6th Feb 2014
Countdown to Capability Brown 300th Birthday celebrations begins as Festival wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
Countdown to Capability Brown 300th Birthday celebrations begin as Festival wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
An influential group of organisations, landowners and individuals are one step closer to marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot Capability Brown with a nationwide festival celebrating his life and influence in 2016. The Capability Brown 300 Celebration and Festival has received a first round passand will receive £139,200 development fundingfrom the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) it was announced today.
The bid is led by the Landscape Institute on behalf of a partnership which includes the Association of Gardens Trusts, NADFAS, English Heritage, the Garden History Society, the Historic Houses Association, the National Gardens Scheme, Natural England, Parks & Gardens UK, Visit Britain, Visit England, Kolab and the National Trust. They plan to bring the beauty and importance of Brown’s landscapes to a wider audience and celebrate the legacy of one of history’s most influential landscape architects with the Capability Brown 300 Celebration and Festival.
Known as the ‘father of landscape architecture’, Brown’s surviving landscapes include the World Heritage Site at Blenheim Palace, Highclere Castle (the location of the ITV series Downton Abbey), Alnwick, Chatwsorth, Syon Park and Compton Verney. Capability Brown changed the face of the nation and created a landscape style which forms the backdrop for most people’s picture of the quintessential English countryside.
Gilly Drummond, Chair of the Capability Brown 300 Steering Group, said: “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and a marvellous partnership we can now give Capability Brown, England's greatest landscape artist his due recognition and spread the understanding and enjoyment of his genius for sustainable landscape design to a much wider audience, both nationally and internationally. We will move at speed to ensure that Capability Brown's Birthday Celebrations and Festival 2016 will delight and inform as many people as possible all over the country. With the help of owners and managers and the support of volunteers, we hope to be able to have a huge number of Brown's parks and gardens open to the public in 2016.”
Paul Lincoln, Director of Policy and Communications for the Landscape Institute said: “As the first ever celebration of Brown’s extensive works, the Festival brings together a huge range of events, openings and exhibitions. Detailed information and a full listing of his sites will help build knowledge about Brown and fix him at the forefront of modern thinking on design and management of the natural environment. The Festival will bring together a huge group of volunteers and provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to increase their knowledge and understanding of the way in which Brown’s legacy remains relevant to how we plan, manage and design our landscapes.
Drew Bennellick, HLF’s Head of Landscape and Natural Heritage, said: “As a landscape architect I have always appreciated the thrill Capability Brown must have experienced as he surveyed the land and considered how to transform the English landscape with his designs; moving hills, creating vast lakes and managing distant views. We are delighted to be giving initial support towards this project which offers the chance for more people to understand, experience and enjoy the beauty of Brown’s creations, many of which have benefitted from our past investment.”
For further information visit www.capabilitybrown.org
Sarah Harrison, for the Landscape Institute, on 07768 372892 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Lincoln on 020 7685 2646 or email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
A first-round pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.
On occasion, an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-1783) is the creator of the ‘English landscape style’ and is regarded by landscape architects as the father of their profession.
His surviving landscapes include the World Heritage Site at Blenheim; sites on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens; listed buildings; scheduled monuments; sites of special scientific interest; semi-natural ancient woodlands; and local sites of important nature conservation.
Brown's landscapes also include designs for the settings of many of the greatest houses in the country, including Blenheim Palace, Alnwick, Chatsworth, Bowood, Warwick Castle and Croome, where he also built the main house for Lord Coventry. At Buckingham Palace, Brown did an undated plan for the garden when it was purchased by George III and he proposed a lake for St James’s Park similar to that constructed.
The 300th Birthday of Capability Brown in 2016 is an opportunity to understand his legacy and to increase appreciation and enjoyment of his landscapes.
~ To celebrate Capability Brown as an artist and landscape designer
~ To encourage an increased number of people to visit, learn about and enjoy Brown’s landscapes
~ To encourage a greater appreciation of our designed landscape heritage
~ To open as many Brownlandscapes, houses and features as possible during 2016 including sites that are not usually open to the public
~ To engage volunteers in all aspects of the 2016 celebrations
~ To promote the understanding of Brown’s art and designs and his influence through supporting and encouraging the development of television programmes, books, and exhibitions
~ To stimulate new research
~ To encourage and stimulate conservation projects
~ To champion and develop conservation skills
From 2014 to the end of 2015 we will be working with thousands of volunteers and the owners of Brown landscapes to make preparations for encouraging visitors to their sites and producing information about the history and significance of these important landscapes ready for a launch in early 2016.
Birthday Events and activities
An array of events and activities are being planned for 2016, some will be arranged directly by the partnership and others will be locally organised but will benefit from coordinated publicity.
~ Thousands of volunteers opening as many sites as possible
~ An online calendar of events and activities
~ Hub sites and exploration days to provide information, guidance, interpretation, visitor attraction ideas and support to other sites
~ Online discussion forum for owners and managers
~ National series of guides and site notes
~ Online guidance on Brown landscape conservation, biodiversity, management and public access; and special restoration projects
~ A major London exhibition and regional exhibitions
~ A commemorative Royal Mail stamp
~ New research by universities, students and volunteers, including collating a national reference resource for all sites on the Parks and Gardens UK online database
~ Showcase the work of related professionals to promote landscape conservation
~ Conferences, courses, lecture series, and tours – on foot, on bicycle and even on carriages
~ New books by a range of Brown experts
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects £5.9bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk.For more information please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
About the Landscape Institute
The Birthday and Festival will be managed by the Landscape Institute, the royal chartered body for landscape architects. The LI represents professionals in the UK working across planning, design and the management of urban and rural landscape. www.landscapeinstitute.org