On investigation, our view was that the parkland has historic significance that needed to be fully understood. We commissioned Prof. Tim Mowl to research the history and significance further. He identified that what remains include significant gardens from the 17th and 18th centuries clearly by an accomplished designer, that should be conserved. Previous assessments had not identified the designed landscape and not given it significance.
We recommended that the issues be addressed through a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) the themes of which were to Restore the remaining features, Revive activity back to the park and Reveal the evolution of the park, including the impacts of the industrial revolution and the changes brought about by the New Town.
Our assessment revealed a wealth of historic features, the remnants of a designed pleasure garden, a rich diversity of ecology and geological features that were not well understood or interpreted. There was no plan for the historic landscape, which was neglected within the wider parks system.
We recommended an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The draft CMP was submitted with the application and awarded Development Phase funding in 2017.
The CMP sets out a clear vision for the park and an agreed strategy for how the park will be managed and maintained. These principles are expanded in the dedicated 10-year Management and Maintenance Plan.
The CMP sets out the guiding principles for community engagement, which were then developed in the Activity Plan. This included setting up a Friends Group, and outreach projects, including an oral history project that are already showing wider cultural and community benefits.
Role of the Landscape Professional:
- Identifying the historic significance of the park;
- Recommending research of the historic landscape;
- Proposing and supporting Heritage Fund bid;
- Guiding Development Phase site investigations and design proposals;
- Undertaking further historical research;
- Preparing final version of CMP; and
- Advising on the implementation of the proposals.
The Parks Trust as owner and client have reviewed the CMP at all stages. Supporting investigations and reports include: historic landscape assessment and surveys of trees, hydrology, ecology and archaeological investigations.
The design proposals in the CMP have been further developed by Jon Sheaff and Associates following the successful Development hase funding to support the Delivery Phase application.
The CMP has been innovative in Milton Keynes in addressing issues and developing a shared vision. For the first time, the community and stakeholders have worked together to develop and implement the Plan including the first park Friends Group in Milton Keynes.
The CMP has enabled the Client to understand the significance of the site in their care and develop a means to transform it into a flagship project for their organization. The CMP has demonstrated how landscape architects can help resolve issues within a complex heritage site. The CMP enabled the local community to engage with the park and its future.
The CMP guided the application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Big Lottery. The project was awarded funding in August 2018, for £3.1 million under the Parks for People programme.
This Plan has been the catalyst in changing the understanding, perception and future of the park. People now appreciate and value the remnants of the designed pleasure garden and other heritage. It has successfully guided the grant application to the Heritage Fund. The CMP has prevented heritage features from being lost and revealed the park as a cultural destination.
Great Linford Manor Park - Conservation Management Plan
Linford Manor Park, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Heritage, culture, art
Andrew Hiorns Ltd.
The Parks Trust
To produce a Conservation Management Plan, that revealed the rich heritage associated with the designed landscape. To evaluate the significance of the historic and natural heritage. To assess the aesthetic significance, and to understand the community values associated with the park. To define the heritage at risk and how the park could fulfill its potential and to draw up a strategy for the long term management of the park. Prepare and submit a HF application. To advise on the development of the design proposals.
Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019
The Parks Trust Andrew Hiorns Ltd. Tim Mowl Emeritus Professor of Architectural History and Designed Landscape at the University of Bristol Jon Sheaff and Associates
Local planning authority or government body
Milton Keynes Council
Project budget £3.5 million