The White Cliffs legacy lives on

Newly-acquired White Cliffs land by South Foreland Lighthouse

We can now officially confirm that the future of one of the nation’s most iconic and diverse coastal landscapes is secure. The legacy of The White Cliffs will live on. On behalf of everyone at the National Trust, thank you so much if you were a part of the campaign.

The response to our urgent appeal was amazing, with supporters and public joining together to help us reach our £1 million public fundraising target in just 21 days. But we couldn't have secured the 700,000 square metres of clifftop land without the passion, loyalty and foresight of our past supporters, too

Walkers on the clifftops near the South Foreland Lighthouse
Visitors walking their dog at South Foreland Lighthouse, White Cliffs, Kent

A future secured by gifts from the past 

Sixty per cent of the overall funding needed to safeguard the land came from people who were generous enough to leave a gift to the National Trust in their Will. As you might know, this money came from our Neptune Fund, which has helped to safeguard more than 594 miles of coastline over the past 50 years.  

So what next for The White Cliffs?

Now the land is secure, our priority is to begin the gradual process of restoring the agricultural fields to chalk grassland. We hope that we can create new habitats for migrating birds and allow visitors to access more of this special place.

In time, we will also share the story of the gun batteries at Wanstone Farm, ensuring more people can experience this unique heritage.

WW2 gunnery buildings on the White Cliffs land we secured
WW2 gunnery buildings on the White Cliffs land we secured

Offers of help still keep coming

We’ve already been inundated with volunteers to work on the land, including many who have a personal connection to the gun batteries. Coincidentally, this year is the 60th anniversary of the dismantling of these ‘Big Guns’ that played a such an important role in the protection of our coastline – and it’s great to see that so many people want to keep their memory alive. 

The conservation of a unique legacy

In the future, legacy gifts like those that helped to secure this land will play a part in maintaining it too. These gifts will be vital, as it costs around £3,000 every year to maintain just a single mile of coastline. 

The success of campaigns like this is entirely down to our supporters. So a huge thank you once again if you took part. We look forward to bringing you news of our progress soon.