Review of 2011 - Historic and Botanic Gardens

Historic and Botanical Gardens Review of 2011 - image: Hever Castle
Historic and Botanical Gardens Review of 2011 - image: Hever Castle

January

  • The Eden project’s plans for a £20m power plant drawing natural heat from underground was passed by Cornwall Council.

February

  • The National Trust rejected the possibility of taking on responsibility for woodland managed by the Forestry Commission after the government announced its proposed sell-off.
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh received £65,000 funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery for its Edible Gardening Volunteer Task Force Scheme.
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund asked for views from the heritage sector and community organisations on what its priorities should be between 2013 and 2019.

March

  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew head of public engagement and learning Angela MacFarlane said it may not have predicted 25 per cent funding cuts confirmed until after the start of the next financial year.
  • Garden attraction visitor numbers showed improvement after a slump in 2010.
  • Big changes to garden traineeships were expected as the Historic & Botanic Gardens Bursary scheme’s funding ran out and the National Trust rethought its decade-old Careership programme.

 

April

  • Annual market research report Visiting Gardens & Historic Houses 2010 revealed that historic and botanic garden visitors were increasingly looking for value for money.
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund urged parkes managers to respond to a consultation on the organisation’s new strategy proposals.
  • Eden project founder Tim Smit said he had been asked by the Queen to time his BIG Lunch initiative to coincide with the jubilee in 2012, a move the industry hoped will open opportunities for the sector.
  • Lowther Castle Gardens near Penrith in Cumbria opened to the public as part of a £8.9m restoration.
  • The Professional Gardeners Guild planned to beef up support to members with training, safety advice and awards.
  • Six gardens in south-west Scotland joined forces to for Scotland’s Garden Route.

 

May

  • The Duchess of Cornwall officially marked the completion of a two-year restoration project at Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield, London.
  • Kew Gardens Temperate House struck lottery fortune to pave the way for a £28m upgrade.

 

June

  • The National Trust launched a review of the make-up of the organisations that appoint people to sit on its 52-member council, which include the RHS and Garden History Society.
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund chose Wentworth Castle conservatory in Barnsley, South Yorkshire along with four other projects to share £311m of grants.
  • New research by Botanic Garden Conservation International and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh showed that a quarter of the 1,157 Rhododendron species are under threat in the wild.

 

July

  • Capel Manor Collge officially opened the new gardens at its site in North London.
  • A group of National Trust head gardeners met at the Gloucestershire headquarters of Melcourt for a day devoted to the company’s peat-free growing media range.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew detailed how it was dealing with a 25 per cent cut in funding from the government over four years.

 

August

  • The Woodland Trust premiered a short film about protecting ancient woodland.

 

September

  • The National Trust for Scotland unveiled its new five-year strategy, promising step-changes in the way the organisation is managed, invests in properties and engages with members and visitors.
  • The National Trust said it was to carry out a three-year survey into the full extent , condition and history of the country’s tree avenues.
  • Eco charity Start said that Start@Kew, an eco event at the botanic gardens, was likely to become an annual event.

 

October

  • Membership of the National Trust grew to more than four million people for the first time in its history.
  • Colleges said that rising costs and government cuts to education failed to put off youngsters from applying to land-based courses.
  • The RHS awarded accreditation as an approved qualifications centre to gardens owned and managed by the MacRobert Trust at Cromer in Aberdeenshire.
  • Trainees from the professional Gardeners’ Guild and Historic & Botanic Garden  Bursary Scheme attended a training seminar.

 

November

  • Historic Houses Association president Edward Harley said it was striving to ensure private properties get their share of Heritage Lottery Fund grants.

 

December

  • Professional gardeners at the PGG seminar agreed that innovation and garden design should have a place in the management of historic gardens.

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