<p>Dame Vera Lynn, also known as the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart'</p>

Dame Vera Lynn, also known as the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart'

Wildflower meadow on White Cliffs of Dover named after Dame Vera Lynn

The World War II singer will be forever be ‘woven into the fabric of the landscape,’ says the National Trust

Saman Javed
Friday 18 June 2021 14:59

A wildflower meadow on the White Cliffs of Dover has been renamed in memory of the late Dame Vera Lynn, a year after the singer’s death.

A footpath leading to the clifftops has also been renamed Dame Vera Lynn Way by the Dover District Council in honour of her.

Dame Vera has long been associated with the chalk cliffs, with her songs during the Second World War featuring lyrics such as “there will be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover” and “the valley will bloom again”.

The “Forces’ Sweetheart”, who lived in East Sussex, died at 103-years-old on 18 June 2020.

Three years prior to her death, she supported a £1 million fundraising campaign by the National Trust to buy 178 acres of arable land on the clifftops, including the wildflower meadow.

The footpath leading to the clifftops has been renamed Dame Vera Lynn Way

The meadow’s new name, Dame Vera Lynn Down, was unveiled during a ceremony on Thursday 17 June.

Dame Vera’s daughter, who attended the ceremony on Thursday, said her mother would have been “delighted” to have the meadow named after her.

“She always loved having flowers around her and was a keen gardener for many decades,” Virginia Lewis-Jones said.

“The re-naming of the footpath to ‘Dame Vera Lynn Way’ is a touching tribute as my mother always remarked the White Cliffs were the last landmark seen as the boys went off to war and the first they saw when they returned home,” she added.

The meadow had been turned into a wheatfield after The National Trust acquired the land in 2017 but is now being returned to its original grassland state.

According to the District Dover Council, it has already begun to fill with wildflowers including ox-eye daisy, wild carrot and viper’s bugloss, and is attracting corn buntings and skylarks, the nation’s songbird.

Ginny Portman, general manager of the National Trust said the renaming means Dame Vera Lynn will “forever be remembered on the White Cliffs of Dover”.

“Her songs are woven into the fabric of the landscape, and we are so grateful for her support in helping us protect it for future generations.

“It is fitting that the fields she helped save are now home to the skylark and its beautiful, melodic song,” Portman said.

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