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How we're improving access to nature with Starling Bank

Two children crouching down and and enjoying gardening activities in the Kitchen Garden at Osterley Park and House, London
Enjoying gardening activities in the Kitchen Garden at Osterley Park and House, London | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

We’ve launched a three-year partnership with Starling Bank to help more people access nature, both now and in the future.

We estimate that more than a million people will be able to benefit from improved access to nature thanks to the partnership.

Starling is supporting nature workshops for children and young people and funding vital conservation work to help halt the decline in wildlife and protect wild landscapes. They'll also continue to support a family-focused Summer of Play programme for 2024 and 2025, as they did during summer 2023.

Starling customers can also benefit from free access passes to the places we look after through their refer-a-friend scheme and a free kids lunch if they are a Starling Kite card holder.

Connecting children to nature

Starling is working with us to fund the Next Generation Nature Workshop programme for children and young people who would otherwise struggle to access outdoor spaces. These workshops will provide opportunities for the young people to experience nature first-hand and learn about how we can protect wildlife and the environment.

The workshops will be running at 19 hubs across England, Northern Ireland and Wales, including Gibside in Tyne & Wear, Mount Stewart in County Down and Erddig in Wrexham. We estimate that up to 6,000 children will be able to take part in these workshops thanks to the funding from Starling.

A flock of birds flying above a wetland with long reeds and pools of water on a sunny day
Starling is helping to fund our work to protect and restore peatland, including at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Protecting precious peatlands

Starling is providing additional funding to some of our ongoing peatland restoration projects. Thanks to their support, alongside our other local partners, we'll be able to restore approximately 400 hectares of peatland. Their generous donation will also help to fund research into a further 10,000 hectares of peatland, to find out if we can successfully restore these areas.

This funding is supporting conservation work in seven places, including Abergwesyn Common in Powys, Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire and various sites in the Lake District.

80 per cent of UK peatlands are in a degraded state but these hugely important environments provide a rich and diverse home to rare and threatened wildlife, represent one of our most important carbon stores, and play a vital role in water regulation and flood management.

Benefits for Starling Bank customers

The partnership will benefit adults as well as children and young people. Starling is offering free individual day passes to visit the places in our care through their refer-a-friend scheme. If a Starling customer refers a friend and they open an account with Starling, both the customer and their friend will be able to visit a place we look after for free.

Additionally, Starling customers who have a Starling Kite kids debit card will also be able to get a free kids lunch at one of our cafés when they visit one of the places we care for. Information on how to claim this offer is available on Starling's website.

Summer of Play

During summer 2023, more than 173 of the places we care for took part in the Summer of Play, which was sponsored by Starling. Summer of Play encouraged families of all ages to experience the houses, gardens and outdoor spaces we look after in new and exciting ways.

The activities on offer had a festival feel with designated areas for outdoor games and experiences. Kids and adults alike were able to let their imaginations run wild with costumes and role play, put their skills to the test with art and music activities, and gave new (and old) sports a go with croquet, tennis and egg and spoon races.

Starling will also be sponsoring Summer of Play in summer 2024 and 2025.

We’re on a mission to net zero, and our partnership with the National Trust means we can invest in more sustainability projects across the UK. We’re also passionate about giving children the opportunity to explore nature, by investing in a programme to bring nature to children from inner-city schools who otherwise struggle to access it.

A quote by Rachel Kerrone Brand Director at Starling Bank
A family in the Lower Garden with tulips at Quarry Bank, Cheshire

Enjoy some family fun

Looking for places the whole family will enjoy? Discover family-friendly cycling trails, places to get closer to nature and historic buildings where you can learn about the past.

Our partners

Starling Bank

We've partnered with Starling Bank to improve access to nature and fund vital conservation projects.

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