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  • Heritage trusts gather in Cambridge, England, for international conference

    Posted on September 4, 2015

    INTO and the National Trust in the East of England will be hosting the 16th International Conference of National Trusts, with workshops taking place in the surroundings of historic houses such as Wimpole Hall, Anglesey Abbey and Ickworth in Suffolk, as well as the striking landscape of Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve.


    ICNT 14 delegates in Victoria, Canada (2011)

    Delegates from more than 70 National Trusts from countries including Australia, the United States, Canada, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Bermuda, Indonesia, Slovenia, Korea, China and Japan will all be arriving in Cambridge for the conference, which will also see events held in venues such as King’s College and West Road Concert Hall.

    National Trusts and similar organisations around the world have been coming together for the last 30 years under the umbrella of the International National Trust Organisation (INTO) to share information and best practice, develop solutions to common problems and show solidarity with other members of the movement.

    Whilst each National Trust is different, they face shared challenges and opportunities, such as increased pressure on land and landscapes, economic volatility and remaining relevant in an ever-changing society.

    The conference will focus on understanding the threats to our global heritage, and sharing new strategies to counter these in the future.

    Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and former Director-General of the National Trust is also expected to be elected as the new Chairman of INTO at the opening event on Monday September 7. Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE replaces Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC, who has overseen the organisation’s development and growth since 2005.

    Ben Cowell, National Trust Director of the National Trust in the East of England said: “It is now 120 years since the establishment of the National Trust, and welcoming delegates with a shared passion for our global heritage feels particularly important during these times of great challenges around the world. From climate change to political unrest and conflict, there are lessons to be learnt and strategies to be developed as we move forward.

    “With the focus of this conference being about how we continue our work on land and nature, it feels particularly special that Wicken Fen, the first nature reserve purchased by the Trust in 1899 will be the site for some of the conference events.”

    Catherine Leonard, Head of the INTO Secretariat said: “We are thrilled to be bringing the National Trusts of the world to Cambridge, a city which combines heritage, beauty and nature with a history of innovation, excellence and knowledge sharing.  Something we hope to replicate in our conference deliberations.”

    The 16th International Conference of National Trusts will take place from September 7-11 2015.


    ICNT 15 delegates in Entebbe, Uganda (2013)

    For more information, please contact:

    Helen Johns, National Trust press office in the East of England, on 01284 747558 or 07702 640758

    High resolution images of the National Trust places in Cambridgeshire are available.

    Notes to editors:

    • The National Trust was formed in the UK in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley.
    • Wicken Fen became the National Trust’s first nature reserve when two acres were purchased in 1899.
    • The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information go to:
    • The National Trust is a founder member of INTO, which was established to provide a permanent focal point for the moment.
    • With over sixty member organisations, INTO is the leading authority on the work of National Trusts worldwide and the issues affecting these community-based, non-governmental organisations:
    • The conference is being supported by American Express, the Helen Hamlyn Trust and the Headley Trust. It will be officially opened by Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Director General, and with a video address by HRH the Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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