Historic parks and gardens play a critical role in social cohesion, wellbeing, and cultural storytelling. They are of significance locally, nationally and internationally. However, they face critical threats from financial difficulty, neglect, mismanagement and development.
Over 100 designated parks and gardens are on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register (6.1% of the 1696 designated parks and gardens). The Gardens Trust works to raise awareness and mitigate these threats. In particular, we strive to minimise development threat, through commenting on planning applications.
Historic parks and gardens have been at the heart of communities for generations. With our support, they will still be around for future generations.
Our Statutory Role
The Gardens Trust is a statutory consultee in the English planning system. This means that local authorities have to consult us on any planning applications that affect gardens and landscapes listed on Historic England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest. We are always happy to discuss proposals with owners, developers or local people in order to get the best outcome. The Gardens Trust is supported in this important conservation role by local County Garden Trusts.
We work closely with the Welsh Historic Parks and Gardens Trust and Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage, who fulfil a similar role in their countries. There are no other organisations doing this work.
Consultations relating to non-registered sites
The Gardens Trust receives some consultations relating to sites which are not included on the Historic England Register. In some cases it will be possible for us to provide appropriate advice. In other cases, however, we do not have sufficient information about the site concerned, and in these cases work with the relevant County Garden Trust to address the issue.
The Gardens Trust responds to Government consultations on national policy issues.