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Day 2. 4 Managing the Legacy of British Imperial Landscapes


This talk will start with an introductory overview of country houses’ various connections to empire, focusing on built heritage and incorporating some examples of the colonial histories of plants and gardens. Many of these examples can be classified as sensitive histories rather than contested histories (they are not genuinely disputed by academics).  

It will then look at work the Historic England been involved with to make access to landscapes easier for all visitors and to open landscapes up to new audiences. It will also look at projects based on the National Heritage List for England which draw out different perspectives on our past, and how they are encouraging people to add their contributions to the List. 

The presentation will also uncover the success necessitates dynamic collaboration:  how international, national and community collaboration and consultation is crucial to achieving transformational change. 

Chair: Dr Juliet Sargeant FLI, TV Presenter 

Juliet’s previous career in medicine and psychology, informs her people-orientated approach to designing gardens. Through her designs, her television work and her teaching, she highlights the importance of landscape to our health. Having stepped down as Chair of The Society of Garden
Designers, Juliet is now on the RHS Show garden selection panel and a judge.


Professor Corrine Fowler, University of Leicester  

Professor Corinne Fowler is author of Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Reponses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections (Peepal Tree, 2020) and directs Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted. She co-edited the National Trust report on its country estates’ links to empire and historic slavery, which was published in September 2020.


Simon Milne, Regius Keeper, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 

Simon Milne’s professional focus is transformational leadership in nature conservation, ecological restoration, horticulture, environmental education and public engagement. Primarily achieved through the development and management of botanical and conservation bodies, with particular focus on
strategic development to enhance organisational excellence, impact, profile, and societal relevance.



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