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How your membership supports our work

Two people, one a wheelchair user, on a coastal path on a sunny day
Exploring the accessible path at Woolacombe, North Devon | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Thanks to the support of our members, we're able to carry out our important conservation work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Discover some of the ways that members help us care for nature, beauty and history for future generations.

Connecting people with nature

Protecting and promoting the outdoors so that everyone can benefit from being in nature is one of our top organisational priorities.

Take the first 'green corridor' at Bathampton Meadows in Somerset, which connects the heritage city of Bath to the surrounding countryside. We'll continue opening up green spaces to people who live in towns and cities. We also look after 780 miles of coastline and work with nature to keep coastal pathways open and accessible to all.

Members inspired us to launch ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ – a campaign to get children excited about the natural world. There's so much for children to discover in the great outdoors, from building dens and making wild art to looking for bugs in their outdoor space.

Uncovering and preserving history

We look after the past, whether it's conserving historic buildings and their collections, revealing archaeological sites or supporting urban heritage projects.

This work often reveals interesting stories about the places in our care. At Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, the team found many hidden items under the floorboards during a reroofing project in 2020. One of the most significant finds was an illuminated manuscript, indicating that a family who once lived there continued to practise Catholic Mass even after it had been made illegal in the 16th century.

With the help of archaeologists, restoration experts, historians, local communities and volunteers, we'll continue to encourage new generations to explore and care for the past.

Tackling and adapting to climate change

Climate change is the biggest threat to the coastline, countryside and historic buildings we care for. We're commited to tackling its causes and effects as well as identifying future hazards to build resilience. We support projects all over the UK that help nature thrive, such as planting trees, funding nature-friendly farming and helping people, heritage and nature adapt to a changing climate.

We’ve now reached our target to generate 50 per cent of our own energy from renewable sources, against a 2008 baseline, investing in a variety of renewable energy projects. From harnessing hydropower and solar energy to installing biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps, we've been working hard to reduce carbon emissions.

We're helping to create and restore wildlife-rich habitats and ecosystems to support nature’s recovery and provide long-term biodiversity increases in a changing environment. As a result, we've been working with nature to heal climate harm, caring for the land in a way that captures and stores carbon, including our work to restore, conserve and manage the peatlands in our care.

Conservators working on collection items at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio, Kent
Conservators working on collection items at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio, Kent | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Caring for trees, old and new

We care for 25,000 hectares of woodland, 135 wild landscape sites and more than 200 gardens, where you'll find trees with many stories to tell. From rare black poplars and ancient yews to colourful tulip trees, sweet chestnuts and mighty oaks, we help to protect a variety of trees at places in our care for people and nature to enjoy.

Trees are a sanctuary for wildlife all year round, bringing balance to our fragile landscapes and cleaning the air. That’s why we’ve pledged to plant and establish 20 million native trees across England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2030.

We're also working with partners to give communities more access to nature through the creation of green spaces and circles of blossom trees across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These natural spaces will give people the chance to celebrate the beauty of spring year after year, help people connect to nature near them and provide a space for communities to come together and experience the natural world.

Giving wildlife a home

National Trust members give back to nature every day by helping us protect habitats and the wildlife that calls them home – whether it’s rare butterflies, barn owls, wild ponies, seals, otters, water voles, red squirrels, reed warblers or native deer.

We’re also helping restore natural processes and improve biodiversity through dedicated projects, such as the introduction of a pair of Eurasian beavers on the Holnicote Estate in Somerset in 2020.

Since then they've been growing into their new home, with the first beaver kit at Exmoor for 400 years being born in 2021 and twin beaver kits following in 2022. The dams of these ecosystem engineers protect the surrounding landscape from flooding and create new habitats for wildlife.

Creating experiences for everyone, for ever

We look after more than 500 places, from country houses and urban homes to countryside and coastal paths. This opens up a huge variety of experiences for visitors of all interests, whether you want to meet up with friends for a woodland walk or learn about the history of a place through an exhibition.

With the support of our members, we can continue to protect nature, beauty and history for future generations to enjoy. We couldn't do it without you.

A young child and her mother bending down to look at flowers in the Sunken Garden in May at Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland

Become a member

Join today and help protect nature, beauty and history – for everyone, for ever. Enjoy access to more than 500 places with National Trust membership.

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