Dover's White cliffs: National Trust appeal breaks £1m

The White Cliffs of Dover
Image caption The white cliffs became a national landmark during World War II

More than £1m has been donated by the public to the National Trust's appeal to purchase a mile-long stretch of the white cliffs of Dover.

The trust already owns about four miles of the chalk cliffs and launched its £1.2m bid for the remainder of the coastline to the east of Dover in June.

It will ensure a public right of way, conserve nature and prevent building.

Trust spokesman Mike Collins said the purchase would "complete the missing part of the jigsaw".

The area is between the National Trust visitor centre and the South Foreland lighthouse and currently belongs to a local landowner.

'Statue of Liberty'

Once purchased it will fill in the gap between the two segments already owned by the trust, creating a five-mile (8km) reserve with guaranteed rambling rights and nature protection.

"It would mean that we can then maintain access for future generations to enjoy," Mr Collins said.

"We can also then enhance the nature conservation value of that stretch of coast."

Singer and World War II forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, actor Richard E Grant, yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, comedian Paul O'Grady, and actress Dame Judi Dench are among well-known figures who have given their support to the campaign.

Mr Collins said: "In many ways it's our equivalent of the Statue of Liberty.

"This stretch of chalky white cliffs that dominate the Kent coast have come to play such an important part in our national story."

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