Professional horticulturists and expertise relating to the conservation and management of historic designed landscapes is essential to ensuring those landscapes are sustainable in the long term. The Trust therefore seeks to promote horticulture in schools, promote greater awareness of the range of careers in the sector and support those working in historic designed landscapes. We do this in several ways.
The Trust has made a commitment to support Growing Devon Schools Partnership (GDSP) over a three year period from 2019. GDSP's programme supports teachers to develop and deliver outdoor learning related to the school curriculum that helps to inspire the next generation of gardeners, food growers and farmers. It provides free training for teachers, teaching assistants and school volunteers. GDSP was established in 2013 and throughout 2019 delivered a series of training sessions for teachers, other school staff and volunteers. The training provides practical skills and ideas for use in school gardens, for growing food and enhancing wildlife friendly environments. More than fifty schools and eighty people were involved during 2019 and it has been estimated that the impact of GDSP training could reach up to 10,203 pupils across Devon. (Estimate based on the number of pupils enrolled in the schools that have engaged with GDSP activities.) GDSP runs Forum Days, Twilight sessions and is involved with other training events. The content of the events has included seed sowing and learning about seeds; making paper pots; pricking out and watering; propagating, growing and using herbs, including making tea bags and lavender bags; gardening for wildlife; harvesting and enterprise projects; seed saving, composting and harvest festivals – as well as creating inspiring school gardens and responding to participants questions and topics.
In addition, the Trust offers several types of grants
- Horticultural education project grants
- Bursaries for study to individuals normally resident in Devon either intending to take up a career or already working in the historic designed landscape
- Study/continuing professional development grants to those, like gardeners, working in or studying historic designed landscapes towards the costs of attendance at a short course, seminar, conference or workshop on historic designed landscapes
- Organisation of a conference/seminar/course/workshop grants for continuing professional development or life-long learning that furthers the study and understanding of historic designed landscapes
- Interpretation Project Grants to promote public understanding and engagement with the history and significance of the county’s garden and designed landscape heritage.
The Trust seeks to promote the importance of education and careers in historic designed landscapes and can support colleges, primary, secondary and special schools with advice and mentoring on horticulture. Also, we seek to increase understanding of designed landscape heritage through life-long learning and continuing professional development. The Trust’s Events programme includes lectures, visits and study days, designed to explore the county's considerable legacy of historic gardens and open spaces.