Updated: Apr 28
It's been a while since I worked at the Woodland Trust, but my love for nature and the great outdoors has never left me and along with many childhood memories of being taken to a local National Trust property while on a caravan holiday, it is no surprise that I am happy to preach, support and promote both conservation charities.
But would you be able to tell me which each one supports?
Not everyone thinks they are two separate charities and I'm here to give a brief introduction to them.
Founded in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwick Rawnsley, the National Trust is now the UK's largest charity for preserving historic properties and countryside.
Fast forward to the present time and the conservation charity own over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments gardens, parkland and nature reserves.
From Hilltop Farm in the Lake District, also known as the home of Beatrix Potter and a property I can only dream of returning to, to Woolsthorpe Manor which still has the apple tree that Isaac Newton sat under and discovered the laws of gravity. There are hundreds to visit and discover the history that they hold.
"We all want quiet. We all want beauty... We all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently."
Octavia Hill, 1883
Co-founder of the National Trust
In 1972 Kenneth Watkins, a retired farmer became increasingly worried with what was happening around him with the native woodland - who wouldn't be!
The UK woodland coverage was rapidly decreasing at an alarming rate.
Nearly 50 years on and the Woodland Trust is the UK's only and largest charity in the conservation of woods and trees. They have many visions, but their main one is to increase the woodland coverage by planting more trees. At the time of writing the UK is covered by 13% of native woodland, which is pretty low when you compare this to the 37% which is the average in Europe.
There are over 1000 sites across Great Britain and you will find that you're never too far from a woodland, whether that is managed by the Woodland Trust, Forest Commission or other open places.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
With a brief history, and I really mean brief, I hope that you visit not only their websites but sites on days out. They have so much to offer and a great day out, whether that's a cup of tea in front of a castle or a picnic in the woods. These conservation charities rely on membership and donations so please don't be alarmed by any costs that I have not mentioned in this post.
Lastly, I have not been endorsed to write these posts. I personally believe and wholeheartedly agree with what they are trying to achieve and want to share their stories with you.