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Conservation Management Plans   Hestercombe   Parksandgardens  Img 8748

Conservation Management Plans

The Hestercombe Archive of Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) holds over 1,700 records.

Use the search to find out which CMPs are in the Hestercombe archive and request to view or access the documents.

(There may be a charge to view/access the CMP documents).

What are Conservation Management Plans?

Conservation Management Plans are valuable tools for developing informed management strategies for historic designed landscapes.

Over the past thirty years the value of CMPs, and comparable documents under other names such as Parkland Plans, Historic Landscape Surveys etc., as documents of record and research in relation to historic designed landscapes has become increasingly well recognised.

Originally produced for a variety of reasons (particularly in relation to grant or planning applications), they provide a comprehensive review of the history and development of a site, its current status and a management plan to secure it for the future.

CMPs are however also vulnerable documents. Because they are produced for a specific purpose, once that task has been accomplished the CMP is often stored in unsuitable conditions, misplaced or even thrown away, and the body of knowledge contained within it, accumulated at considerable expense, is lost. CMPs are accordingly themselves in need of conservation.

In the autumn of 2015, and before it had taken over the management of Parks & Gardens UK, Hestercombe Gardens Trust began to assemble an Archive of Conservation Management Plans, developing the work begun by the Garden History Society (GHS) and its successor The Gardens Trust (TGT). In 2012 GHS began to compile a database of CMPs which were known to exist. By 2014 when funding for this project ran out this contained details, albeit often incomplete, of about 1500 CMPs. It did not include any copies of the CMPs themselves: this had never been the intention in relation to this project.

The Hestercombe CMP Archive, developed in consultation with GHS and TGT, contains by contrast actual copies of CMPs and similar documents, either hard or digital.

Access to CMPs

For the time being, while individual properties’ entries on Parks & Gardens UK will be edited to make reference to relevant CMPs contained in the Archive, paper copy documents are only available for inspection (by appointment) at Hestercombe Gardens Trust. Digital copies can be supplied on request. Some CMPs of both types have been given to the Archive subject to access restrictions.

Applications to view CMPs, can be made through the search facility. There will be a charge for this service but this will be agreed in advance.

Scope of the project

While we had initially been particularly concerned to conserve hard copies, much of the material we have been offered has been in digital format, as the cost of producing hard copies and the bulk of the finished product has progressively reduced their availability. The Hestercombe Archive has been compiled from donations and loans of CMPs from the consultants from whom they had been commissioned. Analysis of the GHS/TGT database suggests that the majority of CMPs were produced by less than forty consultants, firms or individuals, and contact has been made with all of them, and generally met with a positive and often generous response.

Because the Archive is based on physical copies of CMPs in our possession its catalogue (a summary of which, arranged by county, is available by clicking the link on this page) is free from the missing information which restricted the practical value of the GHS/TGT database. It currently contains 1300 CMPs and similar documents, as well as several hundred other documents relating to individual properties. It continues to grow as fresh opportunities to expand the collection present themselves.

We welcome offers to donate to the Hestercombe CMP Archive. These and any other enquiries, should be addressed in the first instance to the Archive Manager, Ben Whitworth.

Further Information on Conservation Management Plans


We are grateful to all those who have contributed to the list so far - landscape architects, other organisations, County Gardens Trust volunteers, individual gardens and local authorities.

Please send CMP requests and enquiries to Ben Whitworth.