In our cramped and hectic world open spaces are as important as ever, which is why we are working so hard to preserve them.
We have long understood that green places are very much the lungs of the nation, and therefore vital to our wellbeing. Over 100 years ago, our founders set out to protect valuable public spaces and to look after them for the benefit of everyone.
Green places can provide a cheap and environmentally-friendly day out on your doorstep, ensuring that it's a winning day out for both your mind, body and carbon footprint. As such it’s vital that we save them for our future generations.
What we are doing to help protect green spaces
Here are some examples of how we are involved in saving these very special places.
Morden Hall Park
Morden Hall Park provides a green oasis in the heart of suburbia beside the meandering River Wandle. The park features attractive parkland, meadows, wetlands and waterways to explore by foot or by bike.
The park is used by thousands of people each year and the Snuff Mill Environmental Centre brings learning to life for local schools.
In 2007, the community fishing club was set up in response to local demand. We joined with the local community and are working together to improve the river habitats and ensure good practice in recreational fishing and respect for the environment.
The creation of the community Fishing Club has very much kept the river wildlife at its heart. Local people have been actively involved in habitat management and improvement work, alongside our staff.
Darnley Mausoleum, Gravesend, Kent
We have recently taken on the ownership and management of the Darnley Mausoleum, near Gravesend, and its 200 acres of surrounding ancient woodland. This will give many communities in North Kent free access to 200 acres of green space.
The Grade I listed building suffered 50 years of neglect, vandalism and abuse, but in 2001 the Cobham Ashenbank Management Scheme (CAMS), made up of various organisations including the National Trust, Gravesham Borough Council, English Heritage, Kent County Council, the Woodland Trust, Cobham Hall School and Channel Tunnel Rail Link, began the task of reclaiming the woodland and restoring the Mausoleum and associated buildings.
Seven years later a public open-day was held in order to give local residents a chance to see the woodland and Mausoleum restored to their former glory.
Wicken Fen, Cambridge
One of Britain's oldest nature reserves, Wicken Fen, is a 930-hectare nature reserve just north of Cambridge. It has more than 40,000 visitors per year, and over 6,000 school children come to take part in our formal education programmes and events for families.
As the last 0.1 per cent of fenland left in Britain, it is part of an ambitious 100-year plan to create a new nature reserve covering around 56 square km, between Cambridge and Wicken Fen.