Welcome to the summer issue of our magazine

The summer magazine covers © National Trust

The summer magazine covers

Recently, I spent a few days at Mount Stewart in County Down, Northern Ireland. It’s a gem of a place, set on the peaceful shores of the wildlife haven of Strangford Lough – our cover image this issue. 2014 is a big year for Mount Stewart.

Alongside the acquisition of a huge number of the family’s original possessions, and a major project to restore and open unseen rooms, the Trust has the opportunity to acquire virtually the entire original thousand acres of land surrounding the house, to open up for visitors to enjoy. This is no small matter in a country with no legal right to roam, and makes Mount Stewart a fitting subject to kick-start three linked articles exploring why and how we make fundamental choices about what to save (p37).

For the past few issues, we’ve been sending those of you who hold a family membership a slightly different version of the magazine, with a different cover and one different article (you can read a version of the alternative article on our website). A few of the other pieces have subtle picture or text changes to make them more family-friendly. We’d love to know what you think about this approach – had you noticed? Did your magazine feel any more relevant to you? Please write in and let us know.

We also made our first foray into the world of digital publishing this Easter with a magazine app. Although Easter’s over, the app is still available and packed with ideas for recipes and days out. You can download it from the App Store if you have an iPad version 2 or above. Do let us know whether you like it – we’re deciding whether to make more in the forthcoming months.

Have a lovely summer,

Sally Palmer, Editor