Research Volunteer Needed

22nd September 2018



Volunteer Needed





Shropshire Parks and Gardens Protection Project


One key objective of the Shropshire Parks and Gardens Trust (SPGT) is the protection of parks and gardens in Shropshire.   To do this we need to improve our knowledge and understanding of these special places.


The SPGT Committee has been discussing with Shropshire Council (SC) how to improve the data held by SC on parks and gardens, both listed and unlisted. SC holds data on recognised landscapes but there are significant gaps in this data and research is needed to help protect the unlisted parks and gardens in particular. Filling these gaps would enable us to:

  1. be clearer about the importance of each landscape;
  2. have better evidence to use when commenting on proposed development which may affect a landscape.
    So we are looking for a volunteer with an interest in parks and gardens who can lead on improving the data with the help of the SC Historic Environment team at Shirehall. Using the improved data, the volunteer will also assess threats and prioritise parks and gardens for further research.
    The existing data requires the help of an enthusiastic and organised individual to act as a Lead Volunteer for the project, liaising with committee members, the SC Historic Environment Team, and other SPGT members involved in the research; someone willing to take the project forward. We hope that the volunteer, once familiar with the work, can lead other volunteers in the same tasks.


What’s in it for you?


  • Gain and improve researching skills.
  • Learn to use documents and archives to research a topic.
  • Help to uncover new stories and contribute to our knowledge and interpretation.
  • Improve and share your understanding of parks and gardens.
  • Meeting others interested in parks and gardens, such as archaeologists and ecologists.



What’s involved?

  • Liaising with SPGT Committee members, Shropshire Council’s Historic Environment Team and fellow volunteers interested in assisting with the project.
  • Analysing the data to cross reference unlisted sites with potential threats such as development proposals or sprawling urban areas.
  • Prioritising unlisted landscapes for further research and investigation.
  • Carrying out research on the highest priority sites to: -
  1. Assess available data on the designed landscape/garden

(with archival research and site visits where possible)

  1. Review significance.
  2. Recommend action as appropriate to protect through statutory designation
  3. Gather further data to support recommended action, if needed.
  4. May also include: -
    1. Contributing to web resources or presentations based on your research
    2. Signposting the research for other people
  5. Potentially leading other volunteers in their research, agreeing areas of investigation and focus topics, roles and responsibilities.
  • Help the SPGT to keep the research within the agreed scope of the proposal.
  • Finding and representing other volunteers to contribute (from within the SPGT and SC)
  • Sharing the findings of research with SC so that new information can be held in the Historic Environment Record.


This role will suit people who…

  • are interested in parks and gardens, and local history, and enjoy building up knowledge.
  • enjoy reading documents, writing up information and making connections;
  • know, or want to learn, how archives work and how to use them;
  • can handle and present information and make it engaging and understandable;
  • enjoy using the internet.
  • can demonstrate some IT skills, in particular MS Word and Excel.


Extra information

SPGT Committee Members



Imogen Sambrook                                            Hugh Devlin

07780 339566                                                 07818 456531



 Please contact either committee member for more information

Out-of-pocket travel costs between your home and volunteering place (to be agreed by a SPGT committee member above prior to action) will be paid, and other reasonable expenses (e.g. archive photographs) agreed in advance. Up to 30miles per day at 33p per mile.

As SPGT is a charity with limited funds, expenses may need to be capped with prior notification.


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