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Celebrating 40 Years

Established in 1983, here's how we celebrated our work on behalf of wild places and shared our exciting plans for the future on our 40th anniversary in 2023. 

Chris Townsend - Ladhar Bheinn 1

"Keep close to Nature's heart" John Muir

Knoydart Foundation launch with Chris Brasher

Birth of a wild idea

The John Muir Trust was formed in 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 to the public. Thanks to the efforts of our four founding members and 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.

Planting on Schiehallion_James Robertson

Bold vision for the future

We believe wild places are for everyone and that society is enriched when nature, people and communities have the freedom to thrive.

We have a vision of a world where the benefits of wild places are recognised, and they receive the care necessary to protect and enhance them for future generations.

We believe that, in order to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, we need to give nature the space to restore - but people are central to that story. Wild places benefit our physical and mental health, and help  communities  grow and prosper.

Liz Myhill Painting

Creative Freedom exhibition

We invited artists/groups from all disciplines and practice to submit work for our our spring Creative Freedom exhibition in Pitlochry's Wild Space (18 March to 25 May).

With categories for writers, photographers, painters, sculptors, videographers and more, we wanted to know what does "freedom for wild places" mean to you?

Find out more at our Creative Freedom webpage.

Knoydart then and now

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 

40th poster for Wild Space

40 Years of Wild Ambition

Examine the key issues that have been relevant to the Trust over the past 40 years from a modern perspective in a special edition of the Journal that has been curated by our Members and volunteers.

Read 40 Years of Wild Ambition.

Knoydart August 1988

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.

Bla Bheinn Trees - Chris Rutter

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