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William Gray highlights Capability Brown Festival helping to increase popularity of garden design

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of landscape architect Lancelot Capability Brown and will be
commemorated with a festival of events.

The Capability Brown Festival is taking place throughout 2016 and has been funded by a 911,100 grant from the
Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the Landscape Institute.

Alongside the anniversary, garden designer William Gray highlights the increasing popularity of a well-designed
garden in his piece published on The Huffington Post on January 4th 2016.

In his piece, Gray has discussed the trend with fellow garden designer Marcus Barnett, the CEO of London estate
agents Marsh & Parson Peter Rollings and Ed Sugden from Savills Estate Agents.

Peter Rollings said in the piece: A town house in the capital with a good garden greatly adds value to that
property by as much as 20%. In exclusive places such as Notting Hill, strikingly similar properties can have an
astounding 40% price discrepancy simply because one boasts an outdoor space.

The festival includes:

  • Capability Brown and the landscape created for Blenheim Palace: a special exhibition from 13 February to 2
    May at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
  • See one of Browns lost masterpieces created by The Duchess of Rutland and Alan Titchmarsh at Belvoir Castle
    open to the public for the very first time in spring
  • The Empress and the Gardener: a special exhibition of drawings by Browns surveyor John Spyers on loan from
  • The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, from 28 April to 4 September at Hampton Court Palace
  • A geocaching trail at Scampston Hall, North Yorkshire
  • Cycling with Capability Brown: an early evening cycling tour at Grimsthorpe Castle, Bourne, Lincolnshire on 14
    June
  • Noble prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape the first ever exhibition dedicated to Browns
    Yorkshire landscapes, from 25 June to 11 September at Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
  • Leading landscape artists RED EARTH will help bring to life the restoration of the original design of the park at
    Berrington Hall, Herefordshire. The year-long residency will culminate with a planned atmospheric performance
    journey through the parkland at dusk in the autumn of 2016

Festival programme themes will include:

  • A Garden and landscape design, as well as science and engineering
  • Biodiversity, ecology and water management
  • Distinctive features associated with Browns sites
  • Capabili-Teas: 18th century inspired food and drink served at sites
  • Health and well-being, e.g. cycling trails and walking
  • Innovative projects to encourage a wider range of visitors to explore Browns landscapes and legacy.

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