Your Gift in Action - spring 2019

This is what your donations have helped us achieve

The Hill House

Hill House

We’re delighted that the ‘box’ at the Hill House is now under construction. This bold conservation intervention will provide shelter to this iconic building, allowing crucial conservation work to take place to repair the damage caused by years of water ingress.

As well as protecting the house from the weather, the box will give visitors the chance to get a new perspective on it from elevated walkways looping around the building.

Seeing the box take shape is a significant milestone in our efforts to save the Hill House. After years of planning it’s exciting to see the scale of what we’re doing here – for the love of the building and where it stands in the history of Scottish architecture and design.

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Box the Hill House appeal. The campaign was one of our biggest emergency appeals and we couldn’t have achieved our target without the power of your cumulative giving. Please visit if you can.



Work has begun on building an observation tower at the award-winning Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross.

Forming part of a route around the garden, the 20m-high tower will be clad in larch, offering stunning views across the garden and down Loch Ewe.

Visitors will follow the path down from the High Viewpoint before crossing a short bridge to the tower. A staircase will link to a further network of paths at the base of the tower via gallery spaces telling the story of the garden at each level, along with specially commissioned works of art.

At the top of the tower, a bird hide will allow visitors to observe the local wildlife, including golden eagles and nearby nesting herons.

The observation tower will open in September. You can support this project by donating at Inverewe or contacting the fundraising team on 0131 458 0200. We hope you’ll also enjoy visiting this spectacular new installation! 

Footpath Fund

Footpath fund team in snow

From Grey Mare’s Tail to Goatfell, our Footpath team works hard to repair and maintain the pathways in our care. Their work protects habitats, prevents erosion from leaving ugly scars on the landscape and ensures that the footpaths remain accessible and enjoyable.

In August we launched our annual Footpath Fund appeal and raised over £120,000 – our biggest response ever. Thanks to our supporters, the Footpath team have repaired the Tarmachan path and installed new drainage systems on Ben Lawers, reinstated the high sections of the Alligin Ridge footpath in Torridon and created new pathways on Staffa to accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors.

They work throughout the year, so be sure to say ‘hello’ if you meet them on one of our upland or lowland paths!


Threave gardeners

Last summer we established our new garden apprenticeship scheme to help nurture the next generation of talent to care for our charity’s 38 heritage gardens and designed landscapes.

With a worrying shortage of people with the right blend of skills and experience to look after the gardens in our care, we’re being proactive and piloting our own apprenticeship scheme for young entrants to the sector.

Our first intake of five apprentice gardeners are undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship in Horticulture through SRUC Oatridge. The trainees started in early September 2018 and over the next two years will be part of our gardening teams around Scotland, including Crathes Castle, Greenbank Garden and Hill of Tarvit

Thanks to your support, our apprentices have begun their journey to become the professional gardeners of the future. 

Help from our Members’ Centres and Friends’ Groups

There are 32 Members’ Centres and Friends’ Groups across the UK who support the Trust’s work. Their donations have enabled us to replant the rock garden at Leith Hall, fund repairs to the historical clocks in Holmwood House and buy a JCB digger for Inveresk Lodge Garden.

Find out more about your local Members’ Centre or Friends’ Group.

National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA and Canadian National Trust for Scotland Foundation

Across the pond, these two foundations raise funds and awareness of the Trust across North America. Over the past few months they’ve made significant donations to the Hill House, helped us create a new Garden of Contemplation at Threave and funded an exciting sculpture for the garden at J M Barrie’s Birthplace.

We’re grateful for all the support we receive from communities across the globe who help us care for Scotland’s heritage. 

Without your support this would not be possible

Storm Damage at Threave Garden

Threave Garden

In the autumn of 2018, storms wreaked havoc on Threave Garden near Castle Douglas, uprooting trees, destroying plants and damaging gardens created over the years by students of the Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening. We launched an appeal in Dumfries & Galloway and your donations helped us clear the debris, remove damaged plants and replant fallen trees, returning the gardens to their tranquil and beautiful state.

Burns monument

Burns monument

After four years of fundraising and three years of highly specialised research and conservation work, Burns Monument is once again resplendent. Cracked masonry has been fixed, the cupola reglazed and the iconic tripod at the top regilded. To minimise future water damage, we’ve filled the open joints and voids with a lime mortar specially applied using pioneering techniques developed by our stonemasons at Culzean Castle. Thank you to everyone who donated to our Rose for Burns appeal which helped fund this vital work.

Canna island


Thanks to our supporters, we’ve undertaken a drone survey of Canna. This is the most extensive mapping exercise ever undertaken on the island, and while Canna is one of our smallest isles it’s the biggest island in the world to be surveyed this way!

The survey has delivered an interactive map which will be available on our website. It’ll add to our knowledge and give us the opportunity to further explore the island’s archaeology.



Thanks to a generous donor, exciting projects are underway at Craigievar which will explore its early history.

Archaeological excavation and research analysed changes to the structure of the castle and new interpretation will illustrate its growth from a simple tower house in the 16th century to grand family statement in the 18th century. Restoration and display of the castle’s 16th-century door – the oldest in the Trust – will give visitors the opportunity to use their imagination to step back in time with the aid of technology and storytelling.


St Kilda

The Love our Islands appeal raised vital funds to support scientific investigation into bird populations across our properties. On St Kilda, our rangers have been counting seabird populations to examine the effects of climate change on Scotland’s wildlife.

Thanks to your help we’re able to understand the populations and breeding success of our precious seabirds, ensuring that sites such as St Kilda remain inspiring places to visit.

Mothbusters at Newhailes


We’ve begun our biggest ever management programme to rid the house of moths, combining a deep clean with a deep freeze.

Thanks to your support we’ve frozen the entire textile collection – from carpets and curtains to sofas, chairs and clothing –to freeze and destroy the clothes moth eggs and larvae. Thanks to this intervention we have been able to catch the problem at the right time and do something to control the moths before really serious damage is done.

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