The English are, and always have been, a nation of gardeners. This love of working the soil and sculpting the landscape has resulted in the many diverse historic parks and gardens surviving today. These range from town gardens and public parks to the great country estates. Reflecting the styles and tastes of past generations, from Medieval knot gardens and deer parks to sweeping 18th-century landscaped gardens, Victorian exotica and post-war examples, these parks and gardens traverse the centuries. They are all important and much treasured parts of our heritage.
Local authorities manage a variety of historic parks and gardens; they are responsible for nearly all the public parks in our towns and cities. Most other historic parks and gardens are either privately owned or in trust, and many of these are open to the public.
Heritage specialists, including English Heritage advise on:
- the restoration and care of historic landscapes
- long term management of parks and gardens
- planning applications affecting sites of outstanding national interest (Registered sites)
In addition, English Heritage compiles the Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England and provides grant aid for restoration projects of Grade I and II* sites. Funding may also be available from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grants such as the Countryside Stewardship Schemes.