About the Festival

Festival contact

The Capability Brown Festival is now over. We are no longer able to assist with specialist enquiries, however to contact the Landscape Institute, the Festival's main partner, please email contact@landscapeinstitute.org

Festival background

2016 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, a designer who changed the national landscape and created a style which has shaped people’s picture of the quintessential English countryside. As the first ever celebration of Brown’s extensive works, the Capability Brown Festival 2016 brings together a huge range of events, openings and exhibitions. New research and a full listing of his sites will help build knowledge about Brown and fix him at the forefront of modern thinking on design and management of the natural environment.

Brown’s sites will be made accessible for families, adults and urban audiences, and volunteers supported to increase their skills in site interpretation, guiding and writing. Artist, inventor, genius; Brown’s work has already influenced many at home and abroad. The Festival will inspire new generations of visitors, participants and experts to leave a legacy of new information, skills and enthusiasm for landscape.

Who we are

The Capability Brown Festival is managed by the Landscape Institute on behalf of the Festival Partnership. It has been funded by a £911,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with the wider project worth in the region of £1.7million. Much of this represents match funding, and funding in kind, from the Festival’s partners and supporters.

Festival objectives

The Capability Brown Festival 2016 will:

  • Celebrate Capability Brown as an artist and landscape designer.
  • Encourage an increased number of people and a more diverse audience to visit, learn about and enjoy Brown's landscapes.
  • Commission a range of interesting and innovative projects to encourage sites and people to get involved across the country.
  • Encourage a greater appreciation of our designed landscape heritage.

To achieve this the Festival project team will:

  • Offer a comprehensive programme of support to owners of Brown sites, aiming to open as many as possible during Festival year, including those not normally open to the public.
  • Develop a network of hub sites across England to support and engage the Brown sites in their area or region.
  • Work with sites, with a special focus on those in urban areas and those commissioned to run projects, to bring Brown to new audiences.
  • Interpret all or as many sites as possible, using research by volunteers who will be trained and supported by the Festival.
  • Use media, PR, partner and central communication opportunities to promote understanding of Brown’s art and design influence.
  • Stimulate new research, and create a definitive record of Brown sites.
  • Ensure that the Festival’s findings, research and learning resources are accessible to as many people as possible, and share learning as it develops through a programme of regional seminars.
  • Engage volunteers in all aspects of the 2016 celebrations.


Capability Brown Festival 2016: stakeholder update (June 2016) (download)
Capability Brown Festival 2016: stakeholder update (February 2016) (download)
Capability Brown Festival 2016: stakeholder update (December 2015) (download)
Capability Brown Festival 2016: stakeholder update (October 2015) (download)
Capability Brown Festival 2016: our partners (download)
Approved purposes of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant in support of the Capability Brown Festival 2016 (download)
Lancelot 'Capability' Brown: A Research Impact Review prepared for English Heritage by The Landscape Group, UEA (download)
Capability Brown Festival Audience Development Projects (download)
Capability Brown Festival 2016: List of Hub, Urban and Ambassador Sites (download)