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Our constitution

Two people crouching down to look at long grass at Pentire, Cornwall
An arable plant survey at Pentire Farm, North Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott

All of the National Trust Acts are below, starting with the Parliamentary Scheme (The Charities (National Trust) Order 2005). This describes our current governance arrangements and is the starting point for the arrangements in the Governance Handbook.

The National Trust Act and beyond

The National Trust was first incorporated in 1894 as an Association not for profit under the Companies Acts 1862-1890.

The first National Trust Act was passed by Parliament in 1907. A number of successive Acts have since been introduced to update and, where necessary, revise our constitution to ensure the National Trust continues to be well governed and remains true to its cause.

1. The Charities (National Trust) Order 2005

Read the Charities (National Trust) Order 2005 (PDF)

2. National Trust Acts 1907–1971 (post Order 2005 and the Commons Act 2006)

Read the National Trust Acts 1907–1971 (PDF)

3. The National Trust Act (N Ireland) 1946

Read the National Trust Act (N Ireland) 1946 (PDF)

4. The National Trust Byelaws 1965

Read the National Trust Byelaws 1965 (PDF)

5. The National Trust Byelaws (Northern Ireland) 1968

Read the National Trust Byelaws (Northern Ireland) 1968 (PDF)

6. The National Trust Act (Northern Ireland) 2007

Read the National Trust Act (Northern Ireland) 2007 (PDF)

Ranger in National Trust fleece inspecting white blossom on tree in orchard

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We protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive. Find out who we are and what we stand for.

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