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A national trust is an organization dedicated to preserving the cultural or environmental treasures of a particular geographic region. Although the focus of a national trust may vary by region, an Australian organization stated: "A principal role of a National Trust is to ensure the preservation of architecturally or historically significant items of our cultural heritage, and the conservation of areas of natural beauty". National trusts generally operate as private non-profit organizations, although some receive considerable support from their national government. The first such organization was the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, which is the national trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, formed in 1895 and operating as a charitable organisation, still using the trade name "National Trust" in their official publications without any other distinguishing words. Other national trusts have since been set up, and some of them are also best known locally as "the National Trust".
Notable national trusts include:
- An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, established in 1948.
- Australian Council of National Trusts, federation of six state and two territorial National Trusts.
- Bahamas National Trust
- Barbados National Trust, founded in 1960.
- Bermuda National Trust, established in 1970.
- Din l-Art Helwa, the national trust of Malta
- Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano, the national trust of Italy
- Heritage Canada
- Japan National Trust
- Manx National Trust
- National Trust, the trading name of "National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty", covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- National Trust for the Cayman Islands
- National Trust of Fiji
- National Trust of Guernsey
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, founded in 1949 by congressional charter in the United States
- National Trust Community Investment Corporation, a private for-profit subsidiary of the American organisation.
- National Trust for Jersey
- National Trust for Scotland, established in 1931.
- Queen Elizabeth II National Trust — New Zealand (open spaces)
- Saint Helena National Trust
- Saint Lucia National Trust
- Max Colwell, David Colwell, Heritage Preserved with the National Trust of South Australia (1985), p. 7.