Princess Anne praises 'enterprising' coastwatch volunteers on visit to Kent

The Princess Royal was given a tour of the National Coastwatch Institution station in Folkestone, Kent.

The Princess Royal has praised the efforts of coastwatch volunteers on a visit to Kent.

Princess Anne toured a seafront lookout station in Folkestone, staffed entirely by unpaid watchkeepers from the National Coastwatch Institution.

The King’s sister is royal patron of the national charity, which operates five coastal stations in Kent and Sussex.

Inside the building at Copt Point on Folkestone's East Cliff, the princess was shown the binoculars, CCTV cameras, and other equipment used to monitor 96 square miles of the English Channel.

The royal, who was joined by her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence, were shown around the facility by NCI Chairman, Stephen Hand, and Folkestone Station Manager, Rob Wilsher.

The station is currently in need of dozens of additional volunteers to allow it to extend its hours of operation over the summer months.

The royal met more than 20 volunteers at a reception event.

The Princess Royal also attended a reception at the nearby Folkestone Yacht and Motorboat Club, where she met more than 20 of the station’s volunteers, before unveiling two plaques.

At the event, Princess Anne praised the “scale and enterprise of your endeavours to keep people safe”.

Stephen Hand, NCI chair said: “We are incredibly proud and deeply grateful for the patronage of HRH The Princess Royal and she devotes much time to our cause.

“We’re honoured that this is her fourth visit to one of our stations this year, it really gives all our volunteers as well as our communities and supporters great encouragement.”

The Folkestone post which was the first National Coastwatch station in Kent. Since 2007, it has occupied the former Copt Point Battery Observation Post, part of Folkestone’s coastal defences during the Second World War.

Volunteer watchkeepers maintain a daily visual and radio watch of the Folkestone Harbour entrance as well as out to sea, reporting any coastal safety-related incidents to the Coastguard.

NCI stations across the region will be taking part in a public open day this Sunday, 23 July.