Celebrating the coast in London & the South East
2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline Campaign, which we launched in 1965 in response to growing coastal development threats. The tremendous support for the campaign by people like you has raised £65 million over the years. This money has enabled us to buy over 550 miles of coast in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect them for people and wildlife.
In the South East, we look after the White Cliffs of Dover, the Seven Sisters and The Needles on the Isle of Wight as well as smaller ‘pockets of land along the South Coast including Bosham near Chichester, and Winchelsea and Fairlight in East Sussex.
Our coastline is precious
The South East is one of the most densely populated areas of the UK and development pressure is growing. One quarter of the coastline in the Sout-East is characterised by urban development, more than double that of any other coastal region in the UK. In this packed environment the coastal sites we look after are precious outdoor spaces for people and wildlife.
Thanks to the Neptune campaign, we now look after the equivalent of one in every three miles of the Isle of Wight coastline. Fifty years ago we looked after just one in every 20 miles.
2016 was a year to celebrate what we have achieved so far. Our coastal sites have a diverse and fun-filled programme of events to provide opportunities for people to enjoy themselves with family and friends and also find out more about the coast – its wildlife and its cultural heritage.
Coastlines - the story of our shore
Specially written by nature writer Patrick Barkham to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Campaign, ‘Coastlines’ is the story of the most beautiful 742 miles of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He considers their rocks, plants and animals, their views, walks and history, and the people who have made their lives within sight of the waves. Pick up a copy at one of our coastal shops or from our online store.
We’ve saved a Second World War underground shelter underneath the White Cliffs at Dover. Over 100 tonnes of soil and rubble have been removed by a team of 50 volunteers to make the shelter accessible again, you can now take a torch lit tour inside this forgotten wartime relic.
Seven Sisters Archaeology Project
The Seven Sisters are packed with archaeology telling the story of thousands of years of human occupation. Many of these monuments are at risk from coastal erosion, so this project has been set up to investigate and record the sites before they are lost. We will be exploring and exposing these sites to help us to understand and share with others the history of this extraordinary landscape.
New coastal projects
Using some of the funds raised by the Neptune campaign we’ll be replacing and improving the signage and welcome at some of our coastal sites to help make your visits even better.
The next 50 years of coast
With your support we have achieved a tremendous amount in the past 50 years and we now need to look ahead to the next 50 years. We want to develop a plan to help us make the coast in our region a place rich in wildlife and culture, with space for people to enjoy it and places for them to learn about the natural processes that shape it. We’ll be working with our partners, tenants, neighbours, volunteers and local communities to deliver this.