John Muir Trust

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John Muir Trust
John Muir Trust logo.jpg
Formation 1983
Type charitable NGO
Headquarters Pitlochry
Website John Muir Trust website

The John Muir Trust is a Scottish charity[1] established as a membership organisation in 1983 to conserve wild land and wild places for the benefit of all. It has more than 11,000 members in December 2017.[2]

The organisation was inspired by the work of Scottish-born conservationist John Muir – a key figure in the modern conservation movement, particularly in the USA where he worked to save Yosemite National Park and other areas of wilderness. Building on Muir's reputation there, the Trust has links with the Sierra Club, which John Muir founded in California in 1892.

The trust was founded by Denis Mollison, Nicholas Luard, Nigel Hawkins and Chris Brasher.[3]

The John Muir Trust owns some of the finest wild land in the highlands and islands of Scotland: The Strathaird, Torrin and Sconser estates on Skye, which includes the Red Cuillin and part of the Black Cuillin; Li and Coire Dhorrcail on the north coast of the Knoydart peninsula; Sandwood Bay in north west Sutherland; Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles; Quinag, the three peak mountain in Assynt; East Schiehallion in Highland Perthshire, which includes the summit and the main footpath; and the Glenlude estate near Traquair in the Scottish Borders. It recently signed a three-year lease to take over the management of Glenridding Common in the Lake District, which includes most of Helvellyn (England's third highest peak), Striding Edge and Red Tarn. As well as protecting landscapes, the Trust works to restore natural habitats and encourage native species. It works with local people and communities, and seeks to increase awareness and understanding of wild places.


The Trust looks after Ben Nevis. As owner of the Ben Nevis Estate, it plays a key role in the Nevis Partnership, which covers care of the Ben and the wider Nevis area including Glen Nevis and the Allt a' Mhuilinn leading to the North Face. In Perthshire, the Trust restored and realigned the main footpath to the summit of Schiehallion. In recent years has also carried out major restoration work on the Steall Gorge footpath in Lower Glen Nevis; Sandwood Bay in Sutherland; Blà Bheinn and Druim Hain on Skye; and Suilven in Assynt. In a number of locations it works to restore aims to protect and restore ancient woodland and native woodlands.

The Trust helped establish the Knoydart Foundation, which purchased the 17,000-acre (69 km2) Knoydart Estate in 1999. The purchase brought the "rough bounds" into community and conservation ownership. The Trust is the only external representative on the North Harris Trust, which aims to manage, develop and conserve the North Harris Estate (Outer Hebrides) in a sustainable manner. In 2005, it purchased the Quinag Estate in Sutherland and joined the Assynt Foundation (Lochinver) to assist them in purchasing and managing the neighbouring Glencanisp and Drumrunie Estates.

The Trust has given support to the Carrifran Wildwood project, initiated by the Borders Forest Trust.[4] The Wildwood group purchased land in the Carrifran valley in the Moffat hills of Southern Scotland in 1999 and has started to recreate a large tract of woodland wilderness that will be used as an educational resource.

John Muir's birthplace[edit]

In 1998, together with East Lothian Council, Dunbar's John Muir Association and Dunbar Community Council, the Trust formed a new organisation called the John Muir Birthplace Trust. The following year JMBT purchased John Muir's Birthplace at 126 High Street, Dunbar. They have turned it into a centre which tells the story of John Muir's early years in Dunbar where he established his passion for wild places and creatures.

John Muir Award[edit]

This is an environmental award scheme established by the John Muir Trust in 1997 that encourages people to enjoy and care for wild places. Open to people of all backgrounds, it is free, inclusive,non-competitive and flexible. The Trust works with hundreds of partners on the ground in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver the Award on the ground, including schools, outdoor groups, environmental organisations, and rehabilitation charities. In Scotland it is part of the Curriculum for Excellence and is delivered in all 32 local authority areas.

Another award is occasionally bestowed, the John Muir Lifetime Achievement Award, to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding work relating to the protection and enjoyment of wild land. Recipients have included:

2000 Tom Weir, mountaineer and broadcaster[5]
2004 Adam Watson, ecologist, mountaineer and author[6]
2006 Doug Scott, mountaineer[7]
2008 Irvine Butterfield, writer, photographer and mountain enthusiast[8]
2018 Larry Downing, American environmental campaigner[9]

List of properties[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "John Muir Trust, Registered Charity no. SC002061". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. 
  2. ^ Annual Report, John Muir Trust, 2017, p. 9 
  3. ^ "John Muir Trust Annual Report 2004" (PDF). John Muir Trust. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Carrifran Wildwood Project". Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Top Award for Scotland's Best-Loved "Mountain Man"". 24 November 2000. Retrieved 6 June 2007. 
  6. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award for Dr Adam Watson". 2 November 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "The path over the mountains – Doug Scott". 24 March 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Irvine Butterfield Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Dundee Mountain Festival". 28 November 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "Trust gives Lifetime Achievement Award to US environmental campaigner". John Muir Trust. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018. 

External links[edit]