The National Trust for Scotland doesn’t just care for the places under our protection: we also speak up for the better management of our national heritage, and support better public access and enjoyment of our cultural and natural treasures.

Marine and coastal

Scotland’s seas cover six times more area than our land and are home to many irreplaceable species and habitats. Our seabeds and marine ecologies store as much carbon annually as our forests. We are campaigning for better protection for our seabeds (particularly inshore areas), the better management of our Marine Protected Areas, and a precautionary approach to new fish farm developments.

Read more – Turning the tide: marine and coastal policy

Wild land

Scotland’s wild landscapes, where natural processes are dominant, are valued by visitors and residents alike. Our own research has found that 88% of Scots consider wild land as important to them. We have recently updated our own wild land policy, setting out definitions, opportunities and challenges, as well as how we will manage our own areas of wild land.

Read more – Wild land policy

Environmental protections

Post-Brexit, the National Trust for Scotland has been campaigning to maintain and enhance environmental protections. This includes establishing an environmental watchdog (now realised in Environmental Standards Scotland), and an Environment Act with statutory targets for nature recovery, as in the European Union and England.

Read more – The accountability gap: Scottish environmental protections post-Brexit


Scotland’s geodiversity underpins our cultural, natural and built heritage, and plays a pivotal role in supporting Scotland to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. However, it faces many challenges such as changes in land use, intensive agricultural production, climate change and unsustainable development. Our Geodiversity Policy and Guidance sets out how we will continue to care, share and speak up for Scotland’s magnificent geodiversity and geoheritage.

Read more – Geodiversity policy and guidance

National Planning Framework

Our planning system helps determine what gets built and where. The National Trust for Scotland campaigns for better protections for our cultural and natural heritage, and for communities to gain the maximum benefit from them. The National Planning Framework, NPF4, is currently being revised, and is an opportunity to create a more sustainable environment for all.

Read more – Preparing the ground for NPF4: a comparison of UK planning policies

Culture strategy

Scotland is home to many forms of culture, and the National Trust for Scotland has contributed to the development of the new national culture strategy. Our own research has found that people take a very broad view of what constitutes culture, including music, food and cuisine, history, and sports, with substantial interests in natural heritage, gardening, theatre and drama. We’ve also looked at the barriers to cultural participation and considered how these could be overcome.

Read more – A new culture strategy for Scotland


Spanning historical reports that take an in-depth look into our past and its impact on society and culture today, to specialist studies of our landscapes and built heritage, the National Trust for Scotland undertakes a wide variety of research. The places in our care tell some of the most important stories about the evolution of Scotland. We’re committed to undertaking extensive research into topics and issues of interest and concern. In this way, we can expand on the stories that our properties tell, helping people to better understand our country’s complex history.

Read more – A selection of our latest research