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 »

Lecture: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Gardens Adviser to Historic Royal Palaces and President of the London Parks and Gardens Trust on “Keeping up the Royal Gardens”

Please join us at the latest lecture in the LPGT’s Winter Lecture Series 2019-20 where we will be joined by Gardens Adviser to Historic Royal Palaces and President of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan.

Todd’s talk will focus on “Keeping up the Royal Gardens” and will cover recent and ongoing landscape initiatives at the Royal Palaces.

Few British landscapes are so rich in historical associations, or have been so celebrated and admired, as Hampton Court; and fewer can boast gardens so varied and numerous – from complex parterres to miles of grand and venerable avenues –comprehensively charting five centuries of landscape change. Though less extensive and outwardly magnificent than Hampton Court, the gardens at Kensington Palace are equally distinguished and diverse: for over three centuries this royal estate has been the home to kings and queens, and its buildings and gardens have been shaped by some of the country’s pre-eminent architects and gardeners.

Todd will discuss his role as Gardens Adviser to Historic Royal Palaces and talk about some of the dramatic landscape improvements which have taken place at both royal estates in recent years. These include the redevelopment of the King’s Privy Garden, the replanting of the Long Water Avenue (est.1662), the re-establishment of the Lower Orangery Garden and the re-forming of the New Kitchen Garden. He will also take a look at future plans, including the refurbishment of the c17th Wilderness Garden at Hampton Court and the re-presentation of the Orangery Lawn at Kensington Palace.

Since entering private practice in 1990 Todd has advised on a number of public and private historic landscapes. He has developed and implemented long-term landscape management plans for the National Trust, English Heritage and a wide range of private owners in the UK and abroad.

He recently created and implemented a new garden in Chapel Court at Hampton Court Palace (for Historic Royal Palaces) to mark the 500th anniversary of King Henry VIII’s accession to the Throne and completed the redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

Todd holds a variety of advisory roles including Gardens Adviser to Historic Royal Palaces (with responsibilities at five Royal Palaces in Greater London); and founder member and President of the London Parks & Gardens Trust. He lectures widely on landscape history and design both in Britain and abroad, is a lecturer on the MA course in Historical and Sustainable Architecture at New York University, and contributes regularly to a range of publications

We do hope you are able to join us for what will be an interesting and informative lecture.

As with all our lectures lectures it will take place from 7 to 8pm on a Monday evening, in this case Monday 13th of January. Doors open 6.30pm if you would like to join us for a glass of wine beforehand

The lecture will be held at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6EL via the entrance through courtyard to far end and down the stairs.

Tickets are £10 for LPGT members and £12 for non-members which includes a glass of wine. Tickets can be purchased from https://londonparksandgardens.eventcube.io/events/19428/keeping-up-the-royal-gardens

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.