The Welsh coast's role in our story

Dinas Oleu headland with Barmouth town and coastline in the foreground

The Welsh coast has played host to some key moments in the history of the Trust. Find out about some of the big driving forces that led to us being able to protect 157 miles of coastline in Wales today.

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Welsh Coast - our beginnings

The Welsh coast has played host to some key moments in the history of the Trust. Find out about some of the big driving forces that led to us being able to protect 157 miles of coastline in Wales today.

The start of something big

Over a century ago a farsighted Barmouth resident called Fanny Talbot decided to give a wild and unspoilt hillside called Dinas Oleu to the National Trust, then in the first month of its existence. Worried that modern developments would spoil its beauty, she was one of the first people to see the benefits of holding beautiful places ‘in trust for the nation’.

Forty years later, when the National Trust’s protection of the coast had extended to just eight miles, the historian Charles Trevelyan visited Pembrokeshire.  He was shocked at how development was threatening the beauty of the coast.

" It is urgently desirable that the coast should be preserved in its natural beauty."
- George Trevelyan

Coastline in peril

In 1965 we responded to growing coastal development threats by launching the then, Enterprise Neptune Appeal, which has since gone on to become the Trust's most succesful campaign, known today as the Coastline Campaign.  
 
At the time Whiteford Burrows on the Gower peninsula faced a future as a landfill site. Thankfully that threat was averted when it became the very first place we purchased with donations to the Coastline Campaign.

Whiteford Burrows, Gower
Viewe of dunes and headland at Whiteford Burrows, Gower

Our work goes on

Now Whiteford Burrows is a National Nature Reserve and one of the best examples of sand dune habitat in Britain, providing a haven for wildlife and walkers alike.
 
Since then, our protection of the very best of the Welsh coast has increased to a total of 157 miles –– an amazing achievement made possible with public donations into the appeal.
 
Unfortunatley, the threat to our coast has not diminished and in 2015, we were pleased to be able to save nearly 150 acres of wildlife rich grassland on the Great Orme, near Llandudno.  In a groundbreaking new 'wildlife-first' tenancy, Dan Jones and his family have taken on the challenge to care for the habitats through traditional conservation grazing

Dan Jones with his family
Dan Jones, the new tenant farmer of Parc Farm on the Great Orme, with his family