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Appointing Bodies

Members of the National Trust Council sit at tables in a meeting room
A National Trust Council meeting in London | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Our Council's Appointing Bodies are 18 organisations that are elected by National Trust members every six years. Learn about what they are and what they do.

About our Council and Appointing Bodies

Our Council is one of our two main governance bodies and plays an important role in how the National Trust is governed. The Council's key governance responsibilities are to appoint the Board of Trustees and hold it to account. The Council is made up of 36 members, with 18 elected members and 18 appointed members from organisations (called Appointing Bodies) which have a connection to the Trust's work.

Our Appointing Bodies are 18 organisations that are elected by National Trust members every six years. The organisations generally operate in areas that are connected to our work, such as nature, conservation, heritage and volunteering.

Our current Appointing Bodies

In 2018, our members elected these organisations to appoint a Council member:

  • Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Canal & River Trust
  • Council for British Archaeology
  • English Heritage
  • Historic Houses
  • Museums Association
  • National Farmers' Union
  • Open Spaces Society
  • Ramblers
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • RSPB
  • Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
  • Soil Association
  • Tenants' Association of the National Trust
  • The Conservation Volunteers
  • The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • The Woodland Trust

The 2024 review

The window for organisations to apply as Appointing Bodies is now closed. The final decision about which organisations will be Appointing Bodies will be decided by our members via a ballot in autumn 2024. The outcome of the ballot will be announced at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2024.

What we're looking for

The Nominations Committee has recommended the following proposed eligibility criteria for potential Appointing Body organisations to the Council. Any candidate organisation should:

  • operate in the third sector or be a body with broad sectoral representation in an area of the Trust’s strategy, charitable purposes or commercial interests
  • have a public statement of core aims which seek to deliver public benefit over a sustained period of time
  • have a proven and public track record of delivering benefit in a complementary field of work to the National Trust, and a likely long-term future
  • demonstrate an understanding of, and affinity with, the National Trust’s values, and an understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Council member of the National Trust
  • be prepared to give their appointed candidate (if an employee) sufficient time to attend three Council meetings a year, and to recognise the personal development opportunity that Council membership can offer.

If an organisation is an existing Appointing Body, the attendance record of their appointee will also be taken into account.

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