• Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute; Full Member, IHBC; Fellow, Royal Society of Arts and Commerce.
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture, University of Central England (McParland Finn/Landscape Institute Student Prize, 2000).
  • MA Conservation Landscapes, Parks and Gardens, University of York.
  • BA(Hons) English & Film, University of East Anglia.


  • The Merlin Trust; Seattle – Garden City, 1998.
  • Arkell Fellowship; A Comparative Study of Customer Expectations and Experience at National Trust Gardens in Great Britain and the Netherlands, 1997.
  • The European Gardens Scholarship; Observations on the Conservation Initiatives concerning Historic Parks and Gardens in Sweden, 1997.


Deborah is a Chartered Landscape Architect, historian and horticulturalist with extensive and specialist experience in the public and private sectors.  Having specialised in historic landscape conservation, she was appointed Head Gardener and Estate Manager at Tyntesfield by the National Trust, where she led the restoration of this flagship park and garden and helped to secure one of the largest single heritage grants ever made.  Following this achievement, Deborah joined English Heritage as Landscape Architect for the East Midlands and East of England regions, where for over seven years she acted as the organization’s expert advisor for the historic environment on a range of planning and development issues, including advice to HMRC, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural England and as an Expert Witness at Public Inquiry.  She joined Cookson & Tickner landscape architects in March 2014, where she co-authored several landscape conservation management plans and contributed to landscape options appraisals and other project work.  Deborah established her own consultancy in July 2015.  

Deborah has extensive expertise and experience in undertaking historic research, site survey, tree surveys, horticultural management and maintenance and report writing.  She lectures on historic landscapes throughout the country, including CPD training for professionals within the landscape and heritage sectors, and has written articles for a number of publications including Landscape and Gardens Illustrated.  Deborah is a member of the National Trust’s Historic Environment Advisory Group and is a Trustee of The Gardens Trust.    

Summary Employment History

DE Landscape and Heritage Ltd.
Director, July 2015 – present

Selected recent commissions

  • Expert Witness: Thornbridge Hall, Derbyshire, PDNPA.
  • Hinton Admiral, Dorset: Parkland Management Plan.
  • West Dean College: Course Leader, Managing Wildlife in the Historic Environment, (four-day professional course).
  • Courteenhall, Northamptonshire: Parkland Management Plan.
  • Cottesbrooke Hall, Northamptonshire: The Lakes and Designed Water System, Summary Historic Development and Statement of Significance.
  • Historic England: Consultant landscape planning advisor including Inheritance Tax Exemption inspection.
  • Professional CPD provider: Garden Masterclass and Marcus Barnett Studio.
  • Stowe School, Buckinghamshire: Heritage Impact Assessments.
  • Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire: Heritage Statement and Heritage Impact Assessment, Liz Lake Associates on behalf of the National Trust.
  • National Trust: Clandon House, Surrey, specialist landscape advice.
  • Brampton Bryan Estate, Herefordshire: Parkland Management Plan.
  • National Trust: Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire; Schedule of Condition Survey.
  • The Audley Group: planning advice various sites – on-going.
  • Expert Witness: Bramshill House, Hampshire, Historic England.
  • National Trust: Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire: Setting Study (with Mel Morris Conservation).
  • East Northamptonshire District Council: Ashton Wold, Northamptonshire, Conservation Area Appraisal.
  • Highgate Cemetery, London: Conservation Management Plan (with Alan Baxter Ltd.).

Previous Experience

Cookson & Tickner Ltd., Associate Landscape Architect March 2014 to July 2015

Deborah contributed as co-author and surveyor to a series of comprehensive conservation management plans for sites including Runnymede & Ankerwycke, Montacute Park, Coleshill Park and Stourhead Park.  She led on the production of a management and maintenance plan for Lyme Park Gardens and contributed to a detailed options appraisal to support the restoration of the kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy.  Other work included the preparation of a Landscape and Visual Appraisal for a housing allocation site at Glossop and her subsequent appearance at Public Hearing and the preparation and delivery of a national training event on historic landscape for Natural England.

English Heritage (now Historic England), Landscape Architect, East Midlands & East of England August 2006 to March 2014

As Expert advisor Deborah offered pre- and post-application statutory advice on development proposals within the historic environment to local authorities, public and private owners.  Other key work included advice to HMRC on Inheritance Tax Exemption, including new applications & monitoring through Quinquennial Inspection, annual meetings and Heritage Management Plans; advice to HLF on Stage I and Stage II grant applications; advice to the Forestry Commission on forestry or woodland grant schemes; extensive advice to Natural England on Countryside Stewardship applications and Parkland Management Plans (Higher and Entry Level Tiers) and the wider promotion of English Heritage through Heritage at Risk, HELM and professional CPD provision.  During her employment with English Heritage, Deborah also gained unusual and substantial experience as an Expert Witness at Public Inquiry. 

The National Trust; Head Gardener & Estate Manager, Tyntesfield April 2003 – July 2006

Deborah combined her responsibility for the hands-on, day-to-day, management of the gardens and estate and their transition from private ownership to National Trust property. She authored The Landscape Plan and gazetteer and co-authored The Conservation Management Plan in support of an HLF bid.  This work contributed to the award of one of the largest HLF grants ever made.  She similarly prepared an Historic Parkland Restoration Plan to support a successful Countryside Stewardship application in 2006.  Deborah was also able to promote her achievements through one of the earliest BBC Gardener’s World on-line blogs and various print and media content.

WynThomasGordonLewis; Landscape Architect September 2002 – March 2003

Deborah joined WTGL to prepare for Chartership.  She worked as a member of the landscape team on major commercial projects in South Wales and South West England.  Work included Environmental Impact Assessments, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments, Landscape Character Assessment and landscape design.

The National History Museum, Wales (previously The Museum of Welsh Life); Head Gardener December 1998 – September 2002

Deborah led a team of nine hands-on gardeners in restoring Edwardian gardens at St Fagan’s Castle and in establishing a culture of ‘period horticulture’ presented as vernacular gardens for dwellings within the museum collection dating from c. 1500 – c. 1980.  The restoration of the Italian Garden was profiled by BBC TV Hidden Gardens in 2002.

Parklands Consortium Ltd.; Landscape Architect/historian April- December 1998

Deborah worked as a trainee Landscape Architect, historian and horticulturist on projects funded by the HLF’s Urban Parks Programme at sites including Pavilion Gardens, Buxton; Manor Park, Glossop; Handsworth and Calthorpe parks, Birmingham.

Private Consultant, 1994 – 1998

Clients included Cadw as sole contractor, park and garden recorder (Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest; The County of Powys); Countryside Council for Wales; Royal Commission for Ancient Historic Monuments and Sites in Wales; The Hafod Trust and private clients in Ireland and Wales.