Since 2013, players of People's Postcode Lottery have awarded National Trust projects a total of £350,000. These awards have played an important part in fulfilling the Trust's mission, which is to preserve and protect historic places and spaces – for ever, for everyone.
Today, the National Trust acts as a guardian for over 775 miles of coastline, 250,000 hectares of land, and over 300 historic buildings. The conservation and protection of this land and property is the foremost concern of the Trust. It ensures that all of us are able to gain a perspective on and a sense of our past.
Over the past several years, players' support has enabled the National Trust to fully repair the original steam-powered fire pump at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales, restore a beautiful Axminster carpet in Stourhead and support intricate lacquer work on an exquisite Chinese screen and several chests at Osterley House in Hounslow.
In 2015, players have awarded the National Trust £150,000, which will go towards the continuation of the National Trust's hugely successful Heritage Open Days, the UK's biggest festival. Since 1994, Heritage Open Days has been organising free heritage events during September, offering opportunities for people to explore their local culture.
In 2014, over 1,500 different organisations, together with nearly 45,000 volunteers, organised openings and events at 4,600 sites across England. More than three million visitors were able to enjoy England's art, architecture and heritage.
2015's Heritage Open Days is set to build on the successes of last year, with original events and a number of new properties opening up for the first time. Some new highlights for 2015 include Wilton House in Salisbury, a 17th century Manor House filled with gorgeous artwork; Winchester College in Hampshire, which will have guided tours of its 14th century Gothic Chapel; and the Great War Huts in Bury St Edmunds, a fabulous collection of 100-year-old wooden army huts. This year's Heritage Open Days is set to take place from 10th to 13th September.
"After last year's triumphant event, we're looking to make 2015 another superlative year," said Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days. "New funding sources and a higher profile means we are in a stronger position than ever before to celebrate our wonderfully diverse local heritage, and to encourage local communities to engage with the hidden histories on their doorsteps."
For more information, visit the Heritage Open days website.