The threats to our historic parks and gardens by neglect or mismanagement cannot be underestimated but in the long term, they can usually be put right. However, the threats from development, and sometimes, forestry, are far more serious as they can often result in permanent damage or destruction of designed landscapes. 

Planning Designations

Brampton Bryan park for websiteThere are 305 known historic parks and gardens in Herefordshire and a further 230 in Worcestershire. Of this enormous number, just 30 are currently registered by Historic England. Only those important parks and gardens that Historic England considers to be sufficiently special to merit national or international recognition are included in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.  Within  both Registered and unregistered parks and gardens there are also often structures that are Listed within the planning system. These structures (such as walls, garden buildings, ornaments etc) are protected by law but until recently there has been no statutory protection for parks or gardens This woefully inadequate recognition of their cultural and historic importance has slowly improved with successive levels of legislation and the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Act has, at last, given them equal status. There is now a statutory duty to preserve and enhance Registered parks and gardens and the recognition that un-designated sites are also important.

Hereford & Worcester Gardens Trust are working with the counties' Historic Environment Records to ensure that all the historic parks and gardens are included in their databases. We are consulted by the Local Planning Authorities whenever they consider that a planning application may impact on a historic designed landscape. Our committee includes members who have professional expertise in this field. Our comments are also sent to The Gardens Trust who are a Statutory Consultee in relation to Registered sites and who also notify us of any applications that they are sent. 

Herefordshire is a Unitary Authority so all planning matters are dealt with by the County Authority. In Worcestershire the District Councils deal with their own applications and there are also County applications dealing with broad brush criteria. If you wish to see our comments about individual applications you should go to the appropriate Local Authority Planning website.