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About Us

About Us

The National Trust is a charity and is completely independent of Government. For income, we rely on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations.

We were founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy.  More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything we do. We look after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland forever, for everyone.

We look after coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, gardens, mills and pubs. We restore them, protect them and open them up to everyone. For the Trust, conservation has always gone hand-in-hand with public access. We welcome everyone to explore:

  • 775 miles of coastline
  • Over 248,000 hectares of land
  • Over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments gardens and parks and nature reserves.

Many of our properties are unable to fund their own permanent preservation. The cost of caring for them is high: our overall conservation project expenditure was £107.1 million in 2015/16.

We rely on the support of our members, donors and volunteers, as well as income from grant-making bodies and commercial activities - retail, holidays and catering, to look after the places in our care.  


National Trust Shop

Our collections are directly inspired by the special places we care for. A combination of in house design and products created by some of the UK’s most talented heritage craftspeople, always taking elements of our heritage and reimagining them as designs for here and now.

Retail sales in 2015/16 contributed £6.3 million towards looking after special places. It’s only because of people like you that we’re able to care for, restore and open up these places for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you

Find out more about our cause

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