Media: Has the National Trust forgotten the radical countryside?

Over at The Conversation, I’ve been musing on the National Trust, country houses … and Downton Abbey. Here’s a snippet:

In her first interview since taking the helm, new director-general of the National Trust Hilary McGrady has said she wants things to get “radical” at the charity, by looking to more urban conservation. McGrady told the BBC:

“I want to reach more people, and more people live in urban areas. The days of walking in to one of our beautiful houses and saying a family lived here, that’s not going to do it.

We need to think about what’s relevant – why would someone in the middle of Birmingham say that’s interesting? What is it in Birmingham that they would get more value from?”

The future McGrady sees is one where the trust expands its conservation role into cities by working with organisations including community groups and local authorities. But who is to say that the countryside can’t be just as radical?

Click through to read the rest of my own radical, rural plan.

Image credit: National Trust – Buckstones Edge by Ashley Kingston on flickr