DorsetGT has an active Conservation Committee which aims to protect the Dorset park and garden heritage by influencing local authority planning policies, and by submitting comments on planning applications affecting the county’s garden heritage.

Nationally registered Sites

The Gardens Trust [TGT] is a statutory gardens heritage body that was created in 2015 from the amalgamation of The Garden History Society, and the Association of Garden Trusts. The Association was the umbrella organisation of the County Garden Trusts.  

TGT is a statutory consultee on planning applications affecting parks and gardens that are included in the Historic England [HE] Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. This national register includes about 1700 sites at grade of I, II* or II, in a similar way to listed buildings. These sites are visible on the HE website.

Locally Listed sites

The National Planning Policy Framework allows for the preparation of Local Lists of heritage assets by local authorities, using inputs from local sources.  No authority in Dorset has yet prepared this local document, but in anticipation, DorsetGT has compiled a Local List of parks and gardens, which has been passed to local planning authorities.  The Trust will actively seek the incorporation of this list into the appropriate future planning policy document.  This gazetteer is now online, please click here to view or go to our Research and Recording page.

Planning policy

Parks and gardens form part of the government’s concept of “heritage assets”, be they nationally designated or locally listed. They are therefore covered by national and local heritage policies.  The Trust seeks to influence national policy through TGT’s national Conservation Committee, and at a local level through inputs to the consultative processes on the evolution of local heritage policy in Local Plans.

Small grants

The Trust also considers applications from landowners for a contribution towards the renovation of structural elements of parks or gardens that are in disrepair.  Grants of up to £4000 are given subject to matched funding from the landowner. DGT Small Grants are only available to gardens on the HE Register or the DGT List of Gardens of Local Significance. Click here for more information.

Planning applications

HE and TGT have only very limited resources to comment on planning applications affecting the most significant sites. For the great majority of planning applications it is for the County Trusts to make comments, the details of which are passed to them by TGT.  The DorsetGT monitors submitted planning applications to ensure that any appropriate comment can be made, or a visit arranged. Discussions prior to submission are always to be welcomed.

The Trust can only make comments on planning applications where the future of a park or garden is compromised, and is not in a position to make more general comments or objections.

Your input

If you are aware of any proposals for a listed park or garden that concerns you, then please let us know.  Also, if you want to know about the Dorset Local List, contact us. Please send an e-mail to


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