A new green space for London- a view of the Grand Surrey Canal Linear Park

The London Parks & Gardens Trust is all about protecting London’s historic green landscapes and celebrating them.  It does this in many ways including through active research and recording to document the significance of each space.  The Trust invited one of our intrepid volunteers Candy Blackham to photograph and investigate a new space that is currently not on our Inventory and report back. Candy is a keen photographer when she isn’t helping the Trust and she has taken all the photos in this article. Below are her findings!Read More »

The Gardens Trust: Know It, Love It Project

The Gardens Trust, an organisation with similar aims as the LPGT, has been commissioned to deliver the  Know It, Love It Project.

This project will train volunteers to research and record local historic parks and gardens and then help conserve them by surveying and writing Statements of Significance. It is part of the Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme – a 5 year programme seeking to restore, discover and celebrate one of the last remaining landscapes of London and Essex as it once was.

The workshops are designed to be entry-level and will teach the role that research can play in conserving parks and gardens, to find and use historic documents, to recognise and survey a historic designed landscape and its features as you walk around it, and to write-up your knowledge so it can help protect the site in future. They will be followed by work over the next two years to write Statements of Significance for other sites in the Land of the Fanns area.

The workshops are free of charge, but places are limited to 30 so please book by emailing deborah.brady@thameschase.org.uk as soon as possible or by 31st July at the latest. 

For some of the workshops we will be splitting volunteers into smaller groups looking at Dagnam, Belhus, Thorndon and Warley Place – please indicate your preference and we will do our best to accommodate it.

Workshop dates (please note that they are designed as a package so you should aim to attend all five):


9th September 2019


Stubbers Adventure Centre, Upminster Workshop 1: Know It, Love It How research and recording volunteers can help

conserve historic parks and gardens

17th September 2019

10am-5pm (depending on your group)

Essex Record Office, Chelmsford Workshop 2: Historic Document Detectives Learning how to find and use historic archive material
23rd September 2019


NB volunteers are only requested to attend one Workshop 3.

Dagnam Park, Harold Hill Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
24th September 2019



Belhus Park, South Ockendon Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
25th September 2019




Country Park, Brentwood

Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
7th October 2019



Warley Place, Brentwood Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground: How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
15th October 2019


Thames Chase Forest Centre,

Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster RM14 3NS

Workshop 4: The Significance of Your Research Using research and recording to conserve landscapes through surveys and Statements of Significance
5th November 2019


Thames Chase Forest Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster RM14 3NS Workshop 5: You Can Do It! Mop-Up Session


The Green Heritage Challenge Brings Exciting Volunteering Opportunities

The London Parks & Gardens Trust (LPGT) has received a grant from the National Park City Festival to enable us to take part in this exciting week-long celebration of our capital and its green spaces. This means that there are some exciting opportunities available for volunteers to help us out with our project, the Green Heritage Challenge.

The Festival comes to London between 19th and 26th July 2019 for the first time. It is organised by London National Park City, which is a charity that – put simply – aims to improve life in London. It is a place you can explore, a vision you can share and a community you can join. It’s a celebration of everything that has been done to make London’s landscape, ecology and culture enjoyable. It is a large-scale and long-term challenge to improve life in the city through many small and achievable actions.

Therefore, in the spirit of the Festival and of the LPGT itself, we have developed the Green Heritage Challenge.

About the Green Heritage Challenge

We want to use this grant to promote and engage with the fabulous parks and gardens that have previously been involved in the OGSW weekend but which, for logistical reasons, we did not include this year.

So we developed the Challenge which – part-photography competition and part-garden trail – will get people exploring the history and current features of beautiful London gardens and sending us their best photos.

We are keen to create activities that promote famous or unknown features in the open green spaces across London. We aim to create a series of downloadable resources that give clues and information about various heritage parks in London. Participants would register, complete the working sheets and send in pictures confirming they have visited the location. There will be category prize-winners.

What opportunities are available?

You would be part of a team of volunteers working on this one-off project, researching the parks for special features and writing clues, and developing the project administration throughout June and July 2019.

So whether you have an in-depth knowledge of London and its green spaces, or if you just simply like the sound of it and would like to help us out, we would really benefit from any time you could make to work on our project.

How can I find out more?

Please view the role outline for full details of the Challenge. The National Park City Festival website has general information on the Festival and the charity behind it. The website for the Green Heritage Challenge will be launched in due course.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in being involved, we’d love to hear from you! Please email Ruth Holmes at Ruth.Holmes (at) londongardenstrust.org and she can discuss this with your further.

Look out for updates on the Green Heritage Challenge on our website, newsletters and social media channels.

Hoop’s Top Picks for Families at Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019

With just a few days to go until Open Garden Squares Weekend returns to the capital, the team at Hoop (the UK’s #1 place to discover and book family activities) have picked out their top events for families at this year’s Weekend.

“At Hoop, we’re always working to help families to explore their local area and connect with their community in new ways. That’s why we’re super excited for Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019. London’s hidden gardens will be opening their gates and filled with amazing activities for the whole family. We’re delighted to bring you our picks for families at this year’s Weekend.”

The Hoop team’s top choices are:

  1. Meet Jess French and Make a Bird Feeder
    Oasis Farm Waterloo, SE1 | Saturday 08 June

    Join Jess French, vet, explorer and Cbeebies presenter, to hear how children can attract more wildlife into their gardens and about her latest book ‘How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear’.

  2. Meet ‘Grow Your Own Sensation’ Huw Richards
    Approach Gardens, E2 & Regent’s Park Allotment Gardens, NW1 | Sunday 09 June

    Meet Huw Richards, celebrated as the ‘future of gardening’, for a workshop where you can learn all about growing your own plants. Huw started gardening at just 3 years old and uploaded his first gardening video at just 12!

  3. Wellness Talk with Catherine Arnold
    Bell House, SE21 | Sunday 09 June

    Ever wondered which foods help keep you healthy or look after your gut? Join Catherine Arnold for expert advice for the whole family on keeping your gut healthy, including a sauerkraut demonstration and tasting.

Hoop is the UK’s #1 place to discover and book family activities and is trusted by over one million families. Listing over 80,000 different family activities each week from exciting talks and workshops, like those at the Open Garden Squares Weekend, to local baby and toddler groups, dance classes, sports clubs and more.


‘What are Gardens For?’ Join OGSW at the Coutts Skyline Garden this May for a Chelsea Fringe expert panel debate

Beech Gardens, the Barbican Estate © Graham Willson 5
Beech Gardens at the Barbican, designed by Nigel Dunnett (© Graham Willson)

Tickets go on sale on 21 March for ‘What are Gardens For?’ – a far-reaching debate and discussion exploring the value and purpose of gardens and planted spaces.

Buy tickets online from 21 March at 10am – limited numbers available 

Open Garden Squares Weekend celebrates gardens of every kind and shape, and the impact they have on the lives of those who live, work and travel in London.

Our expert panellists will discuss the value of all kinds of gardens – roofs, wildflower meadows, hospital and therapeutic gardens, allotments and produce gardens and historic and commemorative gardens.  They will consider the collective impact of all these spaces, as well as the individual joy to be found in each one.

Event details

Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019, 6pm for 6.30pm
Location: Coutts, 440 Strand, London WC2R 0QS
Tickets: £28 per person (includes complimentary drink and canapés prepared by the Coutts kitchen)

Guests will have a chance to explore the Coutts Skyline Garden and hear about its creation with executive chef Peter Fiori. The garden lies on each side of a narrow walkway around the roof of the building, and includes a flourishing south-facing fruit garden, a kitchen garden and cottage garden.

The Coutts Skyline Garden is participating in Open Garden Squares Weekend with tours allocated via public ballot. The ballot opens on 3 April at 10am via the OGSW website.

Buy OGSW advance tickets online now 


Nigel DunnettProfessor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Lead planting consultant for the London 2012 Olympic Park. Created the John Lewis Rain Garden, Beech Gardens on the Barbican Estate and The Diamond Garden to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the British throne.

Kathryn Rossiter: Chief Executive of Thrive, the nationwide charity which uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people with disabilities or ill-health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.

Pilar Medrano Dell: horticultural consultant, formerly Head Gardener at Kensington Roof Gardens and now Horticulture Technical Manager for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission inspecting sites and giving support to garden managers and 850 staff based all over the world.

Claire Ratinon: urban organic growing advocate who currently works as a Patchwork Farmer growing salad for the Hackney-based social enterprise Growing Communities and as a Kitchen Gardener at former Wolves Lane Centre in Haringey. Alongside these growing endeavours, Claire has delivered educational sessions and growing workshops throughout London to audiences including East London primary schools, community centres and for corporate clients.

The panel will be chaired by Ruth Holmes, Chair of the London Parks & Gardens Trust which organises Open Garden Squares Weekend. She commented: “The London Parks & Gardens Trust is committed to celebrating horticulture, cultivating knowledge and championing green spaces across London for the benefit of all. In that role, we are very excited to be bringing together such a high-profile panel of speakers to explore the value and impact of well designed and maintained gardens and planted spaces. In sharing their breadth of experience and knowledge we hope to inspire a vision for the kind of London we want to live in where high quality green infrastructure is right at the heart of making our cities more liveable.