Learn to manage notable, significant or historic gardens -100 hour study online -professional development for land managers; horticulturists or gardeners.

Course Code: BHT340
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Manage Historic and Notable Landscapes

Expand your skills to manage designed landscapes and gardens. This course will:

  • Discuss appropriate management strategies to ensure the long term survival of plants and garden features.
  • Identify and evaluate sources of funding and associated issues.
  • Identify and discuss the issues concerned with the presentation of a site to visitors.

A designed landscape can be described as parks, gardens or grounds that are pre-conceived, designed and constructed for artistic effect. Parklands, woodlands, water and notable formal and informal gardens are included. Some may have significant wildlife, archaeological and scientific interest; they are also often the grounds in which buildings of historical significance are situated.

Notable designed landscapes, of important heritage value occur in the city, in towns and in the countryside. They include:

  • Archaeological remains
  • The grounds and gardens of large houses
  • Notable smaller gardens
  • Urban and rural small parks
  • Notable parks and green spaces that may have historical significance ie. refer to a particular historical figure or event
  • Old parks and gardens which may be representative of the period or a style, or can be attributed to a certain designer
  • Parks and gardens which may be of value as part of other notable landscapes or buildings
  • Large public parks
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Civic landscapes
  • Churchyards, cemeteries and grounds surrounding public buildings such as hospitals and universities
  • Urban green corridors and other green spaces including village greens
  • New landscapes

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Role and Formulation of Conservation Management Plans - Researching gardens and designed landscapes and the verification and analysis of information using: a) Documentary and other forms of archive information. b) Site surveys and archaeological investigations.
  2. Consult Public and Interested Parties, Statutory and Non-Statutory Consultees.
  3. Role of Public and Other Sources of Funding; and Implications of grant aid Criteria.
  4. Planning for Renewal of Plant Features - Plant surveys, propagation programs, replanting strategies, role of national collections of plants, specialist nurseries.
  5. Developing New Features within Existing Landscapes
  6. Programming Repair of New and Existing Hard Landscape Features.
  7. Creating New Gardens and Landscapes.
  8. Identifying Required Staff Skills - Training schemes, conservation of skills; use of volunteer labour and associated issues of management and training.
  9. Adapt historic gardens and Designed Landscapes for Modern Use - Presenting historic gardens and designed landscapes - marketing, PR, visitor facilities, access, circulation, interpretation, visitor survey. Managing wear and tear on historic gardens and designed landscapes - theft, vandalism. Managing legislative requirements (e.g. health and safety, equal access).

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



  • Examine how conservation management plans for designed landscapes are formulated and how the information gathered is evaluated and verified
  • Examine and explain the role of public and interested parties, statutory and non-statutory consultees.
  • Examine the role of public funding; evaluate other sources of funding; discuss the implications of grant aid criteria
  • Explain issues and procedures associated with the renewal of plant features.
  • Develop and outline strategies for creating new features within existing landscapes.
  • Describe the processes involved in creating new gardens or landscapes.
  • Manage wear and tear on historic gardens and designed landscapes
  • Determine appropriate work programs for repair and maintenance of hard landscape features.
  • Identify and outline staffing management and training issues, determine labour skill sets requirements.


Benefits of Studying This Course

Gardens are a significant part of our heritage. They represent a snapshot in time of our history and culture. However, like all things gardens change over time and these changes might not always be for the best. This course helps students to determine how to conserve or restore gardens of importance to the nation's heritage. In doing so students also learn how to best manage resources and plan projects so that the end product meets the client brief and interests of stakeholders.

The course will appeal to people in the following fields:

  • Garden restoration & conservation
  • Garden history
  • Parks & gardens
  • Botanic gardens
  • Garden tourism
  • Grounds management




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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