It is the only body in our land with kindred aims, that has a charter, and can as a corporation hold whatever lands or houses come into its hands in trust for the nation.  By the articles of its association it cannot divide any profits among its members.  Its work is purely patriotic and public-spirited.  It aims at rescuing from the hands of the speculator or the jerry builder, or the improver, the beauty-spots of our land.  The waterfalls, the wild glens, the coast cliffs, the reaches of river, the celebrated view points, the stretches of moorland that from time to time may come into its possession to keep “secure from rash assault.”  It aims at securing from demolition or decay the historic houses or sites associated with the past history and literature of the land.  It aims at preserving any national monument or ruin of national interest from destruction; but it does not aim at being a wealthy corporation.  It looks upon itself rather as a body to receive gifts and be their custodian. 

(Nature Notes, 7 (September 1896), 190-1)