Department of History

Nottingham Green Spaces Project

'The Social World of Nottingham's Green Spaces' is a community history project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Municipal public parks, cemeteries and other public green spaces are one of the greatest legacies of Victorian Britain.

The 1845 Nottingham Enclosure Act enabled the creation of an interconnected series of green spaces including the Arboretum (1852) and the Forest. These constitute one of the most ambitious schemes of urban enclosure and improvement in mid-Victorian Britain and were inspired by local naturalists and sanitary reformers as well as cultural emulation and civic rivalry with other urban centres.

Nottingham Green Spaces project
A plan of Nottingham Arboretum 





Project overview

Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this community history project examined the changing social and cultural uses of the Forest, the Arboretum, the General Cemetery, Church Cemetery and some of the other green spaces formed during the mid-nineteenth century.

Led by the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby it explored the relationship between the parks and the changing communities in their vicinity.


Project team

Principal Investigator: Prof John Beckett

Co-Investigator: Dr Paul Elliott

Research Fellow: Dr Jonathan Coope

Research Fellow: Dr Judith Mills

Project website



Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details