Wentworth Castle Gardens evaluation

Wentworth Castle Gardens evaluation

I'm working with the National Trust to evaluate the impact of their partnership programme at Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley. The Trust is working with Barnsley Museums, Northern College and a range of community partners to welcome new audiences to the site and work wtih local people who wouldn't otherwise visit. Wentworth Castle Gardens is relatively new to the Trust's portfolio and the partnerships offer the opportunity to experiment with new ways of working. 

 

Rather than adopting the usual approach - creating an evaluation framework and devising ways of finding out whether we meet pre-determined outcomes - we're trying to approach this differently by co-producing our evaluation methods with partners and participants. So far I've had a lot of conversations with partners about how they go about measuring impact, what methods they use and what happens to the resulting feedback. It's going to take a lot longer than it normally would to arrive at a working methodology but ultimately should be more centred on the participants and responsive to what actually happens during the project rather than what we think should happen. We are in a quiet phase at the moment because work in the gardens is limited during the winter months but I'm looking forward to seeing how this work unfolds as we approach the spring. The prospect of stumbling across a cream tea during the working day is an added bonus!