SAVE has been described as the most influential conservation group to have been established since William Morris founded the Society for the Protection Ancient Buildings over a century ago. It was created in 1975 - European Architectural Heritage Year - by a group of journalists, historians, architects, and planners to campaign publicly for endangered historic buildings.
Through press releases, lightning leaflets, reports, books and exhibitions, SAVE has championed the cause of decaying country houses, redundant churches and chapels, disused mills and warehouses, blighted streets and neighbourhoods, cottages and town halls, railway stations, hospitals, military buildings and asylums.
From the start, SAVE has always placed a special emphasis on the possibilities of alternative uses for historic buildings and, in a number of cases, it has prepared its own schemes for re-use of threatened buildings. On repeated occasions SAVE proposals have been instrumental in giving threatened buildings a renewed lease of life. SAVE is also very active on the broader issues of preservation policy.