Conservation and Planning

We work with owners, managers, local authorities, developers and others to conserve Devon’s designed landscapes, particularly those which might be at risk: gardens, parks, public parks and cemeteries, both private and public, in both urban and rural areas. We can offer advice to owners and managers of designed landscapes. The Trust's Conservation Committee draws on the expertise of the Trust's Conservation Officer, a highly experienced historic landscape consultant, and its members as well as the wealth of information held in the Trust's archive. We welcome comments, enquiries or suggestions to [email protected] about any of the county's historic gardens,  particularly if they are under threat in any way. The Trust offers Conservation Grants for projects in important designed landscapes in Devon and occasionally practical help.

A major part of our work is responding on all planning issues affecting historic designed landscapes in Devon that are on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, and those sites of local importance that are included in the Devon Local List of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. We do this on behalf of the national Gardens Trust (a statutory consultee). In addition, from time to time we identify and propose sites that might be of national importance to Historic England for consideration to be included on the Historic England Register, and the Trust itself considers those  of local significance for inclusion in the Devon Local List. We undertake research to underpin our conservation work and where possible we record the current status of the landscapes. The Trust's extensive database of the designed landscapes in the county is informed by our research and conservation work.

We also work with other conservation organizations in the county like Devon Historic Buildings Trust, Exeter Civic Society and Devon History Society. For example, we worked with the Devon Historic Buildings Trust to restore a pavilion at RHS Rosemoor and helped the Exeter Historic Buildings Trust with a new garden at 21 The Mint. We also work with local authorities, for example with Torbay Borough Council on the recreation of the Lutyen's garden at the Drum Inn, Cockington and the Rock Walk in Torbay. The Trust was instrumental in the establishment of the Exeter Dissenters' Graveyard Trust and has supported its restoration of the 18th century dissenters' graveyard  on Magdalen Street in Exeter.

The Trust offers a variety of Conservation Grants to support the conservation of historic designed landscapes in the county. 

Occasionally, the Trust's experts and members have provided practical support, for example:

  • tree planting at Langdon Court
  • planting new spaces on the Cathedral Green in Exeter
  • planting trees at Homeyards Botanical Gardens, Shaldon
  • supporting the gardener and team on the restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at Farms for City Children's Nethercott House, Iddesleigh