National Trust celebrates 125th anniversary with ode to countryside

Campaign encourages people to connect with nature.

National Trust: spot juxtaposes city life with countryside shots
National Trust: spot juxtaposes city life with countryside shots

The National Trust is marking its 125th anniversary with the launch a peace-focused campaign, based on the words of the conservation charity’s co-founder, Octavia Hill.

Created by Wieden & Kennedy London, the ad brings to life Hill’s rallying call from 1883. It is the agency's first work for the brand since winning the account in November 2019.

"We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space," copy on screen reads, as the hectic sounds and imagery of city life are juxtaposed with the serenity of the countryside to encourage people to take a step back from the bustle of everyday life.

Launching today (Thursday), the work will run across online, social media and print. It was created by Derek Lui and Harry Ingrams, and directed by Anthony Dickenson through All Mighty Pictures. The media agency is MediaLab.

Hilary McGrady, the National Trust’s director-general, said: "For years, the National Trust, its staff and volunteers have been working to preserve and protect, to look after species in decline; to reintroduce species that we know are integral to caring for the natural world. Our next chapter will be about scaling this up. 

"It will also be about helping millions of people to reconnect with nature and galvanising them to fight with determination and care, to save our common treasures."

This comes alongside plans from the charity to become carbon neutral by 2030, with the National Trust aiming to plant 20 million trees over the next decade in an attempt to lessen the impact of climate change.

Tony Davidson, executive creative director at Wieden & Kennedy London, added: "The National Trust was founded 125 years ago to preserve and protect land and historic places, for everyone, forever. Since then, modern-day living has made it increasingly difficult to connect to the environment.

"The quote from founder Octavia Hill, which runs through the work, reminds us how we all need nature and is still as pertinent today as it was all those years ago. We wanted to bring people a sense of calm and remind them how it feels to be at one with nature."

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