National Trust for Scotland to offer free pass to refugees

The National Trust for Scotland is to follow in the footsteps of the National Trust south of the border to offer free passes to Ukrainian refugees.

Kellie Castle near Pittenweem is one of 88 NTS properties in Scotland.

Under the scheme, which will be launched later this year, refugees – from Ukraine and other countries - will be able to claim free access to NTS properties for six months.

A similar scheme has existed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for some time, although refugees need to be living with an existing National Trust member to be eligible for the no entry fee scheme. NTS said it had not yet been decided as to whether this would be the case in Scotland.

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Those who have a pass issued south of the border can already access NTS properties in Scotland for free. The organisation has 88 properties which members can visit, as well as 76,000 acres of gardens and countryside, some of which is open to the public for free.

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A spokesperson for the NTS said: “We are aware that the National Trust in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has established a scheme which provides a six monthly pass for adult refugees that enables free access for them and any accompanying children under 18 years. As the National Trust for Scotland operates a reciprocal access arrangement with the National Trust, this means that passholders can access our properties for free too.

“We are also deeply moved by the tragic and desperate plight of the people of Ukraine and refugees from other war zones. For those who have come to Scotland to find a safe and welcoming land, we are keen to play our part in helping them. Therefore, we’re looking to introduce a similar scheme for refugees who are resident in Scotland for the remainder of this year and intend to announce details soon.”

A spokesman for the National Trust said: “All adult refugees, from Ukraine or elsewhere, living with an active National Trust member can receive a free 6-month admission pass. The pass is renewable and will cover all accompanying children under the age of 18. Refugees can visit independently of their host family.”