What we do

Nature, beauty and heritage for everyone

The National Trust for Scotland is the charity that cares for, shares and speaks up for Scotland’s magnificent heritage. We’re Scotland’s largest membership organisation and we’re independent from government.

Since 1931, we’ve pioneered public access to and shared ownership of some of the most magnificent buildings, collections and landscapes in Scotland. We care for ancient houses, battlefields, castles, mills, gardens, coastlines, islands and mountain ranges, as well as the plants, animals and birds that live there. Without our involvement, many of these places and things would have been lost forever to the passage of time, development and the elements.

Caring for the things that matter

We believe in protecting Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage, and sharing our amazing places with everyone. A shared heritage is the cornerstone of any strong culture. Scotland is blessed with a wealth of stories, values, objects and landscapes that, over time, have been woven together to unite communities, forge traditions and nurture our unique national spirit.

Simply put, our work keeps this heritage safe. Every day, our members, volunteers and staff help us to look after an astonishing variety of things.

  • We’re the proud guardians of over 300,000 precious artefacts, so they’ll still be here to inspire many generations to come.
  • We look after 46 Munros, helping to protect rare species like ptarmigan and golden eagles, while also providing safe and sustainable access.
  • We’re the custodians of 38 gardens, 27 castles and houses, and 8 National Nature Reserves.
  • We care for miles and miles of coastline – home to over 1 million seabirds!
  • We conserve 76,000 hectares of countryside, from the most northerly island in Shetland to the Solway coast.
A young seal pup lies on the beach looking directly at the camera. It has a white fluffy coat with splodges on its head. It has very large round black eyes.

Discover and have fun

We’re committed to sharing great days out, opening our doors and encouraging people to engage with Scotland’s heritage in friendly, enriching environments. From idyllic dog walks to immersive battlefield experiences, we make sure there’s something for everyone.

Find your next adventure

Our work also extends beyond what you see when you visit our places. Part of our mission is to speak up for Scotland’s heritage, which includes telling the story of Scotland in new and exciting ways to people of all ages.

  • We love to share the stories of our places – from the pioneering people who’ve shaped Scotland’s history to the precious wildlife that’s so abundant on our land – in all kinds of ways, connecting people to their heritage.Take a look at some recently published stories
  • Plant Listing at the National Trust for Scotland (PLANTS) is the biggest horticultural audit project undertaken by the Trust and aims to celebrate, protect and better understand the flora and vegetation across our gardens and designed landscapes. The PLANTS project team are sharing their experiences of recording some of the most important plant collections in Scotland through regular blog posts.
  • We provide our latest news, inspiration for great days out and updates on our conservation work in our e-newsletters. You can sign up for these on our Stay in Touch page or by going to your My Trust account and choosing to receive news and updates to your inbox.
Craigievar Castle is covered in scaffolding with a bright pink wrap. In the foreground is a section of the historic original wall.

As we look to our centenary in 2031, we are working to fulfil our vision of nature, beauty and heritage for everyone, while continuing to care for Scotland’s special places for future generations.

Read more about our ten-year strategy: Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone