In June, the National Trust started to raise money for the acquisition of a 1.35km part of the famous Kent coastline, which is the “missing link” between the parts the Trust already cares for. The aim is to preserve and secure the White Cliffs forever, so both people and wildlife can benefit from this amazing piece of nature.
Comedian and presenter Paul O’Grady is one of the many stars who back the National Trust. Having lived in Kent for the past 14 years, Paul O’Grady came to ‘Really love the peace and quiet of the Kent countryside. It’s where I can relax and have some downtime. When the sun is shining and I’m out walking with the dogs it’s just fab – it feels like I’m on a permanent holiday.’
Judi Dench, the much-admired Shakespearean actress, reveals she always has to think of a Matthew Arnold poem when she sees the coastline, ‘The cliffs of England stand glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.’
With more than 110 metres, the White Cliffs really make a proud appearance and even surpass London’s Big Ben. Hundreds of thousands of visitors every year come to admire them. Also, many animals and rare plants find a home along the coastline.
All the more, the National Trust strives to raise the £1.2m necessary to buy and preserve the White Cliffs for the future. Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said, ‘In just one month, thousands of people have backed our appeal and we’ve raised almost half of the money needed. This tremendous support shows the love we as a nation have for our special places.’
This love is definitely shared by the great number of celebrity supporters, among which world beating sailor Ben Ainslie, restaurant owner Rick Stein and iconic singer Vera Lynn. World famous fashion designer Zandra Rhodes also admires being at the coast. She said, ‘The experience of seeing the white cliffs of Dover is one of the most marvellous in the world, and walking in the chalk grassland above the cliffs is equally fabulous. We must never lose this heritage.’