Community Engagement

Historic designed landscapes need everyone’s support to survive. A vital part of the Gardens Trust’s mission is to share the beauty, significance and vulnerability of these special places, to ensure they survive for us all to enjoy. Our community engagement work gives us the opportunity to share this message with volunteers, community groups, organisations and members of the public across the UK, and encourage them to play a role in helping to protect their local landscapes.

Karina Flynn, Volunteer Support Officer, delivering a session as part of the Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story project

Supporting County Gardens Trusts

The Gardens Trust is an umbrella organisation for County Gardens Trusts (CGT’s) across England and Wales. Although they are independent organisations, we rely heavily on the knowledge, passion and dedication of their volunteers who help us respond to an increasing amount of planning applications that affect registered parks and gardens in the UK. We offer support to CGT’s through training opportunities, advocacy and special events. Find your local CGT here.

Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story

An exciting new Gardens Trust project, funded by Historic England, which aims to recruit Suffolk volunteers and train them to research and record historic landscapes. Read more about the project here.

An adult woman and child leant over a table in a sunny garden. The table displays a selection of everyday objects such as a pineapple, seeds, brick and tennis ball.

Frankie Taylor, Audience Development and Engagement Officer, delivering the Garden History Lucky Dip at Forest Gate Community Garden

Community Champions Scheme

The Gardens Trust’s Community Champions scheme is a part of our lottery funded ‘Engaging With Our Future‘ project and aimed at sharing garden history with a whole new audience. Volunteers from across the UK can take part by delivering a one-off interactive activity, in their local community, that explores the garden history stories behind a series of everyday objects.

Three young adults creating terrariums around a table with plants, soil and equipment in Forest Gate, London.

Participants of our Terrific Terrariums session at Forest Gate Community Garden

Terrific Terrariums

Terrific Terrariums was an exciting pilot community engagement activity funded by the ‘Engaging With Our Future‘ project. Participants from Forest Gate Community Garden and the Medaille Trust not only created their own terrariums using recycled jam jars but also learned how they played a vital role in the early history of parks and gardens in the UK.

Volunteers Save Space!

Funded by Historic England, this new project will help us continue to support and offer training to County Gardens Trusts, through a series of digital and outreach engagement projects. We hope this project will help CGT’s to build their capacity, reach out to new audiences and attract more supporters to their cause.

Gardens Trust Community Grant

In 2022 we launched a new grant scheme for volunteer projects aimed at supporting historic designed landscapes. Made possible by a generous donation from the Gentian Trust, established by Peter and Rosy Gent, the Gardens Trust Community Grant is for up to £2,500 and is intended to help seed-fund volunteer projects that will support historic designed landscapes in the UK. Projects funded so far include setting up a Friends Group for Billing Road Cemetery (supported by Northamptonshire Gardens Trust) and the purchase of tools by Bradgate Park Trust for their dedicated team of gardeners who manage their kitchen garden.

A group of Gardens Trust and Essex Gardens Trust members in front of a stall at the Gardeners World Autumn Fair, 2022. With Gardeners World presenter, Adam Frost.

The Gardens Trust and Essex Gardens Trust teams meeting Adam Frost at the BBC Gardeners World Autumn Fair

Events

You may even find us at an event near you! Last year we were invited to exhibit at the very first Gardeners World Autumn Fair held at Audley End. Teaming up with Essex Garden Trust, we spoke to hundreds of visitors over the weekend about the work we do to support historic gardens and had lots on offer! We invited people to try our Garden History Lucky Dip activity, learn about Georgian landscapes with our Capability Brown impersonator Michael Brown and even to create a garden-inspired piece of art with Essex Garden Trust’s artist-in-residence Jane Frederick.

Previous projects

You can read more about our previous community engagement and outreach projects, like Sharing Repton, on our Resource Hub.

E-bulletin