The National Trust is a UK charity which operates by using donations, membership fees and commercial activity. National Parks are a major priority of theirs, along with castles and monuments. The National Trust works alongside parliament to prevent people from developing or selling important historical or natural buildings or land.
Specialist rangers help to preserve the habitats of birds and animals in UK National Parks, such as red squirrel rangers, which ensure their species have enough food and are safe from predators or any other danger. This work prevents certain vulnerable species from becoming endangered, particularly important in National Parks as they contain some of the rarest species in the world. Sometimes nature needs to be cleared for the best environment for wildlife. Teams of rangers and volunteers help to remove invasive scrub plants to stop birds from getting stuck in thorns and prickly branches. Another aspect of their work is removing young trees which take up space so that butterflies and birds can fly freely.
The National Trust cleverly prioritises the habitats of declining species, as stated in their wildlife plan in 2017. Their aim is to create 25,000 hectares of new habitats by 2025. This is at least 10% of all the land the Trust governs. It hopes that 50% of its farmland will be friendly to nature and will work in partnership with farmers to promote farming that does not inhibit wildlife habitats. The National Trust can enforce penalties for poaching and hunting on national reserves, with specific management teams which monitor land where shooting activities are commonplace. They restrict all poaching on national parks, including culling of badgers, in favour of more practical solutions of preventing TB and bovine diseases.
The National Trust claims the right to preserve and restore large expanses of land with its funding. In fact, the charity is the largest private landowner in the UK. It claims to look after 250,000 hectares of countryside, within which national parks are usually situated.
National parks are defined as a “park in use for conservation purposes”. For example, Ambleside near Lake Windemere in Cumbria, which is part of the Lake District, is the rightful property of the National Trust and The Crown. Areas needing protection could be nearing demolition, such as Basildon Park, before it was taken over by the National Trust.
But what does the National Trust do to preserve the nature in National Parks? Well, they don’t always let nature take its toll. Their work includes cutting and trimming trees, pulling up weeds, removing pests and cutting the grass. All of this is done while being careful not to disturb bird nests or other habitats. Wildlife and nature prosper in tandem. Preserving nature also helps to sustain long-term habitats. The National Trust’s very own volunteers and gardeners maintain the landscape for the best possible environment for wildlife.
Trustees are prepared to pay at least £38 a year to help the National Trust to protect vast areas of historic natural land. You can sign up as a member today here.