The news comes as it lays out plans for its biggest ever sustained investment in protecting nature and the environment.
Last month, director general Hilary McGrady announced in a landmark speech that by 2030 the Trust will become carbon net zero. To achieve this, the Trust has outlined several major steps, including:
– planting and establishing 20 million trees
– moving its heating and electricity entirely to renewable energy
– continuing to spend millions on improving rivers
– greatly improving the energy efficiency of many of its historic buildings
During 2018/19, the National Trust spent £148.4m on conservation – £10m more than the previous year. This included £112.7m looking after historic buildings, collections and gardens, plus £35.7m on coast and countryside.
Among the major conservation projects coming up are:
- A £6m project to repair the roof, windows, chimneys and medieval gatehouse façade at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk to secure the building’s future and impressive collection.
- The £10m Dyrham Park Rework’d project near Bath will transform the 17th century house and gardens, by revitalising historic rooms, staircases and gardens, and improving lighting throughout to showcase its collections. There will also be major improvements to the visitor facilities including car parking, welcome building, toilets, shop and restaurant.
- One of the country’s most spectacular displays of sunflowers will grow even larger this year to deliver more for nature. 650,000 sunflowers will be planted at the Vile in Rhosili, South Wales as restoration work across 45 hectares of farmland continue to further enrich habitats and improve food sources for bees, birds and butterflies. These will bloom alongside 15 hectares of wildflower meadows and a hectare of lavender.
- A unique 18th century walled garden, designed by famous landscape architect Capability Brown, has been opened to the public for the first time as part of a £1.2m project. The curved walled garden at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire will be transformed from an agricultural storage area to spectacular gardens, and will be the only one of its kind accessible to the public.
- A £6.7m project at Seaton Delaval Hall near Newcastle Upon Tyne will bring new life to the north’s most flamboyant 18th century ‘party house’. Work includes conserving the roof, basement floors and iconic cantilevered staircases. There will also be significant changes to the parkland with playful features encouraging visitors to learn more about its history, and improvements to visitor facilities.