Our strategy

Our new strategy – Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone – provides a framework for the future of the National Trust for Scotland as we look towards our centenary in 2031.

Our mission is to conserve and protect Scotland’s rich heritage, involving all in this. Our strategy sets out ambitions for the years ahead, making clear our passion for Scotland’s heritage and the difference it can make to people’s lives through involvement with it.

This strategy is a culmination of over a year of hard work, research and a wide consultation process that involved our workforce, volunteers, members and stakeholders, who generously shared their thoughts on the future direction of Scotland’s leading conservation charity. Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone reflects the challenges we’ve faced in recent years and sets out our ambition to champion the care of Scotland’s heritage for the benefit of all, now and for future generations.

Read Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone on Issuu

Our vision

The vision for our new strategy is based on our founding principles: to be responsible for Nature, Beauty and Heritage for Everyone.

Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone


I’m here today at the beautiful and beguiling Kellie Castle, which came into our care in 1970. It was taken over in the late 19th century by the Lorimers, that famous artistic family, who restored the castle for use as a holiday retreat, but it soon became their main family home. This amazing property with its unique story is just one example of the stunning buildings, collections and natural sites that, together, we are responsible for.

From our majestic coastlines to castles, from our artworks and artefacts to our revered architecture and incredible landscapes and wildlife – so much of Scotland is preserved and protected because of our people, because of you.

Whether at our properties or as part of all of our supporting services, it is our people who make the Trust what it is.

Our love of Scotland and its stories is what has driven us since 1931 and fuelled our desire to safeguard the places and natural beauty that make this country so special. There’s no denying the last few years have been tough, but now is the time for us to look to the future, and together renew and strengthen our commitment to our charitable purpose.

We work as a team to protect our sites for now – and tomorrow – so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy them and reap the many benefits they bring. This is possible because we are the largest membership organisation in Scotland, with more than 300,000 people joining and supporting us because of what you – our staff and volunteers – do. Without you, there would be no National Trust for Scotland, so it’s with that in mind and through all of the invaluable feedback you’ve provided, that we’ve shaped the strategy that will guide us to our charity’s next chapter.

As we look back at our achievements over the last 90 years, it’s time to set ambitious new goals as we look towards 2031, our centenary year, finding fresh, contemporary and, above all, relevant ways to carry on our work in a 21st-century context. Thanks to your input, and all the careful planning that’s been done, I am so pleased to launch our new ten-year strategy, Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone, so we can together continue to protect the places that we love and tell the stories of Scotland’s rich heritage.

The new strategy sets out a vision that spurs us to improve people’s lives through access to nature and Scotland’s heritage. It is based on action around three key areas: Conservation, Engagement and Sustainability. These will guide our work over the coming decade, as well as what we all do every day, including in our individual and team objectives. Most especially, with the threats posed by climate change undiminished and indeed accelerating, the time for meaningful action must be now, which is why we’ll be facing up to the challenge of becoming carbon negative and climate positive within the next ten years.

We can play a significant role in encouraging change by shining a light on how the climate emergency can be tackled through conservation and by ensuring that the best of our past and present is saved for future generations to come.

But we will only succeed by working together. And that is why, alongside our planned investment in our properties in the coming years, the strategy also focuses on how we support and develop our greatest asset – our people. We will refine the ways in which we work, making it easier for everyone to fulfil potential through personal and professional development, building the Trust’s capacity and resilience from the inside, so that in turn we can benefit the people of Scotland.

Clearly, there is a great deal of detail behind the vision we have for the Trust’s future and the strategic objectives that underpin it, and I hope you will take the opportunity to delve into that information that’s been provided and consider how we can all work together to help achieve our goals.

As we continue with our enduring mission to protect our nation’s historic, cultural and natural treasures, we must make this journey as One Trust, bringing the sum total of all the skills, expertise and dedication that we possess to the challenges and hurdles ahead.

So please, everybody, we will all want to work together to deliver this new strategy, that you yourselves have contributed so much to, as partners and colleagues together to turn our shared vision into a reality.

With your support we will, as we’ve always have, go on making a positive and transformational difference for all. For the love of Scotland.

Our overarching ambitions

We have based our ambitions for the Trust on three pillars of activity which combine to deliver our charitable purpose, our organisational development and our environmental contribution:

  • Conservation
  • Engagement
  • Sustainability

Our objectives

Underpinning the new strategy are 11 objectives, to which we will be accountable. The nature of our responsibilities means these objectives will take time to achieve and will require new solutions, that will only come into place through our workforce’s expertise and creativity and by working in wide partnership.


Download a summary document of our main objectives in our ten-year strategy.

Rolling out the strategy

The strategy is broken down across three phases: Recovery & Planning, Building and Legacy. Over the first three years we’ll be working to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic and ensuring we have the core foundations in place to build for the future. At the same time, we will also deliver many current ambitions, from the restoration of Canna House to the new Visitor Gateway at Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR.

The future of the Trust

The objectives set out in the strategy are ambitious. We have set ourselves the challenge to:

  • become carbon negative by 2031
  • increase our membership to half a million members
  • grow our visitors to 6 million annually

We believe the activity outlined in the new strategy is critical to the future of the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s natural and built heritage.

Please do read Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone and share your thoughts on the strategy with us via email on