Supporter groups in Devon
Devon has a thriving network of supporter groups, united by their interest in our projects and the places in our care. Volunteer groups focus on hands-on activities like coppicing, apple picking and stewarding busy events. Centres and associations offer a year-round social programme of talks and trips. Wherever you join in Devon, these groups are a great way to deepen your connection to local National Trust places.
Why join a supporter group?
Getting together with other National Trust enthusiasts, members and volunteers who feel passionate about the same things is priceless. Sharing unique experiences and finding out more about the places you care about is what being part of a local National Trust supporter group is all about.
From listening to expert talks and going on behind-the-scenes tours to taking relaxing holidays or restoring natural habitats in the great outdoors, you’ll be part of something amazing. Supporter groups promote and assist the National Trust’s work within their local area and raise money for conservation and development projects through all kinds of events.
The Exeter National Trust Volunteer (NTV) Group
The Group was founded in 1981 and brings together members from the Exeter area to support National Trust projects and events.
They hold twice-monthly work events on Sundays, with occasional evenings in summer when they help with stewarding and car parking for events at Killerton.
Exeter NTV Group help with gardening, footpath construction, step building, hedge laying, apple picking, snowdrop planting, woodland work and general maintenance tasks. They welcome all abilities, although a reasonable level of fitness is needed.
The properties they help at include:
A la Ronde
Honiton, Ottery and District Association
The Association pride themselves on their friendliness. Their year-round programme ensures that members who live on their own or are new to the area can meet like-minded people.
The group's visits programme, which includes trips to theatres and concerts, is easy to arrange in an area with so many interesting places. Visits to small, privately owned properties are particularly popular.
Talks on a wide range of topics take place in different towns and villages, so that members don’t always have to travel far to attend them.
Newton Abbot Association
Since 1983, the Newton Abbot Association has been supporting the National Trust by raising money for conservation and development projects. You don’t need to be a National Trust member to join – Association members receive an informative quarterly newsletter with booking forms for events and trips.
The Association offers a busy programme of events, including:
illustrated talks by guest speakers, from September to March
day trips from February to October to historic houses, buildings, gardens of interest and National Trust places
regular social events including an early New Year lunch and an annual dinner.
Formed in 1967, the Centre’s members mainly come from the Plymouth area, but they also join from the South Hams and across the border in Cornwall.
They donate to local National Trust properties at Saltram, Buckland Abbey, and Cotehele, as well as the local ranger teams’ projects. Members can then visit the properties to see how their support has been used.
Members receive spring and autumn newsletters with details of all upcoming events, plus news from local properties and rangers.
The Centre organise monthly talks in autumn and winter at St Peter’s Lutheran Church Hall in Plympton. Recent topics have been ‘South West Secret Agents’ and a talk by Saltram’s head gardener. Spring and summer see monthly coach trips to National Trust properties and other interesting places.
Sidmouth National Trust Supporters Group
The Sidmouth National Trust Supporters Group was formed in 1974 and continues to offer a lively programme of activities. Anyone in Sidmouth or the surrounding area interested in the aims of the National Trust can join.
Funds raised from activities go towards National Trust projects in the South West. In recent years, they’ve donated towards furniture repairs at Castle Drogo, roof repairs at A la Ronde and survey equipment for the East Devon rangers.
The Centre’s activities include:
monthly talks from autumn to spring on heritage and environmental topics
monthly outings from spring to autumn to National Trust properties and other interesting places
Christmas lunch at a Sidmouth hotel together, plus other occasional social gatherings.
New members are invited to a free coffee morning where they can meet the Committee as well as other newcomers. All members receive a quarterly newsletter with details of past and future events.
South Hams Centre
This supporter group covers the southernmost part of Devon, reaching almost to Plymouth in the west and Brixham in the east and going as far north as the edge of Dartmoor.
Members share their enthusiasm for this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with some of the country's most beautiful and unspoilt stretches of coastline. They support the National Trust’s three places in the area – Overbeck's Garden, Coleton Fishacre and Greenway – and our rangers’ work to manage local coastline, woodland and farmland.
26 October 2023
Trip to Stone Lane Gardens and Chagford
Time to explore the charming small market town and have lunch. We will spend the afternoon at the beautifully landscaped Stone Lane Gardens. The five-acre woodland and water gardens have spectacular views across Dartmoor and host a prestigious sculpture trail.
14 November 2023
10.30 am to noon
Coffee Morning at Avon Mill
We are delighted to be going back to Avon Mill! Come along and join us for coffee upstairs, above the café. Afterwards, why not visit the Garden Centre’s tempting shops and then, perhaps, treat yourself to lunch in the cafe. Entrance £6.00 includes coffee and biscuits.
1 December 2023
Trip to Tavistock and Cotehele (NT)
One of our favourite outings, with late morning and time for lunch in Tavistock before going on to Cotehele to see the wonderful Christmas garland decorating the Hall of the House. The gardens, NT shops and restaurant will all be open. Tickets £27.50.
30 January 2024
10.30 am to noon
Coffee Morning in Kingsbridge
Quay House (Kingsbridge Care Hub) in the town centre has easy access and the Jubilee Room is a convenient and comfortable place to meet friends and enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee. Entrance £4.00 includes coffee and Jane’s delicious home-made cake.
22 February 2024
Coach Trip to Exmouth for Winter Birdwatching Cruise on the River Exe
Accompanied by a local ornithologist, this cruise on the calm waters of the River Exe is always popular. The boat has an enclosed heated lower deck with panoramic windows. Refreshments are available, or bring your own food. Tickets, including cruise, £39.50.
7 March 2024
2.00 pm -
Guess the Mystery Object
A presentation by Kingsbridge Antiques Centre, with audience participation. This will follow our 44th Annual General Meeting at Kingsbridge Methodist Church Hall (top of Fore Street). £5.00 entrance includes a cup of tea.
20 March 2024
Coach Trip to Honiton and Blackbury Honey Farm, Southleigh
Late morning and lunch in Honiton, then on to a working Honey Farm nearby. The garden is said to be a parade of colour and scent. Home-made produce can be sampled in the tearoom, looking out over the garden. Tickets, including donation, £33.50.
To join and for tickets please email the membership secretary
South Devon National Trust Volunteer (NTV) Group
Volunteer groups help National Trust staff, getting hands-on with conservation days and weekend events. Activities range from footpath and step construction to planting and coppicing.
Roll up your sleeves and get back to nature with a great bunch of friendly folk in some of Devon’s most beautiful places. You don’t need specific skills, just a willingness to get stuck in and make a difference.
Volunteers meet most Sundays, but you don’t have to attend every task and can come along as little or as often as you like.
The Group regularly help at:
the south Devon section of the South West Coast Path.
The Centre was founded in 1969 and has over 300 members, who mainly come from Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. Funds raised from the year’s activities support National Trust projects locally and beyond.
Torbay Centre run coffee mornings, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners at a local hotel through the winter months.
In summer there are monthly coach outings to local National Trust properties and other historic houses and gardens.
Members have enjoyed Christmas shopping trips, visits to carol concerts at Exeter Cathedral, New Years’ Viennese concerts at Exeter University and shows at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. There are also short UK holidays to places like Chester, Sandringham, Salisbury and the Peak District.
Use the supporter group directory (PDF) to find membership enquiry contact details and links to group websites for further information.
Journey from wild coasts, moorland and curious historic houses to lush gardens and beaches. Devon holds a wide variety of things to see and do for all the family.
Killerton relies on more than 400 volunteers to carry out conservation work across its house and estate and is looking for more people to join its friendly and dedicated team.
Saltram is always looking for volunteers to join its dedicated team and offers a variety of opportunities.
Find out more about volunteering opportunities at Castle Drogo and how you can join the team to play your part in looking after this special family home.
Find out more about the volunteering opportunities at A la Ronde and how you can help care for this special place. We are always on the lookout for new additions to our team.