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2008 (MMVIII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2008th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 8th year of the 3rd millennium, the 8th year of the 21st century, and the 9th year of the 2000s decade.
2008 was designated as:
International Year of Languages
International Year of Planet Earth
International Year of Sanitation
International Year of the Potato
January 1 – Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro.
January 14 – At 19:04:39 UTC, the unmanned MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.
January 21 – Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.
January 24 – A peace deal is signed in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, ending the Kivu conflict.
February 4 – Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.
February 13 – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivers a formal apology to the Stolen Generations.
February 17 – Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with a mixed response from the international community.
March–April – Rising food and fuel prices trigger riots and unrest in the Third World.
March 2 – Venezuela and Ecuador move troops to the Colombian border, following a Colombian raid against FARC guerrillas inside Ecuadorian territory, in which senior commander Raúl Reyes is killed.
March 9 – The first European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, a cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station, launches from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.
March 24 – Bhutan holds its first-ever general elections following the adoption of a new Constitution which changed the country from an absolute monarchy to a multiparty democracy.
March 25 – African Union and Comoros forces invade the rebel-held island of Anjouan, returning the island to Comorian control.
April 22 – Surgeons at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital perform the first successful operations using bionic eyes, implanting them into two blind patients.
May 2 – The Chaitén volcano in Chile enters a new eruptive phase for the first time since around 1640.
May 3 – Cyclone Nargis passes through Myanmar, killing more than 138,000 people.
May 12 – An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale strikes Sichuan, China, killing an estimated 87,000 people.
The Union of South American Nations, an intergovernmental organization between states in South America, is founded.
The International Court of Justice awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
May 25 – NASA’s unmanned Phoenix spacecraft becomes the first to land on the northern polar region of Mars.
May 28 – The Legislature Parliament of Nepal votes overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing the country’s 240-year-old monarchy, turning the country into a republic.
May 30 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted in Dublin.
June 7–29 – Austria and Switzerland jointly host the UEFA Euro 2008 football tournament, which is won by Spain.
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is launched.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologizes, on behalf of the Canadian government, to the country’s First Nations for the Canadian Indian residential school system.
June 14 – Expo 2008 opens in Zaragoza, Spain, lasting to September 14, with the topic “Water and sustainable development”.
July 2 – Íngrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages are rescued from FARC rebels by Colombian security forces.
July 21 – Radovan Karadžić, the first president of the Republika Srpska, is arrested in Belgrade, Serbia, on allegations of war crimes, following a 12-year-long manhunt.
August 1 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions die on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.
August 6 – President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi of Mauritania is deposed in a military coup d’état.
August 7 – Georgia invades the breakaway state of South Ossetia, sparking a war with Russia as the latter intervenes in support of the separatists in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
August 20 – Spanair Flight 5022 crashes at Madrid–Barajas Airport, killing 154 people on board.
August 8–24 – The 2008 Summer Olympics take place in Beijing, China.
September 5 – Quentin Bryce becomes the first woman Governor-General of Australia.
September 10 – The proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, located at CERN, near Geneva, under the Franco-Swiss border.
September 13 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall in Galveston, Texas.
September 20 – A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 54 and injuring 266.
September 28 – SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world’s first privately developed space launch vehicle to successfully make orbit.
September 29 – Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, hitherto the largest single-day point loss in its history.
October 3 – Global financial crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law, creating a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets.
October 7 – The Spotify music streaming service is launched in Sweden.
October 21 – The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially inaugurated at Geneva.
October 22 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launches the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on a lunar exploration mission.
November 1 – Satoshi Nakamoto publishes “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.
November 4 – Democratic U.S. Senator Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first black President of the United States.
November 19 – Claudia Castillo of Spain becomes the first person to have a successful trachea transplant using a tissue-engineered organ.
November 26–29 – Members of Lashkar-e-Taiba carry out four days of coordinated bombing and shooting attacks across Mumbai, killing 164 people.
December 5 – Human remains found in 1991 are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, using DNA analysis.
December 10 – The Channel Island of Sark, a British Crown dependency, holds its first fully democratic elections under a new constitutional arrangement, becoming the last European territory to abolish feudalism.
December 18 – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Théoneste Bagosora and two other senior Rwandan army officers guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentences them to life imprisonment for their role in the Rwandan genocide.
December 23 – A military coup d’état deposes the government of Guinea shortly after the death of longtime President Lansana Conté.
December 27 – Israel invades the Gaza Strip in response to rockets being fired into Israeli territory by Hamas and due to weapons being smuggled into the area.
December 31 – An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year. The last time this occurred was in 2005.
March 14 – Abby Ryder Fortson, American actress
April 16 – Princess Eléonore of Belgium
June 3 – Harshaali Malhotra, Indian actress
July 15 – Iain Armitage, American actor
August 18 – Gordey Kolesov, Russian-Chinese chess player
Further information: Category:2008 deaths
January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December
Main article: Deaths in January 2008
January 2 – Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas, Princess of Thailand (b. 1923)
January 3 – Choi Yo-sam, Korean boxer (b. 1972)
Christopher Bowman, American figure skater (b. 1967)
Maila Nurmi, Finnish-American actress and television personality (b. 1922)
January 11 – Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist (b. 1919)
January 15 – Brad Renfro, American actor (b. 1982)
January 16 – Nikola Kljusev, 1st Prime Minister of Macedonia (b. 1927)
Bobby Fischer, American chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion (b. 1943)
Allan Melvin, American actor (b. 1923)
January 19 – Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
Heath Ledger, Australian actor (b. 1979)
Claude Piron, Swiss linguist and psychologist (b. 1931)
January 25 – Aziz Sedky, 36th Prime Minister of Egypt (b. 1920)
January 26 – George Habash, Palestinian politician (b. 1926)
Gordon B. Hinckley, American Mormon leader (b. 1910)
Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia (b. 1921)
January 28 – Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens (b. 1939)
January 29 – Margaret Truman, American singer and writer (b. 1924)
Main article: Deaths in February 2008
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Joshua Lederberg, American Nobel molecular biologist (b. 1925)
Barry Morse, English-Canadian actor (b. 1918)
February 5 – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian spiritual leader (b. 1918)
February 7 – Andrew Bertie, 78th Grand Master of the Order of Malta (b. 1929)
February 9 – Baba Amte, Indian social activist (b. 1914)
February 10 – Roy Scheider, American actor (b. 1932)
Tom Lantos, Hungarian-American politician (b. 1928)
Alfredo Reinado, East Timorese rebel (b. 1967)
Imad Mughniyah, Lebanese militant (b. 1962)
Badri Patarkatsishvili, Georgian businessman and politician (b. 1955)
Kon Ichikawa, Japanese film director (b. 1915)
Henri Salvador, French singer (b. 1917)
February 18 – Alain Robbe-Grillet, French writer and filmmaker (b. 1922)
Natalia Bessmertnova, Russian ballerina (b. 1941)
Yegor Letov, Russian singer (b. 1964)
Janez Drnovšek, 2-Time Prime Minister and 2nd President of Slovenia (b. 1950)
Paul Frère, Belgian racing driver (b. 1917)
February 25 – Static Major, American musician (b. 1974)
William F. Buckley Jr., American author and conservative commentator (b. 1925)
Ivan Rebroff, German singer (b. 1931)
Main article: Deaths in March 2008
Giuseppe Di Stefano
Arthur C. Clarke
March 1 – Raúl Reyes, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1948)
Sofiko Chiaureli, Georgian actress (b. 1937)
Jeff Healey, Canadian musician (b. 1966)
Giuseppe Di Stefano, Italian operatic tenor (b. 1921)
Norman Smith, English singer and record producer (b. 1923)
March 4 – Gary Gygax, American writer and game designer (b. 1938)
March 5 – Joseph Weizenbaum, German-American author and computer scientist (b. 1923)
March 6 – Peter Poreku Dery, Ghanaian cardinal (b. 1918)
March 12 – Howard Metzenbaum, American politician (b. 1917)
March 14 – Chiara Lubich, Italian Catholic activist (b. 1920)
March 16 – Ivan Dixon, American actor (b. 1931)
March 18 – Anthony Minghella, English film director and screenwriter (b. 1954)
Arthur C. Clarke, English author, inventor, and futurist (b. 1917)
Hugo Claus, Flemish writer, painter and film director (b. 1929)
Paul Scofield, English actor (b. 1922)
March 21 – Klaus Dinger, German musician (b. 1946)
March 22 – Adolfo Suárez Rivera, Mexican cardinal (b. 1927)
Neil Aspinall, British record producer and business executive (b. 1942)
Richard Widmark, American actor (b. 1914)
March 26 – Manuel Marulanda, Colombian guerrilla (b. 1930)
March 27 – Jean-Marie Balestre, French sports executive (b. 1921)
March 30 – Dith Pran, Cambodian-American photojournalist (b. 1942)
March 31 – Jules Dassin, American film director (b. 1911)
Main article: Deaths in April 2008
April 3 – Hrvoje Ćustić, Croatian footballer (b. 1983)
April 5 – Charlton Heston, American actor (b. 1923)
April 8 – Stanley Kamel, American actor (b. 1943)
April 10 – Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, Mexican cardinal (b. 1919)
April 12 – Patrick Hillery, 6th President of Ireland (b. 1923)
April 13 – John Archibald Wheeler, American theoretical physicist (b. 1911)
April 14 – Ollie Johnston, American animator (b. 1912)
April 15 – Benoît Lamy, Belgian motion picture writer-director (b. 1945)
April 16 – Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist (b. 1917)
April 17 – Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician (b. 1913)
April 29 – Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist and writer (b. 1906)
Main article: Deaths in May 2008
May 1 – Anthony Mamo, 1st President of Malta (b. 1909)
May 2 – Philipp von Boeselager, German military officer (b. 1917)
May 3 – Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, Spanish Prime Minister (b. 1926)
Eddy Arnold, American country music singer (b. 1918)
François Sterchele, Belgian footballer (b. 1982)
Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano (b. 1928)
Jessica Jacobs, Australian actress and singer (b. 1990)
Robert Rauschenberg, American pop artist (b. 1925)
Irena Sendler, Polish humanitarian (b. 1910)
Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, 4th Emir of Kuwait (b. 1930)
Bernardin Gantin, Beninese cardinal (b. 1922)
John Phillip Law, American actor (b. 1937)
May 15 – Willis Lamb, American Nobel physicist (b. 1913)
May 17 – Roberto García-Calvo Montiel, Spanish judge (b. 1942)
May 19 – Vijay Tendulkar, Indian playwright (b. 1928)
May 22 – Robert Asprin, American writer (b. 1946)
May 23 – Cornell Capa, Hungarian-American photographer (b. 1918)
May 24 – Rob Knox, English actor (b. 1989)
Sydney Pollack, American actor, director and producer (b. 1934)
Koloa Talake, 7th Prime Minister of Tuvalu (b. 1934)
May 28 – Sven Davidson, Swedish tennis player (b. 1928)
Luc Bourdon, Canadian ice hockey defenceman (b. 1987)
Harvey Korman, American actor and comedian (b. 1927)
Main article: Deaths in June 2008
Tommy Lapid, Israeli television presenter, journalist, and politician (b. 1931)
Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer (b. 1936)
Bo Diddley, American musician (b. 1928)
Mel Ferrer, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1917)
June 4 – Agata Mróz-Olszewska, Polish volleyball player (b. 1982)
June 5 – Jameson Mbilini Dlamini, 7th Prime Minister of Swaziland (b. 1932)
Mustafa Khalil, 40th Prime Minister of Egypt (b. 1920)
Dino Risi, Italian director (b. 1916)
June 8 – Šaban Bajramović, Serbian musician (b. 1936)
Karen Asrian, Armenian chess grandmaster (b. 1980)
Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American science fiction writer (b. 1931)
June 10 – Chinghiz Aitmatov, Kyrgyzstani writer (b. 1928)
Ove Andersson, Swedish rally driver (b. 1939)
Võ Văn Kiệt, 5th Prime Minister of Vietnam (b. 1922)
June 13 – Tim Russert, American journalist (b. 1950)
June 15 – Stan Winston, American special effects and makeup artist (b. 1946)
June 17 – Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer (b. 1922)
June 18 – Jean Delannoy, French film director (b. 1908)
June 22 – George Carlin, American author, actor, and comedian (b. 1937)
June 23 – Arthur Chung, 1st President of Guyana (b. 1918)
June 24 – Leonid Hurwicz, American Nobel economist and mathematician (b. 1917)
June 26 – Lilyan Chauvin, French-American actress, television host, and director (b. 1925)
June 27 – Sam Manekshaw, Indian Field Marshal (b. 1914)
June 28 – Ruslana Korshunova, Kazakhstani model (b. 1987)
June 29 – Don S. Davis, American actor (b. 1942)
Main article: Deaths in July 2008
Jesse Helms, American politician (b. 1921)
Evelyn Keyes, American actress (b. 1916)
July 5 – René Harris, 4-Time President of Nauru (b. 1947)
July 11 – Michael E. DeBakey, American surgeon and inventor (b. 1908)
July 12 – Tony Snow, American political commentator (b. 1955)
July 13 – Bronisław Geremek, Polish social historian and politician (b. 1932)
July 15 – György Kolonics, Hungarian canoeist (b. 1972)
July 16 – Jo Stafford, American singer (b. 1917)
July 22 – Estelle Getty, American actress (b. 1923)
Johnny Griffin, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
Tracy Hall, American physical chemist (b. 1919)
Randy Pausch, American author and computer scientist (b. 1960)
July 27 – Youssef Chahine, Egyptian film director (b. 1926)
July 29 – Mate Parlov, Croatian boxer (b. 1948)
Main article: Deaths in August 2008
Pauline Baynes, English illustrator (b. 1922)
Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Indian politician (b. 1916)
August 3 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian Nobel writer (b. 1918)
Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet (b. 1941)
Bernie Mac, American actor and comedian (b. 1957)
August 10 – Isaac Hayes, American singer, songwriter, and actor (b. 1942)
August 11 – Fred Sinowatz, Austrian politician (b. 1929)
August 13 – Henri Cartan, French mathematician (b. 1904)
August 15 – Jerry Wexler, American music producer (b. 1917)
Ronnie Drew, Irish singer (b. 1934)
Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese microbiologist (b. 1913)
Levy Mwanawasa, 3rd President of Zambia (b. 1948)
LeRoi Moore, American saxophonist (b. 1961)
August 20 – Hua Guofeng, Chairman of the Communist Party and Chinese premier (b. 1921)
August 23 – Thomas Huckle Weller, American Nobel virologist (b. 1915)
August 28 – Phil Hill, American race car driver (b. 1927)
Main article: Deaths in September 2008
Don LaFontaine, American voice actor (b. 1940)
Jerry Reed, American actor and country singer (b. 1937)
September 2 – Bill Melendez, Mexican-American character animator, film director, voice artist and producer (b. 1916)
Antonio Innocenti, Italian cardinal (b. 1915)
Anita Page, American actress (b. 1910)
Nouhak Phoumsavanh, 3rd President of Laos (b. 1910)
Warith Deen Mohammed, American Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher and revivalist (b. 1933)
September 12 – David Foster Wallace, American writer (b. 1962)
September 15 – Richard Wright, English keyboardist (b. 1943)
September 18 – Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer (b. 1931)
September 19 – Earl Palmer, American R&B Drummer (b. 1924)
September 21 – Dingiri Banda Wijetunga, 9th Prime Minister and 4th President of Sri Lanka (b. 1916)
September 26 – Paul Newman, American actor, film director, entrepreneur and philanthropist (b. 1925)
Main article: Deaths in October 2008
October 1 – Boris Yefimov, Russian political cartoonist (b. 1900)
October 6 – Paavo Haavikko, Finnish poet (b. 1931)
October 8 – George Emil Palade, Romanian Nobel cell biologist (b. 1912)
October 10 – Alexey Prokurorov, Russian cross-country skier (b. 1964)
October 11 – Jörg Haider, Austrian politician (b. 1950)
Alexei Cherepanov, Russian Hockey Player (b. 1989)
Guillaume Depardieu, French actor (b. 1971)
Antonio José González Zumárraga, Ecuadorian cardinal (b. 1925)
October 15 – Edie Adams, American actress, singer and businessman (b. 1927)
October 20 – Sœur Emmanuelle, Belgian-born French nun (b. 1908)
October 25 – Muslim Magomayev, Azerbaijani singer (b. 1942)
October 26 – Tony Hillerman, American writer (b. 1925)
October 29 – William Wharton, American author (b. 1925)
October 31 – Studs Terkel, American author and liberal commentator (b. 1912)
Main article: Deaths in November 2008
Jacques Piccard, Swiss explorer and engineer (b. 1922)
Yma Sumac, Peruvian soprano (b. 1923)
Michael Crichton, American author and producer (b. 1942)
Juan Camilo Mouriño, Mexican politician (b. 1971)
November 9 – Miriam Makeba, South African singer and civil rights activist (b. 1932)
November 10 – Kiyosi Itô, Japanese mathematician (b. 1915)
November 12 – Mitch Mitchell, English drummer (b. 1946)
November 14 – Tsvetanka Khristova, Bulgarian athlete (b. 1962)
November 22 – Ibrahim Nasir, 2nd President of the Maldives (b. 1926)
November 27 – V. P. Singh, 7th Prime Minister of India (b. 1931)
November 29 – Jørn Utzon, Danish architect (b. 1918)
Main article: Deaths in December 2008
León Febres Cordero
Paul Benedict, American actor (b. 1938)
Mikel Laboa, Basque singer and songwriter (b. 1934)
Frank Crean, Australian politician (b. 1916)
Odetta, American singer (b. 1930)
December 4 – Forrest J Ackerman, American magazine editor, science fiction writer, and literary agent (b. 1916)
Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (b. 1928)
Nina Foch, Dutch-born American actress (b. 1924)
Beverly Garland, American actress (b. 1926)
December 8 – Robert Prosky, American actor (b. 1930)
Yury Glazkov, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1939)
Dražan Jerković, Croatian football player and manager (b. 1936)
Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, American Nobel physician (b. 1923)
Bettie Page, American pin-up model (b. 1923)
Avery Dulles, American cardinal (b. 1918)
Van Johnson, American actor (b. 1916)
Tassos Papadopoulos, 5th President of Cyprus (b. 1934)
December 13 – Horst Tappert, German actor (b. 1923)
December 15 – León Febres Cordero, 35th President of Ecuador (b. 1931)
Majel Barrett, American actress (b. 1932)
Mark Felt, American FBI agent (b. 1913)
December 19 – James Bevel, American minister and civil rights leader (b. 1936)
Joseph Conombo, 3rd Prime Minister of Burkina Faso (b. 1917)
Olga Lepeshinskaya, Russian ballerina (b. 1916)
Robert Mulligan, American director (b. 1925)
December 22 – Lansana Conté, 2nd President of Guinea (b. 1934)
Samuel P. Huntington, American political scientist (b. 1927)
Harold Pinter, English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor (b. 1930)
December 25 – Eartha Kitt, American singer, actress, activist and author (b. 1927)
December 29 – Freddie Hubbard, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1938)
Chemistry – Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura, and Roger Y. Tsien
Economics – Paul Krugman
Literature – Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
Peace – Martti Ahtisaari
Physics – Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa, and Yoichiro Nambu
Physiology or Medicine – Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Harald zur Hausen, and Luc Montagnier
New English words
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18
The National Trust in brief What is the National Trust?
We are a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to protect them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything we do. We look after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for ever, for everyone.
We look after coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, gardens, mills and pubs. We restore them, protect them and open them up to everyone. For the Trust, conservation has always gone hand-in-hand with public access. We welcome everyone to explore:
• 780 miles of coastline
• Over 248,000 hectares of land
• Over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments, gardens and parks and nature reserves
Many of our properties are unable to fund their own permanent preservation. The cost of caring for them is high: our overall conservation expenditure on property projects, conservation repairs and conservation of contents was £138 million in 2017/18
(see page 41). Most of our property is held inalienably, so it cannot be sold or developed against our wishes without the consent of Parliament.
We rely on the support of our members, donors and volunteers, as well as income from grant-making bodies and commercial activities such as retail and catering, to look after the places in our care.
This Annual Report and our 2017/18 Impact Review can also be viewed online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/annual-reports. The Impact Review outlines our achievements over the year and summarises our financial position.
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a registered charity (no. 205846). It is incorporated and has powers conferred on it by Parliament through the National Trust Acts 1907 to 1971 and under the Charities (National Trust) Order 2005.
The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees whose composition appears on page 65. A brief description of the Trust’s organisation is given on pages 22 to 26. Our bankers, investment advisers and independent auditors are identified on page 62 and the contact details for our principal offices are listed on page 87.
This Annual Report has been prepared by the Board of Trustees and covers the period March 2017 to February 2018.
2 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18
Message from the Chair and Director-General 2 Board of Trustees’ report for 2017/18 3 Playing our part – our strategy to 2025 4 Our performance 2017/18 5
Looking after the places in our care 6 Restoring a healthy, beautiful natural environment 8 Helping look after the places where people live 9 Creating experiences that move, teach and inspire 10 Growing support for what we do 12 Resources and skills 15
Financial review 17 Administration and management 22 Structure and internal control 22 Annual report of the Council 2017/18 27 The Financial Statements 2017/18 28
Consolidated statement of financial activities 28 Balance sheet 29 Consolidated cash flow statement 30 Notes to the Financial Statements 31 Independent auditors’ report to the Trustees of the National Trust 60 The Trust’s advisers 62
Glossary of financial, property and fund terms 63 Operating margin 64 Governance of the National Trust 65
Membership of the Board of Trustees, the Council, Committees
and Executive Team 65 2017 Annual General Meeting 67
Year on record 69 Acquisitions of properties, works of art and other objects 69 Visiting figures 71 Grants and donations 73 Supporter groups 76 Legacies 78
Contact details 87
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Contents 1
Message from the Chair and Director-General
We are delighted to present the 2017/18 Annual Report.
During 2017/18 we said farewell to our Director-General, Dame Helen Ghosh, who oversaw a period of great growth and the establishment of a long-term strategy describing our ambitions to 2025. We start this report by thanking Helen for all she did during over five years at the helm.
2017/18 was another ‘best year ever’. Our report charts record numbers of members and visitors. This has been a trend over a number of years, and such success enables us to further our charitable core purpose of conservation and access.
Our number one priority is looking after our special places. During 2017/18 we invested £138 million on major projects such as the
£5.4 million roof conservation project at The Vyne in Hampshire, to secure the building and its collections, a project that also provided
an opportunity to introduce new and imaginative interpretation. We also continued the programme of investment in our residential estate, designed to ensure all our many cottages and other small dwellings are maintained to the standards expected of the National Trust.
While looking after our special places will continue to be the cornerstone of our work, our strategy called Playing our part describes other ambitions, including a healthier, more beautiful natural environment; better experiences at our places that move, teach and inspire; and stronger connections between local people and the local places special to them.
We had a number of successes during the 2017/18. At Malham Tarn in North Yorkshire we began piloting a scheme that sees farm tenants rewarded for farming in ways that enhance nature. As part of an important relationship with the RSPB, little terns were reintroduced at Blakeney in Norfolk and we acquired 81 hectares (200 acres) of land at Tughall Mill in Northumberland. Our ownership there is already making a difference – almost 500 Arctic terns and four internationally threatened little terns fledged thanks to a 24-hour watch by our rangers against predators.
Our programme to create experiences that move, teach and inspire visitors continues to progress, and with further increases to the number of curators during the year we will be doing more in future years.
In 2017/18 we launched our first year of national public programming where a number of properties staged sometimes challenging interpretations in commemoration of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. As part of our Trust New Arts programme landscape artist Daan Roosegaarde explored the power and poetry of water with Waterlicht, a stunning display utilising modern technology staged in Winnats Pass in the Peak District. At Nostell in West Yorkshire, the team used the 300th anniversary of the famous longcase clock devised by locally born inventor John Harrison to inspire a year-long programme of exhibitions.
The Trust’s involvement with the establishment of an independent charity in Newcastle to run the city’s parks and allotments was part of a series of pilot schemes the Trust has been running to determine how best the Trust can help connect people with the local places that are special to them. We anticipate this part of our work will grow as part of our ambition to be relevant to more people.
As ever we end by thanking you. Perhaps the most important statistic in this report is the fact we now have over 5 million members for the first time in our history. This landmark provides further evidence of the importance of our work in people’s lives. We thank all of you for your support – our members, other visitors, our staff, volunteers, the Trust Council, Regional Advisory Boards, specialist Advisory Groups, our Centres and Associations, partners and donors. We simply couldn’t do what we do without you.
Tim Parker Chair
25 July 2018
Hilary McGrady Director-General 25 July 2018
2 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Message from the Chair and Director-General
Photography © National Trust/Tony Gill
Photography © Steve Haywood
Board of Trustees’ report for 2017/18
We start by echoing the Chair and Director-General’s thanks to Dame Helen Ghosh for her outstanding contribution as our Director-General. She left the Trust in excellent shape and as ambitious for the future as ever.
Helen’s departure meant that during the year we were faced with the Board’s most important task – identifying the next Director- General. We were delighted to appoint Hilary McGrady, our former Chief Operating Officer, who, with 12 years’ experience at the Trust, knows the organisation inside out. She is passionate in her commitment to our work and will provide the right balance of continuity and challenge for the next chapter of the Trust’s history.
The passing of the 5 million membership ambition during the year was a remarkable achievement. It is this incredible level
of support that enables us to invest in our charitable cause with confidence. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our success. In the meantime, we will re-double our efforts in the few areas we have not met our targets.
Initiatives such as Saving Our Magnificent Meadows, described in this report, underline the importance of partnership working. The Board is indebted to organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Since its foundation in 1994, the HLF has provided grants totalling over £107 million and match funding of over £230 million. We simply wouldn’t have been able to do what we have without this support and that of other partners.
Despite continued overall good performance, we have not met all our targets and will re-double our efforts where this is so.
In 2017, like many other heritage organisations, we commemorated the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago by telling the stories of a small number of properties where there was an authentic link. Our programme was not welcomed by all but we were gratified by the level of support we received and by the dialogue
our programme helped generate. For 2018, a century after the 1918 Representation of the People Act, we launched our Women and Power national public programme in which we’ll be joining many other museums, cultural organisations, the media and Parliament to tell stories that celebrate this important moment in our nation’s history.
The Board and our new Director-General remain committed to its strategy Playing our part, and progress is described in this report. We have learned much during the early years of its implementation, particularly about how best to help connect people with the special places where they live.
There is much to be done, particularly in urban areas, and in engaging a wider range of visitors with our work, a theme to which we are giving more consideration as part of our ambition to deliver public benefit for everyone. It is clear that, as in so many aspects of our work, partnership working will be key. So too will be influencing the Government and other decision-makers
in protecting and promoting the conservation of, and access to, special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We commend this report to you. The Trust’s work is never done. The key is to ensure we have a strategy rooted in our core purpose and to deliver on that strategy while always thinking about the next chapter. We believe we are delivering on that challenge.
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 3
Board of Trustees’ report 2016/17
Playing our part – our strategy to 2025
Our 21st-century ambition is to meet the needs of an environment under pressure, and the challenges and expectations of a fast-moving world. We want to continue to maintain the highest standards of care for everything we look after, while working in a way that feels relevant and necessary to people and their day-to-day lives.
We provide access to extraordinary places and want to make sure that people can experience them in ways that deepen their understanding and engagement, and inspire them to want to look after them, now and in the future. To enable us to do this, we plan to equip everyone in the Trust with the skills and resources they need to do their jobs with ease and confidence, and to feel proud of our work.
Our strategy explains how we will do that. We will:
Look after the places in our care by:
• reducing our conservation backlog and funding our annual conservation needs;
• reducing energy use by 15%1 and sourcing 50% of energy from renewables by 2020/21.
Play our part in restoring a healthy, beautiful
natural environment by working on our own
land and with our tenants in order to:
• make sure all of our designated wildlife sites are in good ecological condition;
• restore 25,000 hectares (nearly 100 square miles) of new wildlife habitats;
• maintain the condition of soils, water and wildlife across all of our land;
• support and promote nature-friendly farming.
Create experiences of our places that move,
teach and inspire by:
• providing a great experience and high standard of service, presentation and interpretation at all the places we look after;
• offering a more dynamic, relevant and engaging experience of heritage and the outdoors – for all ages and needs.
Help look after the places where people live by:
• finding new solutions for managing local parks and urban green space;
• helping people to improve the care of and access to local heritage.
Our staff, volunteers, members, donors, supporters and partners will all help us to achieve this, and over the coming years we will continue to increase our relevance and accessibility to people from all kinds of interests and backgrounds.
1 In 2017/18 the target of reducing energy consumption by 20%, relative to 2009 usage, by 2020/21 was reviewed and considering increased increasing visitors and longer opening hours, the target was reset to a 15% reduction in consumption by 2020/21.
4 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Playing our part
Our performance 2017/18
The Trust measures progress with the implementation of our strategy using a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This year’s performance results are described in the table below.
In 2017/18 two new KPI measures were introduced to monitor the quality of our visitors experiences; to track the quality of service visitors’ receive and to capture the strength of emotional engagement their visit has on them.
To measure progress against our objective of Restoring a healthy, beautiful, natural environment we have introduced four new measures (see below). We have also added fundraising income as an additional measure under Growing our support.
Measures of success
Looking after the places in our care
CPI – properties reporting a static or improved score (%)2
Energy reduction (%)3
Creating experiences that move, teach and inspire
Overall service (%)4
Emotional impact (%)
Visitor numbers (m)
Growing our support
Membership numbers (m)5
Membership retention (%)
Fundraising income (£m)
Volunteer recommendation (%)6
Resources and skills
Operating Margin (%)7
Overall staff satisfaction (%)8
Restoring a healthy, beautiful natural environment
Improve ASSI/SSSI/Priority Habitat condition9
Priority Habitat created or restored (ha)10
National Trust land meeting High Nature Status (%)11
Number of minimum standard failures12
14/15 15/16 Actual Actual
16/17 17/18 17/18 18/19 Actual Target Actual Target
87 rebaselined n/a 85
8 11 5 11
67 68 61 62
n/a 20 16 17
24.5 24.8 26.6 27.4
2.31 2.38 2.46 2.55
85.4 85.6 85.4 85.5
91.1 91.5 83.2 94.3
64 65 61 61
19.9 18.7 20.7 21.4
61 61 59 59
baseline 3,709 4,775
2 The Conservation Performance Indicator (CPI) is used to measure how well we are putting conservation into practice at our properties. In 2017 we introduced common objectives to our CPI model so scores were re-baselined and there is neither target nor actual to report an improved or static score.
3 In 2017/18 the target of reducing energy consumption by 20%, relative to 2009 usage, by 2020/21 was reviewed. Considering increased numbers of visitors and longer opening hours, the target was reset to a 15% reduction in consumption by 2020/21.
4 In 2017/18 two new measures were introduced to monitor the quality of our visitors’ experiences: Overall Service – the proportion of visitors who rate the service they received at our properties as excellent; and Emotional Impact – the proportion of visitors who strongly agree that the visit had an emotional impact on them.
5 Actual number of members at the end of the year was 5,214,323.
6 Our volunteer recommendation score is the percentage of volunteers that would strongly recommend the National Trust as a place to volunteer.
7 Operating Margin is total ordinary income less total ordinary expenditure, expressed as a percentage of total ordinary income.
8 The score for staff satisfaction is a percentage based on the proportion of respondents ‘strongly agreeing’ with the relevant statements in the staff survey.
9 Improving condition of ASSI/SSSI/Priority Habitat with a measure that all nationally/internationally significant CPI features will score ‘high or very high’ condition by 2025.
10 Creating or restoring 25,000 hectares (61,777 acres) of Priority Habitat by 2025 – classified as either ‘Complete’ or ‘Underway’ – recognising the timeframes for habitats to reach desired end state.
11 Ensuring that 50% of our land is of a High Nature Status by 2025 based on a measure of the percentage of land area scoring 1 or 2 in the Land Condition Assessment (LCA). 12 All our land meeting basic minimum standard with a measure to eliminate all minimum standard failures, scores of 5 in the LCA, by 2025.
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Our performance 2017/18 5
Looking after the places in our care
Our conservation assets
Conservation is at the heart of our strategy, whether this is looking after our archaeology, buildings, collections, landscapes, gardens, habitats, species or natural resources. Our Conservation Performance Indicator (CPI) supports this by helping us understand, prioritise and track the impact of our interventions in the careful management of change.
For each of our properties, the CPI helps us to identify what is important in conservation terms across the huge range of all
the cultural and natural conservation assets we look after. We group these into CPI features which are then reviewed annually
for knowledge (our understanding of the asset) and condition. This tells us how we are doing and where we need to deliver conservation actions, which are also captured so that they can be planned and budgeted for in our annual business planning process.
Our national CPI analysis looks at trends within each region
and conservation asset category, and identifies key influences, successes, areas of difficulty and performance over time – which can inform our strategic priorities. The whole process is grounded in knowing and measuring the condition of our most significant assets across a property from a conservation perspective.
In 2017 we rolled out a new CPI process across all our regions
and countries which transformed the way in which we measure conservation performance. We introduced standardised objectives, and a more structured scoring approach and technical guidance, setting the baseline which we will use to prioritise investment, monitor the condition of our assets and our progress in conserving them. The new methodology includes objectives on knowledge and condition for each conservation discipline.
Our KPI targets track:
• The percentage of properties to have completed CPI reviews. The target is 100%.
• The number of properties reporting a static or improving CPI condition score, compared to the previous year. The target for 2018/19 is 85%.13
The hard work of staff across the organisation has enabled us to complete all 381 planned reviews for 2017.
In 2018 we delivered some major conservation projects. We finished the roof project at Killerton in Devon, the paddlewheel on the wind pump at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire and the restoration and re-hanging of the Trust’s largest tapestry – one of the world-famous Gideon tapestries at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.
Our Collection Conservation Prioritisation (CCP) process captures collections conservation projects across our properties, with around £5 million worth of work identified across 65 projects.
This has improved our budget planning process. We aim to spend £3 million per year on collections conservation alone. We will continue to fundraise for a programme of remedial work that can be carried out by our own conservators at our Textile Conservation Studio at Blickling in Norfolk and at our state-of-the-art Conservation Studio at Knole in Kent and with the use of freelance specialist conservators.
In 2017 we completed our Land Condition Assessments which
we are using to support our Estate Management Plans. These assessments have provided more detail on the condition of our soils and water and the landscape-scale activities on our land, including the impact that activity beyond our boundaries is having on the condition of our land.
We continue to provide a national overview of prioritisation
of works and funding to tackle the backlog of repairs to our buildings through our residential let estate programme and our ten-year pipeline for major buildings. We have also allocated £46.6 million to cyclical maintenance plans.
13 2017 was the baseline year following the roll-out of the new Standard Objectives approach. As such, results cannot be compared to 2016 so we could not report the proportion of CPI properties showing a static or improved score. We will be able to begin this part of the analysis this year, in 2018.
6 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Looking after the places in our care
Environmental management and energy – reducing our environmental impact
The health of the environment has suffered from decades of misuse and is under pressure from climate change. As the nation’s largest landowner, we are committed to playing a leading role
in finding and promoting solutions. This applies to how we manage our land, but it also relates to all our business and visitor management activities of which we have seen a significant growth in both members and visitors over the last two years.
Our Environmental Management System (certified to the Green Dragon standard14) continues to ensure we are meeting our environmental policy commitments and are continually improving our environmental performance across key areas – energy, water, waste and travel. To mitigate our impacts on climate change, energy reduction continues to be a priority for the Trust, and
we have worked hard to better understand and reduce our
energy demand. This year we undertook an in-depth analysis
of the energy efficiency opportunities available to us that are appropriate for our properties, and mapped out the savings from these. Alongside the savings, we recognised the impact of our continued growth in opening hours and visitor numbers on energy use (our pay-for-entry properties are open 30% longer and visitor numbers have risen by 7.7 million compared with the baseline year, 2009). We have, therefore reforecast our energy targets
for the remainder of our current energy strategy, with an overall target of 15% by 2021 (compared to our original target of 20%).
In 2017/18 we have held our energy savings at 5% against the 2009/10 baseline. This is less than 2016/17 and mostly driven by the last quarter’s results, which were significantly affected by unexpectedly difficult and persistent adverse weather conditions. Much more positively, we have made rapid progress in reducing our dependency on oil, and this year we celebrated swapping over 50% of our fuel oil dependent heating to renewable sources. This represents a significant reduction in the risks associated with storing oil at our sensitive environmental locations. In 2017/18 we installed 12 new renewable heat and power systems at places such as Speke Hall in Liverpool and Blickling Estate in Norfolk. Over 20% of our energy now comes from renewable sources and we are on track to meet our target of 50% of our energy coming from renewables by 2020/21.
A year ago, Wallington in Northumberland was one of the biggest users of oil in the North region. A newly installed biomass system has removed the property’s dependence on oil and generates the 515,000kWh of renewable energy required to heat the Hall and the Courtyard buildings, including two staff cottages, offices, shops and the café. The two woodchip boilers are fuelled by timber from the Wallington estate along with locally sourced woodchip. This will save around 110 tonnes of CO2 per year and around £32,000 per year against current heating costs.
We have also improved our understanding of the water we use, and have created a water baseline for all our properties which we are using to spot spikes in water use, be they water leaks
(an ever-present risk for the extensive water networks across our estates) or areas to improve our water efficiency. This work has enabled us to report on our water consumption, and we include details of this, and information on how we are doing against all of our environmental policy objectives and targets,
in our annual Environmental Statement which we publish on the National Trust website.
14 Green Dragon is an environmental standard that is awarded to organisations which are taking action to understand, monitor and control their impacts on the environment.
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Looking after the places in our care 7
Restoring a healthy, beautiful natural environment
We are taking the opportunity not only to improve conditions for nature on our land, but also to play our part in influencing the way the nation cares for its natural environment as a whole.
We look after 248,000 hectares of land, around half of which is designated for nature in some way. A significant proportion is managed through farming and we have over 1,500 tenanted farms. As well as having a huge opportunity to make a difference on that land, this gives us a credible voice in big debates about countryside management and nature conservation. This year we have used that voice to significant effect to influence post-Brexit policy.
Improving our land
2017/18 saw a defining moment in this part of our strategy. We showed how we have moved on from thinking about the part we can play in restoring a healthy, beautiful natural environment, to putting in place clear objectives and plans for action. We publicly committed to these in March 2017, with a launch that won strong support from the media and stakeholder groups. Our ambitions are grounded in the science of the Government-commissioned ‘Making space for nature’ report (2010). This called for a ‘better, bigger, more, joined up’ approach to habitat management. So by 2025 the Trust will have:
• Improved the condition of our most important nature sites;
• Created or restored 25,000 hectares (61,777 acres) of top-class nature conservation habitat on our land, representing 10% of our total ownership;
• Ensured all our land meets a basic minimum standard – tackling unacceptable risks and infrastructure issues;
• Transformed at least 50% of National Trust farmed land so that it is much more ‘nature-friendly’ with protected hedgerows, field margins, ponds, woodland and other habitats allowing plants and animals to thrive alongside productive land uses.
Baselines and targets are in place for each of these (see performance table on page 5), and our teams have clarity about how much they expect to deliver over the next few years. New systems and processes have been implemented, such as our new approach to Estate Management Planning, which is establishing a clear vision for nature at each estate and the entrepreneurial opportunities that will help fund our additional conservation challenges.
Working with our tenants and influencing the debate
We’re now generating great examples to support our work in influencing policy-makers, landowners and other stakeholders who are increasingly recognising the importance to everyone of the services the natural environment provides. At Malham Tarn
in the Yorkshire Dales, we have built good relationships with
our tenant farmers, who are innovatively changing the way they farm to deliver much better outcomes for nature. As part of our Payment for Outcomes (PFO) pilot, we will be rewarding our tenants financially with extra payments to bridge funding gaps for those who farm for nature in ways that improve soil health, help pollinators to flourish and drive up water quality, while recognising the value of their skills, local knowledge and the good work they are already doing for nature. We are pleased that there has been positive interest in this pilot, and we have had visits by Defra and the Treasury office.
Our effort to influence is already bearing fruit, with strong commitments made in the Government’s ‘25-year Environment Plan’ to many of the concepts we are advocating. For example, farm subsidies should follow the principle of ‘public money for public goods’.
We have more to do to support our tenants on this journey, and we are in conversations with many of them about how our shared ambitions for nature can be part of successful farm business plans – creating new opportunities to farm in sustainable and economic ways.
The benefits which the natural environment provides means we are increasing access to our places and ensuring every visit is
as enjoyable and enriching as it can be. Great steps have been taken to improve the standard of our welcome and facilities at our outdoor sites. In 2018 we will build on this, with new ways to connect our visitors to the natural world. We know this is going to be a crucial part of long-term success – restoring the natural environment will succeed in the long-term only if it is enjoyed and valued by all.
8 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Restoring a healthy, beautiful natural environment
Helping look after the places where people live
Local historic buildings and green spaces continue to be under threat from declining budgets and housing pressure. These everyday places are our most frequent connection with nature and heritage – our municipal parks, the countryside on our doorsteps, the historic character of our market towns and villages, the urban and industrial fragments of our more recent past.
We are continuing to test how best we can play our part and have been working with local authorities, community groups and key partners to support them in protecting and managing their local heritage assets.
Our work ranges from supporting small heritage trusts, often founded to save and protect one local asset, to working closely with local authorities to find new solutions to budgets that have been drastically reduced.
Throughout 2017, we continued to work in partnership with local community groups, national organisations and Birmingham City Council on options for the sustainable future of the Grade II* Edwardian Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. We are pleased to report that by working with a coalition of partners, and with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the local charity that will lead the work, we have agreed on a plan of action to keep open the baths to allow people to continue to use the swimming facilities. We are now working to plan and budget for essential repair works and helping to develop commercial business plans to secure the future of the baths.
Our work with local councils on public parks is ongoing and we firmly believe that these places are essential for the health, resilience and economic success of our cities.
Over the past two years we have been working with Newcastle City Council to develop a new model for funding and management of the city’s parks and green spaces. A Parks Charitable Trust was approved by the Council in November 2017 as a pioneering approach to protecting these important green spaces. In addition to the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the newly formed trust, we will continue to provide support and advice as the charity develops. We hope this model will be adopted by other local authorities.
Encouraging and engaging people to become involved with and value their local heritage and green spaces is important to us
and we continue to explore opportunities to challenge public perceptions of the National Trust and find ways to do this beyond our boundaries.
Our support for the hugely popular Heritage Open Days is one way we are doing this. England’s largest festival of history and culture brings together over 2,000 organisations and more than 46,000 volunteers across the country to celebrate England’s rich and diverse heritage. Every year, on four days in September, places of every age, style and function welcome visitors free
of charge. In 2017, around 3 million visitors from across Great Britain took advantage of the festival’s estimated 5,000 events. This programme is hugely successful in engaging people with their local heritage, with 83% of the visitors in 2017 saying their experience had inspired them to visit more heritage and/or cultural sites in future.
Another example of engaging people with the places they live is the Green Academies Project, funded by Our Bright Future, which supports young people and their communities to look after the green spaces where they live. By helping young people understand the challenges faced by the environment, we hope to enable them to take a lead in the future of nature conservation.
Six of our properties are working alongside young people and communities to look after the places important to them at Gibside in Newcastle, Quarry Bank and Dunham Massey in Cheshire, Erddig in Wrexham, Morden Hall Park in London and across sites in Birmingham. So far, we have engaged over 6000 young people in conservation activities, with 400 young people now regularly volunteering in the outdoors. GAP has not only benefitted nature – participants have also reported improvements to their wellbeing and confidence, and disused community spaces have taken on a new lease of life.
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Helping look after the places where people live 9
Creating experiences that move, teach and inspire
The places and collections we look after tell the story of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and of the wider world. From landscapes to parkland, plants and gardens, collections, archives, archaeology and houses, they are a living cultural resource. Our role is to care for these treasures in an exemplary way and to ensure they are important to as many people as possible.
We continue to focus on establishing the Trust as an organisation that provides rich cultural, creative and recreational experiences programming.15 We have raised our ambitions even further for curating at a national scale, by coordinating themed public programmes across different properties. In 2017 we launched our first year of national public programming with Prejudice and Pride, a response to the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. Through annual national public programming, we aim to help people find personal relevance and resonance
in the National Trust and to position the Trust as a facilitator of contemporary debate around place and identity.
While the Prejudice and Pride programme was not without controversy, the evaluation revealed a consistently enhanced perception that the Trust tells cogent stories about our diverse cultural heritage. Over 350,000 people visited exhibitions and events on LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) heritage as part of Prejudice and Pride, while a podcast focusing on 2,000 years of LGBTQ+ heritage was downloaded over
16,000 times. More than 300 National Trust staff and volunteers attended 17 Pride festivals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust formed new partnerships as part of the programme, including with the National Archives to tell the story of the Caravan Club in London, a queer-friendly 1930s members’ club. Through Heritage Open Days, the Trust supported local heritage sites to host 32 volunteer-led LGBTQ+ events.
‘Exile’ at Kingston Lacy in Dorset was a particular highlight of the Prejudice and Pride programme. Working with multiple partners, including artist Julie Howells, this exhibition stretched our understanding of Kingston Lacy’s history. It tackled the moving story of the life and exile of William Bankes, who fled to the Continent in 1841 after being caught with a soldier in ‘an indecent act’ at a time when intimate relationships with men could be punishable by death. Bankes continued to send back art and collections to Kingston Lacy from abroad.
The exhibition enabled visitors to learn more about Bankes’ contribution to the house, and to consider his story within a broader context of intolerance and persecution of LBGTQ+ lives. ‘Exile’ received great reviews and overwhelmingly positive feedback from many of the 19,000 visitors who saw it.
Good programming must be underpinned by thorough research and strong partnerships. In 2017/18 we worked with the University of Leicester and Stonewall to share expertise, learn from one another and strengthen our Prejudice and Pride programming. We are also increasingly inviting audiences to create their own experiences on their terms. At Sutton House in Hackney, for example, we worked with schools, local people, academics and artists as part of Sutton House Queer’d, celebrating LGBTQ+ history through the ages.
The National Trust is one of the single biggest art commissioners in the UK and, thanks to the continued support of Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales, in 2017 we continued our Trust New Art programme with 50 projects at 30 properties. Trust New Art aims to connect visitors to properties through contemporary art, and in 2017 over 500,000 visitors, 1,000 participants and 200 volunteer art ambassadors participated. Projects ranged from the smaller-scale local projects, such
as contemporary arts duo Juneau Project at Cherryburn in Northumberland, to the landscape-scale Waterlicht at Winnats Pass in the Peak District. Working with Studio Roosegarde, Waterlicht told the story of the formation of Winnats Pass, starting 350 million years ago as a tropical ocean reef, through light, smoke and sound. This fusion of art and science, held as part of the Abandon Normal Devices festival, engaged 22,500 people with the site’s geology, landscape and the challenges of climate change.
We estimate that we receive 200 million visits to our outdoor sites (coast and countryside) every year and we know that there
is more to do to improve the outdoor experiences we offer visitors. Understanding audience needs remains key to creating new experiences and, working with Derby University, we have commissioned research into how people connect with nature. We have also refreshed our guidance for properties on interpretation in the outdoors, from practical advice on signage to ways in which we can help people better understand the natural environment and the landscapes they enjoy, as well as creating opportunities for everyone to help protect it.
15 We define programming as ‘everything we do to refresh our places in order to help make connections between places, collections and people’s lives today.’
10 National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Creating experiences that move, teach and inspire
Over the last two years we have set an incremental 1% improvement target for our overall service score. Despite the successes described above we have seen the score decline. Analysis shows that this drop has been caused by a combination of rising expectations, changing audience mix and pressure on our facilities from a steep increase in visitor numbers. Although this has not been reflected
in falling recruitment, visitor numbers or retention, we take this decline very seriously – in response we have launched an service action plan that got under way in late 2017. We are now aiming for a 2% uplift over each of the next two years. Alongside service, we have also been tracking survey responses to ‘emotional impact’ to test whether our experiences are delivering deeper engagement. This score has also fallen, and analysis reveals that it exactly mirrors (and is dependent upon) the movement in service scores – so we need to get service right before we can move on to deeper levels.
National Trust Annual Report 2017/18 Creating experiences that move, teach and inspire 11
Growing support for what we do
We achieved a significant milestone this year as we passed the
5 million members point. We ended the year with 5.2 million members. Overall our membership numbers grew by 6%, a good indication that we are becoming more relevant and important to the nation. We know there is more to do, whether it is improving our communications, our service or giving better experiences at our properties. We are committed to listening to our members and visitors and making continual improvements.
Our membership income generated nearly £220 million this year which we invested in looking after our places and our visitors’ experiences, whether this was at our properties or through online experiences.
In 2017/18 we recruited 490,000 memberships which translates into over a million new members, of which families are our biggest growing group, accounting for over 23% of our memberships. We are also pleased that our membership retention rate is 85%. We are proud that so many people join us and decide to stay.
Promoting our cause
We want our cause to matter to people personally. In 2017/18 our marketing and communications focused on the importance of places to people and the joy these places can bring. In the course of the year we commissioned and published research into what makes people connect with a place and this shaped a marketing campaign based on individual stories. We also explored the role of grandparents in introducing young children to th
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