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Park & Garden Registration FAQs

Below you can find answers to some commonly asked questions about the registration of parks and gardens. More information on this and all other types of Designation can be found on the Designation: Frequently Asked Questions page.  

View of parterre and the Perseus and Andromeda fountain at Witley Court, Worcestershire. Grade II*.
View of parterre and the Perseus and Andromeda fountain at Witley Court, Worcestershire. Grade II*.

Why is a park or garden included on the Register?

The Register of Parks and Gardens includes designed landscapes of all ages, right up to the fairly recent past. As with other designations, a sliding scale of significance is employed: the more recent the site, the higher the level of interest required for inclusion on the Register. Designed landscapes which are less than 30 years old are unlikely to be considered unless they are of outstanding importance and under threat.  

Whether or not a site merits national recognition through registration will depend primarily upon the age of its main layout and features, its rarity as an example of historic landscape design and the quality of the surviving landscape.  

Cemeteries, institutional landscapes including university campuses, and other types of designed landscape each have particular characteristics that warrant recognition through the Register.

The entrance gate to Highgate Cemetery, London. Grade I.
The entrance gate to Highgate Cemetery, London. Grade I.

How will registration of a park or garden affect me?

Although the inclusion of an historic park or garden on the Register in itself brings no additional statutory controls, local authorities are required by central government to make provision for the protection of the historic environment in their policies and their allocation of resources.

Registration is a material consideration in planning terms so, following an application for development which would affect a registered park or garden, local planning authorities must take into account the historic interest of the site when determining whether or not to grant permission.

To make sure that local planning authorities have the appropriate professional advice when considering such applications, they are required to consult us where the application affects a Grade I or II* registered site, and the Garden History Society on all applications affecting registered sites, regardless of the grade of the site.

Many designed landscapes have listed buildings within their boundaries: these assets, including their setting, can have their own planning controls which can affect proposals within a registered landscape too.

Local planning authorities are also specifically guided towards protecting registered parks and gardens when preparing development plans. As a result, most Local Development Frameworks now contain policies to help safeguard such landscapes. These plans usually stress in particular those sites included on the national Register, as well as parks and gardens of more local interest.

Historic England's Landscape Architects provide advice and guidelines on issues relating to the care and conservation of registered parks and gardens.

Detail of the Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Grade II*.
Detail of the Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Grade II*.

Why have a Register?

Historic parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource: they can easily be damaged beyond repair or lost forever. From town gardens and public parks to the great country estates, such places are an important, distinctive, and much cherished part of our inheritance and we have a duty to care for them.

In order to identify those sites which are of particular historic importance, we are tasked by government to compile the ' Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England'.

Lyme Park, Stockport, Cheshire. Grade II*.
Lyme Park, Stockport, Cheshire. Grade II*.

Where can I find details about registered parks and gardens?

The easiest way to view List entries for registered parks and gardens is on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). Alternatively, copies of the Register entries for your particular district or county can also be found in the Historic Environment Record, maintained by your local authority's planning department.

The online database Parks and Gardens UK already holds abridged Register entries and the registered areas are mapped on the MAGIC mapping website, the information being taken from the NHLE.

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