Bringing Landscape to Life: Environmental Histories at Sheringham Park 1812-2012

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography


With additional resources we propose to undertake the following activities:
Impact Assessment: The main output of the original project was an exhibition at Sheringham Park which opened in September 2012. With the additional resources the project team will return to Sheringham and undertake work to assess the impact of the exhibition and the wider research project, on both the visitor experience at Sheringham Park, and on the National Trust's relationship with academic research. The work will take the format of visitor surveys, participant observation and the formulation of creative ways to measure impact, as well as a review of press coverage and reaction, and a summary of lessons learned. The results of the assessment will be made available to both AHRC and project partner National Trust.
Digitization of Red Book: Humphry Repton's Red Book for Sheringham Park, produced in 1812 was, from the outset, the focus of the original project. Additional resources will enable the digitized version (already photographed) to be made available online (through the National Trust website), alongside additional supporting material, producing a valuable resource for researchers of Repton, designed landscapes, and garden history.
Online exhibition: The digitised, web-based Red Book will be accompanied by an online adapted version of the exhibition at Sheringham Park.
The PDRA Lucy Veale would be employed (for a period of 2 months) to coordinate the above activities. She will be mentored by PI Stephen Daniels, staff at Sheringham Park and National Trust Deputy Director of External Affairs Ben Cowell.
Key Milestones
The project extension will begin on 1st January 2013. As the exhibition runs until August 2013 (with no immediate plans for its removal after that date), the main assessment of impact will take place in June and July (when the PDRA will be employed) to allow sufficient time to have elapsed from the opening for an impact to have been made (both on visitors to the park, and on partner organisation National Trust). This period also coincides with a peak time regarding visitor numbers to the Park, thus allowing maximum assessment of the impact of the exhibition, as well as its functionality and durability. However, work to record press coverage and reaction will be ongoing from January 2013.
The web-based resources will be gradually built up until the completion of the project at the end of July 2013.
Added Value to Current Project
Outputs from the current project have already greatly exceeded the team's expectations regarding what could be achieved in a 6 month period. The expansion of the exhibition's size and scope increased the impact of the project at Sheringham and the additional resources outlined would enable us to assess the level and character of this impact on both visitors and the National Trust at an appropriate time, enabling the success of the project and the extent to which it achieved its original aims, to be critically determined. The outcome will provide useful models for future research to follow or avoid, and will produce findings of interest to AHRC, academics, National Trust, exhibition designers Ugly Studios and other potential partner organisations.
Although the exhibition is free to enter, the location of Sheringham Park on the North Norfolk coast inevitably limits audience size. An online complementary exhibition would broaden the audience, whilst a fully digitized and freely accessible version of the Red Book would serve as a valuable resource for academic research as well as interested members of the wider public. There is currently renewed interest in Repton and his work, particularly as the landscapes he designed continue to disappear on the ground. The Red Book for Sheringham widely regarded as amongst the finest examples of his work, making it an ideal candidate for full digitization. Staff at Sheringham Park have expressed that the digitized Red Book would be 'a terrific resource to have on the website' and are supportive of the proposed assessment of impact, in line with their own visitor satisfaction surveys.


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Title The Sheringham Red Book 
Description This short video explores the main features of Repton's design using images of the original Red Book and is available to view from the National Trust website. It was written by Stephen Daniels and Lucy Veale and animated by Ugly Studios. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact This work adds to the increasing amount of material relating to Repton which is available online and addresses the comment from visitors to Sheringham Park who expressed a wish to see the Red Book. 
Description We have developed a model of presenting landscape research on site, in an instructive and entertaining way, that both respects the historical period of the work and is accessible to audiences in the present. We were able to do so through teamwork with our NT partners, academic colleagues and the studio we commissioned. We achieved the aim of raising the profile of Repton at Sheringham in a key commemorative year.

Connections established with other NT properties designed by Repton.

The findings are being taken forward to the commemorative year of Repton's death in 2018.
Exploitation Route Our findings are available in our open access journal paper & NT website
Sectors Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

Description It has strengthened links between NT & AHRC the exhibiiton has been popular ; the installation in place beyond its projected deadline. template of exhibition has informed new displays in visitor centre
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

Description Partnership with National Trust 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project successfully built upon the Landscape and Environment Programme's Impact Fellowship's connections with National Trust where the organisation had been part of the Advisory Board. In this project the collaboration was at an individual property level - Sheringham Park in north Norfolk. We conducted research which we then translated into an exhibition within the Visitor Centre at Sheringham.
Collaborator Contribution It was especially rewarding to be able to develop advisory relationships into work on the ground at a NT property, much of it focused on public engagement. NT staff at Sheringham Park and from head office were closely involved in the project, participating in the workshop at UEA, helping with research, and offering both practical and imaginative guidance regarding the exhibition. All parties were receptive to advice from others and the end result is very much a product of knowledge exchange in all directions.
Impact Humphry Repton at Sheringham Park: Bringing Landscape to Life, 1812-2012, exhibition and catalogue. Website resources for Sheringham Park, including short video. Various talks.
Start Year 2011
Description National Trust 'Uncovered' weekend 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public outdoor lecture on trees and Sheringham Park given at Sheringham Park and a guided walk around the park. Both sparked questions from the public.

Both activities fed into the development on our online resources for Sheringham Park on the National Trust website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description National Trust webpages 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A funded extension to the project enabled us to produce some complimentary web-based resources on Humphry Repton and the Sheringham commission. These include three short articles on Repton, the Sheringham commission, and other National Trust properties with Repton connections, and a short video exploring the Red Book of designs.

National Trust have expanded the website to include other historical information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013