Margaret Alexander, Chairman of the North East centres for National Trust for Scotland (NTS) gave an illuminating talk about the history, financial issues and ongoing projects involving the work of the National Trust to Ellon Rotarians.
NTS was created in 1931 and is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Created to support the preservation of properties, gardens and places of natural beauty for the benefit of the Scottish nation, NTS manages 129 properties, 76000 hectares of countryside including areas around 46 Munros and 35 major gardens including Pitmedden Garden with its thousands of colourful annual bedding plants which make an elaborate summer spectacle. NTS works in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and the MOD on a continuing programme of conservation and research on the island of St Kilda to ensure the care and protection of this World Heritage Site.
In 2009 NTS was experiencing some financial issues but it took on board a root and branch review entitled ‘Fit for the Purpose’ and developed a route map for improvement. A Senior management Team under the leadership of Kenneth Calman was established and it has steered NTS to a more sustainable financial pathway.
In her vote of thanks Rotarian Alison Walker suggested that fellow Rotarians could benefit from an educational visit to Go Ape one of the star attractions at Crathes Castle so that they could unleash their inner Tarzan appeal and leave them with a big monkey grin.