The John Muir Trust: Giving A Voice To The UK’s Wild Places

Quinag, seen beyond Loch Assynt, Sutherland. Photo: Joe Cornish/2020VISION

The John Muir Trust is the UK’s leading wild land conservation charity.

Supported in its work by 10,500 members, the Trust is dedicated to protecting and restoring wild places for people and wildlife, for today and for future generations. Founded in 1983, the Trust takes its inspiration from John Muir, the Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement and father of America’s national parks.

The Trust exists to protect wild land

Following Muir’s example, the Trust exists to protect wild land – both for its own sake and because it believes wild places are essential for everyone.

Our wild landscapes give us clean air, fresh water and wildlife habitats, while also helping to regulate our climate and providing economic benefits to communities through tourism and recreational activities. In the words of Muir: ‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.’

The Trust campaigns for the increased protection of wild land under threat. The adverse impact of large-scale energy developments on the landscape and ecological health of the UK’s remaining wild land is to such an extent that many core areas of wild land are at imminent risk of disappearing.

Recently, the Trust marked a historic breakthrough in its campaign to defend Scotland’s wild land, when the Scottish Government published the new Wild Land Areas 2014 map, recognising the importance of wild land in planning policy.

The Trust cares for these magnificent landscapes

The John Muir Trust owns and looks after some of the finest areas of wild land in the UK, including parts of Ben Nevis, Schiehallion, Li and Coire Dhorrcail on Knoydart, Quinag, Sandwood Bay and areas of Skye’s Cuillin Mountains.

The Trust cares for these magnificent landscapes by restoring habitats, encouraging wildlife and helping nature flourish; and by mobilising teams of committed volunteers to plant trees, remove invasive species, clear litter, repair footpaths and carry out other vital tasks to help restore these wild places.

The Trust’s Wild Land Management Standards are the principles which guide the management of its properties; and through which other wild land managers are encouraged to adopt the same ethos and take an ecosystem approach to managing the land in their care.

Each year, through the John Muir Award, the Trust’s environmental award scheme, thousands of people across the UK of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to connect with, enjoy and care for nature. This award scheme promotes awareness of – and responsibility for – the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

If you love the natural world, support the John Muir Trust by joining, donating or giving the gift of membership this Christmas. Help give a voice to wild places.

John Muir

  • John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838 and emigrated to America with his parents when he was 11 years old.
  • As a boy, when he wasn’t working on the family farm in Wisconsin, John Muir would explore the surrounding wilderness, discovering as much about the natural world as possible.
  • After travelling across America when he was a young man, John Muir settled in California with this family. He was never to return to Scotland.
  • John Muir’s love of nature and wilderness remained with him all his life. He was highly-influential in the formation of several of America’s national parks and was one of the world’s first conservationists.
  • The John Muir Trust occasionally bestows a John Muir Trust Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, this prestigious award was presented to the Scots Magazine’s Tom Weir.