The National Trust for Scotland is an independent charity set up in 1931 for the preservation and conservation of natural and human heritage that is significant to Scotland and the world.
The Trust has gone on to become Scotland's largest membership organisation and a leader in conserving and promoting the nation's treasured places and collections so that they can be enjoyed by present and future generations.
The properties we care for straddle a timeframe that stretches from the earliest geological processes to the Mesolithic and on into the 20th century. We have a presence in every corner of Scotland; from the most northerly tip of Shetland to the south coast of Dumfries and Galloway; from the eastern shore of the country at St Abb’s Head to the most westerly islands of St Kilda in the Atlantic Ocean, 64 kilometres from the nearest landfall.
The Trust’s responsibilities encompass:
architectural wonders; coastlines, which along with 400 islands and islets, provide habitats for over one million seabirds; natural and designed landscapes and all the wildlife they contain; 190,000 acres of countryside; 46 Munro mountains; 394 miles of mountain footpaths; 10,000 archaeological sites 35 major gardens nurturing 13,500 plant varieties; seven national nature reserves; 45 sites of special scientific interest; St Kilda, Britain's only dual World Heritage Site; battlefields which changed the course of history; collections of fine art and more than 100,000 precious artefacts representing both the highest levels of craftsmanship and the prosaic needs of lives once lived. Together, these places and objects tell the stories of Scotland and the Scots; how our people travelled and interacted with the wider world, taking with them their energy and values and returning with new ideas and valuable artefacts.
Without the Trust's involvement many of these stories, places and things would have been lost forever.
Appropriately enough for a charity which looks after important battlefields, the Trust itself is constantly at war. There is a never-ending struggle to fund conservation work – it is estimated that the Trust needs over £84 every minute of every day just to maintain the properties in its care. There is also conflict on the micro-level as conservators and other specialists try to roll back the continual offensives launched by time, wind, water, ice and voracious insects.
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