The Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 has amended the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 to require the Welsh Ministers to compile, maintain and publish a statutory ‘register of historic parks and gardens’. Grounds in the following categories will be eligible for inclusion if they appear to the Welsh Ministers to be of special historic interest:
- designed ornamental landscapes,
- places of recreation, or
- other designed grounds.
When the statutory register comes into force, it will replace the existing non-statutory Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, which was first published in six county volumes between 1994 and 2002. A supplementary volume was published in 2007 and nearly 400 sites have been placed on the non-statutory register. The criteria for registration of historic parks and gardens can be found in Annex C of Technical Advice Note 24: The Historic Environment. Registered sites date from the middle ages to the late twentieth century and many have features of different periods and styles. They are graded like listed buildings:
Grade I — parks and gardens of exceptional quality
Grade II* — parks and gardens of great quality
Grade II — parks and gardens of special interest
Statutory registration will not be accompanied by any new consent regime. Registered parks and gardens will continue to be afforded protection through the planning system as set out in Planning Policy Wales. Cadw has published guidance on Managing Change to Registered Historic Parks and Gardens in Wales.
After the statutory register comes into force, each register entry - containing a map of the site and a short description - will be published on Cof Cymru, Cadw’s online resource for national historic assets.