FEATURE4 March 2021

Trust in place: How the National Trust uses data to put nature in the spotlight

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The National Trust is using insight to communicate the value of spaces and connect with audiences in new ways. By Katie McQuater.

Recent TV adverts from the National Trust are like a balm for the soul; in one, frothy waves lap a pebbled beach, while in another, a small bird hops across mossy stones. None has a voiceover, instead, all are sound-tracked by the rise and fall of the waves and birdsong.

Connection with nature is perhaps something we’ve all instinctively appreciated more in the past few months – confined to our homes, many of us have felt renewed vigour from long walks and the benefit of time spent outdoors.

The National Trust has had an idea of nature’s healing properties for a while now – the organisation’s 125th anniversary advert by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy drew on the 19th century words of its co-founder Octavia Hill: “We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space.”

For an organisation dedicated to preserving historic places and spaces, understanding and communicating the relevance of those spaces to our modern lives is a key priority for the ...