Historic naval site opened to public

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Since the early days of the Second World War, Wembury Point and its 138 acres of wild clifftop land have been closed to the public to ensure national security.

But now the former naval gunnery school in south Devon will be once more opened to the public, after the National Trust secured £1.4m to buy the site from the Ministry of Defence.

The trust confirmed yesterday that it had raised enough money to restore the headland on the edge of Plymouth by demolishing the remaining evidence of its military past - a collection of ramshackle wartime buildings, reinforced bunkers and a roundabout.

The estate, known as HMS Cambridge and part of a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, had been under threat from developers wanting to turn the prime land into housing.

The land was offered to the trust - Britain's largest owner of coastline - after English Nature, the environmental watchdog, invoked rarely used powers to force the MoD to invite bids from a conservation body.