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Conserving Gardens & Designed Landscapes



The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes identifies sites of national importance and provides information about them ensuring that change is managed in an appropriate way, taking into account the qualities and significance of these landscapes and their constituent elements. This means seeking to retain key landscape features and characteristics for the future, while also allowing the landscape to adapt to modern demands.




Managing Change

Inclusion in the Inventory is quite different from listing or scheduling. There are no additional legal restrictions or consents system, nor do we have a role in the day-to-day maintenance or management of Inventory sites.

Our statutory involvement is limited to developments that require planning permission. Under the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 planning authorities are required to consult Historic Scotland on development proposals that they consider may affect an Inventory Garden or Designed Landscape.

This means that all enquiries about development proposals that may affect an Inventory site should be directed to the relevant local authority. The local authority will then consult us on our view about the level of impact of the proposed development. While our comments will be a consideration in their determination of the case, it is important to note that our advice in these cases is not binding, and the local authority is free to determine each case without further reference to us.

The Forestry Commission may also consult us for our views on significant felling proposals and other woodland management within Inventory sites.

Caring for gardens and designed landscapes

The owners of Scotland’s finest gardens and designed landscapes face many challenges, ranging from climate change and managing the resource as a whole to dealing with specific physical problems such as deteriorating built structures, invasive plants, or plant pests and diseases, such as phytophthora.

Historic Scotland supports both targeted, positive management solutions for gardens and designed landscapes and the development of more comprehensive plans for their ongoing and future management. We can provide comments on management plans for Inventory sites and we also offer a Landscape Management Plan Grant.

We encourage owners to seek external professional advice on landscape management issues and to pursue solutions compatible with the character and historic structure of their garden or designed landscape. For issues relating to the care and maintenance of historic buildings and structures, Historic Scotland’s Conservation Directorate can provide guidance as well as publications for both professionals and the public.

Stair gazebo, Culzean Castle

Search the Inventory

The list of nationally important gardens & designed landscapes

Search the Inventory

Contact Us

Heritage Management Directorate
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8716