Garden design school opened at Harewood House

A YORKSHIRE-based garden designer with a world-class portfolio is launching a new school dedicated to training northern landscape designers.

Alistair Baldwin, who founded Richmond-based landscape and architecture consultancy AWB Associates over 15 years ago, says it’s time for a school that teaches aspiring new designers of the future how to work in the beautiful northern countryside.

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. The flagship professional diploma in garden design, awarded over an academic year, begins in September.

The school will be based at Harewood House near Leeds – one of Britain’s Treasury houses, which has 100 hectares of parkland designed by the eminent 18th century landscape architect an Italianate terrace.

“The Yorkshire School of Garden Design was born out of my passion for this great art, coupled with a deep belief that the north of England called for such a school,” said its founder, Alistair Baldwin.

“For too long, the North’s budding designers have had little local choice when looking for a learning experience to enhance their skills and introduce them to the profession.

“In most cases, students have had to make the journey to London to find the right course and I thought that had to change.

“Having lived and worked in North Yorkshire for over three decades, I have developed a keen understanding of just how diverse the terrain, geology, even climate and working methods are in this part of the UK.

“The process by which gardens are designed and built in this magnificent landscape is very different than in southern England – so I want to share everything I’ve learned over the last 35 years and inspire a new generation.”

London-born Alistair, who trained in garden design in Leeds and has never left the county since graduating, works and builds his award-winning landscape design practice in North Yorkshire, delivering quality public and private gardens across the UK and internationally.

Having taught landscape and garden design at Leeds Beckett University while running his practice for 12 years, Alistair has a wealth of experience nurturing the next generation of garden design talent.

“Building a garden design school that uses practicing designers and professionals to deliver their courses was an incredibly important part of the process for me,” Alistair said.

“I am pleased to announce that I will be joined by an outstanding team of world-class design consultants who will work with me to deliver the professional diploma course and a series of short courses for those interested in pursuing either 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 experienced in designing rich and well-designed gardens, means students get important practical advice and insight straight from the horse’s mouth on how to design and communicate and deliver amazing gardens,” Alistair said.

Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener at Harewood House, said: “We are delighted that the Yorkshire School of Garden Design will be based at Harewood House – which we think is a fitting and inspiring place for a school looking to educate design professionals Future.

“Harewood House has a long tradition of promoting classic 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 more information about the Yorkshire School of Garden Design and all their courses visit

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