The Council

The Jurors artwork by Hew Locke, at Runnymede in Surrey

The Council helps look after our inspiring places for future generations. Its members advise on important decisions, inform strategy and keep us connected to the wider public.

What does the Council do?

The Council plays an important role in how the National Trust is governed. Its main responsibilities are to appoint Trustees and to monitor and support their work. Council members meet three times a year to debate key strategic issues and advise the Board of Trustees. They also use their networks to inspire support for the Trust among members and the wider public. 

Who's involved?

The Council is made up of 36 members who have a range of expertise in everything from education and agriculture, to nature and the built environment. Half are elected by National Trust members and half are from organisations which have a connection to the Trust. 

Council members serve an initial term of three years, and are then eligible to restand. Council elections take place every year with applications usually sought each March prior to a ballot in the autumn. The results of the ballot are announced at the AGM.  
Hear from the Council
Headshot of a woman leaning against a wall

Sarah Green

‘The variety of expertise on the Council is incredible. We’ve got conservation, agriculture, technology, finance and heritage experts; everyone brings something different to the table. I’m particularly interested in small businesses, place-making and community regeneration. As a Council member, I get an insider’s perspective on the Trust, which is really valuable. We go on an annual in-depth regional tour, which last year was to the East of England. It opened my eyes to the challenges involved in looking after the nation’s heritage. The Council needs active, enthusiastic people with diverse perspectives. If you have a passion for the Trust and are willing to contribute, listen and challenge, then I’d definitely recommend applying.’

Man in a life jacket steering a boat

Phil Mulligan

'I’ve had a life-long relationship with the National Trust. It looks after some of the most special places to me, including the Clergy House in Alfriston, which is close to where I got married. I joined the Council three years ago and I’ve benefitted hugely from it. My background is in conservation so there’s a real overlap with my professional career. As a Council member I’ve gained an insight into how the organisation operates, participated in stimulating discussions and offered advice on a wide range of matters. The National Trust cares for some of our most iconic cultural and environmental assets – and to be involved with preserving and enhancing them for the good of the nation is a real privilege.'

Meet the Council

The Council is the guardian spirit of the National Trust. It is not our governing body, but its responsibilities include appointing our Board of Trustees and monitoring their work and performance.

Download Meet the Council (PDF/0.7MB) download