How is the National Trust run? Who makes the fundamental decisions that shape our future? As an influential governance volunteer, it could be you.

A charity, a conservation body, a curator of beautiful places and spaces – and so much more. We’re a major commercial enterprise, a retailer, a restaurant chain, a visitor attraction. There is no other organisation in the UK like the National Trust. And it’s that exceptional breadth of opportunity and challenge that makes working with us so incredibly stimulating.

Working with us in a non-executive capacity is a wonderfully rewarding experience: it’s an opportunity to have a real say in our current and future operations. In return for your time, knowledge and expertise, you’ll have the chance to shape our work as you help to grow the nation’s love of special places.

Whatever your area of interest, you’ll find a range of appealing governance opportunities here. The places we look after are varied and for everyone – we’re keen to reflect this in our governance community. We welcome applications from people of all ages, areas and backgrounds who can positively contribute to our work. The details of our appointment or election processes are clearly outlined in each vacancy.

The principles underlying governance appointments

Openness, transparency and accountability: three values which we pride ourselves on. One of the most important ways for us to uphold these values is through the appointment or election of high calibre non-executives, capable and passionate people who will oversee the governance arrangements of the National Trust, and ensure that we remain focused on achieving our vision efficiently and effectively.

The various Nominations Committees of the Council play key roles in governance appointments, making sure principles and standards are being adhered to. On each of these committees sits an external member to increase the rigour of the procedures.

Before an appointment or election starts for any of the bodies in the governance structure, the relevant committee will take into account:

  • the aims and purposes of the body concerned
  • the knowledge, skills and experience required for the position in question
  • the intention to create a diverse and effective body
  • the intention to meet standards of good governance
  • the intention to avoid conflicts of interest.

The committees will always ensure that appointments or elections are:

  • overseen in a fair, equitable, objective and impartial manner
  • conducted in an open and transparent way
  • designed to be thorough, robust and expeditious
  • managed consistently
  • fully explained and readily comprehensible.

Typical opportunities


Our Board of Trustees is the National Trust’s governing body. In many ways, they’re our guardians, our conscience. Their role is to ensure that we have a clear vision and a strategy in place, and that we’re doing everything we say we’ll do. 

Council Member

Providing guidance and perspective, appointing our Trustees and ultimately holding the Board of Trustees to account, the Council is the guardian of our spirit and long-term objectives. 

Member of a Regional Advisory Board

With a real passion for your region, you’ll advise, support and challenge Regional Directors and their teams to help them deliver the Trust’s strategy in their area. 

Meet our volunteers

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Bella Mezger

    Council Member

    Day to day I work as a Management Consultant, focusing on managing change for businesses that are going through transformation. I’m passionate about getting people, particularly families and the young, into the outdoors and experiencing the delights of nature, and also believe in the power of the home, community and beauty in enabling people to understand and fulfil their potential. When I spotted an opportunity to volunteer for the Trust, I was so excited. I knew I wanted to get involved in something I cared deeply about, but wanted to continue to build my skills and experience in Consulting—this was the perfect opportunity to do both.

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Sophie Andreae

    Council Member

    My day job is a Historic Buildings Advisor and I’ve been involved with governance in other heritage sector organisations. So, when the opportunity to volunteer in a governance capacity, I jumped at the chance. People with the right skills set for handling governance-type issues are likely the find the National Trust an interesting, rewarding organisation to volunteer for. The Trust’s work is so important in this country today. It’s good to be a part of it.

  • Volunteer Margaret

    Dylan Williams

    Council Member

    Living in Snowdonia it is difficult not to be familiar with the National Trust and the vast hectares of landscape that the Trust owns and manages. The agricultural, landscape and rural tourism aspect of the Trust’s work are very close to my heart. I believe the Council to be the ‘feel’ of the National Trust, with a diversity of skill, background and geographical representation.  The Council can comment on the ‘feel’ of today and discuss how things may ‘feel’ differently against various strategic propositions. Many describe the Council as the eyes and ears of the Trust, and I agree.

Current governance opportunities

Here you’ll find information on current and future senior governance opportunities.

Please remember, we welcome applications from people of all ages, areas and backgrounds who can positively contribute to our work. If you don’t find the role you are searching for today, we'd still love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us.

South West Regional Advisory Board Member

  • From the moors to St Michaels Mount, castles to coastal caves, the South West region is incredibly rich with natural and historical treasures. Our Regional Advisory Board members are champions of the South West, aiding the National Trust’s mission of looking after these special places for ever, for everyone.

    About the role

    We’re looking for creative and strategic thinkers to join our eight Board members in the South West. Using your network and love for all things in your local region, you’ll help to drive our cause forward. You’ll be shaping the direction of the Trust by encouraging the things we’re getting right, and developing ways in which we might do it better. It’s not about approvals, but generating the big ideas. It’s about enhancing existing strategies and developing new ones. And it’s about making a real, tangible difference to the places you love.

    This role offers a brilliant opportunity to share your expertise and debate key issues with your fellow enthusiasts. As an ambassador for the Trust, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to broaden your network and get involved with projects, bringing the Board closer to the practical side of our work. The role can sit alongside your other commitments, too. We’ll just need you around once a month to give us your valued input and three times per year for strategic awaydays. So if you can bring imagination and innovative thinking to our strategy, we’d love to hear from you.

    For more information about what it is like to work as a South West Regional Advisory Board Member, please click on the following attachments.

    RAB Member testimonials
    Role profile
    Message from the Regional Director
    Member biographies
    Our values and behaviours

    About you

    Sharing an affinity with our cause, you’ll spark ideas that inspire others to get involved with our cause, for the better of the whole South West.

    • You’re engaged in external projects and initiatives that complement the Trust’s cause, so your network will be current and have relevance to our strategy.
    • You have local knowledge and a desire to help make the region’s special se places the best they can be.
    • You already understand the current economic, environmental and social trends that have an impact on the South West.
    • We don’t mind if you don’t have previous Board experience – we’re more interested in who you are and what you’re passionate about.
    • You are resident in the South West

    Unique to us

    • Volunter in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
    • Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
    • 20% off in our retail and catering outlets

    Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking

    To find out more and to apply, please email a CV and covering letter to 

    Alternatively, you can send your application to the below address, although email is preferred.

    National Trust – Killerton Hub
    Killerton House
    EX5 3LE

    For an informal discussion, you can also call our governance team on 01392 883102

    Closing date: 31st January 2017

    Interviews: Interviews for short-listed candidates will be held at the Regional Office at Killerton on the 14th February 2017.

Volunteer as a member of the Natural Environment Advisory Group

  • The National Trust is a successful and growing conservation charity with 4 million members and is one of the UK’s leading heritage organisations. The Trust owns over 28,000 buildings, 200 historic gardens, 100 landscape parks, and 250,000 hectares of land in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The Trust is embarking on an ambitious new phase of its history. Our ten-year strategy commits us to change on many fronts, including a commitment to improving Nature.  We are doing this through the ambitious Land, Outdoors and Nature programme, developing new ways to manage land as well as improve access and communicate our nature ambitions to a wider audience. It will be a huge challenge to realise the kind of transformation we aspire to, while maintaining the highest standards of nature conservation which continue in the Trust.

    We are looking for new volunteers to join the Natural Environment Advisory Group, to help us realise our strategic ambition. The Natural Environment Advisory Group is one of four Advisory Groups in the Trust; the other groups are: Historic Environment, Commercial, and Collections & Interpretation.  The members of these groups are volunteers who give advice to Trust staff, share their expertise and wisdom and give the Trust an external perspective. Advisory Groups are an element of the Trust’s Specialist Advice Network

    We are looking for potential members whose expertise and interests cover the following areas: 

    • Woodland/forestrymanagement

    An experienced practitioner in managing woodlands with high ecological/environmental value. Able to work at the forestry/farming interface with an understanding of farm woodlands, parklands, wood-pasture, farmland trees and hedgerows in the context of high nature value farming. 

    • Water, soils and catchment management

    An experienced practitioner, able to advise on healthy soils and water in the context of catchment management, landscape restoration and habitat creation, including coastal wetlands.

    • Research ecology

    An experienced, academic working in the survey, monitoring and evaluation of species and habitats in the context of landscape ecology, ecosystem function and building resilient ecosystems. Able to advise on, and quality assure, the necessary research (and research partnerships) to support the National Trust’s Land Outdoors and Nature programme.

    Group members will have a passion and deep knowledge in these areas; they will possess a curious and questing mind, and a collegiate outlook. The role requires a commitment of up to fifteen days a year, and is for an initial term of three years with the potential for the term to be renewed. The positions are voluntary, but expenses are paid.

    For further details, please contact Simone Clark, Specialist Network Manager

    Applicants need simply email a short CV and a covering letter expressing why they feel motivated to join the Natural Environment Advisory Group.  Email to Simone Clark, Specialist Network Manager

    Closing date:10 am Monday 9 January 2017

    We are committed to equal opportunities. The National Trust is for everyone and we welcome applications from all sections of the community.