Appeal to safeguard White Cliffs of Dover is successful
Wednesday 07 November 2012
A £1.2 million appeal to safeguard one of England's most treasured natural landmarks, the White Cliffs of Dover, has been successful, the National Trust has announced.
The trust said it has raised the money needed to buy a stretch of the chalk cliffs just under a mile long nearly two months earlier than expected.
The purchase of the 0.8 miles of land will fill in the missing link in a stretch of coastline almost five miles long owned by the trust on behalf of the nation, from its visitor centre above Dover port to South Foreland lighthouse.
More than 16,000 people and organisations have backed the appeal, which was launched in June and saw an average donation of £40.21, including Gift Aid, from members of the public.
A host of celebrities, including Dame Judi Dench, singer Joss Stone and chef Rick Stein, offered their support to the campaign, which has reached its target in just 133 days.
A significant donation from the Dover Harbour Board helped the trust achieve its goal earlier than expected, and saw an average of £9,000 per day raised throughout the campaign.
Fiona Reynolds, who is in her final week as director-general at the National Trust, said: "Thanks to the generosity and support of thousands of people, we've reached our target nearly two months early.
"This appeal has tapped into something unique, the emotional connection that people have with special places such as the White Cliffs of Dover.
"The trust will now look to enhance the quality of access to this new land and build on some of the fantastic nature conservation work that has been carried out by the team on the ground."
The chalk cliffs stretching east from Dover are home to a rich array of wildlife such as the Adonis blue butterfly and peregrine falcons, Kent's only kittiwake, and plants including oxtongue broomrape and sea carrots.
They have stood over dramatic moments in English history, including the first arrival of the Romans and the return of British forces rescued from Dunkirk in the Second World War.
And they have featured in songs and poetry, most famously the wartime classic (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, sung by Dame Vera Lynn, and Matthew Arnold's poem Dover Beach.
Alison Burnett, a volunteer on the White Cliffs of Dover team, said: "This chalky stretch of coastline symbolises so much for so many people and it's wonderful to think that we've managed to raise the money so that future generations can enjoy all that this unique place has to offer."
Bob Goldfield, chief executive of the Port of Dover, said: "It was very important to us that our donation would assist the trust in its ability to maintain and protect the cliffs, thereby ensuring a real and lasting legacy."
The trust manages the cliffs as chalk grassland, parts of which are grazed by Exmoor ponies to preserve the natural flora and support wildlife such as butterflies.
Access is maintained for the public, who visit in their hundreds of thousands each year.
Although people are already able to walk the cliffs from the visitor centre to the lighthouse, part of the stretch is privately owned and in places arable fields come to the edge of cliffs, leaving just a sliver of land for the coastal path.
By buying the 0.8 mile piece of the coastal jigsaw, the trust will be able to restore the natural habitat, providing more space for species to retreat as the cliffs naturally erode, and connect the trust's existing areas of land.
The trust, which acquired its first stretch of the White Cliffs in 1968, looks after more than 720 miles of coastline around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 1 Pet cat puts three family members in hospital after launching frenzied attack
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...