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Capture the spirit of Capability Brown

Home to one of Capability Brown’s most celebrated landscapes, The Trentham Estate on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, is encouraging visitors to enter the International Garden Photographer of the Year’s special award category ‘Capability Brown Today’.

To celebrate the tercentenary of Capability Brown, organisers of the world-renowned competition have teamed up with the National Trust to create this special award and are inviting amateurs to enter as well as professionals before 31 October 2015.

Michael Walker, Head of Garden and Estate at The Trentham Estate said: “Judges will be looking for garden landscapes and views that communicate the enjoyment that people get from visiting these gardens and parks, so where better to take your photographic entries than Trentham Gardens.”

Set to take a leading role in the Capability Brown celebrations, The Trentham Estate is now involved in one of the biggest parkland projects in Britain.

A project aimed at rediscovering Capability’s lost landscape, the scheme has been taking shape throughout this year, and will continue to develop and mature through 2016 as the tercentenary of Capability Brown is celebrated across the UK.

“Brown made an enormous impact at The Trentham Estate. He was employed here from 1759 to 1780, during which time he expanded the mile long lake and sculpted the surrounding parklands. The work that we began at the start of this year has already better revealed and further enhanced the presentation of Brown’s work and there’s much more to come in 2016.”

Photographers can focus on the restored connection between Kings Wood and the lake, shoot a number of Brownian aged trees, and explore the recently revealed Victorian Red Woods.

A Capability Brown wildflower meadow was planted in May with a range of seed including Shirley and Californian Poppies, Cornflower, Fairy Toad Flax, Tickseed, Larkspur and Delphinium. This has produced stunning and changing displays throughout the summer and will continue to flower through to late October.

The ongoing project, which is explained to Trentham’s current-day visitors via a series of interpretation panels and guided tours, is also helping to better identify the line of a former Ha-Ha (a way to prevent grazing livestockfrom entering the gardens without obstructing the views), a Georgian triple tunnel boat house, and the location of the Georgian Ice House.

First place in the competition will receive a prize from the National Trust, and chosen winners will be featured in the next ‘International Garden Photographer of the Year’ book.

Selected photographs will also be displayed at the ‘Lenses on a Landscape Genius’ Somerset House Photographic Exhibition, June – August 2016.

Any picture taken in a Capability Brown landscape or garden in England and Wales can be entered. The deadline for entries is 31 October 2015. For more information and to enter the competition, please visit

The Trentham Estate re-opened to the public 11 years ago, and has won one of Europe’s top awards for its restoration work, and in 2015 was voted Garden of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

Annual Tickets are the best value way to visit the gardens and also offer discounts at participating shops and restaurants, 20% off day tickets for friends and even discounts on special events.

For full details of all events, opening times, discounts, restaurants and shops visit

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