The County Gardens Trusts were started in 1989 to promote the conservation of historic parks and gardens, Dorset being one of the first. The Trusts are registered charities and come under the umbrella of The Gardens Trust, which acts on their behalf when dealing with central government and national bodies. The Gardens Trust was formed in July 2015 by a merger of the Association of Gardens Trusts and the Garden History Society.
The individual County Trusts are autonomous. In Dorset our strategies to protect and enhance the county’s historic parks and gardens include raising awareness of sites, often previously unidentified, that are at risk from inappropriate development, neglect, or ignorance. We work with both garden owners and with Local Authorities, advising on the historic designed landscapes that we have included on our List of Sites of Local Importance (based on the criteria used by English Heritage).
Our aim is to ensure that all Dorset’s significant designed landscapes, rural and urban, including gardens and parks, churchyards, public parks, open spaces, cottage gardens, townscapes and cemeteries, whatever their size, are given due recognition so that the pleasure and value of this heritage can be appreciated by us and by future generations. No historic landscape, rural or urban should be lost through ignorance or neglect.