The Gatton Trust was originally founded in 1996 under the name the Gatton Park Conservation Group. This group was made up of staff form the Royal Alexandra and Albert School and members of the local community who had an interest in the estate.
Initially the group worked on clearing out the rock garden, removing the weed trees that had grown, re-locating the rocks which had moved and reinstating the original paths. The group would hold occasional open days and events to try to raise fund to help with their work. In 1999 a Channel 4 TV programme called “Lost Gardens” helped with the restoration of the Japanese garden, again this garden had become completely overgrown and was barely recognisable as a garden. The Gatton Trust volunteers have maintained these gardens ever since, turning up every week in all weathers to ensure these gardens look their best. The Gatton Trust has also overseen the restoration of many of ‘Capability’ Browns views and vistas along with the main lakes on the estate, overseeing dredging a number of the lakes and the serpentine.
The Gatton Park Conservation Group became The Gatton Trust in May 2001 this change was in recognition of the growth of the charity.
In 1997 another charity, The Gatton Park Education Trust (GPET) was founded to use the park and gardens at Gatton Park as a resource in which to run educational activities for local schools and the wider community. GPET has grown over the years and now has over 8000 children a year involved in their education programmes.
In March 2009 the decision was taken to merge GPET with The Gatton Trust this decision was taken after much consultation between our trustees, staff, volunteers and sponsors. It was the shared view that the new merged Gatton Trust will be better placed to build on the successes of the two separate Trusts. The Gatton Trust now has 3 full-time members of staff, 3 part-time and a pool of over 80 regular volunteers.
Gatton Trust Objectives:
(1) To promote for the benefit of the public the restoration, conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment (including the biological diversity thereof) of the parkland, gardens and historic buildings of Gatton Park, Reigate, Surrey and continue to develop and enhance the means of access for as wide a section of the community as possible.
(2) The advancement of education through the establishment and operation of a field study centre for the whole community at Gatton Park, Reigate, Surrey facilitating the study of subjects of educational advantage including, among other things, the study of natural history, geography, history and environmental education.
(3) To advance the education of the pupils of the charitable corporation, the Royal Alexandra and Albert School
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