Issues raised by the NT's paper 'Towards a 10-Year Vision for Places & Experiences'

Extracts from TGT's new chair, Peter Hughes' statement of 10 September 2020:-

'Gardens Trust and County Gardens Trust members will have been reading with grave concern the recent comment and analysis in the media following the leak of a draft National Trust paper, ‘Towards a 10-year Vision for Places and Experiences’. The exposure of this apparent new direction for the National Trust has rung alarm bells through the heritage sector. The glaring lack of reference to conservation as a guiding principle and clear suggestion that landscapes should be free from ‘existing styles and expectations’ has worrying connotations for future protection....

The National Trust (NT) is custodian of in excess of 200 of these nationally important registered landscapes (just a part of its wider portfolio of over 250 parks and gardens) and the largest number of historic parks in single ownership in Europe....

In recent years, the GT has, however, found it necessary to object strongly to proposed development within these landscapes where it is apparent that it is designed principally to extend visitor attraction while detrimental to the aesthetic and cultural impact and reading of the historic designed landscape....

The GT will continue its essential work as statutory consultee. Our response will continue to be on a case by case basis, but we will robustly defend our ethos. With much reduced resource in the NT, we would ask our members and those of the County Gardens Trusts to engage with their local NT contacts to ensure that we do everything that we can to help keep the essential curatorial research-based understanding of the significance of these treasured places high on the agenda in this debate.  This is important in relation to NT parks and gardens of local interest and significance as well as those which are on the National Heritage List Register of Parks and Gardens.'

The NT's discussion paper clearly gives rise to great concern and emphases the importance of the Conservation Role of all County Gardens Trusts.  Please get in touch if you feel strongly about this issue and may be able to assist Cheshire Gardens Trust's small and busy Conservation Group:

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