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31 May 2018

Conservation Principles

Written by Stuart Brooks
Conservation volunteers
We recently published an update to the Trust’s Conservation Principles (2003) and Learning, Access and Enjoyment Principles (2005).

These documents have been updated and combined into a single policy statement. We feel it’s important to have a solid policy foundation in place to help guide and support the increased rate and scale of activity being implemented through our new Corporate Strategy.

Learning at Culzean
Learning at Culzean

Conservation, access, learning and enjoyment have been at the heart of the National Trust for Scotland’s mission since our establishment in 1931.

These principles form part of the foundation thinking of the Trust, and as such are used to inform our approach to policy development, the conservation of places and objects in our care, and how people engage with heritage. Our approach to implementing these principles, and the emphasis we place on their different aspects, will evolve to reflect changing attitudes, technology and knowledge – but they will always remain at the core of our thinking.

Educational visit at Culloden
Educational visit at Culloden

Our heritage faces many challenges but we have choices in what we prioritise and how we approach its conservation. Sometimes there are conflicts between competing objectives, for instance the desire to provide access to heritage without compromising its value or people’s safety. While these principles aren’t prescriptive, they help those who plan and take decisions by setting out the important considerations. The broader scope of this policy statement ensures that we balance intrinsic heritage values with the benefits to this and future generations.