Designed landscapes, from small gardens to vast parklands, form so much of the environment around us and have helped to shape the British countryside. They are multi-faceted and multi-layered, often encompassing archaeology (from, for example, Iron Age hill forts to the World War Two tank tracks and munitions dumps) and significant ecological interest (especially in water features, deadwood habitats and unimproved grassland). Centuries of traditional management techniques frequently contribute to the importance of such sites for wildlife; both flora and fauna. Sometimes the imperatives of heritage management and nature conservation are seen as potentially in conflict with one another, in our experience they more often go hand in hand and we are passionate about providing solutions that benefit all aspects of designed landscapes, as well as allowing them to be used in the future.
Historic buildings often form an integral part of the design or traditional management of a site, from barns and deer shelters to ornamental eye-catchers. But the buildings that adorned designed landscapes were frequently more than mere the window dressing which terms such as ‘eye-catcher’ and ‘folly’ imply; they were intended for use for everything from banqueting to scholarly retreat.
Kate has carried out the only academic study of the social use of garden buildings in the UK (PhD, University of Bristol, 2009) as is uniquely placed to advise on the restoration and re-creation of such buildings, as she has done recently for several buildings at Hestercombe, Somerset and Pentillie Castle, Cornwall.
The terminology for research and planning tools for historic landscapes can be confusing and prone to change with fashions in conservation and restoration. Below is a broad list of what services we can provide, but we are always happy to discuss clients’ specific needs.
Conservation Management Plans
Parkland Plans (for HLS)
Desk-top research exercises
Historic Landscape Assessments
Building surveys and architectural history