Neptune Coastline story

Safeguarding the nation's coast

Over 50 years the people-powered Neptune Coastline Campaign has allowed the Trust to buy 574 miles of glorious coastline; securing these special places for everyone to enjoy. Hundreds of thousands of people have donated to our coastal appeals or supported our work on the coast, so that future generations can enjoy the beautiful, dramatic and diverse coast around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We go to the coast to play, to relax and to connect with the natural world and the elements. Days at the seaside or walks along coastal cliffs are deeply engrained in our collective memory.


Our heritage

Family on the beach at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight © John Millar

Family on the beach at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Our seas have launched fleets, received kings and entertained generations of children. In fact, our island’s identity is so bound with the sea that our coastline is as much a part of our heritage as Stonehenge or our stately homes.

The changing coastline

Walking along the coast is one of life's pleasures © David Lewing

Walking along the coast is one of life's pleasures

What’s more, the enjoyment and sense of wellbeing we experience from being by the sea is a pleasure that cannot be replicated. Yet our coastline is changing every day.

Climate change

A view across the marram and sea-lyme sand dunes at Formby Point © Joe Cornish

A view across the marram and sea-lyme sand dunes at Formby Point

Rising sea levels and the effects of coastal change are taking their toll at an increasing rate. So how can we continue to keep the unique essence of our coastlines alive – for our generation and those that follow us?

The challenge

A beach clean in North Devon © Working Holiday Volunteer

A beach clean in North Devon

That is the challenge for the Neptune Coastline Campaign, and we need your help to meet it. We need to implement new ways of working with nature, to anticipate climate change and manage coastal change.

How can you help?

  • Donate £15
    £15 could buy 38 marram grass plants to help stabilise natural dune defences
  • Donate £67
    £67 could buy a metre of wear-resistant footpath made of recycled plastic
  • Donate £100
    £100 could help towards creating new wetland by realigning tidal flow
  • Donate £5,000
    £5,000 could help buy one acre of hinterland to manage a retreating coastline

Introducing FatFace

Our friends at FatFace are helping us to care for and celebrate our nation's coast this year.

Our work so far

Acquiring areas of our coast that are at risk is still crucial to the Neptune Coastline Campaign. Yet we also need to manage our coastline in a sympathetic and sustainable way, to allow inevitable changes to take place gradually. By using natural ways of dealing with rising sea levels, we can continue to have access to a rich and diverse coastline – now, and for years to come.

The Neptune Coastline Campaign has been active in implementing various creative approaches to managing coastal change. South Milton Sands is one such recent example. The results from this Neptune project have created a harmonious sense of nature evolving, and inspired an enthusiastic response from locals and visitors. However, all such projects require time, expertise, and funding.

A long way to go
All the 742 miles of coastline that we care for require in depth management, at enormous expense. The focus for Neptune now hangs on the maintenance of every mile in our care. In addition to the vast commitment to ongoing management, there are currently 40 sites identified for urgent coastal adaptation.

We need to assess each site individually; judge how we can best work with natural processes to achieve long-term sustainable approaches to managing coastal change; consider how to encourage wildlife and natural habitat; anticipate coastal pressure points and look into possible acquisition of surrounding land and coastline; all the while sensitively working with local communities.