Researching the history of a landscape, its design, construction, development, the people involved and how it was used, all help us to understand the importance of the site both locally and possibly nationally, even internationally. The Trust has always been involved in research and recording, but we recognise that there are many sites for which we have little or no information and that there is always more to discover to update our records, so, in 2018, we launched a long-term project to recruit and train new volunteers to research and record all the sites in the county beginning with those sites on the Devon Gazetteer, particularly those potentially most at risk, for whatever reason. The result will be a report on each site and these will be found on the relevant site page of Parks and Gardens. The team welcomes new members, no previous experience in research is needed as we run a training programme and the supportive team approach recognises that different skills and experience contribute to revealing the history of a particular site. Our reports and the information on the Devon Gazetteer are used by local authorities when considering planning applications and by our conservation team when responding to planning consultations; they are also valuable resource for academic and other researchers.
The Trust maintains a library and an archive of records on Devon's designed landscapes. We welcome enquiries from researchers who are investigating an aspect of Devon garden heritage. If you are interested in a particular site for which there is currently no report and little detail, please do get in touch with us at [email protected] as we may have more information or be able to suggest other sources. Please note that we value the privacy of owners and no detailed information is shared without the owner's permission.