National Trust spent record £148.4million on conservation in 2018 after membership soared by more than 300,000
- Membership has increased to 5.6million in 2018/2019, according to their annual report
- £104.5million was spent on buildings and collections and £35.7million on coast and countryside
- It has 65,000 volunteers, who gave more than 4.8million hours of their time
National Trust membership has climbed above 5.5 million in a record-breaking year for conservation spending, the charity has announced.
The organisation spent more than £148million on conservation and restoration projects in 2018/19, according to their annual report released today.
Membership also increased by more than 300,000 to 5.6million in 2018/19.
Among other projects, money was spent on the restoration of England’s highest war memorial on Scafell Pike and the reintroduction of water voles on Exmoor, in the 12 months to February 2019.
The National Trust spent more than £148million on conservation and restoration projects in 2018/19 (stock image)
The charity spent £10million more than the previous year, with £104.5million put towards buildings and collections, £35.7million spent on coast and countryside, and £8.2million on gardens.
A total of 26.9million visits were made to the 780 miles of coastline, 248,000 hectares of land and more than 500 historic houses, gardens and parks the National Trust looks after around the UK last year.
As well as members, the organisation is also supported by 65,000 volunteers, who gave more than 4.8million hours of their time in 2018/19.
Director of support and revenue Sharon Pickford said: ‘These latest figures are not only great news for the National Trust as a charity, but also for the hundreds of special places we look after.
‘Our work to care for these places is only possible through the generosity of our members, visitors, volunteers, funders and donors.
‘Without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to spend record levels on conservation and access work to ensure more people have a great experience when they come to our places.’
Part of the money spent by the National Trust was used in the restoration of England’s highest war memorial on Scafell Pike (stock image)
In July, the National Trust announced it will sell off the shares it holds in fossil fuel companies.
At the time, 4 per cent of its £1billion stock market investment was in such firms, but now hopes to sell most of them off within a year.
The trust said fossil fuel investments made up £45million of its portfolio.
It said it instead wanted to invest in green start-ups and companies which benefit nature and the environment.
The Trust’s chief financial officer, Peter Vermeulen said: ‘These companies have made insufficient progress and now we have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.
‘Now we will seek to invest in green startup businesses and other suitable portfolios that deliver benefits for the environment, nature and people.’