White Cliffs of Dover protected by National Trust’s £1.2 million appeal

Written on:June 27, 2023
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White Cliffs of Dover have great symbolic value for Britain

White Cliffs of Dover, one of country’s most famous natural landmarks, are to be protected by £1.2 million appeal launched by the National Trust.

The trust is raising funds to buy a less-than-a-mile long part of the chalk cliffs to increase visitors’ access to the site and encourage habitat for wildlife. The purchase will fill in a five-miles-long missing link from its visitor centre above Dover Port to South Foreland lighthouse.

“Immortalised in song and literature, the White Cliffs of Dover have become one of the great symbols of our nation,” proclaimed Fiona Reynolds, Director General of the National Trust.

The landscape and wildlife there have featured in varied 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.

The Director General added, “We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure their future for everyone to enjoy. If we don’t raise the money then the future of the White Cliffs is uncertain and this stretch of coastline might one day be disrupted by inappropriate management or development.”

The cliffs to the east of Dover shelter a wide array of wildlife and vegetation. The Adonis Blue and Peregrine Falcons are some of the creatures found here. The local plants growing at the cliffs include oxtongue broomrape and sea carrots.

Historian and TV presenter Dan Snow is supporting the trust’s decision to buy the stretch of land. He described the White Cliffs as “one of the country’s greatest and most iconic landmarks.”

The place has witnessed several 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.

“It’s brilliant that they have a chance to secure this important section of the cliffs, forever, for everyone,” remarked the historian.

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