Garden policy: ENGLAND

 Institution(s) in charge

There is no single English institution ‘in charge of gardens’ instead a host of government and non-government organisations involved and each has special roles.  The principal ones are:    


 Other actors


 Relevant legislation

There is no specific gardens legislation however planning law covers some aspects of development control.


 Protection measures

A statutory Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England exists but there are no specific controls (National Heritage Act 1983).  There are 1,700 sites on the Register (as of 1 January 2023).

There are other designations which may cover gardens and afford some protection e.g. Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders.

There are also local lists.

No data available on the ratio public/private but probably at least 65% (and not including National Trust and other trusts) of the sites on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England are privately owned and many are not open to the public.


 Existing inventories

The Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England Search the List - Find listed buildings, monuments, battlefields and more | Historic England

Parks and Gardens UK database

Local lists

Historic Environment Records via HeritageGateway - Historic Environment Records

Other UK countries:

Scotland: Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes Gardens and Designed Landscapes | Historic Environment Scotland

Wales: Register of Historic Parks and Gardens Registered historic parks and gardens | Cadw (

Northern Ireland: Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes Historic Parks, Gardens and Demesnes | Department for Communities (


 Online information

The Register of Parks and Gardens sites are included in the online National Heritage List for England

Parks and Gardens UK database

Local inventories and lists (e.g. London Gardens Online)


 Specialised training

There is a range of professional training opportunities spanning apprenticeships to degrees and post graduate studies, and continuous professional development (CPD), in landscape architecture and horticulture. Currently there is little opportunity to specialise in historic parks and gardens conservation and management. There is no single training organisation.

There is also a rich offer of garden history and conservation webinars, lectures, study days and courses provided by The Gardens Trust, county gardens trusts, universities and other organisations.


 Awareness-raising actions

Gardens and garden visits are promoted by the national tourist board, VisitEngland. Individual or partnerships of organisations organise regular campaigns and marketing initiatives.

The annual National Garden Scheme offers access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens. Through garden admissions, teas and cakes, the NGS has raised over £67million for nursing and health charities. There are other schemes such as the Royal Horticultural Society’s Beautiful open gardens to visit in the UK.


 Terminology tools



Garden History is the leading academic journal but all the organisations publish journals, conference papers and research papers.