Our history: 1884-present
2020 marks our 125th birthday and we’ve come a long way since Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley founded the National Trust on 12 January 1895.
Our founders believed that nature, beauty and history are for everyone and so set up the Trust to look after the nation’s coastline, historic sites, countryside and green spaces.
With 5.6 million members, 65,000 volunteers and 14,000 staff we are now the biggest conservation charity in Europe, caring for over 250,000 hectares of farmland, 780 miles of coastline and 500 historic properties, gardens and nature reserves, for everyone, for ever.
Take a look below to learn about some of the key moments in our past, and the people who have supported us.