Some of the UK’s most interesting park lands and sites of natural beauty are brought to us through the National Trust. As a result, millions of people tour National Trust sites from year to year. Many people join the National Trust, too, so that they can learn more about the different locations, and what there is to see and explore across the UK. The Trust also works hard to protect natural sites to ensure they are available for people to enjoy for generations.
Here are some fast and interesting facts about the National Trust. How much do you know about the National Trust and its various sites? Whether or not you are already a member, or if you have visited several National Trust sites in the past, it’s likely there are still plenty of things you may or may not know about the organization and the sites it protects.
The National Trust has existed since 1895. It was first established by Sir Robert Hunter, Hardwicke Rawnsley, and Octavia Hill.
The Trust was established to help reserve historic and green locations for everyone to enjoy at their leisure.
There are more than 5.6 million private members of the National Trust.
Chartwell in Kent
One of the most famous National Trust sites, Chartwell, was once the home of Sir Winston Churchill and his family.
Chartwell has largely been preserved as it was originally left. It’s here where visitors will be able to explore and learn more about the private life and interests of the legendary British statesman.
The National Trust depends on thousands of volunteers. Across 2018 to 2019, the Trust was dependent on more than 4.8 million hours of volunteer time. It’s thought that more than 65,000 people helped to dedicate this time.
There are 350 different cafes available for visitors to enjoy at National Trust sites across the UK. It’s thought that more than two million scones are served across the year.
Money from cafes and leisure spots at National Trust sites help to go towards their ongoing conservation.
It’s thought that the National Trust site of Stourhead House was the inspiration for the residence of Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds.
Cliveden in Berkshire
Oddly enough, Cliveden, another National Trust site, was used in the Thunderbirds movie in 2004.
The National Trust supports and protects more than 500 different sites across the country.
The National Trust makes a point of conserving and protecting the lives of multiple animals, with bats in particular being of focus. It is thought that the Trust helps to protect all species of bats in the UK.
The National Trust has also helped to increase numbers of red squirrels in the country, as well as the large blue butterfly. The latter, in fact, originally went extinct in the country more than 40 years ago.
The National Trust also protects a variety of pubs and inns, too. It’s thought to have oversight of at least 39 traditional locations.
One of the most interesting pubs protected by the National Trust includes the George Inn, based in Southwark. It’s the only pub in the city of London to have its own gallery attached.
The National Trust refers to itself as the biggest farmland owner in the UK. It’s thought to protect around 250,000 hectares of farmland.
As such, there are over 1,500 farmers who are tenants of the National Trust with active livelihoods.
There is some crossover between UNESCO Heritage and the National Trust. At present, there are at least 11 UNESCO sites which are also protected by the National Trust.
Some sites which are protected by UNESCO and the National Trust include the Giant’s Causeway and Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
The National Trust also looks after the Theatre Royal, based in Bury St Edmunds. This is likely to be of particular interest to play lovers as it’s the last-remaining playhouse from the regency era. It’s been hosting plays since 1819.
The National Trust has offered filming locations to a variety of popular movies and TV series. For example, Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey have both made use of National Trust locations.
The National Trust also makes sure that food and drink served in its site cafes and coffee shops come from the farmland it oversees.
National Trust locations stretch far and wide. You will find that the organization oversees coastal reaches, traditional villages and more.
The National Trust also protects the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the legendary songwriters who made up one half of the Beatles.
The first National Trust house sold for just £10 and was restored in 1896. The house in question is Alfriston Clergy, and it dates back to Medieval times.
National Trust properties and locations are protected by law. This means that they are never to be sold on while they are under NT protection.
The Trust looks after more than 780 miles of coastline in total, available for visitors to enjoy up and down the UK.
There are also more registered gardens and parks looked after through the National Trust than through any other collection. There are more than 180 parks cared for through the Trust.
The National Trust has an extensive board of trustees, and a council of elected and appointed officials.
The Trust is technically based in Swindon, though its reach stretches far and wide, across the UK.
You’ll even find that the apple tree where Sir Isaac Newton reportedly discovered gravity is protected under the National Trust.
Beatrix Potter, famous children’s author, donated more than 16,000 hectares of land and farm location to the National Trust in her will.
The National Trust bought a portion of the Wickland Fen wetlands for £10 in 1899. This is now home to more than 9,000 different species of animal.
The Trust also protects a famous lighthouse which has been helping seafarers around the White Cliffs of Dover since the 1300s. It was upgraded in 1904, however!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about the National Trust that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!