Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone in new plan

The National Trust for Scotland, has unveiled a new strategy – Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone.

The charity is refocussing its vision of caring for, sharing, and speaking up for Scotland’s magnificent heritage.

The bold strategy will be delivered over the next ten years as the Trust works towards its centenary in 2031, by which point it intends to be carbon negative.

Chief Executive Philip Long OBE says the strategy is a ‘firm renewing’ of the charity’s commitment to its founding principles of caring for Scotland’s special places and working to make these places as accessible as possible and inspirational for all.

The charity also revealed for the first-time figures which show the scale of its social and economic impact on Scotland. Economically, the direct and indirect impacts of the National Trust for Scotland in 2019-20 are estimated at 7,430 jobs, which can also be expressed as £148 million Gross Value Added.

However, the study went further, using feedback from member and visitor surveys to identify the proportion of visitors who gain strong positive wellbeing benefits that they are unable to obtain elsewhere. When these proportions were applied, it equates to an additional £73 million of annual social value.

And these figures are set to grow further, as the charity is currently recruiting for around 300 seasonal and permanent roles to deliver its new ten-year vision, which has been created to ensure the Trust’s places are cared for and bring benefit to Scotland’s people and communities for years to come.

Recognising the integral role that members play in the future of the charity, from championing Scotland’s heritage through to speaking up for the invaluable work the Trust does, the new strategy also outlines the Trust’s commitment to grow its diverse membership base to over half a million people across Scotland over the next ten years.

At the heart of the strategy is a programme of projects and investment, with a spend of £38 million planned for 2021 – 2024, and with the intention to invest £100 million across the lifetime of the strategy, supported by the Trust’s fundraising work. Hundreds of individual projects are planned and on top of that there will be many new initiatives to create opportunities to get more people involved in, and learn from, Scotland’s heritage.

Projects include:

  • On the Isle of Canna, the Trust is continuing to work in partnership with the community, restoring Canna House to better care for its collections as well as developing new visitor and community facilities.
  • On Staffa, one of Scotland’s most important islands for seabirds, geology and cultural heritage, the Trust is improving the island infrastructure and further conserving and protecting this special place of natural beauty that has influenced artists, musicians and writers from around the world since its ‘discovery’ in the 18th century.
  • The Corrieshalloch Visitor Gateway in Ross-shire will be a new addition to the National Nature Reserve with one of the deepest and most spectacular gorges of its type in the British Isles. It currently has no visitor facilities, so the Trust is improving access with a much needed, sensitively designed visitor gateway building, to help visitors enjoy and find out more about Corrieshalloch’s wonderful nature. This project is supported by the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund which is led by NatureScot and funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
  • In Dumfries and Galloway, the Threave Landscape Restoration Project is transforming 81 hectares of land at Kelton Mains into rich habitats for flora and fauna, restoring the site’s wetlands and native woodlands.

The new strategy is the most collaborative in the National Trust for Scotland’s 90-year history and has been shaped by its employees, volunteers, members, supporters, partners and communities, through consultation which has aimed to find out what the Trust’s places need and what people want from the National Trust for Scotland in the coming years.

This feedback informed three ‘pillars’ of activity, conservation, engagement and sustainability, which combine to deliver the Trust’s charitable purpose. These pillars are served by eleven strategic objectives which will support the Trust in its work to protect and share Scotland’s special places and minimise the charity’s environmental impact.

Philip Long, Chief Executive, National Trust for Scotland, at Kellie Castle (Photo: Malcolm Cochrane Photography)

Philip Long OBE, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, said: ‘We’ve begun an exciting new chapter for the National Trust for Scotland, building on the experience, knowledge and skills we’ve gathered over the last 90 years, throughout which time our charity has received phenomenal support from its members and many others.

‘Everyone can benefit from Scotland’s heritage and from the work of the Trust, and in the years ahead we want to involve as many people as possible in this. Our new strategy is a response to all that our charity has achieved over its long history, and to the current health, economic and environmental challenges which affect everyone.

‘In creating our new strategy we’ve set out a framework that charts our ambitions for the Trust’s tenth decade, describing our intended achievements: from becoming carbon negative by 2031, through to championing Scotland’s heritage for everyone, restoring and protecting habitats, historic buildings and landscapes and uncovering and sharing more of our nation’s stories to a larger and more diverse audience of 6 million annual visitors. We’re also recruiting colleagues to bring even more experience to our dedicated and passionate team throughout the country, to allow us to realise these ambitions’

For more information on Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone, and to learn more about the strategy and its objectives, visit: