VIDEO: They've been immortalised in song, held back countless invaders, and provided a beacon of hope for weary travellers. Now the White Cliffs of Dover are to be owned by the National Trust. David Johns talked to Virginia Portman , National Trust and Dr Alasdair Bruce, Geological Consultant.
A £1.2m appeal to safeguard the White Cliffs of Dover has been successful, the National Trust has announced. The trust said it has raised the money needed to buy a stretch of the chalk cliffs - nearly two months earlier than expected.
The purchase of the 0.8 miles of land will fill in the missing link in a stretch of coastline almost five miles long, from the trust's visitor centre above Dover port to South Foreland lighthouse. More than 16,000 people and celebrities including Dame Judi Dench have backed the appeal.
A significant donation from the Dover Harbour Board helped the trust achieve its goal earlier than expected.
VIDEO: The Port of Dover has made a donation to the White Cliffs which will ensure their future is protected. The National Trust has been trying to raise £1.2m to secure a mile of land which is not currently in its care. The Port's donation has meant that target has now been reached.
The White Cliffs of Dover are to be given their own writer in residence.
Poet Julian Baggini from Folkestone is working with the National Trust to explore the area's history through verse.
– Julian Baggini
"For millions of Britons living across the world, the white cliffs is a clear symbol of Britain, in much the same way that the Statue of Liberty has defined America. Even if we've never been to or seen the white cliffs of Dover, there is a collective sense that they matter. I want to get a real sense of what the white cliffs of Dover mean for British people, including those for whom the cliffs were the first sight of the country which would become their adopted home."