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Leeds Castle offers an irrestible combination of profound history and modern amusement in a setting of great beauty. With annual visitor numbers in the region of half a million it faced the dilemma of so many very popular places: how to make it accessible to large numbers of people without damaging the essence of what they had come to see.
A Conservation Management Plan that uncovered the complex framework and vistas of this unusual, large-scale medieval landscape and detailed what this meant for visitor circulation and management was required. The recommended objectives, policies and measures, which emerged from our survey and analysis, enabled us to produce a document of constructive and practical value to management. Future proposals for development can now be formulated on a basis which is likely to avoid difficulties with planning authorities and consultees. Our conservation work led to a prestigious commission to design a contemporary lakeside garden and the lushly planted brick terraces and timber pergolas of the “Mediterranean” Lady Baillie Garden now provide visitors with a sheltered and tranquil space.