About us



Three apparent emergencies prompted our founding in 1991. Holme Lacy and its amazing yew garden had been abandoned, the significance of Humphry Repton’s Hewell landscape was little known and unappreciated and Croome Park was threatened by golf and a huge, centrally placed car park.Hanham park for website

Holme Lacy became a hotel, without our involvement and is secure.

At Hewell, with enthusiasm from the Prison Governor and the Chief Constable, we formed an enduring Advisory Committee, which has ensured developments there respect the designed landscape. The two principal features that had fallen into decay — the Late Georgian cast-iron carriage drive bridge and the shell of the 1712 mansion — have been immaculately conserved in 2022 prior to marketing the estate.

The Croome story is better known. Despite English Heritage advocacy for golf we headed off the disfiguring development. The National Trust was in a position to put in a bid to the newly established Heritage Lottery Fund, getting one of its first awards, in 1995, to acquire 470 acres, the core of Capability Brown’s park of the 1750s.

In 1991 we got off to a good start with our late President, John Berkeley, hosting the launch in the house and on the front steps at Spetchley Park. Many people who joined then have remained members, some having served on our Trustees’ Committee. Miraculously, despite changes in its membership over the years, we have always had a good balance of interests and capabilities on the committee, including owners of historic gardens and ‘people who know people’. This has resulted in many visits to private gardens not available to the general public.

Our gatherings have a convivial, almost party, atmosphere — except of course when we are listening carefully to what we are being told!


Some of our successes

 Built development, new forestry planting and changes of land use can all sometimes impact on our heritage of historic parks and gardens. We constantly monitor planning and forestry applications and often work with applicants to minimise any adverse impact on the historic landscape. We also work with landowners and provide advice, physical help and occasionally financial help to aid the restoration or conservation of these special places. Looking back over the last 30 years we are proud of the number and variety of projects that we have ben involved with. The list below is the tip of the iceberg.

  • Planning symposiums organised in 2008 and 2018.
  • Successfully influencing the decisions of many planning applications where the proposed developments would have adversely affected an historic park or garden.
  • Expert witness statements prepared for planning inquiries for Belmont House, Hagley Court in Herefordshire, Hereford by-pass route, Ham Court, Longworth.
  • Leading the Hewell Grange Conservation & Advisory Group.
  • Organizing a Repton exhibition at Hereford Museum in 2018 and producing a catalogue on Repton's work in the West Midlands
  • Successfully lobbying Historic England to include Nieuport House and Ombersley Court on their Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.
  • Contributing to the establishment of an apprenticeship post at Croome Court.
  • Winning The Gardens Trust Volunteer of the Year award in 2020.
  • Enabling the restoration of the bridge and island at Hewell Grange.
  • Designing and part-funding the restoration of the gardens at Hartlebury Castle.
  • Funding and re-planting the derelict ‘Capability’ Brown designed Pirton Ridge.
  • Securing grant aid for the restoration of the rose garden at Broxwood Court.
  • Securing grant aid for the restoration of the canals at Court of Noke.
  • Creation and maintenance for some years of a small formal garden adjoining the moat at Harvington Hall.
  • Maintaining the Quarry Garden at Hewell Grange.


Charitable status

The Trust was founded in 1992 and is a registered charity (no.1015431) with the aims of:

  • Education of the public in the historic landscapes and gardens in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
  • Assisting owners of such landscapes with advice on maintenance and restoration.
  • Research and publications in historic landscape in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.