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14 Sep 2020

Taking a stand for Scotland

Written by Angela McManus
A mum walks away from the camera, with her arm around her young daughter's back, along a grass path in a pretty garden. A man walks just ahead of them.
Filming in the beautiful Branklyn Garden
We recently headed to Branklyn Garden to meet some of our most dedicated members as they pledge their love for Scotland.
Pledge your love for Scotland

Transcript

Dear Scotland
I make you this promise
To be there for you
As you are for me
To preserve your beauty
Heritage and habitats
And to keep your stories safe
Because your stories
are our stories
And future generations
should enjoy them
As I have enjoyed them
With all my love
Jodie
Rob
Suzanne
The National Trust for Scotland is a charity
And with the support of our members
We can continue to do what we do
Pledge your love for Scotland
Join us today

Rob Kay looks to the camera and makes a solemn promise to preserve Scotland’s heritage and habitat. In a declaration of love for his country, he shares his passion for Scotland and for the Trust.

It was a moving moment as we stood in Branklyn Garden in Perth, recently reopened after lockdown, surrounded by the whispering leaves of a Japanese maple tree and a spectacular show of summer blooms.

Rob came from Kilsyth to make a pledge to the places he loves. He’s just one of many members who appear in the new film being shown on our website and social media channels. In a love letter to Scotland, they talk about their affection for the Trust’s very special places around the country and why their membership matters to them.

‘Scotland and the Trust mean a great deal to me,’ says Rob. ‘We’re an integral part of the landscape and the environment, from which we sprang and which we still depend on for our spiritual side. We need the oxygen, and the clean water to drink.

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“We’re part of nature, not alienated from it, and I think it’s really important that we can reconnect. The Trust to me upholds those values – values that need to be constantly reinforced and remembered.”
Rob, Trust member

The film provided an opportunity for some of the Trust’s members to take centre stage and share why our places and membership of the charity are important to them personally. There’s no one better to describe the beauty, history and significance of our places than those who enjoy them most. Warm and affectionate, the film was shot on location at several of our beautiful properties, including Culzean Castle and the Pineapple as well.

A view of Culzean Castle from the manicured lawns on a bright sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky. A sprig of white flowers peeks out in the foreground. Palm trees grow by the stone wall before the ground rises to the castle.
Culzean Castle on a beautiful summer’s day

The Mucha family moved from the south coast of England to Stanley in the Perthshire countryside because dad Nick felt it was important for daughter Evie (8) and son Ewan (7) to grow up in his home country. ‘We’ve been members for a while now and keep renewing every year,’ says Nick.

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“Membership is great, especially for families, as the children can learn all about their history. Today we declared our love for our country – it is so important to us.”
Nick, Trust member

Nick’s wife Anna, a self-confessed history buff who is originally from Dorset, says the fact that membership helps to fund the preservation of properties really matters to her. ‘We like going to Dunkeld and really enjoyed Killiecrankie – this is such a beautiful part of the world,’ she adds.

Evie and Ewan both agree that their favourite Trust places are Brodie Castle and the Hermitage. ‘Ewan likes exploring at the Hermitage and I love Brodie Castle and the amazing play park there. It feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland,’ beams Evie.

A family group stand together, laughing. The dad on the left leans back slightly as he laughs. The mum in the middle holds one hand to her forehead, smiling. The girl on the right holds a small white dog in her arms. The young boy in the front grins with his hands in his hoodie pocket.
The Aurang family enjoy a giggle

The Aurang family travelled from their home in Aberdeen to take part in the film after hearing about it on a visit to Drum Castle. Mum Beata, dad Zeb and children Leah (13) and Ryan (8) (along with Buddy the chihuahua) all took the opportunity to stand in front of the camera, talking about how they truly appreciate the culture and warm welcome when they visit Trust places.

‘Membership for us means we can see nice places and support the charity at the same time, helping the Trust to look after the castles and the gardens,’ says Zeb. ‘We feel it’s important that the Trust is working to protect the history and natural heritage of the country. The kids learn a lot about what Scotland is all about.’

While fun days out and spending quality time together are key for Beata, the fact that the whole family simply love Scotland is what really motivates her.

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“It’s great to help the Trust and to have the opportunity to tell other people about it. If everyone contributes, we can protect the nation’s history.”
Beata, Trust member

Leah and Ryan have developed a keen interest in learning about the history of Scotland, particularly at castles in their local area. ‘I really liked the ghost stories at Crathes Castle,’ says Leah. ‘And I love it at Christmas when they put the lights in the forest. Crathes is a real fairytale castle.’

A young girl stands at the side of a path in front of a colourful flower bed, looking directly at the camera man who is filming in the foreground of this photo. A lady kneels on the path holding a light reflector.
Filming Merryn

It was another Aberdeenshire castle that hooked the Benson family from Kintore. Julie, Graeme and daughter Merryn have Castle Fraser on their doorstep and are regular visitors.

‘We go to Trust properties a lot and it was great, towards the end of lockdown, finally to be able to go to outdoor spaces,’ says Julie.

Julie says, ‘We took out membership because we’d gone to Castle Fraser so many times to use the grounds. When we finally went inside and were paying we realised it makes sense to be a member. We’ve been to so many Trust places now.’

Graeme adds that he values the opportunity to donate to charity while also getting value back as a member. Learning and exploring are top priorities for young Merryn when she visits Trust places – as well as finding a delicious ice cream in the shops.

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“I pledged to look after the heritage and natural habitats because I love history and exploring castles.”
Merryn, Trust member

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