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The National Trust is under attack

(163 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Tue 03-Oct-23 11:08:55

Farage and Mogg are attacking the NT and its aim of the protection/conservation of the land that it owns. The Trust lobby’s on the issue of nature and has been labelled as “woke” (do they know what it means) by the likes of Farage and Mogg.

This together with the Trusts various displays of historical displays about how slavery helped build so many of the houses that the Trust owns.

This group of ultra-conservative individuals are attempting to infiltrate the Trust in order to ensure it retreats back in time. What they don’t want is for the Trust to progress with time.

If you are a member and don’t like that people like Farage etc are trying to stop progress please ensure you cast your vote by the end of October.

M0nica Wed 04-Oct-23 07:07:30

Siope I always give my sourcs - and I give a link to where the figures I quoted came from on National Trust website

I would also point out that the NT income and membership was HIGHER in the COVID year, than last year.

I have no objection to branding per se. There has always been branding on NT sites and it is an intrinsic part of any organisations work, especially that of a charity, but I have just found it overwhelmingly intrusive in recent year and it has come between me and enjoying their properties.

In the past, there was more diversity between sites, the diversity of the lives and times of the people who built and adorned and lived in and ran the houses came through, without value judgements. Again this is not an anti-'wokery' comment. Of course the extent that slavery financed many of these houses, and their families should be known and highlighted, but leave the visitor to make their own moral judgements on what happened.

I have just been reading an archaeological article that investigated the lives - and deaths of pauper apprentices in the cotton industry north of England, Work house children, as young as 7 or 8 wrested from their families and sent hundreds of miles away to work 14 our days in the cotton mills. The straight forward recitation of the facts was overwhelmingly shocking, with out anyone trying to feed me any moral judgements.

NanKate Wed 04-Oct-23 07:37:57

I agree Primrose how sad about the volunteer who left due to the NT forcing staff to wear the Pride badge. It should have been up to staff to make their own decisions whether they wore the badge or not.

We regularly visit our 3 local NT properties and gardens. What we have noticed is that the range of food in the cafes have decreased and it is only basic food like hot dogs and pasties available at lunch time. We often take our own picnic.

Casdon Wed 04-Oct-23 08:12:46

Volunteers whose sensibilities are affected leave charity jobs often, that’s their prerogative, and no organisation can change the way it operates to cope with that. There are over 50,000 volunteers in the National Trust, so 200 leaving means a very small percentage were offended.
The truth is that whatever the National Trust does it won’t please everybody - but it’s very successful at pleasing most of the people most of the time in its current form.

Primrose53 Wed 04-Oct-23 08:39:25

Casdon

Volunteers whose sensibilities are affected leave charity jobs often, that’s their prerogative, and no organisation can change the way it operates to cope with that. There are over 50,000 volunteers in the National Trust, so 200 leaving means a very small percentage were offended.
The truth is that whatever the National Trust does it won’t please everybody - but it’s very successful at pleasing most of the people most of the time in its current form.

It doesn’t mean that at all. As already explained the NT did a rapid U turn to stop more people cancelling their membership. It does NOT mean that only 200 were offended. The 200+ offended were members anyway, not volunteers.

They knew full well that if they carried on insisting volunteers wore Pride badges they would get a mass walkout and then they would be well and truly stuffed as they depend heavily on volunteers.

Katie59 Wed 04-Oct-23 08:51:24

Whitewavemark2

I am a long standing member and I think that there can be little doubt that the age profile has got much younger than when i first joined. Young families are much more in evidence now. They are the ones who appreciate the more progressive attitude that the NT has adopted, and are the future of the NT.

Old fogeys like the chap who refused to support the LGBT are a dying breed.

The NT will not survive just attracting people like that.

Many properties are becoming more attractive to younger audiences and families, several of the large houses with parkland are attracting much larger numbers. Why not? even if they have little interest in the historic value of the site, it’s a day out in pleasant surroundings. Very often repeat visits from local residents, very often parents with children, or retired couples just strolling through the ground and having a coffee.

We make good use of our NT cards and also Historic Houses, it’s very often the smaller properties with good guides that are the most interesting. They are both excellent value.

fancythat Wed 04-Oct-23 09:00:46

NanKate

I agree Primrose how sad about the volunteer who left due to the NT forcing staff to wear the Pride badge. It should have been up to staff to make their own decisions whether they wore the badge or not.

We regularly visit our 3 local NT properties and gardens. What we have noticed is that the range of food in the cafes have decreased and it is only basic food like hot dogs and pasties available at lunch time. We often take our own picnic.

I visited one about 2 days after start of this season.
Agree range of food was bad.
Something like, soup, panini or cake.

Grammaretto Wed 04-Oct-23 09:02:22

I have a relative who loathes the NT and all it stands for. She sees castles and stately homes as glorifying a past which shouldn't be glorified. She always has felt this, long before the connections with slavery were highlighted.
I have some sympathy with that view but I love the buildings and the surrounds so can appreciate them for their own sake and also think about the workers who built them.

Sameness is a fact. But there again it can be comforting to know that you'll have a pot of tea and a scone in a tasteful tearoom after traipsing around for hours.

Allanbank at Grasmere is a wonderful NT house where you can sit on the seats and listen to live music whilst picking up some knitting to make blankets for cold knees.

Siope Wed 04-Oct-23 09:43:30

Monica sorry, I thought my post made the source clear: it’s the National Trust’s audited accounts and annual reports as filed with the Charity Commission. Their most recent filed accounts are 2021-22.

Casdon Wed 04-Oct-23 10:15:32

Primrose53

Casdon

Volunteers whose sensibilities are affected leave charity jobs often, that’s their prerogative, and no organisation can change the way it operates to cope with that. There are over 50,000 volunteers in the National Trust, so 200 leaving means a very small percentage were offended.
The truth is that whatever the National Trust does it won’t please everybody - but it’s very successful at pleasing most of the people most of the time in its current form.

It doesn’t mean that at all. As already explained the NT did a rapid U turn to stop more people cancelling their membership. It does NOT mean that only 200 were offended. The 200+ offended were members anyway, not volunteers.

They knew full well that if they carried on insisting volunteers wore Pride badges they would get a mass walkout and then they would be well and truly stuffed as they depend heavily on volunteers.

Apologies for misinterpreting, but I think the point still stands regarding offence taken by members or volunteers of any charities. The charities can’t stop moving forward, whatever they do is risking offending a minority of people, but keeping the majority happy has to be their aim. It’s the prerogative of members, volunteers and staff to leave organisations if they don’t like it, but there’s really no evidence that has happened on a large scale. Good organisations listen, but they don’t compromise their principles.

Dinahmo Wed 04-Oct-23 12:30:39

During the 20 years that I lived in Suffolk I was treasurer of a local branch of Save The Children. as a branch we put on a variety of events during the year, the proceeds of which were donated to the charity. I remember two separate events that angered some of our members. The first was when the charity decided that it no longer needed knitted blankets for refugees since there were more practical alternatives. The second was when the charity did not come out against abortion. In both instances some members stopped supporting the charity.

M0nica Wed 04-Oct-23 13:37:59

Siope I do not doubt the validity of your figures, but mine also come from NT sources, so something funny is happening somewhere. I suspect the figures I quote are an amalgam of figures from several places in the accounts.

I have been treasurer of a small charity and the requirements of how charity accounts have to be presented often present a version of our finances that are quite at odds with our operational accounts.

Siope Wed 04-Oct-23 16:31:00

Yes. That’s what I said - odd that the NT should present its information in a format that is not in its accounts, particularly when it’s not a good PR look for them. I’m sure I could pull the info from its full accounts by doing a little maths, but I genuinely don’t care enough about the NT to invest the time.

My guess is the fundraising team produced some appeals showing how badly they’d been affected by Covid, and the media team lifted the figures from there without contextualising them properly.

It’s also a little sloppy - but I can see how it happens - not to have that page removed from searches/their website and replaced with up-to-date answers.

Everyone who can should still vote against the Reform Trust candidates!

Dinahmo Wed 04-Oct-23 17:41:11

I decided to look further into the fundraising monies for 2019/20 and 2020/21. M0nica's figures can be found on page 17 of the 2020/21 report. There is a sort of breakdown given but it doesn't add up to £79 million. There are actually 106 pages of the report in total, should anyone be interested in reading its entirety.

Soniah Fri 06-Oct-23 12:51:19

They want to allow hunting, whoops I mean exercising hounds, again too

Treetops05 Fri 06-Oct-23 12:54:41

I must admit the NT isn't popular where I live. Somewhere in the mists of time a gentleman left a water meadow to the people of our town. It was later handed to the Trust, but 4 years ago they decided to sell it, to help maintain their local headquarters and grounds.

It had been used by the town for dogwalking, playing and had some amazing nature. They sold it anyway, as they have to do 'their best for the trust generally, not just for the town it was left to'.

After a battle with the developers it has been listed as an open green space for the town...but I doubt anyone locally will leave anything to the NT for the foreseeable future.

Grammaretto Fri 06-Oct-23 13:25:18

That's pretty bad isn't it treetops not surprising though. Whenever an organisation becomes a company beholden to its shareholders it behaves like this.
It was always said that if you left property to the NT there had to be a hefty legacy with it for running costs or it could be sold.

EEJit Fri 06-Oct-23 13:59:07

I'm getting fed up of all the moaning going on on the subject of slavery.

Yes, it was an awful time and a terrible think to happen. But no-one alive today had anything to do with it, there is nothing that we can do to make it go away.

As for the 33trillion that someone is asking for in reparations, why should we pay it, the British were the ones majorly responsible for end it.

We'll give you 33 trillion, you give us 35 trillion for ending it and setting the slaves free.

Overthemoon Fri 06-Oct-23 14:16:46

What does 'woke' mean for goodness sake...

Nan0 Fri 06-Oct-23 15:12:31

It's not under attack, and I recommend eg Phillip Merrick who runs eg Elmley nature reserve..

Eirlys Fri 06-Oct-23 15:55:32

History cannot be changed. We should learn from it.
Great houses are symbols of the past. They are "History". View them, and don't be bullied by modern propaganda. Look and learn.
..............................................................................................

People tend to forget that Britain led the world in abolishing slavery.

Should we not concentrate on slavery in the modern world? It still goes on.

Tinker18 Fri 06-Oct-23 16:04:06

Thank you for the heads up; I have voted and also publicised to friends .

Madashell Fri 06-Oct-23 16:14:04

What about Barbary piracy?

MaggsMcG Fri 06-Oct-23 16:14:17

I cancelled my membership because I didn't feel I was getting anything from it. Even the Free Parking was beginning to disappear. Everything was getting too expensive.

Paperbackwriter Fri 06-Oct-23 16:15:57

I think it's high time for the NT to be split into at least two factions. I'd gladly join if my money were going towards coastal upkeep but I really don't want to fork out for renovating stately piles which all seem to end up fossilised into one chosen period whereas in reality all homes contain a mix of stuff and decor from many eras. I was horrified several years ago when I saw what they'd done to Ham House - it looked as if someone had gone through every page of the Jocasta Innes book of paint techniques. Not a surface was un-stippled or un-dragged. Awful (one or two nice fabrics though..)

Paperbackwriter Fri 06-Oct-23 16:18:32

"Absolutely ludicrous to expect people to wear badges or lanyards supporting something you feel no connection with or have no interest in."

How many times does it have to be said? There was NO compulsion to wear a rainbow badge or lanyard. But if people want to flounce out of the NT because of their personal distaste for same-sex relationships, then maybe the organisation is better off without such bigots?