Historic landscapes achieve registration thanks to Suffolk Volunteers

Group of 6 volunteers sat around a table, drinking tea in a cosy cafe in Suffolk with red brick wall background.

Volunteers taking part in the Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story project have helped protect more historic designed landscapes for future generations.

Over the past two years, more than 20 volunteers have been researching and recording at-risk historic designed landscapes in Suffolk. The project, delivered in partnership with Suffolk Gardens Trust and funded by Historic England, has helped tell the stories of the county’s parks and gardens and brought attention to the value of its historic designed landscapes.

So far, the hard work of volunteers has resulted in the registration of 7 new sites on Historic England’s National Heritage List for England.

The newly protected parks and gardens include:

Thorpeness Meare with its distinctive ‘House in the Clouds’ © Historic England Archive

Over the coming months, the research compiled by volunteers will be published on the Suffolk Gardens Trust website.

Historic England landscape architect Christopher Laine said: “I’m delighted that we have such fascinating research and newly protected designed landscapes as a result of this project.”

Edward Martin, chairman of The Suffolk Gardens Trust, said: “The Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story project has been a wonderful opportunity to focus new attention on Suffolk’s rich garden heritage and to involve volunteers in actively researching and reporting on sites to make them truly ‘unforgettable’.”

Suffolk Volunteer touching a tree at Thornham Walks
Volunteer exploring the landscape around Thornham Walks

Volunteers involved in the project have enjoyed the process with one saying “I’ve had an enjoyable time exploring the history of various Suffolk parks and gardens and meeting other volunteers…The training offered was excellent and it has been interesting learning about the complexities of the listing process that is intended to protect these important Suffolk sites for future generations.”

Due to the success of the project so far, volunteers are keen to carry on researching more historic parks and gardens in Suffolk and welcome anyone interested in taking part to join them.

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith