What if Neptune never happened?


Tumbling hills, blue flag beaches and wild flower meadows are a common sight on the South West coast. But what the National Trust’s coastal campaign – Neptune - hadn’t played a part protecting and caring for the coast?

Imagine urban sprawl to industrial wasteland on the beloved south Devon coast. Perhaps developments would now consume the remote Cornish coast? Might coal still blacken the breathtaking north-west Cornwall coast?

Five coastal and Neptune facts:


1. Neptune is fifty years old 

The public have donated tens of millions of pounds to Neptune. All this money goes towards protecting and caring for the coast – keeping it accessible to the public. The most recent Neptune acquisition is a one-mile stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover. We can only continue this work from your generous donations.

2. 1 in every 3 miles is owned by the National Trust in the South West

Plus, 10% of the coastline in the UK (or 742 miles) is in safe hands and a free national park by the sea. Discover the land purchased for everyone and looked after forever here >> ntlandmap.org.uk

3. Wembury saved from an uncertain future

In 2005 tens of thousands of people, with the National Trust, helped to raise three times the money needed to buy the land from the Ministry of Defence. Until then, access had been restricted.
When Wembury Point and Great Mewstone island came up for sale it was in real danger of development out of nearby Plymouth.
Ten years on, Wembury is a wildlife haven and special place to visit. Many rare plants and animals thrive here – from cirl bunting and Dartford warblers to the extremely rare Plymouth pear.
Listen out for the Dartford warbler
A Dartford warbler
Listen out for the Dartford warbler

4. Four World Heritage Sites exist on National Trust coast

They are Giants Causeway and Causeway coast, Dorset and East Devon Coast, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscapes and Hadrian’s Wall.

5. Sea levels in the UK have risen 20cm since 1990

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change suggest sea levels might rise four times faster than this rate during the 21st century. Coastal flooding and erosion will increase as a result, making the coast an important barometer for climate change.

6. How much coastline will be effected by erosion and flooding? 

Over the next 100 years, 377 miles of National Trust owned coastline will be affected by increased flooding and erosion.
Are you interested in protecting and supporting the coast? Please ensure we are able to continue our conservation work by donating generously. Donate now >>