Five amazing things members do

Walker enjoying the view from Dinas Oleu, Wales

You might already know that National Trust membership helps protect special places, for everyone, for ever. But what does that really mean? To give you an idea of how your membership supports our work as a conservation charity, here are five amazing things our members do.

1. Save the coast for everyone

Members like you have helped to protect over 780 miles of coastline. This means that the beaches you visited as children, with sandy picnics under umbrellas and clifftop walks on windy days, can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Keeping the coast special isn’t always easy, but with the help of our members and supporters, we can work with nature to keep pathways open and accessible to all. We're also thankful for our dedicated volunteers, who've helped protect the coastline through activities like beach cleans. We’ve been caring for the coast for over 50 years, and with your support, we’ll continue to look after it for many more.

Rockpooling on the rugged Northumberland coast
Rockpooling on the rugged Northumberland coast
Rockpooling on the rugged Northumberland coast

2. Connect people to nature

Thanks to our members, everyone has access to wonderful places to walk, play and learn. Your support helps us to protect and promote the outdoors in our care so people of all ages can connect to nature.

Members inspired us to launch ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ – a campaign to get children excited about the outdoors. There's so much fun to be had, from building dens and making wild art, to looking for bugs in the garden.

Plus, if you want to give your little adventurers more opportunities to discover the great outdoors, junior membership could inspire the next generation of nature lovers.

Visitors walking at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire
A family walking on a slightly wooded path with a dog
Visitors walking at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire

3. Preserve the stories of the past

Your support means it's possible for us to make groundbreaking discoveries about our history at places like Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. During the reroofing project at Oxburgh Hall, lots of hidden items were found under the floorboards. Some of these items dated back to the Tudor period, such as fragments of late 16th-century books and pieces of Elizabethan clothing. One of the star finds was of an illuminated manuscript, indicating that a family who once lived there continued to practice Catholic Mass even after it had been made illegal in the 16th century.

Your support funds our work with archaeologists, restoration experts and historians, as well as local communities, schools and volunteers. You've helped other people get up close to our ancestors, encouraging new generations to explore and care for the past.

Curator Anna Forest examines a 15th century illuminated manuscript discovered under the floorboards of Oxburgh Hall by archaeologists
Curator Anna Forest examines a 15th century illuminated manuscript discovered under the floorboards of Oxburgh Hall by archaeologists
Curator Anna Forest examines a 15th century illuminated manuscript discovered under the floorboards of Oxburgh Hall by archaeologists

 

4. Care for woodlands, old and new

From rare black poplars and colourful tulip trees to ancient yews and sweet chestnuts, members help to protect the woodlands that are filled with birdsong all year round. Woodlands are a sanctuary for wildlife, bringing balance to our fragile landscapes and cleaning our air. That’s why we’ve pledged to plant and establish 20 million native trees across the nation by 2030.  

At 1,200 years old, the ‘Old Man’ oak tree at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire is a thing of beauty. He once stood in Sherwood Forest, and although that's mostly disappeared, this 'Old Man' just keeps on going. Our members help to protect him while keeping him in the public eye – because he does like being admired.

Calke Abbey's Old Man oak tree
Calke Abbey's Old Man oak tree
Calke Abbey's Old Man oak tree

5. Give wildlife a wonderful home

National Trust membership gives back to nature every day. This means that animals like the beavers at Holnicote Estate in Somerset are able to thrive. In January 2020 we released a pair back into the wild, and since then they've been loving their new home. Their reintroduction, thanks to members like you, means that the rivers they build dams in will face less erosion and flash flooding, helping the whole ecosystem on the estate. 

They’re just two from a cast of millions that call the places we look after home. Rare butterflies, barn owls, wild ponies, seals, otters, shy water voles, red squirrels, red warblers, native deer and so many more. They're all thriving thanks to the love and care of our members, volunteers and rangers.

Beavers help create diverse wetland habitats for other wildlife
A beaver swimming in a river
Beavers help create diverse wetland habitats for other wildlife

Those are just five of the many fantastic things we’re able to look after together. If you want more inspiration, check out our latest appeals and see what we've been up to most recently.