- 1952-2016 (Creation)
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In December 1995 a preliminary meeting was held at King’s Manor in York to discuss the establishment of a gardens trust for the historic county of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Gardens Trust was founded the following year and became a registered charity in 1997.
It is run by a Council of Management, which includes of the Trust’s President, Vice President, Treasurer and Chairman, as well as officers for Membership, Conservation, Education, Research and Recording, and Education. There is also a Conservation Sub-committee. The council members also serve as trustees.
The Trust’s aim is to ‘conserve and foster’ the garden heritage of Yorkshire for the benefit of present and future generations. Its work therefore focuses on promoting the conservation and enjoyment of parks and gardens to all. This includes researching and recording Yorkshire parks and gardens and offering advice and expertise to local authorities, members and other interested parties, as well as promoting gardens in schools, in particular through the setting up of school gardening clubs. The Trust also awards small grants for local projects relating to built and natural heritage and organises visits to gardens and parks for its members.
Past projects undertaken by the Trust have included the preservation of the archive of landscape gardener James Russell and a project to research and record parks and gardens in the Dales at the request of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They have also advised on the restoration and regeneration of Stainborough Park at Wentworth Castle in South Yorkshire.
In addition to its twice yearly newsletter, the Trust has also published short histories of individual gardens and a number of longer monographs. These include ‘With Abundance of Variety: Yorkshire Gardens and Gardeners Across Five Centuries’, published in 2010, and ‘Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape’ published in 2016. The latter was produced in conjunction with the Trust’s exhibition on Brown held at Harrogate in the summer of that year and was dedicated to the memory of one of the Trust’s founder members, noted horticulturalist Philippa ‘Pippa’ Rakusen.
As of 2016 the Trust remains active, with more than 350 members.
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Records of Yorkshire Garden Trust (YGT), comprising minutes of preliminary meeting to establish YGT, 1995; Council of Management meeting minutes and related papers, 1996-2004, 2010-2014; Conservation Sub-Committee meeting minutes and related papers, 1998-2001; Membership Strategy Meeting minutes, 2001; papers concerning Annual General Meetings, including annual reports, notices of AGM, and AGM minutes, 1998-2012; Chairman’s papers, including Council of Management meeting minutes, agenda, statements of account and correspondence, 2006-2010; statements of financial activities, 1996-1997, 2003-2004; YGT business plan, 2001-2003; and membership lists, 2008-2009.
Records concerning YGT events, projects and publications, including newsletters, 1996-2009, 2012-2017; planning and research papers, costings, correspondence and promotional materials for YGT events, 1997-2011; papers concerning James Russell archive project, including report, research materials, and papers concerning YGT event ‘Jim Russell (1920-1996): A Celebration’, 1999-2002; printed booklets giving histories of individual gardens, including Plumpton Rocks, Knaresborough; Cragg Wood, Rawdon; The Temple Grounds, Richmond; Scampston Hall, Malton; Constable Burton Hall; Rudding Park, Harrogate; and Ebberston Hall.
Records of Philippa Rakusen, 1952-2007, relating in particular to her own garden at Ling Beeches and to Harlow Carr Botanical Garden. Records include research notes and press cuttings, correspondence, drafts and publications relating to horticultural articles, book reviews and talks by Rakusen given privately and as Director of Gardens at Harlow Carr, 1962-2002; material relating to her garden at Ling Beeches, Scarcroft, including a survey and plan of the garden, financial papers and correspondence concerning opening it to the public, c.1950s-2006, and slides of the garden commissioned by YGT, 2007.
Historic England Report on Reginald Farrer's Rock Garden, Clapham, North Yorkshire by Rebecca Pullen (Research Report Series no.7-2016)
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Slides of Ling Beeches garden, created by Philippa Rakusen, have been digitised and can be viewed through the University of York Digital Library: https://dlib.york.ac.uk/yodl/app/collection/detail?id=york%3a12930&ref=browse
Slides of St Nicholas Gardens in Richmond, taken by Penelope Dawson Brown for the YGT, have been digitised and can be viewed through the University of York Digital Library: https://dlib.york.ac.uk/yodl/app/collection/detail?id=york%3a815615&ref=browse