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. Elections take place every year.
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.'

Headshot of Oliver Reichardt, member of National Trust Council

Oliver Reichardt

'It can feel scary putting yourself up for election to the Council but it’s a rewarding experience. You don’t have to be an expert to apply, but you do have to really believe in the cause. I volunteered at Osterley Park in my thirties, which deepened my interest in historic homes and the outdoors, and when I eventually moved away and started a family, I carried that experience with me. A few years ago I saw the Council was looking for new members; it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back involved. Three years later and I’ve influenced debate, gained an in-depth knowledge of the organisation and made connections that I know will be valuable beyond my time on the Council.'

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

How can I join?

Inspiring places need inspiring people. If you’re energetic, enthusiastic, and determined to make a difference, the Council could be for you. This is a great volunteering opportunity to pursue your passion for the National Trust and have your say. 

Unfortunately, applications are now closed for this year and will open again in February 2020. In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more please contact