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Parks for People – engaging the community

Caversham Court Gardens, Berkshire

The clients view

"We were very impressed by the ingenuity, enthusiasm and thoroughness Anne brought to putting together an audience development plan. She did an excellent job."

The Brief

The Heritage Lottery funding for this £2 million plus restoration project was dependent on a commitment to maximise the interest and involvement of the local community. I was appointed as the Project Development Officer during the planning and implementation stage, with my primary role being to think creatively about the best ways of achieving this.

My design

To help encourage as many different types of people as possible to enjoy these beautiful historic gardens, I founded and enabled a thriving Friends Group, led tours around the garden before the restoration started, gave talks to local groups and societies, and visited local schools and care homes. I also conducted extensive research on the history of the site, which I then used in designing a range of interpretation boards and leaflets, to help visitors of all ages get the most from their visit. The restoration project has been extremely successful, winning numerous awards, including a British Association of Landscape Industries national award for restoration, a Heritage Green Flag, and a regional gold medal in the Britain in Bloom competition.