The National Trust's membership income rose by more than £4 million during 2001.
The increase comes despite the forced closure of many National Trust homes and gardens because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
Membership income stood at £66.8 million in February compared with £62.8 million at the start of 2001, according to the charity's annual report. This represents an additional 200,000 members from 2.7 million in 2001 to 2.9 million.
A spokesman attributed the rise in membership to a more prominent campaigning stance. "Some members still see membership as just a free ticket to sites, but an increasing proportion see it as a cause in the same way as Greenpeace."
Despite the rise in membership, the trust estimates that it has lost £4.5 million because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak. It is undergoing a major restructuring costing approximately £2.5 million this year.