Prestigious Garden Design School to open in North Yorkshire

A Yorkshire-based garden designer, Alistair Baldwin, with a world-class portfolio is launching a new school specifically to train designers for northern landscapes. He run his landscape and architectural design consultancy AWB Associates over 15 years ago in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and says it’s time for a school that teaches budding new designers of the future how to work in the beautiful terrain of the north. 

The Yorkshire School of Garden Design opens its doors in August with a range of short courses throughout the year – designed for garden design enthusiasts and those wanting to learn more about all aspects of the art, from landscaping to planting. Its flagship professional Diploma in Garden Design delivered over an academic year, begins in September.

The school will be based at Harewood House near Leeds – one of the UK’s Treasure Houses, which has over 100 acres of parkland designed by eminent 18th-century landscape architect Sir Lancelot Capability Brown and also showcases inspirational gardens including the Himalayan Garden, the walled garden and an Italianate style terrace.  

“The Yorkshire School of Garden Design was born out of my passion for this great art, combined with a deep-seated belief that the north of England is crying out for such a school,” said its founder Alistair Baldwin. “For too long the budding designers of the north have had little local choice when looking for a learning experience to broaden their skills and launch them into the profession. More often than not, students have had to make the journey to London to find the right course and I thought that needed to change.’

“I have lived and worked in North Yorkshire for over three decades and have developed an acute understanding of how the terrain, geology, even climate and the way of working are very different in this part of the UK. The process within which gardens are designed and built in this magnificent landscape is very different to the south of England – so I want to share everything I have learned over the last 35 years and inspire a new generation.” 

London-born Alistair, trained in garden design in Leeds and since graduating has never left the county – working and building his award-winning landscape design practice in North Yorkshire, which delivers high-spec public and private gardens throughout the UK as well as internationally. Having spent 12 years teaching landscape and garden design at Leeds Beckett University, while also running his practice – Alistair has a wealth of experience in nurturing the next generation of garden design talent.

“Building a garden design school which uses practicing designers and professionals to deliver its courses was an incredibly important part of the process for me,” Alistair said. “I am delighted to announce that I will be joined by an eminent team of world-class design consultants who will work with me to deliver the professional diploma course and a range of short courses to those interested in either building a professional career in garden design, or enthusiasts who just want to learn a little more about the art”. 

“Having a team of practicing garden designers in the YSGD family, all of whom have experience in creating rich and well-crafted gardens, means that students will get essential practical advice and insight, straight from the horse’s mouth, into how to design, communicate and deliver amazing gardens” said Alistair. 

Trevor Nicholson, head gardener at Harewood House said, “We are absolutely delighted that the Yorkshire School of Garden design will have its base at Harewood House – which we think is a fitting and inspirational venue for a school, which hopes to train the design professionals of the future. 

“Harewood House has a history of nurturing classical landscapers and garden designers with its parklands and gardens, and I am incredibly excited to welcome guests and inspire them with Harewood’s beautiful landscapes.”

For further information on the Yorkshire School of Garden Design and all its courses visit https://ysgd.co.uk/

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