Meeting the Needs of the Nation – 128 years of the National Trust

Posted On: 18/06/2023

The Black Down & Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust annual “Educate and Inspire lecture,” which was held on Monday 12 June, lived up to its name as the audience were treated to a truly inspiring talk by Ms Hilary McGrady, Chair & Director-General of the National Trust, entitled ‘Meeting the needs of the Nation – 128 years of the National Trust.’

She concluded her talk with a quote from Octavia Hill, one of the three co-founders of the National Trust: “We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space.”

Written in 1883, but just as relevant today, this quotation brought home to the audience why the National Trust continues to thrive.  It does not however do so by being complacent.  Ms McGrady showed how the work of the Trust has continuously evolved to address the biggest areas of national need across nature, beauty and history

Bob Daniels, Chair of the Black Down & Hindhead Supporters, said:  “Before the meeting, Ms McGrady told me that she hoped her talk would generate some stimulating questions and the audience certainly rose to that challenge.  Her well-considered answers to even the most difficult areas facing the organisation show that the management of the National Trust is in very safe hands.”

Ms McGrady also announced some exciting new acquisitions by the National Trust, the first being Munstead Wood, the former home of Gertrude Jeykll, in Godalming.

It has also added 5 hectares of woodland, named Castle Copse, into its care on the Black Down estate, near Haslemere.  Castle Copse is a promontory under the south-western edge of Black Down. The site is surrounded on three sides by National Trust owned land and is made up of sweet chestnut coppice and mixed broadleaved woodland.  It is the missing piece of the National Trust’s holding at Black Down, part of the highest hill in the South Downs National Park.

During the day Ms McGrady also visited local National Trust properties meeting local Lead Rangers Matt Cusack (Surrey Hills) and David Elliot (South Downs) and their teams.

Bob Daniels

Chair Black Down & Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust


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