Hilary McGrady's Letter

Dear future generations,

It’s hard sometimes to work out how to start this kind of letter. To take a moment out of our hectic lives to think of the future, to project ourselves forwards to think about the sort of world we want future generations to live in, and to think about the possibilities yet to come to pass.

But yesterday, as I walked in the fields near my house, a skylark rose above me , singing its heart out; as if it was singing just for me as I stood there. I knew then just what I wanted to write.

The sound of the skylark, is something I grew up with as a child , a joyful song of life and exuberance and for me a sense of escape and freedom

That’s something special I want to protect - for you as future generations to enjoy.

If not a skylark then a robin or a blackbird, or some other wonderful encounter with nature. Because the natural world in all of its forms brings joy, helps us live well and helps protect our planet.

I want future generations everywhere to enjoy all the wonders that I have had the privilege to enjoy. To be able to get outdoors, to roam the countryside and our landscapes, to experience and enjoy nature’s beauty.

The sights and sounds of wildlife from my childhood, are already much less today than they were then. But time is of the essence

If we are to pass on this precious world to you, I know that we need to act now.

The work we are already doing is a great start. Our members, supporters and partners are supporting us in many ways - from helping us build leaky dams in our peatlands and restoring habitats, to planting trees to help soak up carbon and re-wiggling rivers to help hold more water in our landscapes. We are working with farmers and landowners to do more for nature and we are engaging the public in the joy and beauty of nature by planting blossom trees nearby

But there is so much more to do. We will need everyone to play their part if we are to pass on this incredible planet and all the riches of our shared inheritance. So I pledge to do all I can, as an individual and a leader, to ensure that nature can thrive and the song of the skylark can still be heard by many generations to come.

Hilary McGrady, Director General at National Trust

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