Research

The Berkshire Gardens Trust (BGT) aims to promote the conservation of the county’s parks, gardens and other designed landscapes.  One of our key objectives is to identify those parks and gardens that are historically significant; and then to understand if what remains today continues to make them important. 

The Berkshire Gardens Trust is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Herschel Park

2021 Public Parks Project

We research and document the history of Berkshire’s parks and gardens to better understand what aspects of them are important and should be protected.  This helps us to provide supportive comments on planning applications for suitable developments while criticising those developments that fail to recognise the significance of features of the designed landscape.  It also allows us to provide support to those involved in the management of these sites to record the current condition of the site and to inform their future conservation and development.

The two best places to start researching a particular park or garden are to look at historic maps and to trawl the internet, as so many records are now available online.  A site visit is also important (if possible onto the site in collaboration with the owner and, if not, to the nearest publicly-accessible view points) to understand the current condition of the historical features and which features have survived.  The culmination of the research is a short document that gives the significant features of the park or garden with a summary posted on our website.

We have a database of about 260 parks and gardens in Berkshire that may be historically significant.  These range from small privately owned gardens to large estates owned by the National Trust.  Our focus this year is to research Berkshire’s historic parks that are open to the public as part of the Gardens Trust’s ‘Unforgettable Gardens’ campaign.  Any members who would be interested in being involved with this project would be very welcome.  Training, guidance and friendly advice will be provided.  Please contact Janet, the Membership Secretary, at bgtmembership@gmail.com.