A Spectacular Woodland Garden Reimagined and Revitalized

Royal Oak is raising money to help the National Trust revitalize and reimagine this spectacular woodland garden

Located in East Sussex and one of the most visited properties in the National Trust, Sheffield Park and Garden is a designed landscape, created over centuries by a series of owners for pleasure and play. Leading landscape and garden designers have lent their artistic vision to the property including Capability Brown and Humphry Repton.

The garden visitors see today is very much the vision of Arthur Gilstrap Soames, who lived there in the early 20th century. Soames was keen to make his impact on the garden as soon as he arrived and drew upon the knowledge he had gained from traveling around the world for inspiration. He corresponded with the famous horticulturalist and writer E.A. Bowles, as well as other leading horticulturalists of the day including W.J. Bean, curator of Kew Gardens 1922-1929, Sir George Holford, owner of Westonbirt Arboretum and Professor Sargent, American botanist, and director of Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum from 1872 to 1927.

Today, the landscape remains renowned for its spectacular autumnal color display, as well as the rare plant collections and species. The Trust is undertaking a large-scale conservation of the gardens led by Joe Perkins, garden designer and Chelsea Gold medal-winer. Their plan is to continue the legacy established by Soames and bring the Park to a new generation of garden enthusiasts and visitors alike.

This special evening will include an historical overview the with National Trust’s Cultural Heritage Curator, Dr. Jerzy J. Kierkuc-Bielinski; a virtual tour of this spectacular woodland landscape with staff and volunteers; special guest appearance by renowned British garden designer and RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Joe Perkins; and engaging panel discussions of the history, the challenges facing the property, and the upcoming redesign project.

View across the Top Lake towards the House (not owned by the NT) at Sheffield Park, East Sussex.

Joe Perkins, Landscape Designer

Joe has designed and built spectacular gardens for over 20 years throughout Europe, including in the UK, Southern France, and Spain.

Based in Hove, East Sussex, as Director of Joe Perkins Design he has worked on both commercial and domestic schemes including 12 years of involvement in planning and delivering gardens at RHS shows.

He’s the recipient of multiple gold medals including gold for The Meta Garden: Growing the Future at RHS Chelsea 2022 which follows on from a Gold Medal, Best in Category and Best Construction in 2019. Joe is passionate about considerate and empathetic landscape design and sustainable practice is at the core of his ethos.

Dr. Jerzy J. Kierkuc-Bielinski , Cultural Heritage Curator

Dr. Kierkuć-Bieliński, a curator at the National Trust, has worked at Tate Modern, The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, and the Department of Prints and Drawings, The British Museum. From 2007 to 2015 he was Exhibitions Curator at Sir John Soane’s Museum and then from 2015 to 2017 he was Curator of the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood.

He has published on 20th-century American art, on the work and collections of the architects Robert and James Adam, on the work and collections of Sir John Soane, on classical stadia and on Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Currently he is a Cultural Heritage Curator for the National Trust.

He completed his BA, MA and PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

All proceeds from this event will be donated to Royal Oak’s 2022 campaign in support of Sheffield Park & Garden. Tickets are 100% tax-deductible.


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