Essex Gardens Trust and Essex Record Office joint Symposium
Saturday 2 April, 10:00am to 3.30pm at the ERO, Chelmsford
We are delighted to be holding a joint all-day symposium in Chelmsford with the Essex Gardens Trust on Saturday 2 April 2022. This event was originally conceived and planned before the pandemic and after some enforced rescheduling, is now going ahead. The theme of the day is to explore some of the many challenges that heritage landscapes and gardens face today in trying to balance competing priorities of preservation, conservation, ecology, sustainability, and public access.
We will be welcoming to Essex, Peter Hughes, QC and Chair of The Gardens Trust whose talk is entitled “Opening the gates – Conservation and the Challenges of Garden Tourism”. Peter chose this subject for his Masters’ degree dissertation in Garden and Landscape History and undertook a case study of six important gardens around the country, some in public and some in private custodianship, and interviewed head gardeners and other prominent figures involved in garden conservation.
A talk by Alison Moller – Garden Historian, lecturer, and researcher – will provide the landscape context for Essex landscape heritage sites tracing the geological formation of the land beneath the historic landscapes of Essex.
Landscape Architect, Liz Lake will explore how our historic landscapes can be a source of inspiration for modern day designers and an additional reason why they should be managed and conserved. Liz will pick out key features from historic designed landscapes and looks at how they have been reworked for our times.
Stephen Smith, Historic Gardens Consultant will speak on “A Vision for Landscape Conservation”. Many historic gardens and landscapes are managed by bodies with a culture and expectation which diverges greatly from those which envisage their restoration and conservation. For example, prejudice against exotic plant species on the one hand and an underappreciation of habitat management on the other are common points of divergence. He will argue that the different approaches can be detrimental to the original vision of a conservation project. In his paper, Stephen Smith will share his observations, drawing on examples of landscape conservation schemes on the London fringes of Essex and beyond, to identify the problems as well as proffer some mutually beneficial solutions.
And finally, Ailsa Wildig – Chair of The Tuesday Research Group, at Warley Place will talk about How Warley Place still respects its garden history – From historic garden to nature reserve looking at the challenges facing those managing and caring for Ellen Willmott’s historic garden, that was recently listed as ‘at risk’ by Historic England.
This should be a fascinating day exploring some of the challenges facing those conserving historic landscapes and gardens and will also provide the opportunity to meet or catch up with others working or with interests in these fields.
Tickets, costing £30 and include a light lunch, can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/essex-gardens-trust-essex-record-office-joint-symposium-tickets-251982946777