An update on the 2017 AGM

Stonehenge and visitor

Last year’s AGM took place on 21 October 2017. Since then, we’ve been making progress on a number of the topics raised by members.

Here we explain what we’ve been doing in relation to some of the key questions and resolutions that were put forward, including improving the condition of rivers and implementing new tills at our properties. 

Questions from members
Snail racing at Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate, Gloucestershire

What is the Trust doing to encourage younger people to become members? 

In March 2018 we introduced a new £10 junior membership to inspire the next generation of nature and heritage lovers. The membership - which offers unlimited access to over 500 places, as well as inspiration and ideas on how to use it - has proved popular with families, grandparents and young children. It’s available to buy on our website and at our places. And it links perfectly with our 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ campaign which gives children practical and fun ways of getting closer to nature.

Nymans shop

When will the Trust finish implementing the new tills? 

The rollout of the new tills was undertaken on a region by region basis, and was forecast to take a year. We’re pleased to say this was completed on time across all of our properties in April 2018.

River underneath a bridge

How can the poor condition of some of the Trust’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) be improved? 

Poor water quality in both freshwater and estuary systems has been the primary reason for the Trust not reaching its biodiversity targets. One way we’re addressing this is through our Riverlands project, which uses a partnership and catchment-based approach. Other reasons for poor conditions include: coastal defence infrastructure restricting natural dynamics, river modification and overgrazing. Sometimes this is due to the actions of other landowners in the area. Provided we can influence the improvement of water quality in catchments, the Trust is predicted to hit its biodiversity targets by 2020.

Member resolutions
Visitors walking in Stonehenge Landscape

Consider different measures to the current road scheme at Stonehenge: not carried  

We take our role as custodians and champions of this extraordinary World Heritage Site seriously. Since the resolution was raised, we have continued to work with our heritage partners to influence Highways England to deliver the right solution. We’re committed to an evidence-based approach, and continue to base our advice on our assessments which have been carried out using ICOMOS’ own guidance. We are confident that the current Highways England proposals can protect and enhance the site if designed well and sensitively delivered.

Pulpit Hill in Buckinghamshire

A cessation of trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on Trust land: not carried 

Following a review of the changes that we made to the way we license trail hunts in 2017, we have further enhanced our approach to managing and monitoring trail hunts on our land. This includes: improving the information available on our website; creating a national Trail Hunt Management Team; and introducing a formal monitoring of hunts on the ground, led by this new team. These measures re-affirm the importance of adherence to license conditions.