Celebrating Capability Brown and 300 years of the national landscape

Capability Brown Festival for the Landscape Institute


The Landscape Institute

Project Type

PR, communications and event production

The Landscape Institute promotes the art and science of landscape practice. It successfully gained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (now NLHF) to run a festival to celebrate the 300th anniversary of renowned landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, whose life, work, and legacy helped shape our view of the quintessential English countryside. Capability Brown is a widely-recognised figure, but many people were unaware of all his achievements. Our task was to put him and the festival on the map – using media relations to raise awareness of, and participation in, Festival events.

CCC delivery

  • Held a launch press preview with Lucy Worsley, with over 50 journalists from national, print and broadcast, themed around an afternoon tea with a Georgian twist
  • Provided high quality materials for journalists – a calendar of events, news angles, facts/figures and historical context including a timeline of his life, and how to ‘read’ a landscape. We built on this with partners to develop special promotions; Visit England press trip to key sites; milestones in the events programme and research and an exhibition on his accounts book, from RHS. 
  • Developed key messages for all partners to ensure consistency
  • Other creative platforms included: BrownsBirthdayBake – a baking challenge to celebrate his birthday month; and #CapabilityColours, a competition to encourage visitors to Brown sites to share autumnal images on social media


Significant media coverage was achieved hitting a broad range of target audiences, supporting the Festival’s ambition to achieve national, regional and international coverage. Over 1,500 items were recorded including 88 broadcast interviews, 93 national newspaper features and 49 international features, from The New York Times to Classic FM South Africa. Coverage was achieved across all English counties that feature Brown landscapes.

With the Festival Team, we delivered a robust PR strategy, alongside media training, advice and evaluation. We exceeded coverage targets, producing 30+ press releases and generating bespoke features, resulting in a monthly average of 100 items. Examples of new audience development included working with Beatfreeks, a youth engagement agency and promoting an autism sensory trail. We actively supported the PR activities of 21 partners, providing strategic advice with excellent feedback reflecting the strong relationships established.