National Trust needs your help

Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland has launched its latest appeal and it needs your help.

Trust members and all others interested in protecting the nation’s heritage are being asked in a letter to find £15 to donate towards the charity’s “I’m in it for the Future” Fund.

The appeal aims to raise vital funds – at least £110,000 is required – which the trust needs if it is to continue its work of maintaining, conserving and restoring some of Scotland’s most precious buildings, gardens and landscapes, ensuring they survive to be appreciated and treasured by future generations.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Kate Mavor said: “Places like the Angus Folk Museum, JM Barrie’s Birthplace and the House of Dun are part of the fabric of the nation, and each in its own way tells the stories of how we in Scotland came to be who we are now.

“For that reason, we cannot afford to take any of this rich heritage for granted and assume someone else will always take responsibility for it.

“In my letter I have painted a nightmare scenario in which one of Scotland’s most iconic properties is allowed to fall into disrepair and eventually crumbles to a graffiti-ridden hulk, the memories, history and shared culture it represents lost forever. That has happened all too often in the past to all sorts of heritage properties. Even a small donation can prevent this prospect from becoming a reality.”

The costs incurred in looking after Scotland’s heritage are eyewatering: £600,000 annually just to comply with legislation on routine jobs like boiler checks and fire alarm checks; £400,000 a year to buy basic tools, plants and pest controls to protect collections – all before undertaking any major restoration projects.

Every penny raised through donations will go directly to the care of properties and landscapes. Just £15 would buy 24 pairs of white gloves that Trust conservators use in handling delicate artefacts, £30 would buy 25 tree saplings to be planted in beautiful gardens, £100 would enable one metre of countryside pathway to be repaired and £500 would pay for a chimney in one of the country’s grandest houses to be swept.

She added: “As a charity we count on the generosity of hundreds of thousands of members who pay their subscriptions and often make other donations too - but the sheer scale of our responsibilities mean that we asking for just that little bit more.

“Members who are able to make a further donation to this appeal on top of their membership subscription will receive a limited edition car sticker as a small token of our thanks for their support.

“Also, people who donate by St Andrew’s Day on Wednesday, November 30 will be entered into a prize draw to win a holiday with the Trust.”