Our history: 1884-present
We've been running for over 125 years. 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 everyone needs nature, beauty and history, so they set up the National Trust to look after the nation’s coastline, historic sites, countryside and green spaces.
With 5.37 million members, over 50,000 volunteers and 10,000 staff we are now the biggest conservation charity in Europe, caring for over 250,000 hectares of farmland, over 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.