Glorious Gardens update

Oct 28, 2015

Summary of activity for the period 1/7/2015 to 30/9/2015.

The aim of the project, as stated in ‘Voluntary Sector Funding 2014-2015, Strategic and Project Funding Outcomes’ document is to engage volunteers in learning and skills-based activities not only rewarding in themselves but, it is hoped, potentially of value to them in future job contexts. This will be achieved through the recording of significant non-inventory designed landscapes and gardens in the Clyde and Avon Valley and in Falkirk.

Volunteers learn about their local historic gardens and designed landscapes in Falkirk and the Clyde and Avon Valley area.

  • Volunteers have visited historic gardens and designed landscapes in their areas as part of their training in site survey and data recording.
  • Training in the recognition and appreciation of notable features in the gardens and landscapes has been given.
  • Initial steps have been taken to provide volunteers with a working knowledge of the characteristics of the various styles of garden and landscape design from the medieval to the modern period.

Volunteers apply their learning to improve understanding, enjoyment and protection of historic landscapes.

  • Group training visits have been made to Mauldslie and Powfoulis during which discussions about the features of the gardens and landscapes were encouraged and potential threats to important aspects of the site identified.

Volunteers  increase their ability and confidence to navigate and research in local and national archives, to work individually, in pairs and in groups, and to  present their findings in a positive and professional manner.

  • Two groups of three volunteers have begun work on two sites in the CAVLP area and have shown themselves to be proficient in archival research and their reports of their findings are very promising. Meetings are to be organised at which the volunteers will present their findings to their peers prior to going out to the local community.
  • When a group is formed and allocated a site, they sort out their own work programme which can involve individual, pair and group activities depending on the phase of the recording process.

Volunteers acquire additional, transferable skills and interests by collaborating with projects, e.g. archaeological excavations, run by other heritage delivery  partners. Skills and interests acquired include, for instance, IT skills, social skills, including greater confidence deriving from group and team work, and enhanced participation in healthy and stimulating outdoor activities.

  • We have observed improvements in the IT skills of the volunteers and their readiness to engage with the data recording system developed by Northlight Heritage.
  • There has been a lot of sharing of knowledge, particularly in relation to tree species, and knowledge of individual gardens previously visited by one or more of the volunteers.
  • When it comes to site visits, our volunteers and staff do a lot of walking!

Sue Hewer, Project Supervisor – 26th October 2015