Photographers are free to post images taken at National Trust properties on social networking sites such as Flickr, unless they are for commercial use, a Trust official has said.

The clarification comes after many photographers expressed concern about the wording of rules posted on the website of the National Trust Photo Library (NTPL), which state: ?The National Trust does not permit photography or filming at its properties for commercial use or for reproduction in any form.?

The rules add that images should not be provided to photo libraries, agencies or ?online providers? ? further raising fears that this is a catch-all clause covering all websites.

Among those angry at the possible implications of the National Trust?s rules was AP reader Andy McInroy, who wrote to the magazine fearing the policy would hit ?photographers? rights to give away their images into the public domain for free’.

After Amateur Photographer (AP) contacted NTPL for clarification, a spokesman said: ?We want to encourage people to take pictures? The trust is more than happy for people to take photographs on their days out for their own personal use, which includes posting them on photo sharing websites such as Flickr??

However, he added: ?Anyone wishing to sell their images needs to contact our film and broadcast liaison office to make sure the necessary contractual arrangements are in place.?

The Trust spokesman denied that it has changed its stance following complaints from photographers.

?It has always been the case,? he told AP.

The Trust added that, following concerns raised, it will consider changing the wording of its photographic policy.

The spokesman added: ?We ask people to contact the property in advance if they wish to take photography indoors as we do not allow indoor photography when other visitors are there, and there may also be special conservation requirements for photography in that property.?

Last month we reported the National Trust’s demand for photographers to investigate thousands of images submitted to the Alamy picture library.