Comparing standard of stewardship between National Trust and Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Warm, sunny weather certainly gets you out and about. And so it was that last weekend we decided to visit all the memorials in Runnymede.

We’ve previously been to the Kennedy Memorial, Magna Carta Memorial and the Air Forces Memorial, all in Runnymede. We haven’t seen the newer memorials associated with the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, The Jurors, and Writ in Water. Hence our visit.

Starting with a cup of tea in the National Trust tea room, we walked to see The Jurors. With the aid of the explanatory leaflet we marvelled at Hew Locke’s artwork. Sitting in a mown field, there’s no specific path to it. Fine while dry, possibly not so good when wet underfoot.

The next memorial was the Kennedy Memorial, to which there’s a path with steps through woodland. A path with many steps is not ideal for push chairs and the like. The path has a very unkempt feel. The stone of the Kennedy Memorial needs a jolly good clean, and the visitor experience needs to be improved.

Then onto the Magna Carta Memorial. There’s no real path from one memorial to another, just across a field, which is uncomfortable to walk on, and likely to be worse in the wet.

Next it was onto another 800th anniversary Magna Carta memorial, this time, Writ in Water. Lovely concept that would have been improved had it not been made from exposed rough concrete. But, that’s my opinion. There’s no properly constructed path around the structure, again, shoddy execution.

Our final visit was through Cooper’s Hill Woods to the Air Forces Memorial. The path is in an appalling state, unkempt, exhibiting signs of benign neglect. It needs woodland management and a decent path. The Air Forces Memorial is in splendid condition. What a contrast between the National Trust’s stewardship and the CWGC. All the money the NT spent on the artworks, and yet failed to provide decent paths or upkeep of the important memorials, supposedly in their care.

CWGC stewardship is exemplary, which can’t be said for the National Trust. Here’s some photos of our visits. [Click on images to expand]

One thought on “Comparing standard of stewardship between National Trust and Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  1. Tim, here’s a money saving tip for the National Trust. Don’t renew your membership and instead, joint the Scottish National Trust. It’s considerably cheaper and provides reciprocal access to all National Trust sites in the UK. Retiree membership costs less too.

    Like

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