Historic Landscape Project – Southeast
Understanding Conservation Management Plans
Exercises for afternoon sessions
Having completed the site visit following the presentations, delegates will have an opportunity to use their observations in the following discussions and group exercises which will need to be facilitated in order to ensure that delegates get the most out of them. You may decide that you want to manage more of the afternoon through a series of smaller group exercises – the choice is yours.
- Character Areas
Use the slide in PP5. This slide suggests splitting the group into smaller groups, as per their site visit, and asking each group to annotate a modern OS map into character areas – it is easier if you have an A1 copy of a modern OS map for each group as these can then be easily displayed to the whole group and discussed. You might want to keep a blank copy and annotate this finally with an ‘agreed’ split once all groups have fed back.
Make sure you have an idea of what character areas might work. Discuss differences in conclusions – there may not necessarily be right and wrong answers to this. Leave up the A1 annotated map(s).
- Surviving Features
Use flipchart to list out key surviving features in at least one character area identified in the previous section of the exercise – you may find that you have time to list out the key features of each character area. This will help highlight the features that will need to be considered in developing conservation policies and prescriptions, and can be referred back to when teasing out significance. Leave up the flipchart sheets to refer back to.
Use flipchart to map out the various significances, perhaps in table form as per the presentation on Conserving Significance, for
- A character area identified in the previous section of the exercises
- Features in the character area
- Possibly work towards picking out the significances for the site as a whole
Try to include an area or feature that has ‘cultural’ significance in that it is important to current users for a particular reason that wouldn’t necessarily be picked out by a garden historian e.g. at a demonstration site, we looked at a clump of beech trees; their more obvious significance lay in their part as Repton’s planting scheme, and being a designed clump which frames the main views of the house from a high viewpoint. However, in addition, pupils at the school that currently occupy the site frequently use the tree trunks as part of their artwork projects and hide tokens and objects in the roots of the trees. This has become part of the ‘rites of passage’ of pupils.
- Issues and Constraints
Ask delegates to list out what they think they will need to take into account in developing conservation and management prescriptions for the site. What do the owners/users of the site want to do? What funding is there? Is there a need for development of new facilities in order to accommodate current or future use? Is there public access which brings in health and safety implications? If you have been able to talk to or involve the owners/managers of your chosen case study, then this could be an opportunity for them to talk to the group from their perspective about using the site and future aspirations and ask the group to draw out the issues and constraints from this.
- In Conclusion
Having teased out these four areas, this would give enough information, when coupled with the historical understanding of the site, to begin to develop policies and prescriptions. You are unlikely to have time on the day to do this as well but delegates will have been drawn through the key parts of the process.
Allow time for Q&A at this point and draw the day to a close, encouraging participants to consider using their knowledge to get involved in the development of CMPs. Their perspective can be particularly supportive for owners faced with the relatively bureaucratic processes involved and may well feel that having an ‘advocate’, ie a relatively unbiased but informed perspective, is helpful. Use Presentation 7 to highlight the importance of their potential role.
AGT Historic Landscape Project