Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage.

Joanna Davidson

Joanna Davidson is ex-officio on the Board of the Gardens Trust. She is Chairman of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust.