National Trust Project in Cumbria

he full name of the National Trust is: “The National Trust for Places of Historical Interest or Natural Beauty.” When the National Trust was founded in 1895 it had just one hundred members. Today it has over two and a half million members and it is the largest conservation charity in Britain.The green oakleaf symbol that you see on National Trust leaflets or road signs was invented in 1936 by the designer Jospeh Armitage.

The first place to become protected by the National Trust in 1895, was some coastline near Barmouth in Wales called “Dinas Oleu.” In the 1960’s the National Trust began to save British cliffs and beaches that were in danger of being spoiled by development. Today over five hundred and seventy five miles of coastline are protected by the Trust.

During the 1930’s many of the big country houses in Britain began to fall into disrepair since their owners could no longer afford to look after them. The National Trust set out to save them and open them to the public so that people could learn about the rich history they tell. Many of the houses are very old. For example, “Little Moreton Hall” in Cheshire dates from the 1460’s and “Townend,” a Yeoman’s house near Ambleside was built during the seventeenth century. Many of the two hundred and seventy two country houses managed by the National Trust have fantastic gardens to enjoy as well as educational displays and events.

Nowadays the National Trust manages thirty two National Nature Reserves, forty thousand archaelogical sites and over four hundred and sixty Sites of Special Scientific Interest. They also protect and care for sixty villages, seventeen dovecotes, twenty five mills, two lighthouses and thirty nine pubs! Of the thousands of hectares of woodland managed by The National Trust, over two thirds are broadleaved woodlands (E.g. Oak, Beech, Sycamore or Maple). One fifth of National Trust woodland is over four hundred years old.

The National Trust employs over two thousand, eight hundred staff ranging from managers, curators, education officers to gardeners, foresters and countryside wardens.

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