Project Results

  • Drone4HER mapping analysis report
  • Drone4HER foundational manual for the use of drones in historic gardens
  • Drone4HER online training course
  • Drone4HER practical application in Collodi

Drone4HER mapping Analysis Report

For effective use of drone technology in preserving and managing historic gardens, it is necessary to digitally upskill the gardeners and integrate digital tools into their daily work.

The first step corresponds to the identification of the needs of the professional gardeners and staff working in the historic gardens. This identification has been done through a questionnaire addressed to professional gardeners in Europe, especially the historic gardeners working with the members of the ERHG.

The results of the questionnaire are summed up in a  Mapping analysis report. The report contributes to identifying the contents and the objectives of the training course and the workshops to turn the primary target group’s needs and ideas into real values. Through a sector of indicators, it has been possible to assess in detail the effective needed skills and how to structure and strategically integrate digital tools to implement the daily work of the primary target groups. Based on the results of local mapping in Spain and in Italy the leader (P1) has prepared an analysis report about the needs raised by staff using drones in historic gardens.

The  main topics addressed in the preparation of the Mapping exercise report  are: ( as  identified at the proposal stage) and in the formulation of the questionnaire addressed to the professional gardeners are:

Maintenance, conservation and planning

  • Computerized management of maintenance plans
  • Digitalization of the green heritage
  • Planning and programming of conservation interventions
  • Cataloging of the garden’s elements
  • Interoperability between the staff involved in the process
  • Detected infrastructure needs

The data and information reported in this document were collected in 2023 through anonymous online questionnaires distributed in Italy, Spain and the countries reached by the European Network of Historic Gardens. It is a report about the needs raised by researchers and staff of the gardens and the use of technological tools for managing and maintaining the historic gardens..

Drone4HER Foundational Manual for the Use of Drones in Historic Gardens

This manual is designed as a comprehensive reference for the online project course, diving deep into the utilization of drone technology for the preservation and management of historic gardens. Recognized for their cultural importance and architectural elegance, historic gardens demand innovative approaches to address the complexities of conservation and sustainability.

By leveraging drone technology, caretakers and managers can adeptly navigate these complexities, ensuring these iconic landscapes endure for future generations.


  • Foundational Knowledge: An introduction to drone technology, focusing on types suited for historic gardens, alongside their primary components and functionalities.
  • Practical Implementation: Step-by-step guidance on deploying drones within the unique environment of historic gardens.
  • Skill Development: Master the art of employing drones effectively in historic gardens. This encompasses data gathering from mapping expeditions, performing thermography inspections, crafting precise 3D models through photogrammetry, and utilizing precision agriculture techniques.
  • Safety & Compliance: Safeguarding both the gardens and the equipment, this section discusses guidelines for secure drone operations, encompassing legal prerequisites and regulations for drones in historic garden contexts.
  • Equipment Care: Delve into best practices for drone maintenance and storage, ensuring equipment longevity and peak performance.
  • Benefits Unveiled: Explore the multifaceted advantages of drones, from water surveillance, plant health evaluations, and risk assessment to pinpointing maintenance needs and surveying inaccessible areas.
  • Marketing & Promotion: Enhance visitor experiences and elevate promotional strategies by tapping into the unique perspectives offered by drones in historic gardens.

Drone4HER Online Course

The course provides a comprehensive overview of using drones for maintenance, management, and marketing purposes in historic gardens. It covers the fundamentals of drones, their components, safe operation guidelines, legal requirements, and various applications in historic garden settings. The course also addresses the challenges and benefits of introducing drones, the training and skill development of garden staff, and concludes with a summary and a call to action for participants to get started with drone operations in historic gardens.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the challenges in historic garden maintenance with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
  2. Analyze the potential of drones in historic gardens, addressing both challenges and benefits.
  3. Differentiate between various drone types and their components best suited for historic gardens.
  4. Stay updated on legal frameworks and regulations for drone operations in historic gardens.
  5. Implement safe and efficient drone practices in historic gardens, covering maintenance, storage, and documentation.
  6. Master the techniques for aerial imagery in historic gardens and employ software solutions to extract valuable insights.
  7. Explore drone applications in historic gardens, from mapping to thermography.
  8. Assess drone utilities for water management, health monitoring, risk assessment, and accessing difficult areas in historic gardens.
  9. Leverage drones to market and enhance visitor experiences in historic gardens.
  10. Address the digital skill gap in gardeners for effective drone use, and harness online training and resources for skill development.

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Drone4HER Practical Application in Collodi

Successful Transition from Online Learning to Onsite Application

The participating gardeners, accredited with drone pilot licenses, transitioned from virtual learning to onsite application. This transition was structured into two key deliverables:

1. Group Organization and Project Implementation

  • The participating gardeners were organized into two groups, each holding a drone pilot license within the A1-A3 open subcategory.
  • These groups were tasked with undertaking a specific project that would allow them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from the Drone4HER e-learning course to a real-world context.
  • Each group approached their project with a focus on utilizing drone technology for the preservation and maintenance of historic gardens, showcasing innovative solutions and strategic thinking.

2. Project Presentation and Skill Demonstration

  • At the conclusion of the onsite activities, each group presented their projects. These presentations were a testament to the practical application of the theoretical knowledge gained through the online course.
  • The projects highlighted how drone technology can be integrated into garden management and conservation practices, offering insights into the future of heritage garden care.

3. Certification of Competence and Skill Acquisition

  • Following the successful presentation of their projects, participants were awarded certificates for the onsite activity.
  • These certificates were not mere acknowledgments of participation but represented the achievement of a new level of competence in drone operation, specifically tailored to the needs of gardening within historic and cultural contexts.
  • The certification process was designed to provide validation for the gardeners’ newly developed skills, opening up opportunities for professional development and advancement within the field of historic garden preservation.

Impact and Future Application

The Drone4HER onsite activity deliverables have laid a solid foundation for the future of garden preservation. The projects undertaken by the licensed gardeners have not only demonstrated the effective application of drone technology but have also paved the way for innovative practices in the field. The certificates awarded serve as a milestone for each participant, signifying their readiness to embrace new technologies in their gardening practices and to lead the way in the digitization of historic garden management.

The consortium recognizes these deliverables as crucial stepping stones towards the project’s overarching goal of integrating cutting-edge technology with cultural heritage preservation. As the Drone4HER project moves forward, these achievements will be leveraged to further empower gardeners, enriching their skill sets and enabling them to contribute to the conservation of Europe’s historic gardens in an increasingly digital world.