Appeal for White Cliffs of Dover
A £1.2 million appeal to safeguard one of England's most famous natural landmarks, the White Cliffs of Dover, has been launched by the National Trust.
The trust is embarking on its largest ever coastal fundraiser to buy a stretch of the chalk cliffs just less than a mile long, so it can be managed to improve public access and boost the habitat for wildlife.
The purchase would fill in the missing link in a stretch of coast almost five miles long owned by the National Trust on behalf of the nation, from its visitor centre above Dover port to South Foreland lighthouse.
Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, said: "Immortalised in song and literature, the White Cliffs of Dover have become one of the great symbols of our nation.
"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 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.
Historian and TV presenter Dan Snow is backing the move by the trust to buy the stretch of land, describing the White Cliffs as "one of the country's greatest and most iconic landmarks".
"It's brilliant that they have a chance to secure this important section of the cliffs, forever, for everyone," he said.
People who want to contribute to the appeal can do so by visiting www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whitecliffsappeal, by texting the code DOVR02 and the amount they wish to donate (eg DOVR02 £5) to 70070 or by calling 0844 800 1895.