Research and The Register

Public Parks Review

Very few public parks were included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England when it was first published between 1983 and 1988. This was primarily a result of the general lack of appreciation of the interest and quality of this category of designed landscapes. Knowledge increased rapidly through the 1990s however, the development being reflected in a number of 'spot registrations' of public parks in this period the decade, and the preparation of a broad set of criteria against which sites could be assessed.

Between 1999 and the end of 2002, the Designed Landscapes team at English Heritage carried out a thematic survey intended to track down the majority of public parks which should be classed as being 'of special historic interest' as defined for the Register. The public parks identified during the survey offer an impressive range of examples of the provision of public open space since the beginning of the 18th century. This summary discusses the main categories of site which have emerged and illustrates these with brief notes about examples registered during the project.

You can view or print the entire document on-line (PDF).

The Use of Public Parks in England

This report presents the findings of a national survey commissioned by English Heritage, Sport England, and the Countryside Agency.

It helps to establish the level of use of public parks by adults in England and what activities people take part in, the reasons why they choose particular parks, their levels of satisfaction and why non-users do not visit parks.

View or print the entire document on-line (PDF, 650k).

A Summary of Parks on the Register

Please note that registered sites are not open to the public unless advertised elsewhere as being so.

Country Parks (PDF, 46k)
Public Parks - Landscape Parks (PDF, 58k)
Public Parks - Other Public Open Spaces (PDF, 30k)
Royal Parks (PDF, 28k
Urban Public Parks (PDF, 249k)

More information on the The Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England and how to consult it is available.

Parks need People- The Skills Shortage in Parks: A Summary of Research

This research mapped the occupations, skills and careers of those responsible for delivering green space management and maintenance in six of the seven Beacon Councils, along with those of their contractors where applicable. It examined the profile of people working in the sector: their employment terms, conditions and prospects, their skills and experience, their training needs and opportunities, their aspirations and frustrations, and identified 'success factors' and weaknesses in practice within the Beacon Councils.

The research found that even among the Beacon Councils, those local authorities recognised for achieving exemplary green space services, park departments and struggling in the face of a serious skills shortage and relevant training, and their staff are facing poor career prospects and low pay.

The work was undertaken by GreenSpace and The Parks Agency with the support of CABE Space, The Countryside Agency, Lantra, English Nature, English Heritage and Sport England.

For further information about this piece of research and green space skills contact CABE Space

T:  020 7960 2400

E:  enquiries@cabe.org.uk

www.cabespace.org.uk/publications/index.html

Cemeteries

Paradise Preserved

Paradise Preserved is an introduction to the assessment, evaluation, conservation and management of historic cemeteries.

The following online draft document is a joint English Heritage / English Nature signpost publication, providing the first-ever guidance on the conservation and management of cemeteries. Paradise Preserved is aimed primarily at local authority cemetery managers, conservation officers, elected members and local people interested in getting involved in caring for their own cemeteries.

View or print the entire document on-line (PDF).

The Register of Parks and Gardens: Cemeteries

As a follow on to Paradise Preserved, a new booklet has been produced - The Register of Parks and Gardens: Cemeteries, providing more detailed information on one of the main means by which the importance of historic cemeteries can be acknowledged, that is, their inclusion on the national Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.

View or print the entire document on-line (PDF).

A Summary of Cemeteries on the Register

Please note that registered sites are not open to the public unless advertised elsewhere as being so.

Cemeteries (PDF, 129k)

 

Garden Squares

The Development of Garden Squares

The garden square is a distinctively British style of urban design, used as a device for linking green spaces with residential areas. It is a particular feature of London, where there are now around six hundred squares, contrasting with Bristol (the second largest town in England at the turn of the C17 to C18), which only has twenty and Newcastle with five.

This thematic study focuses on the history, development, uses, maintenance and planting of garden squares.

View or print the entire document on-line (PDF).

A Summary of Garden Squares and Town Walks on the Register

Please note that registered sites are not open to the public unless advertised elsewhere as being so.

Town Squares (PDF, 43k)
Town Walks (PDF, 22k)

More information on the The Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England and how to consult it is available. 

Urban Commons

English Heritage's Landscape Investigation Team is currently researching potential archaeology through a small number of exemplary field investigations and detailed surveys.

'Commons' - pieces of land available to everyone - have been an important element in the mental concept and physical lay-out of English towns and cities since the Middle Ages. Like many medieval parks and later gardens, some commons have served as guardians of much earlier archaeological remains.

Today, commons are still accessible to everyone and invariably the part of the landscape most familiar to local urban populations. They are often regarded as green spaces whose value is primarily ecological, but they are also now some of the areas most at risk from the threat of urban expansion. Despite this, they have remained neglected in terms of research by historians and archaeologists.

Further information is available on Urban Commons.

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