The Garden Trust Annual Conference 2018

Our Conference this year will take place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September and be based at two separate but nearby venues in Birmingham’s leafy suburbs: the Edgbaston campus of the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Park Road B15 2TT and (3.5 km distant) the gloriously Venetian Gothic Highbury Hall, Yew Tree Road, Birmingham B13 8QG. The programme comprises 2 full days of lectures and site tours, the Gardens Trust AGM, the Conference dinner and the New Research Symposium, with optional (free of charge if you have booked for the conference but with limited numbers) visits on the afternoon of Friday 31st August.   
The cost for the full 2 day programme, excluding accommodation but inclusive of all refreshments, the Conference dinner and optional Friday afternoon tours is: £240.00 for GT and CGT members and £275.00 for non-members. There are 3 places at £150.00 available for bona fide students under the age of 30.
Note: Booking closes on Friday 10 August. In the event of cancellation, we regret the Gardens Trust will be unable to return any costs that cannot be recovered.   We advise that you have appropriate travel insurance.
Overnight accommodation: Delegates are requested to book and pay directly for their own overnight accommodation. When you have booked your conference place you will receive an email confirming your booking and we will send you information and maps with accommodation options on and off campus (with University booking arrangements) and travel and parking details.

The GT Conference organiser will contact you later in the summer to ask you:
1. Which of the dinner menu options (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) you would prefer and /or any other dietary needs (e.g. gluten-free). Buffet food will cater for a full range of dietary requirements. 
2. Where you are staying e.g. Hornton Grange (Conference Park), Student village or City centre hotel to assist with planning any ad hoc transport requirements including after the Conference dinner on Saturday.
3. If you are a GT member and/or a CGT member; if the latter which CGT you are a member of (for badges)
The Conference booklet will be included in the Conference pack at registration. PDF copies may be available in advance in the late summer by email.
If you have any queries please contact Virginia Hinze at vchinze99@gmail.com or telephone 01273 844819
Network Rail has announced that Euston station will be closed for several weekends in the late summer including 1st and 2nd September. However, there are regular trains from London Marylebone and from London St Pancras International to Birmingham Moor Street; both alternatives take a little longer than from Euston. From Moor Street there it is a short additional train to Birmingham University or a very slightly longer taxi ride than from New Street, but the time difference is small.

VENUE: The Muirhead Tower lecture theatre (R21 on Campus map) University of Birmingham Edgbaston Campus, B15 2TT; main entrance (East Gate) off Edgbaston Park Road. 
Approximate timings:
9.30 Onwards: delegates register in the Atrium of the Muirhead lecture theatre on the ground floor of the Muirhead Tower; coffee and biscuits available.
10.15: a series of talks and presentations on the civic, estate and park history of Birmingham from the C19 to today, and of Highbury Hall in particular, plus thoughts on current philosophy and initiatives on park management. The morning’s speakers are:
Stephen Roberts, an historian of nineteenth-century Britain with extensive publications on  Birmingham in the Victorian era  will give us a vivid of account what happened in Birmingham in the year that it became a city; 
Professor Maureen Perrie, University of Birmingham, will introduce Joseph Chamberlain’s Highbury and the landscape gardening tradition.
The cultural historian and historical consultant Katy Layton Jones, well known to the GT for her 2016 report Uncertain Prospects: public parks in the new age of austerity’ explores the theme of ‘Celebration or Compensation? The urban context of public parks’,
Carey Baff, chair of the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum will introduce the partnership model of the Forum with Birmingham City Parks in managing parks successfully for the community.  
A buffet lunch will be served in the Atrium with an opportunity to browse the bookstalls
Afternoon: Assemble in the Atrium to walk in groups (5/10mins) to Winterbourne House and Gardens (east side of Edgbaston Park Road); introduction to the Garden by the director, Lee Hale, followed by a self-guided tour and an opportunity to buy the new guide book.  Return to Muirhead at leisure
15.45 Tea and bookstalls in Muirhead Atrium
16. 15 The Gardens Trust AGM and committee reports etc. in the Muirhead lecture theatre followed by a drinks reception in the Staff House (R24 on Campus map, 5 mins walk) and at about 19.00 the Conference Dinner and keynote speaker; the bar will be open till late.
Venue: Highbury Hall, Yew Tree Road, Birmingham B13 8QG
10.30 Delegate arrival, coffee and pastries
11.00 New Research Symposium hosted by Dr Patrick Eyres
13.00 Hot buffet lunch
14.00 Highbury trustee Alison Milward will give a short introduction to the history of, and restoration proposals for, Highbury Hal, and its landscape followed by group tours of the Hall’s highly-decorative interior and the gardens and grounds. 
16.00 Tea and close
We are delighted to offer delegates arriving Friday afternoon two tours. However, numbers are strictly limited and booking will be on a ‘first come’ basis. :
15.30pm: The Green Heart Project (maximum 40 places):  
A guided tour with the designers and managers of the University’s striking new parkland – the Green Heart Project.  Due for final completion in 2019 year the 12 acres  will open up the centre of campus for students, staff and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a space for performances, socialising, meeting and studying, while opening up views across the whole campus, as envisaged in the 1920s. The new landscape design includes a range of wild flowers, native plants, new trees, water features and nesting sites.  For more information:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/estates/green-heart/index.aspx
17.30-18.30 Cadbury Research Library, Special Collection: (maximum 20 places) a private visit to the Cadbury Research Library and archive housing the University of Birmingham’s extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs and associated artefacts. We’ll have an introduction to the collection and the opportunity to see some of their items of botanical art/gardening interest and other horticultural matters. For more information on the collection see: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/facilities/cadbury/index.aspx
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts B15 2TS  http://barber.org.uk/visit/ 5 minutes from the Muirhead Tower is open from 10.00 till 17.00.  The city offers a wide range of cultural attractions including its Art Gallery and Museum and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag;
Delegates are free to make their own supper arrangements in the city; alternatively there may be the option of a 3 course buffet dinner at the Conference Park @ c£26 per person (TBC on the day).