Parks and gardens conservation

Historic England’s register of historic parks and gardens of special historic interest in England currently identifies over 1,600 sites. The register typically includes gardens, grounds and other planned open spaces, such as town squares which have special interest. The main purpose of this register is to celebrate designed landscapes of note and encourage appropriate protection.

The emphasis of the register is on 'designed' landscapes, rather than on planting or botanical importance. The reasons for designation are set out in Historic England’s parks and gardens selection guides.

Historic parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource. They can easily be damaged beyond repair or lost forever.

Registered parks and gardens

There are four registered parks and gardens in Newark and Sherwood

Whilst statutory planning protection does not apply to registered parks and gardens (other than for listed buildings or conservation areas within those sites), a strong presumption in favour of conservation is nonetheless given in both national and local planning policies.

If a request for planning permission is submitted within these spaces, we will consider the impact on the landscapes' special character. We must also consult Historic England on development proposals likely to affect a Grade I or II* registered park and garden, and The Gardens Trust for proposals affecting any registered park and garden.

Unregistered parks and gardens

Designed landscapes form an integral part of the heritage of Newark and Sherwood.

Whilst a small number of the district’s historic landscapes are on the national register (and therefore receive protection in the planning system), the vast majority of sites are not registered. It’s down to us as the local planning authority to identify these landscapes, examining their significance in order to better inform planning decision-making.

Landscapes shaped by human activity which are not on the national register, but are identified locally as having a degree of significance because of their heritage interest, are likely to be regarded as non-designated heritage assets. These identified landscapes merit consideration in planning decisions.

The majority of the unregistered parks and gardens in the district are identified on the Nottinghamshire historic environment record (HER), administered by Nottinghamshire County Council.

The types of sites identified by us include:

  • public parks
  • formal gardens
  • archaeological landscapes
  • landscaped private parks and gardens
  • municipal cemeteries

How are unregistered sites identified?

The identification of new unregistered parks and gardens is carried out using the definition informed by Historic England’s registered park & garden selection guides. These state that an unregistered park and garden should comprise: ‘Landscapes shaped by human activity which are not on the national register but are identified locally as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of their heritage interest.’

Further details on how we go about identifying non-designated heritage assets can be found on our local heritage assets page. A specific criteria for unregistered parks and gardens is currently being drafted and will appear on the consultation page once complete.

If you have any questions or queries about the selection process, or would like to recommend a site for consideration, contact us at or on 01636 650 000.