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LI Webinar: Why are historic public parks and green spaces important?


Image credit: Historic England Archive

Series Overview:

In partnership with Historic England and Green Flag Award, the Landscape Institute (LI) hosted a webinar series about the design, management, and maintenance of historic public green spaces. The three webinars explored our public park and green space heritage and its green infrastructure role; restoration, stewardship, collaboration, and future-proofing.

This Session:

The first webinar will look at our historic public parks and green spaces’ heritage and its significance. Discussions delved into conservation principles and practice; addressing the needs of community’s needs; new the role of new design.

Award-winning LI registered practices, LUC and HTA presented case studies on their conservation projects, providing insights into how they appraise what’s special and work with partners and the community to shape how to restore sites.

Hosted by Historic England, speakers will include representatives from LUC, HTA & The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understanding parks management – Introduction to the importance of historic urban green spaces and their many roles (ecological, economic, socio-cultural and heritage) and their wider strategic and functional roles as well as site specific management issues; and balancing of political, societal and environmental needs with the resources available.
  • Understanding physical and social context of sites/places/landscapes - Accounting for heritage and assessing the distinctive, characteristic and functional qualities of component parts and the whole, community interests including health and wellbeing.
  • Understanding planning, legal, policy and regulatory compliance - Introduction to statutory and non-statutory historic environment designations and other considerations in historic public parks.

Please note, these Learning outcomes are linked to the LI Competency Framework and are level D understanding. LI Competency Framework.


Katharina Erne CMLI , Associate, Senior Chartered Landscape Architect, HTA

Katharina is a Chartered Senior Landscape Architect with over 10 years experience and is an Associate at HTA Design LLP. Katharina currently manages a team of Landscape Architects on a range of projects from inception to completion. Katharina has been the lead Landscape Architect on a number of high-profile public realm projects, including the Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead, Scotney Castle in Kent, Claremont Park in Barnet, Dagenham Green, Sutton Estate in Chelsea. She has extensive experience in the design and delivery of parks, historic landscape and play and has a passion for planting design. Katharina also has a keen interest and expertise in community led landscape architecture, working with local residents, local stakeholders and the wider community. Katharina is a keen speaker and has given talks for Homes England Officers, the Landscape Institute and at Architecture conferences about her work on Cator Park and the importance of biodiversity in landscape design.

Shaun Kiddell, Investment and Compliance Manager, National Lottery Heritage Fund

Shaun Kiddell joined the National Lottery Heritage Fund in March 2013 as the Parks Policy Adviser. At the time this was a new role that came into being following the downturn in the public sector and parks being deemed high risk and how National Lottery Heritage Fund would want to help and support our grantees after projects complete to protect our investment. Prior to joining National Lottery Heritage Fund he spent several decades heading up Local Authority Parks and Greenspace services in three London authorities (Croydon, Lambeth and Camden) as well as several years working for The Royal Parks.  

Shaun formerly chaired the council the Council of the London Parks and Gardens Trust and was a Green Flag Judge for many years, he  also served on the Board of Trustees of Greenspace, the national charity that worked to improve parks and green spaces.  

Oliver Rock CMLI, Director Landscape Design, Associate Partner, HTA

Oliver is an Associate Partner and Director of Landscape Design at HTA Design LLP. He has over twenty-five years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors and has a particular interest in historic landscape, as well as wider expertise in the regeneration and masterplanning large-scale complex
projects. Oliver runs one of the landscape teams at HTA and in addition to leading projects, he is involved in the development and submission of bids, speaking at
conferences and mentoring landscape architects preparing for their professional qualifications.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Manager Keep Britain Tidy

Paul Todd has managed the Green Flag Award including the Green Heritage Site Accreditation for 20 years. In that time the number of sites has grown to over 2,400 in 16 countries. The Green Flag Award sets the international benchmark for the management of quality green spaces and the Heritage Accreditation rewards those sites that recognise, conserve and share the heritage value of their park or green spaces. Paul is also Tresurer of the Friends of Norris Green Park, a historic Liverpool Park.

Steven Orr, Director of Historic Environment, LUC 

Steven is a  highly experienced historic environment professional, with over 20 years' in practice, Steven leads LUC's historic environment team. His work cuts across conservation of heritage assets, design advice and impact assessment for change in historic places, and a substantial research and policy portfolio. Coming from a landscape archaeology background, he has a deep interest in the phenomenology and cultural construction and re-interpretation of landscapes, and the role of monuments within them, through time. In his work with LUC, Steven has led and contributed to a wide range of work in historic and archaeological landscapes, parks, gardens and cemeteries. He has developed significant expertise in the setting of heritage assets, developed through a range of development-related project work and extensively tested at local plan Examination, DCO and public local inquiries.

Chair: Jenifer White MBE CMLI, Principal National Landscape Adviser, Historic England

Historic England’s purpose is to improve people’s lives by championing and protecting the historic environment. Our three areas of focus are thriving places, connected communities and active participation. Jenifer leads on Historic England’s advice, guidance and research on historic designed landscapes and nature recovery. She has been involved in championing the conservation of our public park, cemeteries and urban green space heritage for more than 20 years. In Historic England’s 2020 review of post 1945 landscape design, several public parks were added to the Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest. More recently, Jenifer has been collaborating with Natural England on developing the new Green Infrastructure Framework. Climate change adaptation and sustainability is an ongoing high priority in her work.


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