Trust us, we know what we’re doing
ICAN reassure Mary Lloyd that we have certainly not decided ‘to abandon the saving of country houses’ (‘Our countryside is not in Trust-worthy hands’, Letters, August 10). The Trust was founded to look after places of historic interest and natural beauty and has always stepped forward to serve the nation in its greatest hour of conservation need. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was great houses; in the 1960s, it was our coastline; today, it’s our land and Nature, but it has never been one choice over another.
We now have more than 200 historic houses and their contents in our care, along with many other heritage buildings and monuments. We will be spending £1 billion on the conservation of our historic buildings, gardens and countryside over the next 10 years. Multi-millionpound projects such as those at Knole (above), The Vyne and Castle Drogo are just three examples of where we are investing in conservation of our historic houses.
If a historic house—or, indeed, any other historic building —were at risk, with a tangible threat to its future, and we were the right organisation to take it on with the resources to do so in perpetuity, we would always consider it. Helen Ghosh, Director-general, National Trust