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National Trust membership tops 5.5m in year of record conservation spending

The organisation spent more than £148 million on conservation and restoration projects in 2018/19.

A visitor looks at the newly-restored Garden House at National Trust’s Osterley Park and House in west London (PA)
A visitor looks at the newly-restored Garden House at National Trust’s Osterley Park and House in west London (PA)

By Caitlin Doherty, PA

National Trust membership has climbed above 5.5 million in a record-breaking year for conservation spending, the charity has announced.

The organisation spent more than £148 million on conservation and restoration projects in 2018/19, according to their annual report released on Monday.

Membership also increased by more than 300,000 to 5,600,000 in 2018/19.

Among other projects, money was spent on the restoration of England’s highest war memorial on Scafell Pike and the reintroduction of water voles on Exmoor, in the 12 months to February 2019.

The charity spent £10 million more than the previous year, with £104.5 million put towards buildings and collections, £35.7 million spent on coast and countryside, and £8.2 million on gardens.

A total of 26.9 million visits were made to the 780 miles of coastline, 248,000 hectares of land and more than 500 historic houses, gardens and parks the National Trust looks after around the UK last year.

As well as members, the organisation is also supported by 65,000 volunteers, who gave more than 4.8 million hours of their time in 2018/19.

Director of support and revenue Sharon Pickford said: “These latest figures are not only great news for the National Trust as a charity, but also for the hundreds of special places we look after.

“Our work to care for these places is only possible through the generosity of our members, visitors, volunteers, funders and donors.

“Without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to spend record levels on conservation and access work to ensure more people have a great experience when they come to our places.”

PA

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