The Trust was established in 1970 to promote the preservation of the islands architectural, historic and environmental treasures, and to encourage public access to and enjoyment of them.  Its forerunner was the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust, working in conservation since 1937.
 

The Trust is a non-governmental organization, often referred to as an NGO, created through an act of parliament - THE BERMUDA NATIONAL TRUST ACT of 1969.  We are an independent not-for-profit organisation which depends for revenue upon donations, legacies and membership subscriptions.  Our members and friends are from all walks of life, having a common love of Bermuda and a desire that its special aspects should be safeguarded for everyone to enjoy, now and always.  With its tireless teams of workers, volunteers and members and often against all odds, the organization has assembled a remarkable array of things Bermudian for all to enjoy and value.  We only succeed at what we do because of enormous reservoirs of encouragement, support and good will.
    The mission statement of the Trust is...To protect and promote Bermuda's unique natural and cultural heritage forever, by:        
         acquiring and conserving land, buildings and artefacts;
         inspiring appreciation and stewardship through advocacy, research, education and participation.
 
In the Trusts care are some 76 properties covering more than 250 acres and representing the best of Bermuda's heritage.  Included are traditional houses, islands, gardens, cemeteries, nature reserves and coastline.   Altogether the Trust has inherited or acquired 33 open space properties totaling more than 240 acres.  This network of reserves includes some of the largest and most spectacular wetlands and woodlands in Bermuda.  Some like Paget Marsh and Warwick Pond have been enhanced for educational purposes with interpretive trails and a boardwalk.  The acquisition of open space serves to preserve and maintain our unique natural heritage of geologic landforms and our native flora and fauna.  Our time as individuals in nature reserves serves to enhance our physical and mental health and promotes spiritual regeneration.  Studies have shown that people who regularly interact with nature show lower stress levels, are less violent and heal faster from illness.
   Unfortunately this heritage has come under escalating threat recently, not only from development but from an increasing host of invasive exotic species which are degrading the reserves themselves.  Existing resources are no longer sufficient to protect these important sites and the vital biodiversity they host and there is an urgent need to secure the necessary resources to manage and maintain them.  We owe it to future generations to ensure they are not neglected.  Trees like casuarinas and Brazil peppers grow faster than our native trees, and out-compete them in many ways. We have learned that it costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to remove invasives from just one acre of woodland posing what seems like an insurmountable challenge to the Trust. 
   The Trust's cares for 55 historic buildings with most of them dating from the 18th century or even earlier and together they make up a unique portfolio.  Few other older buildings in Bermuda have had their integrity so carefully preserved as those held by the Trust.  Bermudas architecture is unique and often said to be its only indigenous art.  The skills of builders as familiar with ship building as with house building, the available materials of cedar and limestone with their limitations, the lack of formally trained architects, the likelihood of hurricanes, the islands isolation form the mother country of the first settlers all combined to create a truly original and distinctive vernacular architecture suited both to the humble cottage and the grander two-storey house.  Maintenance of these buildings is expensive but over the years fund-raising efforts have ensured that all the Trusts buildings are structurally sound and fitted for appropriate use in the 21st century.
 Like many charities in Bermuda the Trust has been challenged by the present economic climate and our trimmed staff and dedicated volunteer teams are working harder than ever to preserve our heritage for all.  History can inform and educate us by providing the context and perspective that allows us to make thoughtful decisions about the future. And history has the power to delight and enrich us, enlarging and intensifying the experience of being alive.  I reach out to you all today to be conscious of your rich and fascinating heritage, to enjoy the wild side and spend some time in nature and to appreciate what the Trust vigilantly holds for you, your children and generations to come.  I also encourage you, your friends and your families to engage in the activities of the Trust knowing that every member of the community is welcome and your participation makes us more resilient.  Be it a visit to a museum, attending an event, volunteering in an area of interest, becoming a member or providing financial or in-kind support we wish for, and embrace your support.