The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The trust describes itself as "a charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces, forever, for everyone". The trust was founded in 1895 and given statutory powers, starting with the National Trust Act 1907.

After World War II the loss of English country houses resulted in many such properties being acquired either by a gift from the former owners or through the National Land Fund, later the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the National Lottery.

Country Houses and Estates still make up a significant part of its holdings, but it is also known for its protection of wild landscapes such as in the Lake District and nature reserves.

The National Trust has been the beneficiary of many large donations and bequests. It owns over 500 heritage properties, which includes many historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments, and social history sites.

It has been accused of focusing too much on country estates, and in recent years, the Trust has sought to broaden its activities by acquiring historic properties such as former mills, early factories, workhouses, and the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

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