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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

London Garden Network

On Tuesday 22nd James, Paul and I attend the annual London Garden Network Seminar, held this year at the Chelsea Physic Garden. The seminar was  titled The Value of Conservation Management Plans.

This was timely, as shortly after booking to attend the seminar, the gardens were tasked with reviewing our conservation management plan (CMP) following all the recent restoration work of the garden.

The London Gardens Network was formed in 2009 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among trainees, gardeners and horticultural managers in the London area. This is the second seminar  I have attended in two years since I have been at Myddelton.  Both years have proven to be excellent, with great relevance to the demands we are facing in our gardens. It also offers a great opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow gardens in the London area. 

The Heritage Lottery define a conservation management plan as;

A conservation management plan is simply a document that helps you to understand why your heritage is important and to whom. It also helps you to use that information to look after it. It includes your management and maintenance plan.
The information in a conservation management plan should help you to:
• design new work;
• plan conservation and restoration works;
• improve physical access;
• manage and maintain your site in the long term;
• develop new ways of involving people in the heritage; or
• plan activities to help people learn about heritage.
Many people find that preparing a conservation management plan also helps them to work in partnership with other organisations to look after the heritage.

The speakers and topics were:

Master of Ceremonies: Tony Kirkham: The value of Conservation Management Plan

Matthew Tickner:  a Landscape Consultant with Land Use Consultants highlights the value of Conservation Management Plans. (CMPs).

Jim Marshall and Sarah Cook:  have spent much of their careers working for the National Trust . They discuss the importance of CMPs from a horticultural  perspective.

Jennifer  White :  Senior Landscape Advisor to English Heritage shares her experiences of working with CMPs and looks at new legislation regarding water management.

 Glynn Percival:  This well known physiologist discusses the threats to plant conservation from Pests and Diseases 

Kenton Rogers: offers a service which puts a conservation value on trees. A system called itree

Mike Fitt and Hugo Ross-Tatam: showcase a new urban greening initiative called Mad About Meadow.

This was followed  by question time with the panel  which was facilitated by Tony Kirkham.

The panel during question time
At the end of the seminar we were given a sneaky peak of the new development  at the garden by its designer Nick Bailey, Head Gardener. The half-acre project is entitled The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants. For further details and video updates on the project please click on the link below

Nick Bailey, Head Gardener shows delegates around new garden development

The three of us came away with a much better understanding of how to take our review forward in the knowledge that there isn't a single correct way. It needs be site specific.

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