News and updates from the Walled Kitchen Gardens NetworkBack to the grapevine

European Symposium on the Conservation of Historic Fruit and Kitchen Gardens

Dear friends

After a very long 18 months we are so glad to hear news from many of you and your gardens, that you have had a more ‘normal’ summer. Visitors have returned and enjoyed seeing and appreciating the extraordinary amount of work that has brought gardens back to great standards despite a very hard start to the year.

This year has also seen a few celebrations and we’re delighted to add one from WKGN: our co-founder and chairman, Susan Campbell celebrated a significant birthday this month and we all wish her an enormously Happy Birthday!!

It has been really good to see so many of you at our Zoom meetings for the Symposium and how many of you have been taking part both in the main Chambord Conversations and also the Project Group – bringing people together who have experience of restoration work and others just beginning new projects.

Although we had originally planned a live meeting on the 15 Oct 2020 at Chambord, which was then transferred to an online series of talks and presentations, the ongoing Covid situation meant we would have to wait a whole year prior to finally meeting at Chambord in 2022. With such a strong interest and impetus from our participants, three more Chambord Conversations were organised.

In June 2021 we heard from the Kitchen Gardens team at Audley End, the English Heritage trainee scheme – Historic & Botanic Garden Training programme, a short presentation putting forward a proposal to establish a guide for ‘future restorations based on historical knowledge’, and finally a presentation looking at the revival of historic orchards in the Netherlands and introducing ‘Custodians of Dutch Historic gardens’.

The next meeting is on the 21 October 2021 – ‘Towards Excellence in Ownership’ – details are here:

Then on 3 February 2022 we have our last date for the Chambord Conversations, looking at the importance of historic and trained fruit, the restoration of the Kitchen garden at Burghley House and finally a look at the past, present and what the future might bring for the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

If you haven’t yet joined the Symposium you are very welcome, please complete the registration form:

We look forward very much to next year – seeing friends new and old, with an interest and involvement in Historic Kitchen Gardens across Europe to conclude the Symposium at Chambord on the 23 June 2022, and our WKGN Forum in the early autumn. A lot to come before that though, and we hope to see you somewhere soon.


Stephen Briggs

Until recently, I enjoyed attending the WKGF and even spoke at one. At present I’m putting together a brief digest of the WKGs in Wales which may or may not be published.

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