When the Historic Parks and Gardens Study Group started work in 2006, only three historic gardens in the whole of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty had been recognized and were protected. How many more deer parks, old orchards, walled gardens or Victorian designed landscapes were there to be discovered? This was the challenge for our group.
Since commencing in 2006 we have identified over 250 sites. These range from the designed landscapes surrounding country houses to domestic orchards. Even where the gardens themselves have mostly disappeared, traces of the original layout or a single isolated feature can still be found and used to tell the story of how the Nidderdale landscape has evolved over time.
Our group continues to record and catalogue sites of interest within the area of the Nidderdale AONB, and build up an accessible archive. We are working to gain, and share with others, an understanding and an appreciation of this important element of our heritage.