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Published: 29 Mar 2022

#JohnMuirDay 2022: Protecting wild places

On the eve of John Muir’s 184th Birthday, the Trust’s policy strategy lead Mhairi Stewart reflects on how the campaigning tradition of ‘the father of the National Parks’ John Muir lives on through the Trust.

John Muir believed it wasn’t enough to be a passive supporter. He believed that we all had a responsibility to drive change to protect the magnificent wild places that nurture our hearts and souls. He worked to influence those in positions of power, using political mechanism to permanently protect these places for the benefit of all.

Almost 200 years later, the John Muir Trust continues his work: striving to get the balance right between extraction from natural lands, enjoyment and benefit without damage, and structures for societies that are fair and just for people, and nature.

John Muir understood that we are inextricably linked to nature and cannot survive without it. Nature too, cannot survive without our action to protect it from exploitation, excessive development and poor practices on the land. The UK is considered one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.

But why have a #JohnMuirDay? Why is he celebrated? And why, in 1983, when the Trust was formed, did we take his name?

As a membership based conservation charity - inspired by John Muir - the John Muir Trust exists to protect wild places. We look for local and regional actions and solutions to this end, that will in turn help mitigate global losses in biodiversity and mitigate climate change impacts with nature-based solutions on a local level.

We cannot do this without help from our Members and supporters. As well as enabling our work, they inform us of the most important geological and social circumstances that are specific to their local areas, sharing their expertise.

Like many of our Members, the John Muir Trust was born of a deep love for mountain ranges, exploration and adventure. Nestled in our heart is a love of the nature that lives, flourishes and is free in these landscapes.

The Trust was formed in 1983 out of a desire to protect Knoydart, one of the most remote and wild places in the UK, from being taken over by the Ministry of Defence. We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that wild places are protected and managed to a standard that supports nature and people to thrive.

Like John Muir we advocate for changes to protect wild places. We want to influence politicians and decision makers to manage them not for commercial exploitation, but for the public good, for nature and for the communities that depend on them. For all of our futures in the face of climate change.

If you are not yet a Member, will you join our fight to protect wild places that are threatened by a global loss of biodiversity? Your support will help us campaign to protect these places and manage them for the people who depend on them and for future generations. To celebrate #JohnMuirDay 2022, you'll get 50% off if you join as a new Member between 14 and 28 April 2022 using promo code: JMD2022-50 (T&Cs apply).

John Muir Day celebrations logo

Help celebrate #JohnMuirDay 2022

Held on 21 April every year, #JohnMuirDay marks the birth date of John Muir; a Dunbar-born Scot who moved to the US when he was 11 years old. Find out more about John Muir and his history as a campaigner and consider joining the John Muir Trust to help carry on his work for wild places. Get 50% off if you join as a new Member between 14 and 28 April 2022 using promo code: JMD2022-50 (T&Cs apply).

Green star moss - David Lintern

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