A giant thank you

Boys playing with Finn McCool swords outside the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre

We are opening the doors to some of our most popular places for free to National Lottery players as a thank you to people who have raised money for our conservation work by buying a lottery ticket.

In Northern Ireland, anyone with a National Lottery ticket or scratch card will enjoy free entry on Wednesday 13 December to the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, Castle Ward, Rowallane Garden and Mount Stewart.

As well as receiving Heritage Lottery Funding towards the development of our award-winning visitor centre, which opened in 2012, the support from Lottery funding has also helped us develop facilities, interpretation and a programme of engagement to ensure the longer-term protection of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The engagement element of the funding further enabled us to establish two key posts at the site for local people, a Conservation and Learning Officer and a Conservation and Volunteering Warden.

Wendy Elliott, fundraising manager in Northern Ireland said, ‘Without grant support like this, we wouldn’t have been able to undertake some of our most important and innovative conservation work. Grant income, as well as help from members, supporters and volunteers allows us to look after special places for ever, for everyone. This is a small gesture of our thanks to National Lottery players.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: 'December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994.  This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratch card on Wednesday 13 December will be admitted for free to participating National Trust places. Full terms and conditions, including the sites participating, can be found here.

This offer is part of a National Lottery celebration where a host of organisations which have benefited from Heritage Lottery funding offer free access, special offers or activities to say thank you.