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A person looking at a notebook, standing in a meadow with tall grasses and shrubs
Carrying out the first 'Bioblitz' of White Fen, part of Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/James Beck


Find out more about the research we conduct, from conservation and research to environmental analysis. Plus, learn more about our collaborations with heritage and environmental organisations, and discover how you can get involved.

Why we do research

PhD student Cecilia Bembibre pictured doing some conservation work on a book which is beneath a glass dome at Knole in Kent, as part of the 'Secrets of the National Trust' television show with Alan Titchmarsh.

Why does the National Trust do research? 

Learn how research helps us understand changes in the world around us, learn more about the places in the Trust cares for and find practical solutions to conservation problems.

A sand artist instructs two volunteers while working on the beach at Rhossili and South Gower Coast

Strategic framework for research 

Learn more about what the National Trust's strategic objectives are in the vital area of research, and how we will enact and deliver on these aims.

Guidance for academics

Staff working at the Textile Conservation Studio, Norfolk

Work with us: guidance for academics 

Learn more about our research – from the PhDs we sponsor and practical testing of conservation techniques to the hundreds of projects we collaborate in or host each year.

Case studies

A view of the harbour cottages at Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island, with the cottages and rocky harbour on the left of the image, and the sea on the right.

National Trust research case studies 

From discovering how to protect historic houses to following the lives of 1,000 northern hairy wood ants with tiny radio receivers, learn more about recent collaborations, including our collaboration with the University of Leicester to support our Everyone Welcome commitment.

Histories of colonialism and historic slavery

A collage image containing three artworks: a painting of Teresia, Lady Shirley by Van Dyke at Petworth House; an oil painting of a young coachman at Erddig; and a photograph of the Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar at Polesden Lacey.

Addressing our histories of colonialism and historic slavery 

Read our report on colonialism and historic slavery in the places and collections we care for and discover how we’re changing the way we approach these issues.

Annual Research Report

The National Trust Annual Research Report was first published in 2023 and is aimed at researchers, academics, practitioners and anyone interested in research at the National Trust. The reports showcase our national and regional research partnerships, funded and partnered projects, doctoral work, our research in the press, and how we’re building our internal research culture.

A pair of hands holding the edges of an old open book

Annual Research Report 2023-24 

In this edition, we focus on the impact of our research and how it supports the our core purpose, such as improving our technical research skills, providing evidence for better decision-making, developing solutions for urgent challenges around biodiversity and climate change, and providing new knowledge to improve visitor experience at properties.