Inspired Websites

There must be dozens, perhaps hundreds, of websites around the UK devoted to local parks, green and open spaces. There may even be a project that is recording the details of these websites and their associated groups, possibly even a printed guide. But these sorts of projects frequently exist in a splendid obscurity; known to locals, insiders, and a few others. So it’s a pleasant surprise to come across a very well set out website for a Nottingham park called ParkViews – Lenton Recreation Ground, and via that website, the United Kingdom Database of Historic Parks and Gardens at the University of York (which has various other garden-related websites).

The former is an amazing journal of park events, issues, personal reflections, and other stuff, all written by one person. A browse through the older posts reveals a very active community, a lot of great work and events, which means there are a lot of people behind the scenes committed to making things happen.

If it can happen there, it can happen here, and I hope that local readers take a look at the website and draw inspiration from it.

Likewise, the Historic Parks and gardens project is a source of inspiration, a welcome resource in its early stages of development:

Overview of the project
The Parks & Gardens UK project is managed by Parks and Gardens Data Services Limited, a not-for-profit company set up jointly by the Association of Gardens Trusts and the University of York. The project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will develop a records database and associated website, to hold information about historic ornamental landscapes in the United Kingdom including parks, gardens, and gardening.
The project aims to encourage research, recording, understanding and enjoyment of historic parks and gardens and will be working closely with volunteers to promote this. The information about parks and gardens, whether new research or taken from existing records will be made available to the public by way of a content rich website. Our goal is to include more volunteers throughout the UK in recording and researching historic parks and gardens, as well as supporting those already involved.
The site records database will provide access to over 6,000 records of parks and gardens across England and Wales and approximately 1,000 records in Scotland and Northern Ireland. At least 500 of these records will provide more detailed information, including historical context, narratives and other in-depth content.

A quick look around that website reveals a beautiful, well organised set of pages, along with several ‘We are still developing content for this section’ messages. It also includes at least one instance of unintentional humour, shown below on the location map for Highbury Park.


Perhaps a brief email to the project team is in order!

One Comment

  • John Warden

    Many thanks for your kind comments on our new website. The inadvertent relocation of Highbury Park was due to a typo in the original grid reference supplied to us (prefix letters SO instead of SP). This has now been fixed and Mid Wales is no longer a part of Greater Moseley.
    We arer still adding more content and records to the site and have recently installed a major update to the Find Records facility and the way in which records are displayed.


    John Warden
    Data Manager
    Parks and Gardens Data Services

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