English Heritage launches project to safeguard historic green areas

Pilot surveys set up that could lead to funding for endangered green spaces on at-risk register

An initiative to safeguard historic but endangered green spaces has been launched by English Heritage, which wants to run pilot surveys that could lead to desperately needed funding.

The possible lifeline forms part of a wider plan launched by English Heritage last week to improve care of grade II listed buildings and gardens, which make up more than nine-tenths of listed properties but to date have not been covered by its Heritage at Risk Register.

Director of heritage protection and planning Edward Impey said each of the nine-15 pilots outside London would attract £20,000 so councils and community groups could survey conditions of landscapes and buildings and explore the costs of repairs and grant options.

Almost 100 of England’s 1,617 registered parks and gardens are at risk, he added. But grant funding for English Heritage has fallen from £30m to £12.5 in 14 years. Impey said there are 345,000 grade II properties and the group cannot undertake the work alone.

Sites at risk include parks, gardens, cemeteries, battlefields and buildings. High-priority areas are Flaybrick Memorial Gardens, a cemetery turned public garden in poor condition in Wirrall, and Winter Gardens in Ade-laide Street, Blackpool.

"Results of surveys will help all parties including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and other grant givers to get rescues underway where nothing has been happening for years," said Impey. "It isn’t just bean-counting, it works."

HLF director of operations Bob Bewley said highlighting heritage landscapes via the register and pilot surveys shows how important sites are and could be a "stepping stone to funding". He added that the HLF is preparing to launch a project called Heritage Enterprise.

"Details have not been finalised but the point is to build more private- and public-sector links to make things happen in a way they haven’t before. It is due for launch in April." For further details, see www.english-


Inside view

"We need help and are prepared to fund nine-15 pilot surveys with local authorities, national parks and heritage and community groups as partners. For local authorities hard-pressed by cuts, or other groups who come forward, this means the chance to find out what most needs their scarce resources. And the results will help all parties involved, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant givers, to get rescues underway."

Simon Thurley, chief executive, English Heritage

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Neville Stein advises how businesses can act now to protect themselves against higher plant import costs after the Brexit deadline.

Sargent's solutions: Why landscapers are better off keeping overall control of a project

Sargent's solutions: Why landscapers are better off keeping overall control of a project

Dividing up contracts can make it harder for landscapers to retain control of their projects, Alan Sargent warns.



Attractive ornamental pear trees are great for street planting as well as gardens, writes Miranda Kimberley.


The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs


Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive RANKING of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources