National Trust celebrates 125th anniversary with plege to become carbon net zero

PUBLISHED: 12:01 12 January 2020

Shaw's Corner in Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan Davies

Shaw's Corner in Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan Davies

Alan Davies

Conservation charity, the National Trust – which owns Shaw’s Corner near Welwyn and Morven Park in Potters Bar – has pledged to become carbon net zero by 2030, as it marks its 125th anniversary.

Plans for a series of new initiatives to step up the battle against climate change were announced by director general Hilary McGrady, including the building of 20 million new trees in 10 years.

She said: "It's our 125th year and the National Trust has always been here for the benefit of everyone. That is why we are making these ambitious announcements in response to what is needed from our institution today.

"As Europe's biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change - which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for.

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"People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change."

Shaw's Corner in Ayot St Lawrence was the country home of playwright George Bernard Shaw for 44 years up until his death in 1950, aged 94 - after which it became a National Trust site.

Morven Park in Potters Bar's Hatfield Road was donated to the trust by Mr AB Sanderson in two parts, the first 20 acres in 1928 and the rest of the park - including the house, which is now a private care home - in 1934.

In her announcement about the National Trust's plans going forward, Mrs McGrady expressed concern at the disconnection between people and nature when evidence shows people's connection to the natural world is an important predictor of their health and wellbeing, as well as their willingness to act to care for the natural environment and launched a year-long campaign to inspire and connect people to their natural environment to help face down the nature crisis is also being launched by the charity today.

She said: "We have a year of activity planned from tree planting, river and beach cleaning, events that track the dawn across our places, birdwatching, picnics in the wild, cloud watching, painting, writing, creating wild art, foraging for food, walking, cycling, yoga and dancing in the great outdoors - and a celebration of Britain's very own blossom season."

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