The county has a wide range of sites that are registered of national importance by English Heritage, ranging from extensive parkland estates to small gardens of historic or landscape importance. In addition, the DGT has also researched and recorded information on other parks and gardens of more local interest, and is in the process of publishing a comprehensive gazetteer of those sites of particular significance, using information in the public domain.
The Dorset Gardens Trust aims to encourage the conservation, protection and awareness of these sites. Planning applications submitted to planning authorities are monitored by volunteers, in addition to the notifications received from the national level Gardens Trust on registered sites. Letters of support or objection and follow-up action are made as appropriate, including submissions to planning appeals or attendance.
We also scrutinise new planning policies to ensure that they take national guidance concerning heritage assets into account, and also reflect the work carried out by the Trust in building up a responsible Local List of sites. The Trust aims to work closely with the Gardens Trust in pursuing best practice.
This work is coordinated through its Conservation Committee, comprising DGT members with an interest in design, the environment and the planning system. New members are always welcome, especially if they can bring any expertise.
When funds permit we also run the following schemes:
The Information Boards Scheme for public parks offers historical research, design suggestions and grants of up to £750 to help local authorities with ways to consolidate the significance of their historic parks.
Our Bursary Scheme offers bursaries of £250 - £1,000. A successful candidate might be researching a historic park or garden in Dorset or a garden designer or folly builder particularly involved in the history of Dorset. Or he or she might be involved in scientific or archeological research in a historic park or garden in Dorset. Since 2014 the Bursary Scheme has also been extended to provide support for selected students at Kingston Mauward College.
Additionally the DGT operates a popular Small Grants Scheme. Garden owners (both public and private) are invited to apply for grants of between £500 and £4,000 for conservation work, renovation and enhancement relating to historic aspects of a garden and its structures. This scheme is essentially for restoration and renovation not maintenance.
Conservation is expensive and the DGT is always most grateful for the voluntary work undertaken by members and the generosity of our benefactors.
A full list of recent projects supported by the DGT with grants and bursaries awarded is shown here (pdf, opens in new window)