National Trust fundraiser hits £1.6m as donations flood in

Campaign launched last month after charity forecast it would lose £28m in income this year.

National Trust fundraiser hits £1.6m as donations flood in National Trust for Scotland

More than £1.6m has been raised for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) during the coronavirus crisis.

The Save Our Scotland campaign launched after the charity forecast it would lose £28m in income this year as heritage sites shut due to lockdown.

When the extent of the loss was calculated in May, 429 staff were told they were at risk of redundancy.

The trust has paused all projects and postponed the reopening of some properties to save money, some for up to two years.

Among those which may not reopen until the 2022/23 season include Bannockburn Visitor Centre, Hill of Tarvit, House of the Binns, Kippen Smiddy, Leith Hall, Holmwood and Souter Johnnie’s Cottage.

The fundraising campaign was started on June 10 and has secured international support, including donations from the US.

Trust members have donated £800,000 in addition to their subscriptions – the highest total of member contributions for any NTS fundraising appeal.

Mark Bishop, NTS director of customer and cause, said: “The trust has been blown away by the response of key supporters, members who have donated, and the wider public too.

“This shows that there is a lot of support for the trust out there and many people who want to play their part in helping the trust continue its vital work to protect so much of what people love about Scotland.”

As lockdown restrictions have eased, all NTS countryside sites and some 30 estates and gardens have reopened including Culzean Country Park in South Ayrshire, Threave Garden in Dumfries and Galloway and Crathes Castle’s garden and estate in Aberdeenshire.

Selected castles, houses and visitor centres are scheduled to open in August.