The Garden History Society (GHS) was the oldest society in the world dedicated to the conservation and study of historic designed gardens and landscapes. Through our interventions, advice and casework we have helped save or conserve scores of important gardens since our foundation in 1965.
We are now called The Gardens Trust. We have now (on 24 July 2015) merged with our sister organisation the Association of Gardens Trusts, representing the counties of England and Wales. You can read more about this momentous event here. This website will remain in place for the immediate future, but we will be migrating the content from both organisations to our new website in due course.
We now represent the voices of some 8,000 people, worldwide, in the combined organisation. As the only UK charity in the heritage ‘sector’ to have been granted a statutory role by government, our conservation team, working closely with our county gardens trust colleagues, now assesses all planning applications related to registered gardens and landscapes in England and Wales.
We will continue to institute campaigns and lobby government at all levels on issues relating to historic gardens. We have an active membership and an exciting programme of events, including numerous foreign trips, and will continue to publish the twice-yearly Garden History, the foremost international journal on the subject.
We are, however, completely dependent on membership for our continued existence as a charity. If The Gardens Trust did not exist, historic gardens and landscapes would be left unprotected, and there would be no focus for international research and scholarship. So if you love historic gardens, please consider joining us today (full membership is just £35 per year) and help make a real difference to our natural and historical environment.
The main aims of the newly formed Trust are:
- To speak with a more powerful voice for the protection of parks, gardens and designed landscape;
- To play a key garden conservation role in the planning system as a statutory consultee;
- To provide support to strengthen the local activity of the County and Country Gardens Trusts;
- To be an internationally regarded centre of excellence in the study of garden history;
- To live within the means of the merged organisation and be financially sustainable over the long term.
The GHS was widely recognised for its expertise and advice, and the newly formed trust will continue this role. Our professionally qualified conservation officers are consulted by Government agencies, local authorities and others on a wide range of issues affecting historic parks and gardens, especially those listed in the English and Welsh Registers, and in the Scottish Inventory.
The trust is a registered charity that works through an elected Board of Directors and committees. Its employees work from a small office in London.