Designed Landscapes of the Recent Past

Closed 31 May 2021

Opened 13 Apr 2021

Feedback updated 5 Jul 2021

We asked

From 13 April to 31 May 2021, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on Scotland’s modern garden and designed landscape heritage. We asked for nominations of sites to include in our new programme of work, ‘Designed Landscapes of the Recent Past’.  

Background 

We think gardens and designed landscapes dating from 1945 to the early 2000s are currently underrepresented in our publicly available records. These include the online database for the National Record of the Historic Environment (Canmore) and the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

This programme will champion Scotland’s modern garden and designed landscape heritage through recording sites, improving online records and considering the most important sites for designation.  

We aim to develop our understanding of modern gardens and designed landscapes – including their survival and significance – and to promote knowledge about this important part of our historic environment.  

You said

We had 30 responses to the survey. Most were from private individuals, but we also received responses on behalf of organisations, public bodies or charities and from private businesses. 

All respondents agreed that gardens and designed landscapes of the recent past were part of Scotland’s historic environment and that they should be protected in the same way as older sites. Most respondents considered that modern designed landscapes were not adequately represented in our online records and were sometimes under threat.  

Comments noted that sites of this period were not always valued as much as buildings or natural landscapes and could be vulnerable to loss, alteration or problems with maintenance.  

Other comments noted that these sites were part of Scotland’s story and that recording them and telling their history was important for future generations. Several respondents told us that we should consider landscape broadly, and to include sites related to housing, industry and infrastructure in our programme. 

Respondents were able to nominate up to 3 sites for us to consider as part of the programme. 

We received a total of 47 nominations. Once repeat nominations are subtracted, this gives us a total of 42 different sites from a total of 15 local authority areas across Scotland. The local authority areas with the largest numbers of nominations were Glasgow City Council and Edinburgh City Council. 

We did

Since the close of the online survey on 31st May, we have begun research on the nominated sites. We will consider these sites alongside those brought to our attention through internal conversations in HES, a stakeholder webinar in April 2021, and through the ScoMo project (https://scomolandscape.wordpress.com/portfolio/).  

After reading the comments and nominations from the survey, we have decided to publish a more detailed report on the results of the survey (estimated by late summer 2021). Please check back on this page for updates. 

Next steps 

  • Select a small number of nominated sites for recording in 2021-2022 

We would welcome any further feedback or nominations that you might have. 

You can contact the project team on modernlandscapes@hes.scot.  

Overview

Are you aware of modern gardens and designed landscapes in Scotland? We'd like to hear about them and your views on this important aspect of our heritage.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) aims to champion Scotland’s modern garden and designed landscape heritage through recording sites, improving online records and considering the most important sites for designation.

Your nominations will help shape our latest heritage project.

This survey has 6 questions (with an option to nominate a maximum of 3 sites) and usually takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

All responses are anonymous and we are not collecting personal data. Thank you for taking the time to share your views with us.

Inscribed slabs of stone arranged in landscape of water, green hills, blue sky

View of 'The Present Order', Little Sparta © Crown Copyright: HES                                

Background

We are interested in gardens and designed landscape that date from around 1945 to the early 21st century. They can vary from private garden grounds through to the spaces and places associated with Scotland’s towns, suburbs, businesses and institutions.

We think sites of this date are underrepresented in our publically available records including the online database for the National Record of the Historic Environment (Canmore) and the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.  

The Inventory identifies gardens and designed landscapes of national importance and provides information on them. When a site is included on the Inventory it becomes a material consideration in the planning process.

We aim to develop our understanding of these sites – including their survival and significance – and to promote knowledge about this part of our historic environment.

We will do this by:

  • Asking for nominations of sites
  • Compiling information and doing research
  • Recording selected sites for Canmore
  • Assessing the most important sites for the Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes
  • Reviewing existing Inventory records
  • Sharing information about our work.

What happens next

This consultation is now closed. We will consider the responses received and publish a summary.

Our next steps will be to compile further information and plan the next stages of this project.