Places that make us – National Trust research report 2017

Back to presentations: Assessing and developing a Spirit of Place document for your garden

‘The need of quiet, the need of air, and I believe the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all.’

Octavia Hill wrote these words seven years before she founded the National Trust. It was a belief that inspired and guided the organisation that today cares for 775 miles of coastline, over 248,000 hectares of land and over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves, for ever, for everyone.

Today, we operate in a very different world to the one Octavia knew but the enduring human need for these places is as strong as ever. Places that make us feel calm or provide us with space to think; places we feel a deep pull towards or that have a physical effect on us when we visit; places where we feel ‘at home’ or that make us feel complete; places to restore us or inspire us.

The findings of this research have reinforced what Octavia instinctively understood about the importance of places in shaping our lives. Places make us who we are, and we relate to them in an emotional, spiritual and physical way. The National Trust’s work helps care for the nation’s special places for ever, for everyone.