December 10 2013 Latest news:
By Marijke Cox, Reporter
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Actor and singer among a host of celebrities to throw their weight behind the National Trust fundraising appeal
Dame Judi Dench, soul singer Joss Stone and wartime sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn are three of a long list of celebrities throwing their weight behind a National Trust campaign to buy a stretch of the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
The charity already looks after and manages the landmark, with the exception of a 1.35km stretch – arguably the most iconic part.
National Trust bosses say to acquire it will complete the “missing link” and allow them to protect it for future generations.
But they need the public’s help, and last month launched a £1.2m fundraising campaign.
Director-general of the National Trust Fiona Reynolds said in just one month thousands of people backed the appeal and almost half of the money needed has been raised.
Now a host of celebrities have thrown their weight behind the campaign, hoping it will give the campaign the push to reach its target.
The money has to be raised by the end of the year for National Trust to acquire the cliff stretch.
Iconic wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn said she supported the appeal to ensure the cliffs are protected in their entirety.
“The sight of them meant so much to returning servicemen during the wars, and they continue to be a huge part of the history of this Island, as they always have been,” she said.
Bond actor Dame Judi Dench added: “Whenever I see the White Cliffs of Dover, I think of the Matthew Arnold poem ‘Dover Beach’: the cliffs of England stand glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.”
Other well known faces to have lent their support are actor Richard E Grant, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, TV presenter Tony Robinson and comedian Paul O’Grady.
O’Grady said: “For the past 14 years Kent has been my home and I’ve come to really love the peace and quiet of the countryside.
“The white cliffs are Kent’s most famous and stunning landscape and have a very special place in many of our hearts. I’m backing the National Trust appeal so they will be safe forever, for all of us – I urge everyone out there to do the same.”
National trust said it was important the charity took over the 1.35km sweep between the visitor centre and South Foreland lighthouse which overlooks the port.
It is the only part of the five mile stretch still in private hands.
The charity said this leaves it at risk of inappropriate development in the future.
■ To donate go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whitecliffsappeal, text the amount you wish to donate to 70070, for example ‘DOVR02 £5’, or call 0844 800 1895.