The Gardens Trust launched the mid-century gardens & landscapes campaign to compile a record of gardens dating from the 1960s to 1990 which have historic interest. Many important gardens of this period are not registered and therefore they are at risk of neglect or destruction.
The project grew out of a conference, called Compiling the Record, which was held at the Garden Museum in June 2017. This aimed to highlight the important designed landscapes of this period. Speakers at the conference included architects, historians and Historic England staff who register gardens which have historic interest. The topics included civic landscapes, New Towns, reclaiming a mining landscape and recent work by Historic England on post-war heritage.
The design and planting of some of the gardens and landscapes discussed were obviously appreciated and well-cared for. However, many others were not understood or recognised as designed landscapes. They were therefore suffering from neglect, poor management and, in some cases, complete destruction. Clearly, the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is not currently protecting many modern gardens and landscapes which are of national importance.
The Gardens Trust asked supporters to suggest mid-century gardens and landscapes that should be included on the NHLE. All types of gardens and landscapes can be registered, not just private gardens. This can include landscapes around institutions, such as universities or hospitals, and industrial complexes like airports, reservoirs and pumping stations. The suggestions we received are being reviewed by an expert panel to assess whether they are of national historic interest. The most important gardens and landscapes will then be registered on the National Heritage List.