Birth of a wild idea
The John Muir Trust was formed on Wednesday 2 February 1983 to conserve and protect wild places with their indigenous animals, plants and soils for the benefit of present and future generations.
At the time, the Ministry of Defence was considering purchasing the Knoydart peninsula, which would have seen this remarkable landscape closed off to the public. Thanks to the efforts of founding Members Chris Brasher (pictured here), Nigel Hawkins, Nicholas Luard and Denis Mollison - and our early supporters - the future of this special wild place was secured so that nature could restore itself and people could continue to enjoy it.
Over the past four decades we have followed in their footsteps and now safeguard over 65,000 acres of wild places, where nature, people and communities have the freedom to thrive – supported by our Members, without whom none of this could be possible.
Origin story of the John Muir Trust
"Chris agreed with my suggestion that any new trust should be named after John Muir..."
One of our founders, Denis Mollison, recounts a rocky journey that led to the Memorandum and Articles of the Trust being signed on 19 January 1983, before the charity was officially formed on 2 February that same year.
- Read Denis Mollison's 2013 Journal article.
- Read Chris Brasher's 1988 Observer article.
Share your Wild Moments and help us celebrate 40 years
Please share your early recollections of the Trust – including any memorable visits you made to the sites in our care - and we will publish them on our website for others to enjoy throughout the year.
- Get in touch by emailing us
- Read some Wild Moments
- Here's how to submit your own Wild Moment
Here's a taste of what's to come as we celebrate our 40th anniversary this year:
1. Our Members and volunteers are curating a souvenier celebrate 40 edition of the Journal to examine the key issues that have been relevant to the Trust over the years and analyse them from a modern perspective.
2. In July and August, we invite people of all ages to our Wild Space visitor centre in Pitlochry to take a fun trip through Trust's 40 year history and glimpse our vision of a world where wild places give nature, people and communities the freedom to thrive - plus daily 2pm viewings of our new Clear on Deer film (no booking required).
3. Join our team at the Bla Bheinn car park on 13 September for Skye 40 trees day and plant 40 trees to celebrate 40 years of the John Muir Trust caring for wild places, plus hear a bonus talk on trees...
4. Towards the end of the year, we are launching a Creative Freedom competition to give you the opportunity to flex those creative muscles and tell us what your vision for the future of wild places is.
40 years of inspiring people to care for wild places
Our archive demonstrates how the Trust built up its profile and influence on behalf of wild placesBrowse our publications archive