The Gardens Trust

The Gardens Trust is the only UK national charity dedicated to protecting and conserving our heritage of designed landscapes. They campaign on their behalf, undertake research and conservation work, and encourage public appreciation and involvement. Through the national network of County and Country Garden Trusts, we have access to people and local expertise throughout the country.

The Gardens Trust brings together people from all backgrounds united by a love and concern for historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Their interests cover garden history, the discovery and introduction of plants, garden archaeology and the relation of park and garden design to architecture, art, literature and society.

They are passionate about sharing their love of landscapes with the wider community, through campaigns such as Sharing Repton and Volunteers Save Space! These projects help local groups, schools, disabled people and other new audiences visit and enjoy our landscape heritage.

Gardens Trust logo

Statutory Word

The Gardens Trust is a statutory consultee in the English planning system. This means that local authorities have to consult them on any planning applications that affect gardens and landscapes of any grade listed on Historic England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens (RPGs) of special historic interest. The Gardens Trust is supported in this important conservation role by local County Garden Trusts such as GGLT. Their Conservation Officer is none other than Margie Hoffnung, GGLT’s Chair.  There are no other organisations doing this work as Historic England only deal with Grade I and Grade II* RPGs. The very helpful updated planning leaflet which outlines the responsibilities of local authorities in this respect and general information about planning can be downloaded here: Gardens Trust The Planning System in England leaflet 2024

Members and Volunteers

The Gardens Trust is a membership organisation, which publishes a regular newsletter (thegardenstrust.org/support-us/subscribe) and academic Journal for members. They also organise events such as garden visits, foreign tours and lectures, which members can book at reduced rates.

Since they have only a small staff team, the Gardens Trust relies heavily on volunteers to carry out its work. Volunteers undertake conservation, research the history of gardens, write articles, help to campaign and organise events. Their ability to protect historic parks and gardens is therefore dependent on their dedication and generosity – no different in fact to GGLT.

Impact

Over the last year the Gardens Trust’s dedicated team of staff, volunteers and members have worked hard to continue protecting, conserving and advocating for historic green spaces.

Read our latest Impact Report

History

The Gardens Trust (formerly the Garden History Society) was founded in 1966 and renamed in 2015 following their merger with the Association of Gardens Trusts. Their journal Garden History has been published quarterly since 1970.

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