Good news for wildlife on the White Cliffs of Dover










Good news for wildlife on the White Cliffs of Dover

The National Trust is celebrating the success of its £1.2 million White Cliffs of Dover appeal to raise funds to acquire the 0.8 mile stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover coastline.  This is a considerable achievement, raising the required funds in just 133 days – that’s an average of £9,000 a day!

The National Trust acquired its first stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover in 1968 and hundreds of thousands of people visit them every year to enjoy the views across the English Channel. The success completes the missing link of coastline under the Trust’s care, linking its visitor centre and South Foreland Lighthouse. The 8 kilometres of coastline are home to rare species of wildlife. Overall, the National Trust manages 700 miles of coastline around the UK.

White cliffs of Dover walking holiday in Kent, England
White Cliffs of Dover Walking Holiday
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Over 16,000 people and organisations supported the appeal, with an average donation of £40.21 from members of the public.  There was a significant contribution from the Dover Harbour Board, which propelled the Trust towards its goal earlier than expected, and support from the Regatta Foundation, the Royal Oak Foundation and 16 other National Trust Supporter Groups.  Dame Vera Lynn, Dame Judi Dench and Dover-born Joss Stone all supported the campaign.

The Cliffs certainly connect with many people. They have witnessed the arrival of the Romans and the return of the British Armed Forces after the evacuation of Dunkirk during World War Two.

Now, the Trust is looking to enhance the quality of access to the land and build on the nature conservation work that has already been done.

The White Cliffs of Dover... home to wildlife

Wildlife will benefit from the National Trust's successful appeal, thanks to donors. Most of the land acquired has been used for growing crops, but it will now be taken otu of agricultural use and restored to chalk grassland.  This is a rare & important habitat for wildlife.  It means the Trust can manage a larger natural area, in which plants & wildlife can benefit.

The cliffs are home to wildlife such as the Adonis blue butterfly, chalkhill blues, the red admiral, painted lady and yellow clouded butterfly. The latter are more in evidence during their migration when they fly to the UK from Africa.  In July you may see rare moths such as the day-flying straw belle.  The wasp spider, erminemoth caterpillar and endangered hornet-robberfly. 

The White Cliffs of Dover are also home to rare coastal plants and birds such as the skylark, the only pair of breeding ravens in Kent, and peregrine falcons. There are kittiwakes, futmar in summer, yellow hammers, kennet and the whitethroat. Ravens first nested on the site in 2010

Exmoor Ponies mow the grass!

Exmoor ponies graze the grass at Langdon Cliffs to help keep the grass short and to stop it smothering wildflowers.  It also improves the habitat so that rare species can thrive.  Exmoors are intelligent & resourceful, and will graze grass and also hawthorn berries, young trees & thistle buds.  They are very hardy, and do very well on land such as the White Cliffs.  Their herds have been grazing in the area for nearly 20 years and have had a good effect on the area's biodiversity.  The ponies are managed as a semi-wild herd, but are checked regularly and vets ensure they are in good health.

Join the National Trust

Give someone a virtual gift from the National Trust Online Gift shop - Guard Out Coastline!  

More efforts to protect our coastline

The National Trust has launched the Neptune Coastal Campaign to help Britain’s coastline meet the challenges ahead as climate change means rising sea levels. Acquiring, restoring, repairing, improving and maintaining the coast in our care is expensive so all donations to protect and secure Britain’s coastline are welcome.  Click here to visit the Neptune Coastal Campaign.

And if you want a lovely refreshing walk, why not visit the White Cliffs of Dover?   Get some sea air into your lungs!